Post # 1
My Fiance & his brother have had a falling out. A lot was involved, but it started with a girlfriend who encouraged Future Brother-In-Law to cut off communication from his family – in a pretty hostile manner, and included the two of them not being able to agree with how to proceed regarding a jointly owned property.
Fiance and were talking to Future Mother-In-Law last night, and she was making sure that we had everyone on the guest list. After running through the aunts and uncles and a family friend or two she added “And you WILL invite your brother.” Fiance was silent. I know he was biting his tongue because he’s been swearing up and down for months that if Future Brother-In-Law shows up at our wedding the police will be called. Future Mother-In-Law continued “You can address it to Future Brother-In-Law only. You don’t have to include HER. But you will send an invitation to your brother.” His only reply was “we’ll see.”
Now, I don’t think that Future Brother-In-Law has any intention of attending our wedding. I suspect that the pair of them may have forgotten it’s even happening! But I don’t think that Future Mother-In-Law is completely out of line to expect us to invite him. Fiance is dead-set against it, though. I don’t want Fiance to be upset or hurt, but the falling out has been about finances and FBIL’s bad choices since meeting a questionable woman (who he’s lined up to marry a month after our wedding) – In my eyes (and in my family) those are issues that can be forgiven.
So do I honor FMIL’s wishes, or do I respect FI’s stubborn grudge?
If we do invite Future Brother-In-Law, do we need to extend an invitation to his fiancee (FBIL & gf got engaged recently & are planning a wedding a month after ours) – who has been nothing but nasty to FH’s family? I know that family units should be invited together, but in this case can an exception be made?
Post # 3
I think it would be nice to send an invitation (to both). Since it’s unlikely that they will actually come, it’s a pretty much free way to get some goodwill back between the brothers. Family will always be in your life, so it’s best not to burn bridges.
Post # 4
@UmbrellaMoon: A lot was involved, but it started with a girlfriend who encouraged Future Brother-In-Law to cut off communication from his family
It seems to me that not inviting her, would only perpetuate part of what you identify as the problem.
I don’t think you should honor FMIL’s wishes, because they are her wishes. I think that you should sit down and talk with Fiance about what he would regret more in 10 years, and what might happen if you did invite versus didn’t invite the sibling & fiance.
Generally I think weddings are once in a lifetime events and close family should be invited unless you are ok if the rift is irreparable (which it might be if you don’t invite them). I also think you shouldn’t invite people without their Fiance – there has to be a **very** good reason for not doing so. That said, I don’t really know enough facts to be able to state an opinion on that matter whether the Fiance ought to be invited, but I would encourage your Fiance to invite his brother.
*My perspective is based in part on the fact that my uncle hasn’t spoken to my dad in 8 years, after an issue related to my grandfather’s funeral. This really upsets my dad needless to say. As a result, my uncle (who is my godfather) did not attend my recent wedding, although his wife did send us a card on behalf of both of them.
Post # 5
- Wedding: July 2012 - Baltimore Museum of Industry
If FI’s doesn’t invite his brother, Fiance may be the “bad guy.” Sounds like Future Brother-In-Law will decline, anyway, but I wouldn’t want the non-invite to be a potential issue which could hurt a reconciliation.
I think you need to respect Fiance before your honor FMIL- but hopefully you can get Fiance open to the idea of an invite. Good luck- I’m sure this can’t be easy for anyone involved.
Post # 6
Let your Fiance decide, but not until you have a long talk about lapsed family relationships and let him know that he will likely regret this move.
You definitely should invite his girlfriend. I know your feelings about her, but you do need to include SOs, and as PP mentioned, not inviting her will add fuel to her “I hate my boyfriend’s family” fire. Kill them with hopsitality and kindness and give them fewer reasons to dislike you.
Post # 7
This is definitely a tough one. Im sort of in the same situation and my Fiance doesnt want to invite ANYONE from his dad’s side of the family (with the exception of his close cousin who is his Best Man) including his father himself. I dont personally agree and tried to convince him to at least send him/them an invite and he constantly refuses. Its his wedding too and i wouldnt be happy if i was forced to invite someone to MY wedding that i didnt want there for whatever reason. therefore i left the decidion soley up to him and when anyone comes to me asking why we didnt invite, i let them know that it was a decision left to him and they can talk to him about it. some people may not agree with what im doing, but the way i see it is that my job is to support my future husband and respect his wishes… nobody else matters when it comes to OUR wedding 🙂
Post # 8
Is your Mother-In-Law paying for the reception? If not, she has no right to dictate who’s invited and who isn’t. My Mother-In-Law wanted us to invite people we’ve never met and she contributed nothing to the wedding so she got no say in anything. I’m sure a lot of Bee’s will disagree with me on this, but my Darling Husband and I don’t have great relationships with his family (recently disowned us), but it’s your decision. If your Fiance doesn’t feel comfortable with his brother there than he doesn’t need to invite him. It’s his wedding, not his mother’s.
Post # 9
I agree, you and Fiance are a team now and I would rather go with what my Fiance wants, not my Future Mother-In-Law
Post # 10
Since I (apparently) seem like a reall B* for not wanting to invite the girl:
FBIL’s Fiance has told everyone that we are not welcome in a house that Fiance & Future Brother-In-Law own together. A house where she does not even pay rent to live. She and Future Brother-In-Law together have written several very nasty letters to my Future In-Laws generally saying that Future Mother-In-Law & Future Father-In-Law “aren’t his parents anymore” and if my Future Mother-In-Law & FFIL can’t treat the couple “as peers” then they don’t want them in their lives.
She also told my Fiance that it was his fault that a friend and coworker died on the job. She said would have been able to save the coworker’s life. This conversation happened within weeks of the tragic accident.
From the conversations we’ve had with Future In-Laws, it seems that only one set of grandparents is even considering attending their wedding – because there is so much disapproval of the bride. I’m worried about inviting her not because I don’t like her – but because if she does attend over half of our guests will be very uncomfortable.
Post # 11
@UmbrellaMoon: I am so sorry you have to deal with this type of drama while planning your wedding!
I definitely don’t think you’re a B*. However, I will agree with PP and say that you need to let Fiance decide what the fate of this is. I would almost talk to Future Mother-In-Law and give her a heads up, “I understand how important it is to you to have Future Brother-In-Law invitited, however this is both my and FI’s wedding, and I am going to support and respect whichever decision Fiance makes. I hope you will understand and do the same.”
Post # 12
- Wedding: July 2012 - Baltimore Museum of Industry
What? “She and Future Brother-In-Law …saying that Future Mother-In-Law & Future Father-In-Law “aren’t his parents anymore” and if my Future Mother-In-Law & FFIL can’t treat the couple “as peers” then they don’t want them in their lives.”
WHY does Future Mother-In-Law want to invite them to the wedding, when that relationship is equally toxic? Knowing this, I’m changing my advise to a no, don’t invite. Yikes!
Post # 13
I talked to Fiance, he’s willing to send an invitation to his brother – since the chances of Future Brother-In-Law actually attending are “only 50/50.” But under no circumstances is the gf/FI to be invited (as in: we will not even discuss the matter).
So how do I address this invitation? I KNOW that it’s incredibly rude to not invite a significant other that lives in the same house and/or is engaged. But she simply isn’t welcome. In this case I am worried that proper addressing may not be a strong enough indication that we are ignoring polite society’s rules and only intending to invite Future Brother-In-Law. And that’s certainly not a conversation that I want to have – “FBIL, I got your RSVP back and notice it says 2 of you will be attending. But we hate your Fiance, the whole family does. So even though we know about her, we intentionally did not invite her.” I just can’t formulate a decent way to convey an intentional snub, if it wassn’t acknowledged in the first place.
Is there a proper (or a “less terrible”) way to do this? I do NOT want to write “FBIL only” on the inner envelope, and I didn’t indicate the “number of seats have been reserved for you” on our RSVP cards – it’s not our style, and it would have offend the other 74 guests we’ve invited. So… ??? Any helpful thoughts or insight?
Post # 14
This is a lose/lose situation, no matter what you do.
If you don’t invite Future Brother-In-Law and his SO, they will both hold it against your Fiance forever – and it will be one more thing in the battle of the brothers that keeps them from ever patching it up. Future Mother-In-Law will alos be angry, so there’s an additional casualty here.
If you invite Future Brother-In-Law but not his SO, she’ll never let him come without her, and he’ll be angry that she was excluded, thus perpetuating the anger.
If you invite them both, and they show up, your Fiance will be furious all day on his wedding day, which is not exactly the way to make it all happy memories.
The only way this works if is you invite them both, but neither shows. But it’s risky to count on that happening. Personally, it’s what I would do, but it could turn out badly.
So sorry this is all going on! I hope you’re able to work it out.
Post # 15
@UmbrellaMoon: Tricky, under those constraints. I can think of a few possibilities:
1. Perhaps enclosing a hand written letter from Fiance with the invitation, saying that you hope he is able to come, that you regret what has happened and hope that you are able to put it behind you, etc. In the note, you can somehow let him know that the SO is not invited. Maybe in terms of “This rift has really driven our family apart. Many close family members will decline to attend if SO attends, which not only makes me sad and puts me in an awkward position. While we very much hope that you will be able to attend, because the day would not be complete without you, please understand we also cannot fathom our wedding day with only half of the family present. For this reasons, I hope you will understand why we are only able to extend an invitation to you.” (I’d reword, but that’s the idea at least.)
2. Send invitation as above, and give a phone call (or set up a specific meeting) to brother with similar conversation.
3. Pay the money to create a separate invite for him that DOES say “1 seat has been reserved in your honor.” Although more expensive, this is perhaps the “easiest” way to handle it that doesn’t involve confrontation/discussion.
Post # 16
I don’t think you can invite him without her, as much as that sucks. Honestly, if you did that and he did want to come he would probably just bring her anyways so you might as well extend the invitiation instead of creating an excuse for more hostility.
I think you need to let things die down for a week or so, and then bring it up to Fiance without FMIL’s presence. Maybe FI and his brother should try to patch things up before the wedding, go out to dinner or drinks and try to fix the relationships (without you and his SO, IMO). I’ve been lucky enough to never have a big fight like that with my sister. But if I did, and then it was repaired years later, I would ALWAYS regret not inviting her to my wedding! Maybe mention that to Fiance, that if he draws this line in the sand then it drastically reduces the chance of ever fixing the relationship. Is that really what he wants? Ultimately though, I think that it’s his call.