- 4 years ago
- Wedding: March 2017
If you have read some of my previous posts, you’ll know that I am estranged from my family. The ‘last nail in the coffin’ was actually over my engagement and early wedding planning.
My parents were also trying to force my DH to have my younger brother as a groomsman. This was a no-go from the start because I already had a VERY strained relationship with my parents…and my brother and I had not spoken since I was 18 (so at that time, eight years). To make a long story short he resented me for moving out and ‘abandoning’ him in the abusive situation. Hurt evolved into resentment and the few times I tried to talk to him about it over the years were met with coldness and even hatred…eventually I just gave up because you can’t get blood from a stone. He also never even had ONE conversation with my DH EVER!
My parents always went to great lengths to make us look like the perfect family….thus to keep up that lie my brother HAD TO be a groomsman to imply the tight, loving bond my parents liked people to think my family had. They bullied and pushed until my DH caved and said ok. The kicker is my brother didn’t even WANT to be a groomsman!
Yeah, this isn’t what ended my relationship with my parents forever…it was actually a fight over bridesmaid dresses of all things! But I can honestly say it was a RELIEF when things did end. DH even said that the upside to things ending is he didn’t have to go through the awkwardness of having my brother be forced to be a groomsman.
I don’t fully know how me telling you this will help your situation. But I wanted to let you know I can relate to having parents want siblings to be in the wedding party.
I admit, my mom tried that a little bit early on with me and my husband when she and my husband would get into it. Nothing really serious, but she she would want me to take sides and I just wouldn’t. Made it clear if they were going to act like kindergarteners (they were) then I was just going to let them work it out. Kind of backfired, now If I call her upset with the hubby or if he calls upset with me, she just listens, makes suggestions but doesn’t take sides. :/ which is probably for the best, but next time I’m mad at him, don’t remind me lol
Very glad you and your brothers are going to work this out…..do what you need to do even if you have a dozen attendants, do what will work best in the long run. 🙂 Happy for you! Mom will just have to get over it, will be harder for her to get anyone to side with her if you communicate well with each other, sounds like you are 🙂 So glad.
I had something typed out but I see you updated that you talked to your brothers. Jut wanted to throw out that I personally think uneven bridal party numbers make for some really amazing photos, so if it’s going to make your brothers and mom happy, and it sounds like you want them up there with you, you could add them to your side.
I have 2 brothers and my fiancé has 2 sisters so we decided to include them in our wedding party. It’s ultimately up to you and your fiancé! I know you don’t want to upset your family but you need to do what’s best for you.
It’s his side, not yours. If you want them have them on your side. He clearly made his choice and you should not pressure him to do whatever because you feel something. How would you feel if he made you un-ask some of your BM’s in favour of his relatives? Pretty stupid I’d think….
Sorry but I disagree with your parents. It’s not for them to decide. And I have a problem with parents who say that the couple “has to” have certain people in their wedding. I wonder if they will tell everyone in your family that they “have to” do anything for you??
For myself I’m including one of my brothers by having his daughters as my flower girls, and my other brother is going to be the MC during the recption. I suggested to my brother he get ordained so her couldd marry us, but he hated the idea sooo. Being an MC is an awesome job, but it seems like it’s not a very popular role in American weddings. Also, I would make sure to give one of your brothers a speech to welcome the groom into the family. HAving them as ushers is also another great option. Also if any other them are musical, they could play the music as you go down the aisle.
Honestly though, if it was me, I’d be telling him to include my brothersand I would let him control another aspect ofthe wedding, like letting him add more people to the guest list or letting him pick out the cake, or at least the cake flavor. Appeal to his stomach!
My personal opinion here- I think it’s important to have family in the wedding. It may also be a great bonding experience and a chance for them to get closer! Friends come & go but family is forever. I made sure all 3 of my brothers were groomsmen!!
I’m also the only girl and have 3 brothers. FH is the only boy and has 3 sisters. But we also have a lot of close friends, and I’ve been Maid/Matron of Honor or Bridesmaid or Best Man in a few of their weddings. We decided not have a bridal party at all. There were just too many people to choose from and we didn’t want to hurt anyone. We don’t regret it all. They all know how much we love them. Note, FH and I are paying for the entire wedding, so even if our parents had an issue with it they wouldn’t have much leverage.
As far as mixed-gender sides, I’ve been a “best man” and have been a Maid/Matron of Honor in a wedding that had a groomswoman. I’ve also been in bridal parties with an uneven number on each side. All of these scenarios were lovely and not at all “tacky” or “stupid.” It’s all about who’s important to you, what does gender matter?
About other meaningful roles… One of my brother’s has been married. His ex has 1 sister. They chose to have just a Maid/Matron of Honor (her sister) and Bridesmaid or Best Man (one of my brothers). My other brother was a witness and signed the license. I was asked to do a reading of my choice and even explained why I chose the passage I read, which made it even more meaningful. I actually preferred it over being a Bridesmaid or Best Man.
While I don’t agree with your mother’s interference or approach, I happen to agree with her sentiments that weddings are among other things about the joining together of two families. I do think it is unfortunate that neither Fiance nor you considered your brothers in a party of that size. I don’t think that hosting gives her the right to make this demand, though. She can feel the way she feels and still keep it to herself.
I’m not a fan of huge wedding parties, but IMO you are already there. The sides do NOT have to be even. Personally, I’d add your brothers as groomsmen, not because your mom is upset, but because it’s a nice thing to do.
Another option is to give them special roles, as suggested.
Your post struck a chord with me because I come from a dysfunctional family too. My mother is narcissistic and my wedding was supposed to be HER chance to look like she was wealthy. My husband and I eloped because we didn’t want a big wedding and my mother wouldn’t stop trying force that on us. She wanted to call shots on every part of the wedding including wedding party members. My point is that toxic parents often use weddings as a way to appear healthy and normal to others.
OP, your parents should have shared their preferences with you before the wedding party was chosen. They probably think that since they are hosting the wedding, they have the right to make certain decisions. I don’t agree with that thought process but money and weddings can cause manipulative types to go a little crazy.
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