Post # 76
My fiance is 1 of 4 boys and I am an only child. I assumed that all 3 of my fiance’s brothers would be in the wedding party, until 2 of the 3 proactively asked us (me) not to include them. They have no specific reason other than they don’t want to be bothered, there’s really no other way to put it. My fiance doesn’t care at all. Personally, I think this was extrememly rude and selfish of them, but, at the end of the day, I have no objection to a smaller bridal party and people being comfortable. I will however miss not having them in as many pictures, but I realize that you can’t make people do what they don’t want to do and it’s better for longer term relations if you don’t try. I still think they’re rude and selfish. Just a story to add to the mix for perspective.
Post # 77
I definitely think you’re being selfish. No matter how many “lol”s you tack onto this post, you come off very self-centered and selfish. If any of my siblings acted like this, I would not want to be around them ever. My brother agreed to be a groomsman in my wedding next October. Is he happy about it? Not really. He’s also not “into wedding stuff,” but you know what? He sucked it up because he knew it was important to me and wanted to support me. It is entirely possible to still participate in their big day, but not be forced into doing other wedding things. If you are heavily pregnant by next year I’m sure no one will expect you to help plan anything. Plenty of bridesmaids just show up on the big day.
I would stop worrying about all of these things that “might” happen. You are not pregnant yet, and may not be that far along by their wedding date or may not be pregnant at all. And right now, no one has officially asked you to be a Bridesmaid or Best Man. Your brother’s Fiance might not even want you in her bridal party.
Honestly, declining to be a part of their big day or making your feelings known prior to an official request, is going to be awkward and hurtful no matter what. You may as well just be truthful and stop looking for excuses. Tell them exactly how you feel and what your reasons are, but do not expect everyone to understand. Like I said above, if you were my sister, I’d think you were being incredibly selfish and it was negatively effect our relationship.
Post # 78
I would talk to your Future Sister-In-Law directly. You could take this conversation one of two ways, depending on what you want to do:
a) ask her what she is expecting of bridesmaids and explain your limitations. based on that conversation, hopefully you will mutually decide whether or not it makes sense for you to be a bridesmaid.
b) if you’ve already decided you don’t want to be a bridesmaid regardless (which is a totally legitimate call), then tell her gently, again explaining the limitations, and then tell her all the ways you are willing to contribute to the wedding. you said you’re excited, so make sure you genuinely convey that in this conversation (this all applies to the above convo as well).
I don’t think anyone should be forced to be a bridesmaid. There are plenty of ways to support a couple that do not involve being in the bridal party, so I think declining this specific role in no way makes you a bad sister/bad person if you handle it well.
Post # 79
goblueca: I think this is one of the more helpful responses, both in terms of clarifying expectations and in drawing boundaries.
Not agreeing to be a bridesmaid doesn’t mean that you don’t support their marriage.
Since you’re not super close to your family and therefore don’t feel the same emotional “obligation” to stand up for your brother and his fiancée as some other people on this thread do, how about looking at this more as a gift to them? I’ve lurked on plenty of threads where people say, “If they were gauche enough to tell me what sort of gift I should get them, and how much I should spend, I would get them something completely different and make it extra crappy just to spite them. A gift is supposed to be from the heart, and it is therefore supposed to be my choice.” I don’t see how this is any different. You should give as much as you feel comfortable giving. Instead of feeling forced to do exactly what they want you to do (be a bridesmaid), focus on how much you do support them, and what you are willing and able to do to help them (DIY projects) during the wedding planning process.
Also, I’m sorry that so many people have gone beyond your initial question and bashed you. That was uncalled for.
Good luck as well. I glanced through this entire thread, and your family dynamic sounds kind of like it sucks.
Post # 80
being a bridesmaid doesn’t mean you can’t focus on ttc or work on saving money. I understand that you have a difficult dynamic with your family, but it sounds like this would be important to your brother. I dont see how being in the wedding party would be such a huge inconvenience to you, especially if you plant to attend as a guest. If you are pregnant, then you have a maternity dress. If you deliver, then unfortunately (and understandably) you can’t make it to the wedding. You are not obligated to travel for anything other than the wedding itself – 2 of my 3 bridesmaids were out of the country and only made it to the wedding! Other than wearing something different and being in a few photos, there isn’t a big difference to you in how you particiate in the wedding as a guest v. bridesmaid; while to the couple themselves it would be hugely meaningful to them to have you as a bridesmaid vs a guest.
Post # 81
If you don’t want to do it, don’t do it. Your reasons don’t really matter. Yeah, maybe it’s a little selfish, but honestly, so what? We’re all selfish sometimes. And as a bride, I would never want someone as my Bridesmaid or Best Man who didn’t want to be there.
From your posts, it sounds as though your brother will be upset more because of the optics of you not being in his wedding, not because of hurt feelings. Be prepared for that. And be prepared to take heat from your mother.
Post # 82
Wow. I am really surprised at how nasty some people are being over this (even for the bee). It’s one thing to offer an opinion, but telling you that you’re self-centered, a bad sister, etc, is just mean and unhelpful.
I agree @PositiveThinking in regards to the many people who are speaking from their experience in the “perfect family” dynamic. Being siblings, or being raised in the same household does not always equate to some magical, special, undying bond that you must forever be tied too.
You’re not wanting to decline out of intention to hurt them, more more to protect yourself (from my perspective).
Those people saying to “be the bigger person” and to mend bridges obviously did not grow up in a family dynamic like yours. It’s not like the movies where you “do the right thing” and everyone is happy and perfect and forgets about everything in the past. It changes nothing.
If you are asked, do not feel bad about declining. Perhaps there are other ways you can show them that you’re excited for their marriage, and that you want to help out with, without being in the wedding party itself.
Personally, I come from a pretty messed up family background and sadly place little importance on my family relationships due to how they have treated me in the past. I have stepped back from thier lives in order to protect my own sanity, so I completely understand your apprehension in this matter.
Post # 83
I’m surprised at all the “suck it up” responses. I kind of wish my SIL would have declined. DH’s sister accepted when one, she no longer wanted to participate in any more weddings, but she did it because she felt “pressured” because it was her brother. I would not have been hurt had she said no honestly. I gave her many, many outs after she made my wedding planning hell for months, and she chose to stuck with it. We made up, and I am happy about that, but I don’t think there is anything wrong with not wanting to, whether your reasons are selfish or not. Your brother is allowed to feel hurt. Honestly, I would be lying if I said I wouldn’t have felt hurt if my brother had declined, but its his choice. That’s the whole point of asking someone–to get a yes or a no.
Post # 84
OP, I get that you aren’t all that into weddings and would rather not be bothered. But before you accept or decline you need to figure out what kind of relationship you want with your brother and family. Would you like to have better relationships? Or do you not really care? Being in a wedding party is a big deal when it comes to family dynamics. It’s a big deal to ask or not ask someone to be a Bridesmaid or Best Man, kick someone out of the Bridal Party, or accept/decline being a Bridesmaid or Best Man. Declining will definitely not improve things and based on your comments, it’ll probably make it worse (more ammo for your mom and your brother will probably be hurt and may distance himself). But accepting would most likely be a step towards improving your relationship. You could use the wedding as a chance to bond and grow closer. Family is very improtant to me so my advice would be to accept the role (while making it clear you probably won’t be able to attend pre-wedding activites and have a limited budget). But this thread is evident that not everyone feels the same about family. So just keep in mind that whatever you decide to do will have larger impact than just a one-time feelings hurt/happy deal.
Alternatively, why not decline being a Bridesmaid or Best Man but offer to do a reading? That way you don’t have to feel pressured to do and spend a lot, but will still be actively involved. That seems like a good compromise to me!
Post # 85
I find most Bees to be very supportive and caring. As this is the internet, there are always a bunch that only want to hurt others.
I love it when some Bees literally follow all of my threads so that they can make nasty comments in all of them. Can you say psycho?
As for the very rude posts in this particular thread….there but for the fucking grace of God go the lot of them! It must be nice to have such lovely families that they can denounce others who need to protect themselves from their dysfunctional clans.
Post # 86
Why is it selfish for someone to protect herself against dysfunctional family?
Post # 87
How was the OP ignoring the responses you were speaking of?
I didn’t see that. I noticed her taking offense to many very nasty responses.
Perhaps you noticed something that I did not. I am open to being corrected.
Post # 88
i think you are going to have to suck it up buttercup and just go. i would be really upset if my siblings didnt go and declined to stand by my side on what most people think is the most important day of their lives.
Post # 89
Yes, you are being selfish. Youre already planning on declining an invitation that hasnt even been extended yet, your reason being a baby that isnt conceived or born yet.
Flip the situation. Say you do get pregnant. How would you feel if your brothers Fiance skipped your baby shower and her reason was that she was too busy concentrating on her wedding?
She would look like an ass.
That tells you all you need to know.
Post # 90
I cannot speak for other Bees, but I can say for myself that my family dynamic is not all “happy & normal families” I was raised by a single mom and we lived with my uncle and grandmother for 8 years. When I was 13 my mom remarried and her husband turned out to be a jackass, verbally abusing her and myself. She left the marriage after 12 years and took my 10 year old half brother with her. As for my bio dad’s side, he’s been in and out of jail & rehab since he was 15 years old. His sisters make excuses for him and I have 4 half siblings, 3 of them, I’ve never met and I have 2 nephews and a niece on that side, who I’ve also never met.
But if one of them asked me to be in their wedding, I’d be thrilled and excited to do that for them. Maybe it’s because I have an interest in having a better relationship with them, but none of my half siblings have ever done anything to upset me so I have the desire to improve my relationships with them.
My half brother on my mom’s side will be standing up as a groomsman. I know weddings aren’t his thing and I know he’s only a teenager, but he loves me and was willing to do this for me. My SIL is incredibly shy so while I do want her to stand up therre with me, as my bridesmaid, I won’t force her.