(Closed) Fiance's family angry that his sister isn't a bridesmaid…

posted 8 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 62
1290 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

No, there is no assumption that Future Sister-In-Law gets to be a bridesmaid.


At this point, no, or you will be knuckling under to Future Mother-In-Law for the rest of your life.  You might suggest to fDH, that if she had asked you privately BEFORE going to Future Sister-In-Law, you might have thought about it.


Post # 63
1465 posts
Bumble bee

Future Mother-In-Law has opened a can of worms here – I think she is the one stirring this pot.

I have a toxic sister.  DNA does not guarantee a spot in the wedding party.  Hell would freeze over before toxix sister stood up with me.  Would never happen.

I consider myself a pretty progressive MOB and I happen to adore the mixed genders sides of bridal parties.  It really makes a statement (to me) that the person rather than their gender is really important  and they are standing with the person they are really important to.

My generation and all those before me had all these crazy ideas about numbers needing to be even, BM’s being clones and props for weddings as well as workers bees, etc.  These ideas can be broken – and I love it when they are.

My question to Future Mother-In-Law would be if it was so important to have the sister in the wedding, why didn’t your Fiance ask her to stand on his side?

Post # 64
5995 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

I’m amazed that so many are saying you should have included her! It might depend where you live, but in my experience it is not traditional at all!

I like @kay01:  ‘s suggestion of asking her to do a reading. A nice precedent to point to: William and Kate’s royal wedding. Kate’s brother wasn’t a groomsman: he did a reading. (And I did at my brother’s wedding). To be honest doing a reading is more prominent than being 8th or 9th bridesmaid.

Post # 65
373 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

While it is nice to include your Future Sister-In-Law, it is certainly not something that has to be done-nor something that should be assumed will be done. (Thankfully-since Fi has 4 sisters!).  It’s a nice gesture to do so, but NOT a requirement in any way.

I agree with the others-it would make more sense for her to stand on his side if the two of you aren’t close.

Post # 66
75 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

@roseglass6370:  I’m going against the grain here. I most certainly think it should be assumed provided there is no drama with that person. She is your FI’s sister! Just because she’s his blood and a girl doesn’t mean she should be outed because you get to choose “your” girls. If you had a brother, I’m sure you’d want him included. If I were his family or sister I would be extremely hurt too. You should figure out a way. Rush ship if possible. It is the right thing to do.

Post # 67
846 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

I don’t think this is the type of situation where you can say what is right vs. what is wrong…unfortunately you will end up losing if you try to be the winner in this. If it means a lot that she be a part of your wedding party (which clearly it does) you should have her up there…she will be family and your relationship may grow stronger with her in the years to come.

Post # 69
782 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

I’m really surprised at everyone. I do think sisters-in-law are automatic additions to the wedding party, and I’ve never met anyone who hasn’t included them. C’mon, do you really think that in 20 years you’re going to still be friends with those 8 girls? Your sister-in-law, however, will still be a part of your life. 

Your wedding is about more than having your special day. It’s about creating a new family. I think you would be wise to include your sister-in-law in that day because she will be your sister-in-law for the rest of your life now. 

Post # 70
13568 posts
Honey Beekeeper

I disagree that it’s the same thing for Future Sister-In-Law to stand up next to her brother in this case.  Fact is that they aren’t doing  a gender mixed wedding party and there is something very giving about reaching out to a future sibling-in-law in this way that was obviously meaningful to THIS family.

I also take issue with those who say you can’t give the Future Mother-In-Law or Future Sister-In-Law an inch or they will take a mile.  Stand up to them now or forever be under their thumb.  Maybe if they had shown any evidence of acting this way in the past, I could agree with that statement.   But the relationship has been very good  up until now.  Nothing like it has ever happened in the past and there is no real  evidence that these are typically controlling people.   

I had something like this at my own wedding.  FILs, normally the most laid back people in the world were unhappy  over the intended wording of my  invitations.  It meant a lot to them for these to be worded a certain way, even though I was under no obligation to do so.    Guess what?  It was the first and only thing they’d ever  made an issue of and  I changed the wording.  Nothing like that has really ever happened again to this day. 

I would assume that this triggered an emotional response, give her one free pass, and include the Future Sister-In-Law, even after the less than wonderul way Future Mother-In-Law handled this.   There is lots of time in the future to draw  lines in the sand if it becomes apparent that this kind of thing is a pattern.

Post # 71
2191 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

@MrsSparkle:  it’s not just her day it’s her fiances day too and I think she should have included his sister. 

Post # 72
2059 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

i can see both sides of this situation. it’s your wedding and you get to choose whoever you want to be in your bridal party. i think it would have been nice to include your fiance’s sister, but you’re not obligated to and i don’t think anyone should have assumed anything about it.

my 2 brothers were not groomsmen in my wedding, but they were ushers. my husband has 4 sisters and they were not bridesmaids. but we had a small bridal party- 3 guys and 3 girls. if we had included all our siblings too, it would have been way too many people for us. plus, 3 out of 4 of them have money problems (which is a whole other drama) and i know they wouldn’t have been able to afford it. as far as i know, no feelings were hurt on either side.

my brother is getting married later this year. his fiance and i get along very well. initially, i wasn’t bothered that i wasn’t a bridesmaids because i never assumed that i’d be chosen. but when i found out that they’re having a large bridal party (8 couples) i was a little bit hurt that as the only sister of the groom, i was not asked. especially because one of my cousins was. she ended up cutting 2 girls out and one day asked another cousin of mine to step up. it was a very out of the blue request. the 3 of us were hanging out and she said, “i just thought of something- you should be a bridesmaid!”  then i was really hurt.  i mean, it’s pretty obvious that she was only looking to fill spots and didn’t care about just asking her “nearest and dearest” anymore, but it still stings. it’s like she wanted anyone (and everyone) but me up there with her.

not trying to make you feel guilty, just wanted to share my experiences. i definitely understand where both you and your sister in law are coming from.

Post # 73
227 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

@roseglass6370:  in our bridal party we had 8 ladies and 9 men- including DHs 2 sisters and their spouses plus my brother and his spouse. I didn’t occur to me to not have all off them- I’m not super close with my brothers wife or with one of my DHs sisters but it was totally assumed by everyone, including me, that they would be in the party. I think your Mother-In-Law shouldn’t have told the sister anything about what part she would play in the wedding but in the end weddings are definitely not only about the people getting married- But about the joining of two families. You can choose to have the girls you originally intended or you can say hey didn’t realize you’d want to be a bridesmaid, would you like to be? Is it worth the future drama that will ensue? Or the grudge that your Mother-In-Law may hold? Just my opinion, and it may not be popular since I know a lot of people feel it’s your day and you should have what you want but it might not hurt to take MILs feelings into consideration. 


Post # 74
441 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2016

Regardless of whether it’s right or wrong to not include your Future Sister-In-Law in your wedding party, it is certainly not okay for your Future Mother-In-Law to essentially throw a temper tantrum over your decision. How dramatic of her! If she was upset, she really should have called you and explained her feelings, and asked nicely if you would consider adding Future Sister-In-Law after you knew how she felt. If I were in your situation, I wouldn’t budge, simply because I don’t cater to dramatic antics or to bullies. 

Can you call your Future Mother-In-Law, and, without calling her out on her behavior, explain to her that no offense was intended, that you simply chose the girls you are closest with, and that your Future Sister-In-Law said she was fine to play music? Perhaps explain that you felt that it would be so special to have her play at the wedding, and you knew she’d do such an amazing job (better than a hired stranger), and that Future Sister-In-Law is the only person you know who could share that special talent? Don’t offer to change your mind, but explain your reasoning, and make having your Future Sister-In-Law playing the music sound reallllly special.

For the record, my Fiance has one sister, and she won’t be in either of our wedding parties. Though he loves her, he doesn’t like spending time with her, and I’m not planning on asking her for numerous reasons (she won’t be helpful, we’re not close, I have tons of people I actually like to ask!). I’m only asking one (of three) of my sisters, as well. 

Post # 75
4231 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I’ll be honest, I would assume his sister would be in the bridal party. Not including her is kind of a slap in the face. It’s his sister. 

Post # 76
1845 posts
Buzzing bee

@Mrs. Honeybee:  “C’mon, do you really think that in 20 years you’re going to still be friends with those 8 girls? Your sister-in-law, however, will still be a part of your life.

Or, she should still be friends with those 8 girls and have nothing to do with her SIL as her and her husband have divorced, no offence OP!

OP, perhaps you should have considered having your Future Sister-In-Law as a bridesmaid, but you didn’t – you decided to have your closest friends and IMO that’s totally okay. You get to make the decision, and you made one that makes you happy.

If you and your Fiance are happy with the decisions you’ve made (and it sounds like you are) have him tell his mother that your (as in the both of you, ‘your’) decision is made. You’ve asked his sister to be a part of the wedding by playing the clarinet at your ceremony, so it’s not as if she is being excluded she’s obviously just not being included in the way her and your Future Mother-In-Law assumed she would be.

You know what they say happens when you assume – it makes an ‘ass out of u and me.’

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