Post # 1
I was flipping through my cousins wedding photos the other day and in his wedding party was his brother’s ex-girlfriend. They ended up breaking up after the wedding and now forever there are going to be photos of that girl in the wedding photos. It got me thinking about that and I genuinely feel like im not sure which way to go.
My boyfriend’s brother has been with his girlfriend for about 4 years, they broke up for a year in the middle during which the girlfriend had to drop out of being in my boyfriend’s sisters wedding. So my boyfriend’s sister made the choice to include the girlfriend in her wedding party. Im not sure if i would want to make that same choice? I honestly don’t really think his brother and his girlfriend are going to end up together and get married. They have a large age gap where the girlfriend is ready for marriage and babies soon and the brother is in his early 20’s and SUPER immature. They brag about fighting constantly like its cute which i don’t understand. They live together. His brother would 100% be in the wedding party. His family includes the girlfriends and boyfriends in EVERYTHING. so I do know this girlfriend pretty well, I like her a lot and she is pretty sweet. I don’t think I personally care that much if I someday had wedding photos where she was in them as part of the wedding party but they weren’t together anymore, but i do hate the idea of my wedding photos attached to someone feeling uncomfortable or annoyed about them as i will want to proudly display them for the rest of my life, but i understand you can’t really predict that someone won’t get divorced anyways lol.
Im curious 1) is there any etiquette that says you do not include unmarried partners of couples in the wedding party? 2) Has anyone experienced any reasons why its a really bad idea to include other partner that aren’t married in the wedding party? 3) If you aren’t even that close with the person’s partner, does it look like you invited them to be in the wedding party out of obligation and is that odd?
Post # 2
I voted “yes always” because I don’t like any of the other stipulations but my real answer is, people in the wedding party should be chosen individually, their SO’s are not automatically in the wedding party. So just because someone is married doesn’t automatically mean they are in the wedding party if their spouse is, and on the other hand, just because someone ISN’T married doesn’t mean they CAN’T be picked to be in the wedding party.
Post # 3
I agree with PP, pick your bridal party based on your relationships with people. We had my BIL’s girlfriend (they are now engaged) as a signatory on our wedding certificate, so it was a way to include her but not take her away from my husband’s “side”. I get on well with her and would have been open to having her as bridesmaid, but my two were enough for me. I just wanted a chilled out morning with my closest people.
Post # 4
1) is there any etiquette that says you do not include unmarried partners of couples in the wedding party?
Really? Why would there be etiquette on that?
I wouldn’t make marriage the cut off for including or not including some in my bridal party. It should be based on their actual relationship with you, not a relationship by marriage.
There is no guarantee a SIL will be a more permanent fixture in your life than a brother’s girlfriend.
Post # 5
I’ve never actually heard or experienced in any wedding I’ve been in or attended that significant others of siblings have to be in the wedding party. In fact siblings don’t have to be in the wedding party at all either. So your poll is flawed in the sense that they are basically all variations of yes they should be there if X qualification is met with no option for no. And that’s b.s. because there is no wedding party requirement at all let alone mandates of who has to be in it. Every wedding in my life has been chosen based on individual relationships.
Post # 6
My sister and her girlfriend are both my bridesmaids. My sister’s girlfriend is like another sister to me. They’ve been together about 6 years now (longer than I’ve been with me FI) .
Post # 7
I think it depends on your relationship with the individual. I’m not including someone in my wedding party just because they are related to me in any sense if I don’t have a good friendship with them.
My SO and I already decided we aren’t even going to have our siblings in our wedding party.
Post # 8
Wow all really good feedback so far. I guess I figured there might be etiquette about it that I didn’t know about since there does seem to be guidelines surrounding when you give someone a plus one that depends on if they live together, are engaged, etc.
Happy to know that it is normal to pick who you are close with personally not just out of obligation to their relationship status. Thanks everyone!
I saw someone who asked about who gets ready with the bride in the morning. Would it be rude to include this girlfriend in the get ready room with me and the wedding party if she isn’t in the wedding party?
Post # 9
ladyjane123 : Would it be rude to include this girlfriend in the get ready room with me and the wedding party if she isn’t in the wedding party?
In my view that is the opposite of rude.
Post # 10
You are overthinking it. If you like the girlfriend, I would include her in the wedding party because I err on the side of always including family and their SO’s unless there is a compelling reason not to. So what if your Brother-In-Law and his girlfriend eventually break up? It doesn’t mean their relationship never happened or that she should never be spoken of or seen again in pictures. I think it’s odd (and disingenuous) that you would want to exclude her because she might feel uncomfortable about being in your wedding pictures in the future if she breaks up with your Brother-In-Law. I doubt that would cross her mind (seems like a very convoluted way of thinking). What is she supposed to do? Track down every picture of her with your family and ask that it be burned? My advice is to include her and stop trying to predict whether they will break up or not.
Post # 11
ladyjane123 : People in your wedding party should be people that are close to you, you’re not obligated to include your siblings partners, even if they’re married. I never even understand people who include their Future Sister-In-Law or Future Brother-In-Law in the wedding party just out of “obligation”.
You can ask if she wants to get ready with you, if you want her to. That’s not rude.
Post # 12
When you say “wedding party” are you referring to your actual bridesmaid and groomsmen? As others have stated, those should be chosen on an individual basis. When selecting your wedding party, you should chose those closest to you that you share meaningful relationships with. That is you select your individual bridesmaids and your fiance selects his individual groomsmen. You may end up with couples, but your selection should never be based off of that. And if you do end up with couples in your party, they don’t have to be paired up either. For instance, my fiances brother-in-law will be his best man and I also have chosen to have my fiance’s sister as a bridesmaid because I deeply value her friendship (these two are husband and wife). However, they will not be walking down the aisle together bc I believe that the procession order should be based on the value of the relationships with each individual. NOW, if you are meaning “wedding party” to be those who may have duties and be included in family photos, but not necessarily in the bridal party, then there is a way to handle that. Yes, include her, give her duties, let her be in photos…. just not all of them. You dont have to single her out or make it obvious, but there will be a lot of photos taken. Do some with the entire family, then just newlyweds and siblings, then just newlyweds and grooms family, then newlyweds and siblings and their significant others, so on and so forth. That way, not everyone is in all the photos and the person you are worried about isnt singled out and probably wont even notice.
Post # 13
“There does seem to be guidelines surrounding when you give someone a plus one that depends on if they live together, are engaged, etc”
For what it’s worth, I don’t think you should give someone’s fiance or significant other a “plus one.” I think you should invite those people by name on the invitation. IMO, plus ones are for single people and at your discretion.
Post # 14
“I never even understand people who include their Future Sister-In-Law or Future Brother-In-Law in the wedding party just out of “obligation”.
Because family will be around for a long time and gestures like this can mean a lot and go a long way toward a good relationship. I had my SIL and her wife as my two bridesmaids even though I have friends who are closer to me. Now, I really like my SILs, so it wasn’t a problem (and my friends understood), but it was more important to me to agknowledge family than go strictly by who I was closest to.
Post # 15
There’s no rule on this (and their shouldn’t be). I think the wedding party should be made up of those nearest and dearest to you. If that’s your brother’s girlfriend, so be it!
Maybe it’s a little awkward that she’s in pics now since they broke up, but it’s really no big deal. Honestly…how often do you look at your wedding pics? I LOVED my pictures but it’s been almost 3 years since we got married and I really look at them. And if I do, it’s usually just a pic of my husband and I alone.
Semi-related, my husband’s sister got married well before we got engaged, but we had been dating for a significant period of time by then. Plus his sister and I get along really, really well. Anyway, she didn’t include me as a bridesmaid and I had absolutely no problem with that. We all knew I was going to eventually be marrying her brother but she had other people she wanted to honor with those roles. However, soon after the wedding she told me how she wished she had asked me to be a bridesmaid. Here we are, 6 years later, and I much closer with her than half the people she had in her wedding party.