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

posted 8 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 107
350 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

Hi there!

I know what you are talking about with the large bridal parties, I have 9 girls and 1 junior bridesmaid. I’ve also been on the other side with both of my brothers got married and I was in both weddings. For the 2nd brother, I think I got added in a little later…which didn’t bother me, what bothered me more was that at one point I didn’t think I was going to be included in the bridal party….I was feeling very hurt

I guess I always assumed that the sisters of the groom should be included in the bridal party since you will be family and create many memories in the future together. The only way I guess I could understand it is if the groom has many sisters, then it might get a little nuts.

Fiance doesn’t have any sisters, but after we got engaged, his brother got engaged 7 months later and I added his fiance into our wedding party as well. We honestly have become the best of friends over the process and I could not see my wedding without her up there.

I think it would be a very nice and thoughtful gesture and shows that you recognize that she is now your family as well. You shouldn’t have to ask one of your BM’s to step down though…you should be able to keep your Bridesmaid or Best Man and add in your FI’s sister. How does he feel about the whole thing?


Post # 108
2449 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

Fiance and I wanted a smaller wedding party.  His 3 closest friends, my son, my sister and my childhood friend.  I asked him if we should have his sisters by BMs- because I was totally cool with the idea.  I haven’t hung out with either one of them a ton, but both of them accepted me right from the start and when I have seen them, always been warm and welcoming.  I said I didn’t know if it was weird if I asked them to be in our wedding (they live in another state, and while not SUPER far away, there aren’t TONS of opportunities to see eachother).  We never really made a final decision….and kept planning our wedding.  But then I realized that I really wanted my younger bro in the wedding.  Whether he was there to be supportive of my son (RB)- or whatever- I wanted him involved.  We decided to make him a groomsman.  He’ll be 15 when we get married.  So with that, we decided it only appropriate that we asked my FI’s sisters to be in our wedding party.

They are both excited, and I am REALLY happy that we made that decision- I have moments with my family, but ultimately, family is most important.

It’s nice that you at least included her in the ceremony in some way. But I can also see how she might be a little offended.  I think you Mother-In-Law is totally offbase making ANY promises to anyone about her daughters role in your wedding- family or not, you just don’t do that.  That’s starts wars.

I am excited to have FI’s sisters in our wedding party- and hope this will allow me to get to know them a bit better!!  

Post # 109
1262 posts
Bumble bee

If you didn’t have such a large wedding party, I would be baffled by your Future In-Laws feeling slighted. I totally agree with other PPs in saying it isn’t too late. By the tone of your post, it sounds like Future Sister-In-Law might be super young? I would have Fiance text Future Mother-In-Law back that you’re going to handle the situation, thanks for bringing it to our attention that she’s upset. And maybe take Future Sister-In-Law to lunch and let her know you didn’t know she’d want to be included as a Bridesmaid or Best Man and you were really looking forward to her contributing her musical talent. If she’s willing, can you order her a Bridesmaid or Best Man dress, be listed as a Bridesmaid or Best Man in the program and still play her musical selection? My thinking, if you have 8, you might as well have 9…that’s already a huge number, what’s one more for the sake of appeasing? Just make sure you let it be known that it wasn’t a purposeful or malicious slight, you just hadn’t thought it would be a big deal, but since it is, you’re willing to make it right to avoid any hurt feelings.


Post # 110
1742 posts
Bumble bee

To me this question turns on the essential nature of the bridal party.  If the bridal party is truly supposed to consist of one’s closest friends, then any imposition on the choice of either the bride or the groom is, in my opinion, a gross violation of that person’s subjectivity and autonomy and ethically indefensible.  For what it is worth, Emily Post’s 1922 guide states that, “ushers and bridesmaids are chosen only from close friends of the bride and groom.”

However, Post turns that statement around a bit (well, per my definition of what constitutes “friendship”) when she later writes that “The bride returns the compliment by asking the sister of the groom who is nearest her own age, to be bridesmaid, or if he has no sister, she asks a cousin or even occasionally shows her courtesy by asking the groom to name a particular friend of his.”  This seems to suggest that the bridal party is part a gesture of friendship and part public acknowledgement/honoring.

It would seem like this could raise issues when considering the things that most bridesmaids in the US get asked to do–planning and paying for parties, paying for clothes, helping a bride with decoration choices, helping with invitations, etc.  A bride and her close friends will have a history of doing deeds that demonstrate that level of committment and helping with the wedding can take its place in that long chain.  However, asking a future in-law for that level of commitment, especially if there are not prospects for a genuinely close relationship or easy opportunities for the bride to reciprocate, seems like it could create resentment (and, of course, it would create resentment among the members of the bridal party if one member was excluded from all the “duties”).

Post # 110
1 posts
  • Wedding: September 2016

How did this work out? What choice was made in the end? Was there resentment at all afterwords?

Post # 111
11 posts
  • Wedding: October 2015

View original reply
roseglass6370:  I didn’t have my sister in law as a bridesmaid. I never met her until the day of my wedding so I thought it would be slily! I got asked why not by a few people and I was like I never met her. It shouldn’t be an obligation. 

Post # 112
194 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2016

I do not think you are in the wrong. It is your wedding, it is your decision to choose who will do what. Yes, it is a nice gesture to include future sibilings, but it doesn’t have to be a personal touch like a bridesmaid/groomsman.

I had a situation where Fiance and I had just got engaged,  Future Mother-In-Law sends me an e-mail asking why I had not asked Future Sister-In-Law to be a bridesmaid. She said,

Forgive me I know Fiance asked FIBrother to be the best man and he is part of hte wedding party. I hope Future Sister-In-Law will be part of the wedding party too. 

I was planning to give the girls a gift, also it was more than a year out til the wedding. Ended up asking her, she asked why she couldn’t be Maid/Matron of Honor, later on she apologized she was rude. End of story. Now realizing that she has no interest in the wedding, Fiance asked he what was up, and she said she doesn’t want to be a bridesmaid. Future Mother-In-Law set up the whole thing and Future Sister-In-Law felt she had to do it.

Long story story, and I am learning this as I go, just do what you want. Future Mother-In-Law had her day, Future Sister-In-Law will get her day, make it about you and your Fiance. The families are still involved and you asked her to play music that is a great gift and something she should be honored to do, you try to please everyone, you never will be able to.


Post # 113
89 posts
Worker bee

Ruining your relationship with someone you have to spend the rest of your life being close to over 1 day… I never understand this.

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