(Closed) Mentally Challenged FSIL

posted 10 years ago in Bridesmaids
Post # 3
Member
125 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2009

Can she be an honorary attendant? Someone who does not stand up with you, but has other roles to help you … maybe she looks after the guest book, and gets a bouquet or corsage.

I would not un-ask someone, but consider non-traditional attendant roles that she can participate in.

Post # 4
Member
75 posts
Worker bee

The venue is not going to say anything if you have a 4th attendant.  I would just ask her and then on the day of the wedding, the bridesmaids will just stand closer together if space was the issue. If they say anything to you (which i highly doubt they will), you should explain why you included her.  My motto is it’s easier to ask for forgiveness than ask for permission.  Hope you work it out, TapWater.  (funny name, by the way!)

Post # 5
Member
90 posts
Worker bee

Let’s be honest…..no one wants guestbook duty.  I think dumpling has a great suggestion.  I am a social worker who works with adults with developmntal disabilities, and I know all of my clients love to be involved with their families.  If you absolutely cannot have her be an attendant, you could make a thing of having her walked down the aisle by an usher during the processional (just like moms and grandmas often are)….heck, her brother/your fiance could even walk her and it would show how absolutely special she is to you both.  Good luck, and thanks for including her in your day.  For me, it means so much!

Post # 7
Member
90 posts
Worker bee

I’ve been to lots of weddings where the bridesmaids and groomsmen didn’t match in number, so that might be a possibility too.  That’s really up to how you feel about that though.

Post # 8
Member
601 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

friends come and go

but family is forever. I’d include her. 

Post # 9
Member
93 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: November 2008

At my mom’s wedding, she had her new grand daughters as flower girls. They were 5 and 7 at the time which is older than most flower girls and ring bearers. The 7 year old is autistic and so walking up the aisle and then sitting down for the rest of the ceremony was perfect for her. If you were up for it, being a flower girl/woman would be great for a girl with the cognitive age of 8 or 9. She would feel like a princess. There are lots of little jobs she could do such as being in charge or adjusting your train or holding your bouquet during the ceremony. I think it would be enough just to include her, even if it isn’t as a bridesmaid.

Post # 10
Member
1246 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2009

Although I agree with jeeyol’s sentiments, you want to be careful not to give her what is tradtionally a child’s role just because her mental age is young, you know? You’d need to feel that out with your Fiance and Future In-Laws (and Future Sister-In-Law, of course). I like the idea of an honor attendant – give her a corsage, include her in some bridal party photos, let her help you with your train, etc.

Post # 12
Member
166 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: November 2008

I’ve actually heard of the honorary bridesmaid role before, apparently its popular with weddings where the bride has many many more friends than she can have bridesmaids, so she appoints the ones that didn’t "make the cut" to be honorary bridesmaids.  They get corsages, and probably special mention somewhere, but don’t stand up or wear matching dresses, etc.  If you don’t want to completely single her out, you could appoint another friend or two as an honorary bridesmaid as well, so she wasn’t the only one.  I think it’s so sweet that you are doing this!

Post # 13
Member
125 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2009

I didn’t mean to suggest you give her the role that no one wants (by giving her guest book duty). Give her a role that SHE wants. I do know a young man who is thrilled to have the responsibility of guest book duty, but he may be the exception.

I like the idea of having her escorted the way mothers and grandmothers are, to signify the importance of the woman. Standing at the front as a bridesmaid, standing in all the pictures, etc might be hard on her – as you mentioned. However, she could certainly be an honorary bridesmaid, and sit with the head table.

I’m sure you will give your Future Sister-In-Law a role she will feel proud to do. Even if her cognitive ability is 8 or 9, could you ask her how she’d like to participate as an honorary bridesmaid? Or give her a couple choices for her role, and let her choose? That way she picks something she wants to do.

You are demonstrating such love to include her in your wedding, Tapwater.

Post # 13
Member
125 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2009

I didn’t mean to suggest you give her the role that no one wants (by giving her guest book duty). Give her a role that SHE wants. I do know a young man who is thrilled to have the responsibility of guest book duty, but he may be the exception.

I like the idea of having her escorted the way mothers and grandmothers are, to signify the importance of the woman. Standing at the front as a bridesmaid, standing in all the pictures, etc might be hard on her – as you mentioned. However, she could certainly be an honorary bridesmaid, and sit with the head table.

I’m sure you will give your Future Sister-In-Law a role she will feel proud to do. Even if her cognitive ability is 8 or 9, could you ask her how she’d like to participate as an honorary bridesmaid? Or give her a couple choices for her role, and let her choose? That way she picks something she wants to do.

You are demonstrating such love to include her in your wedding, Tapwater.

Post # 14
Member
41 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: June 2008

Are you having a religious ceremony, or including any rituals she could participate in?  For example, in Catholic weddings where Communion is offered, special people bring up the unblessed bread and wine to the priest, and sometimes someone special carries the Gospel into the church with the priest.  If you’re having a unity candle, maybe she could carry that in (unlit) and set it on a table…same with a sand ceremony or other types of rituals that require accessories.  That way the role isn’t explicitly the type usually carried out by children (ring bearer/flower girl) but it doesn’t interfere with your limit on attendants.  Or, what about passing out programs?  My 14 year old brother was happy to help with that at my wedding, though he’s a pretty good natured kid.  Whatever you decide, make sure she gets a special dress (even if it doesn’t match the the bridesmaids) and some flowers to carry or for her hair, and I’m sure she’ll be thrilled to be part of this special day.

Post # 15
Member
2292 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2008

I also don’t agree that "nobody wants" guestbook duty.  My stepdaughter shared that duty with a good friend of mine, and had a blast.  She got to meet and greet everyone.  We had the guestbook at one end of the gift table, and so a couple of other close friends were right there as well, organizing and taping cards to the gifts. If your Future Sister-In-Law is socially inclined, it might be a lot of fun for her – and you could get her a nice corsage.  I think that for most people, a job as the sole guest book attendant could be tedious or even a little stressful, but if you set things up so there is a group of people there, it can be quite fun.

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