Post # 1
I have a lovely granddaughter who is getting married soon. She has asked her sister (from my son’s first marriage) to be a Bridesmaid or Best Man, as well as her sister-in-law and her brother’s girlfriend. She has NOT asked her 17 year old half-sister from my son’s second marriage and this has caused a lot of heart-ache for the girl. She has also asked her two nieces to be flower girls and another niece to be a junior bridesmaid. EVERYONE is in the wedding except for the half-sister and her mother. My son says it is her day, the two sisters are not close and she can have whoever she wants in the wedding. I see the lost look on my granddaughter’s face when they talk about the wedding. I think the first wife had something to do with it but I can’t say for sure. When I ask the BTB she just says she only wants people she is close to in the wedding. The half-sister is not someone who would embarrass her or anything. Just a normal teen, who has not been able to have much interaction with her sister because the sister moved away to go to college when she was eight. I feel awful for her and now she is telling her parents she does not want to attend the wedding. I don’t blame her but how would THAT look?
Post # 3
@grandma-C: It really stinks for the half-sister, but her dad is right. Unfortunately, the bride seems to have decided to send some sort of message, and there’s not really much that can be done about it. I can understand why the young lady would not want to attend the wedding, but really that would just make the drama even worse. Hopefully her parents will talk her out of it, and she can use this as a learning experience and rise above.
Post # 4
@grandma-C: It’s her wedding, she wants her most special and closest friends and family up their beside her on her day. I don’t think its an issue. If they are not close, then she should expect not to be a bridesmaid… If she doesn’t come to the wedding because she’s insulted that her half sister that she is NOT CLOSE TO hasn’t made her a bridesmaid then she is being selfish and immature.
Post # 5
@grandma-C: Hmmm, this is tough.
I have my two younger sisters as bridesmaids, but my older sister from my father’s marriage will not be a bridesmaid, as we are not close at all. I never even knew her until I was 15, was not even invited to her wedding and I don’t have the same relationship with her as I do with my other sisters.
That’s what it sounds like here. It doesn’t sound like she has purposely excluded her to be mean, it just sounds like she doesn’t have a close bond with her and I can obviously understand only wanting those you are close to in your bridal party.
I think what’s happened here is that the bride has decided to only have those she feels close to in her bridal party, and has done that with no intentions of hurting her sister, but from her sister’s POV maybe it seems like it was done to hurt her? Could you talk to your granddaughter and just explain that this doesn’t mean that her sister hates her or anything, just that she doesn’t feel as close to her as she is with her other sisters?
Whatever you do, don’t try and force the bride to include her sister. I would, however, ask the bride not to discuss the wedding in front of her sister if it is upsetting her. It’s a good rule not to talk about the wedding unless you’re asked anyway. Nobody really cares too much about that stuff.
Post # 6
- Wedding: October 2014 - Disney
Sorry this is the bride’s day. There maybe reasons you dont know about such as wanting to have matching wedding party sizes, personal closeness between the two, issues between her and the step mom, etc. However it is likely not your business, and this is her wedding. Even if the reasons are rude or uncouth it sadly is her wedding, and in the end makes her look bad. However she has stated in this case a very specific reason that she is not close with that sister. That sucks for her sister, yes this could be an awesome bridge for them to build, but it takes two to build a bridge and if she’s not interested dont push the subject it makes you look rude.
Post # 7
@grandma-C: I’m of the firm opinion that the bridal party is decided by the couple and the opinions of anyone else are irrelevant. The people in your bridal party should be those closest to you. After my own wedding, that opinion is even more firm. Every couple getting married has so much unsolicited advice and opinions thrown at them and it’s incredibly stressful. We ended up in a situation similar to this, where we didn’t include my DH’s only sister in the wedding party (he absolutely did NOT want her there) and we got so much grief for the choice. I do not understand how his family thought that her happniess was more important that the people actually getting married. I also do not understand why it’s up to the couple to ensure the happiness of everyone else. And I certainly do not understand why anyone would want a pity invite into a wedding party.
It’s unfortunate your one granddaughter is upset, but she’ll get over it. I would suggest though, that if your granddaughter really wants to be included, to ask the couple for something to do. They might be very willing to include her in some other aspect. We had no problems giving roles to people who asked for something but we were not about to chase around wondering who we were upsetting by not including.
I’m not trying to sound like a jerk here, but this issue really hits home and I hope you try to understand the position that the couple getting married are in. They are making choices for their own wedding day. You’ll never please everyone, so you might as well make sure you’re happy with your own choices for the day.
Post # 8
I feel badly for your granddaughter but I have to agree with PPs – the bride is not obligated to ask her half-sister to be a Bridesmaid or Best Man if she does not wish to. Is the half-sister upset because she is not standing up for her sister or because she is not going to be a Bridesmaid or Best Man in a wedding. I suspect the latter although I have no way of knowing. There will be other opportunities for the young lady to be a Bridesmaid or Best Man. And if she elects not to attend, that is on her. I would not be concerned about appearances.
Post # 9
The dad is right. If the two sisters are not close it is understandable for the half sister not to be in the wedding, and there is NO ‘should be’, it is who the bride wants and is close to.
Post # 10
This is one of those times in life that you can’t control, so it’s time for the young girl to learn that she won’t always be chosen for something she thinks she is worthy of…it’s not a great feeling but it happens to everyone at least a few times in their lives. I would encourage her to attend the wedding even if it hurts her mostly to make her stronger, and partly to avoid conflict within the family.
Post # 11
I understand that you want everyone to be happy, but the 17-year-old will absolutely get over it and will probably get over it faster if her extended family isn’t acting like she has a right to be wounded. Sounds like a great opportunity for the adults in her life to point out that sometimes things don’t go exactly as you want, and you smile graciously and move on.
Also, as wedding planning moves forward, it might be helpful for you, grandma, to take a step back and reevaluate exactly where the line of your business is. The bride made her decision, she doesn’t need the extended family making her feel guilty. Sorry if that sounds a little harsh, I know you just want to help, but people can get a wrapped up in family issues that might be better served by everyone not directly involved just staying out of it.
Post # 12
@grandma-C: Oh, I am so sorry for your granddaughter who is not in the wedding. This must be so heartbreaking for her, and she must feel as if she has been rejected by her older half-sister for no apparent reason.
Unfortunately, although this situation is difficult, I don’t think there is a way to change the circumstances at this point. If you or your son were to urge the bride to change her mind, she may become upset and resentful, and she has a right to have as her attendants only the individuals she prefers to have. Also, even if someone were successful in forcing the issue, the younger girl likely would feel even worse than she does now — as if her sister essentially were forced to include her when she has no desire to do so.
I think the best option is for you and your son and his wife to try to turn this scenario into a positive life lesson for the 17-year-old. At a tender age, she has an opportunity to learn how to forgive what I’m sure has been a devastating offense to her and to choose to be the bigger person and allow her sister to have her day on her own terms. If she is able to understand that her older sister’s choices do absolutely nothing to diminish the younger girl’s worth and value, and if she is instead able to unconditionally love her older sister, despite this difficult slight, she will emerge a wiser, stronger person.
Post # 13
@grandma-C: I had a similar situation! My sister was my maid of honor, and my brother was the ring bearer–but that left one of my sisters with no official position!
So we had her escort my mother down the aisle, and my godmother up the aisle after the ceremony!
Maybe she could do something small like that?
Post # 14
@grandma-C: Unfortunately, your son is right. It is 100% her choice who is in her bridal party… and to be honest with you, I wouldn’t want a 17-year-old in my bridal party, even if I was close to her. There are too many legal issues with her not being an adult, not of legal drinking age, etc. How would my poor teenage Bridesmaid feel if I gave her the job, but she wasn’t allowed to be involved in any of the festivities? If I wasn’t even CLOSE to said 17-year-old, there wouldn’t even be a chance.
A poster above encouraged you to “reevaluate where your line of business is”. While I agree that this may seem harsh, I absolutely agree with it. It’s really too bad that your teenage granddaughter is upset about this, but I think the extent of your involvement should be encouraging her to attend the wedding regardless, but not passing any judgement (on anyone!) if she doesn’t. It’s her descision.
Post # 15
@grandma-C: As a 17 year old, she has not planned a wedding herself and probably is not all that familiar with weddings or etiquette. She may be under the misguided impression that all family needs to be included, or that every relative of a certain type (ex all cousins) need to be included in the wedding party, which is simply not true.
I don’t think it is helping that people in your family are pointing it out – it would be better to explain that not all family members have to be in the wedding party, and it is the bride’s choice who will stand up her, its probably not meant to be a slight.
Post # 16
@grandma-C: I obviously don’t know your family or the exact nature of the relationship between your granddaughters, so I have to go with what you told us. As bad as I feel for your younger granddaughter, this wedding isn’t about her. It’s about her half-sister and the person she has chosen to spend her life with.
That said, the Bride should be showing a bit more sensitivity when discussing the wedding in front of her half-sister. If she isn’t aware that her sister is upset then maybe her father should gently let her know and recommend that she should try not to discuss it too much in front of her. And maybe your younger granddaughter can ask if there’s something the Bride needs help with or if there’s another way she can be included in the wedding (like doing a reading or something). The Bride may not have anything or may not want to include her, but that is her choice to make and your younger granddaughter will either have to accept that choice or stay home.
And I don’t think its fair to say that the Bride’s mother might be the cause of the decision. Your granddaughter has told you that she isn’t close with her half-sister. The fact that she left for college when her sister was 8, plus the fact that she probably didn’t live full-time with her could very well have kept her from feeling close with her.
In the end, this is not a situation you have control over. You can’t force the Bride to include her sister and I don’t know if its your place to talk with her about it; I would suggest that your younger granddaughter speak with the Bride or that your son should speak with her if she isn’t comfortable bringing it up.