Moms and Maids

Future SIL Not a Bridesmaid

My fiance has 5 siblings - 1 biological sister, 2 half brothers, 1 adopted brother, and 1 step sister. No one thinks of them with any of those titles, they're all just siblings. I wanted to keep my bridal party as small as possible, but still ended up with 6 bridesmaids. FH's bio sister and I are extremely close. She lives 8 hours away and we text several times a week and talk about everything. She is also very close to my FH. For these reasons, she was one of the bridesmaids I asked.

FH only wanted 3 groomsmen (including step sister's fiance because they are very close friends). His other two are his two best friends. When I told him I had 6 bridesmaids and he needed 3 more groomsmen, he thought he has 3 brothers, easy solution. Okay, so now step sister is the only sibling not included in the wedding.

She is getting married in 2 months and did not ask me to be a bridesmaid. I'm perfectly okay with that. I'm a firm believer that everyone should have their wedding exactly how they want it and everyone else keep their mouth shut. So since we all know the normal rule is, if you ask me to be a bridesmaid and I'm getting married in the same time frame, there's some pressure for me to also ask you. In an effort to avoid that awkwardness for her, I decided not to ask her to be a bridesmaid because I didn't want her to feel pressured to ask me to be a bridesmaid. So my FH and I decided we would ask her to do a reading at the wedding. I don't even want a reading, but I genuinely wanted her to have a role in the wedding, therefore I was willing to have a reading.

Our wedding is still 6 months away. So far, we have only asked bridesmaids and groomsmen. We haven't asked ushers, officiants, etc. So she didn't know that she had a place in our wedding. I only asked the last bridesmaid a week and a half ago. Today she texted my FH and told him that because I did not ask her to be a bridesmaid and he didn't recognize that she was not asked and didn't "make" (yes, make) me ask her to be a bridesmaid, that she no longer wants him to be a groomsman in her wedding.

My FH and her FH work together. Her FH had no idea she was kicking my fiance out of their wedding. I felt horrible because from an outside perspective, I can see how she would get her feelings hurt. I immediately texted her explaining why I didn't ask her. And that the one and ONLY reason I didn't ask her to be a bridesmaid is because she didn't ask me and I didn't want her to feel obligated to. I told her it was not because we didn't want her to be part of the wedding. That we did and we had a place for her, but we hadn't asked those type of people yet. She texted me back and said she really thinks it would be best if we just didn't have each other in our wedding and that there were no hard feelings.

I could've left it at that. But I texted her again, expressing how genuinely sorry I am and that I DO want her in my wedding. I reiterated that the only reason I didn't ask her to be a bridesmaid was to avoid any awkwardness for her because she didn't ask me to be one. I extended the invitation to her to be in the wedding. I understand it could've been misconstrued as a "consolation prize" or something, so I offered proof in that I could send her texts between me and my mom where we had this exact conversation about her place in the wedding. And also that I could've accepted her last text and left it at a wash. But that I genuinely, 100% want her in the wedding. She declined again.

I know her feelings are hurt. Her fiance had no idea this was happening and my FH gave him our side and perspective at work today. I don't know what will come of this and if she will reach back out and accept my invitation to be in her wedding. The whole thing makes me uncomfortable because apparently my FH's dad and step mom knew she was feeling this way and so did her fiance. They just didn't know she was going to kick my FH out of their wedding.

I wish she would've talked to us and told us her feelings were hurt. This whole thing could've been cleared up.

Any advice on how to move forward? I'm not used to family drama or awkwardness. I'm not saying her feelings aren't valid, but I want her in our wedding. I don't know how to make this better.

Re: Future SIL Not a Bridesmaid

  • She said no hard feelings, so take her word. It sounds like it will be awkward but honestly having everyone but her in the wedding party sounds like it would have been awkward too even if she had not kicked you out.


    charlotte989875STARMOON44short+sassyOliveOilsMom
  • My fiance has 5 siblings - 1 biological sister, 2 half brothers, 1 adopted brother, and 1 step sister. No one thinks of them with any of those titles, they're all just siblings. I wanted to keep my bridal party as small as possible, but still ended up with 6 bridesmaids. FH's bio sister and I are extremely close. She lives 8 hours away and we text several times a week and talk about everything. She is also very close to my FH. For these reasons, she was one of the bridesmaids I asked.

    FH only wanted 3 groomsmen (including step sister's fiance because they are very close friends). His other two are his two best friends. When I told him I had 6 bridesmaids and he needed 3 more groomsmen, he thought he has 3 brothers, easy solution. Okay, so now step sister is the only sibling not included in the wedding.
    The "sides" of the WP do not need to be even.  I had 4 BMs, and my DH had 6 GM, no one noticed the difference and our pictures look fantastic!  If he already asked, just let this be!

    She is getting married in 2 months and did not ask me to be a bridesmaid. I'm perfectly okay with that. I'm a firm believer that everyone should have their wedding exactly how they want it and everyone else keep their mouth shut. (yet you had your FI add people for even sides...) So since we all know the normal rule is, if you ask me to be a bridesmaid and I'm getting married in the same time frame, there's some pressure for me to also ask you. This isn't actually true, but if you feel that she believes it, I could see your line of thinking.  In an effort to avoid that awkwardness for her, I decided not to ask her to be a bridesmaid because I didn't want her to feel pressured to ask me to be a bridesmaid. So my FH and I decided we would ask her to do a reading at the wedding. I don't even want a reading, but I genuinely wanted her to have a role in the wedding, therefore I was willing to have a reading.  I hope she doesn't know that you included her just to include her.  I mean honoring someone with a reading is great, but it should be done because you care and want to include someone special, not because you needed a role to fill.

    Our wedding is still 6 months away. So far, we have only asked bridesmaids and groomsmen. We haven't asked ushers, officiants, etc.  What are you making these "ushers" do?  I don't really understand how this will be a role that honors people as it always comes across to me as "hey we wanted to you to complete this task and "honor" you but you weren't good enough to be a GM." So she didn't know that she had a place in our wedding. I only asked the last bridesmaid a week and a half ago. Today she texted my FH and told him that because I did not ask her to be a bridesmaid and he didn't recognize that she was not asked and didn't "make" (yes, make) me ask her to be a bridesmaid, that she no longer wants him to be a groomsman in her wedding. That's a bit crazy on her part!  No one is entitled to a place in the WP regardless of being a sibling or not.  My own brother was not in the WP, as I knew he would hate it and we aren't really that close.

    My FH and her FH work together. Her FH had no idea she was kicking my fiance out of their wedding. I felt horrible because from an outside perspective, I can see how she would get her feelings hurt. I immediately texted her explaining why I didn't ask her. And that the one and ONLY reason I didn't ask her to be a bridesmaid is because she didn't ask me and I didn't want her to feel obligated to. Ouch!  Explaining that probably stung her a bit. I told her it was not because we didn't want her to be part of the wedding. That we did and we had a place for her, but we hadn't asked those type of people yet. She texted me back and said she really thinks it would be best if we just didn't have each other in our wedding and that there were no hard feelings. I would let it be at that.

    I could've left it at that. But I texted her again, expressing how genuinely sorry I am and that I DO want her in my wedding. I reiterated that the only reason I didn't ask her to be a bridesmaid was to avoid any awkwardness for her because she didn't ask me to be one. I extended the invitation to her to be in the wedding. I understand it could've been misconstrued as a "consolation prize" or something, so I offered proof in that I could send her texts between me and my mom where we had this exact conversation about her place in the wedding. And also that I could've accepted her last text and left it at a wash. But that I genuinely, 100% want her in the wedding. She declined again.  Okay, she clearly doesn't want to be in your wedding, it sounds like you hurt her feelings and made her feel like a "runner up".  Showing her a conversation that you had about her with someone else on a way to "include" her will not make it any better.  For me it would make it worse!  It would make me feel like I was a prop for your wedding...like you only cared about including me for appearances.

    I know her feelings are hurt. Her fiance had no idea this was happening and my FH gave him our side and perspective at work today. I don't know what will come of this and if she will reach back out and accept my invitation to be in her wedding. Do you mean have her in YOUR wedding? The whole thing makes me uncomfortable because apparently my FH's dad and step mom knew she was feeling this way and so did her fiance. They just didn't know she was going to kick my FH out of their wedding.

    I wish she would've talked to us and told us her feelings were hurt. This whole thing could've been cleared up.

    Any advice on how to move forward? I'm not used to family drama or awkwardness. I'm not saying her feelings aren't valid, but I want her in our wedding. I don't know how to make this better.

    Thoughts/comments in bold above:

    I think you need to let this all be.  It sounds like there are a lot of emotions being thrown into the mix right now.  I don't know what to say regarding your FI being kicked out of her wedding party.  That is typically a very strong statement that almost always means "This relationship is over".  I don't think she wants to cut all ties with you guys, but you can't force her to take back your FI either. 

    eileenrobOliveOilsMomSP29
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
    10000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    member
    I'd leave things alone.

    You and your FI never needed to have the same number of attendants on each side. Even sides are not a requirement.

    But only you are entitled to decide who stands on your side, and only your FI is entitled to stand on his. He doesn't get to decide for you, you don't get to decide for him, and nobody else gets a say at all except for those whom you ask to be in your wedding party, who only get to decide for themselves if they will do it.
    SP29
  • Okay, hopefully I followed all that right. Here are some thoughts:

    1.) Bridal parties do not need to be even. When people ask people to be in their WP simply for even sides, it never ends well. Vision and symmetry should never trump your relationships.
    1b) How did you end up with 6 bridesmaids if you wanted a small WP? Your bridal party is your own, and never feel like you -have- to ask anyone.
    2.) I'm sorry that she kicked your FI out of their wedding. That's usually considered a relationship-ending move. But unfortunately that's really between your FI and his sister. Blood talks to blood. I understand how her feelings were hurt (and it seems you do too), but she did make it way more complicated, rather than just expressing her thoughts.
    3.) I think you  got your apologies across and I would just leave it alone. Unfortunately, it's one of those situations where I'd say the damage is done. I think continuing to bring it up is only upsetting her more, which in turn is just going to make things harder for everyone. If I were her (and I don't mean this to sound harsh), I'd never accept your invitation to be in your wedding at that point. I would never feel like you actually want me there, and I think the whole situation would hurt me more. (I know you had good intentions though).
    4.) If you still want to try to get her involved, a couple months down the line, maybe ask her if she'd like to do a reading. Don't give her a "job" like guest book or usher or anything like that. But, honestly, my advice would be to just let it go, because that may just create a repeat situation.  

    Good luck!

    P.S. JSYK, when you make the same post on 2 different boards, always put XP in the title (cross post). Most people check all the boards though, so usually you don't have to post in more than one board to get a response quickly.
    SP29
  • Personally, I think you should have asked her to be a bridesmaid at the same time you decided to add the 3 brothers as groomsmen. If not bridesmaid, you should have at least asked her about the reading at the same time. I just personally think she should be a bridesmaid because family is family and I think should come first at a wedding since it is the joining of two families. I know not everyone would agree with me on that though. And I can see where she'd get her feelings hurt if she was the only sibling left out. I don't like the idea of side jobs like guest book attendant, reader, etc just to make someone feel important. If I were that person, I would rather just have a corsage and a normal seat at the wedding. Maybe you can do this for her if things don't blow over by the time of the wedding? Get her a corsage on the day of and if she wants to wear it then great, if not then no harm done but it's there if she wants it. That will let people know she is someone important and special to you without giving her a "job" to do. 
  • Why was the assumption that she would stand with you instead of your fiance?
    "Marriage is so disruptive to one's social circle." - Mr. Woodhouse
    eileenrobMairePoppyInLoveInQueensSP29
  • CMGragainCMGragain
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 25 Answers
    member
    edited February 22
    My fiance has 5 siblings - 1 biological sister, 2 half brothers, 1 adopted brother, and 1 step sister. No one thinks of them with any of those titles, they're all just siblings. I wanted to keep my bridal party as small as possible, but still ended up with 6 bridesmaids. FH's bio sister and I are extremely close. She lives 8 hours away and we text several times a week and talk about everything. She is also very close to my FH. For these reasons, she was one of the bridesmaids I asked.

    FH only wanted 3 groomsmen (including step sister's fiance because they are very close friends). His other two are his two best friends. When I told him I had 6 bridesmaids and he needed 3 more groomsmen, he thought he has 3 brothers, easy solution. Okay, so now step sister is the only sibling not included in the wedding.

    She is getting married in 2 months and did not ask me to be a bridesmaid. I'm perfectly okay with that. I'm a firm believer that everyone should have their wedding exactly how they want it and everyone else keep their mouth shut. So since we all know the normal rule is, if you ask me to be a bridesmaid and I'm getting married in the same time frame, there's some pressure for me to also ask you. In an effort to avoid that awkwardness for her, I decided not to ask her to be a bridesmaid because I didn't want her to feel pressured to ask me to be a bridesmaid. So my FH and I decided we would ask her to do a reading at the wedding. I don't even want a reading, but I genuinely wanted her to have a role in the wedding, therefore I was willing to have a reading.

    Our wedding is still 6 months away. So far, we have only asked bridesmaids and groomsmen. We haven't asked ushers, officiants, etc. So she didn't know that she had a place in our wedding. I only asked the last bridesmaid a week and a half ago. Today she texted my FH and told him that because I did not ask her to be a bridesmaid and he didn't recognize that she was not asked and didn't "make" (yes, make) me ask her to be a bridesmaid, that she no longer wants him to be a groomsman in her wedding.

    My FH and her FH work together. Her FH had no idea she was kicking my fiance out of their wedding. I felt horrible because from an outside perspective, I can see how she would get her feelings hurt. I immediately texted her explaining why I didn't ask her. And that the one and ONLY reason I didn't ask her to be a bridesmaid is because she didn't ask me and I didn't want her to feel obligated to. I told her it was not because we didn't want her to be part of the wedding. That we did and we had a place for her, but we hadn't asked those type of people yet. She texted me back and said she really thinks it would be best if we just didn't have each other in our wedding and that there were no hard feelings.

    I could've left it at that. But I texted her again, expressing how genuinely sorry I am and that I DO want her in my wedding. I reiterated that the only reason I didn't ask her to be a bridesmaid was to avoid any awkwardness for her because she didn't ask me to be one. I extended the invitation to her to be in the wedding. I understand it could've been misconstrued as a "consolation prize" or something, so I offered proof in that I could send her texts between me and my mom where we had this exact conversation about her place in the wedding. And also that I could've accepted her last text and left it at a wash. But that I genuinely, 100% want her in the wedding. She declined again.

    I know her feelings are hurt. Her fiance had no idea this was happening and my FH gave him our side and perspective at work today. I don't know what will come of this and if she will reach back out and accept my invitation to be in her wedding. The whole thing makes me uncomfortable because apparently my FH's dad and step mom knew she was feeling this way and so did her fiance. They just didn't know she was going to kick my FH out of their wedding.

    I wish she would've talked to us and told us her feelings were hurt. This whole thing could've been cleared up.

    Any advice on how to move forward? I'm not used to family drama or awkwardness. I'm not saying her feelings aren't valid, but I want her in our wedding. I don't know how to make this better.
    This issue is within your FI's family, and it is up to him to deal with it.  Stay out of it.  Stop with the texts!  You will only make things worse. 
    Your FSIL owes your FI an apology.  She was out of line to kick him out of her wedding party, whatever the reason.
    You do not owe her anything.  She has stated that she does not want to be your reader.  Since you didn't want a reader, this is good.
    You did create some of this drama when you told your FI that he needed to add groomsmen to make your sides even.  This was wrong of you.  You should apologize to your FI.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
    SP29
  • bmbly10bmbly10
    10 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper
    member
    Sorry I'm sure I am reviving the post a bit but I have to vent - I'm in a similar situation with my SIL.  I was in her wedding because, well she married my brother.  In my opinion that was the respectful/courteous thing to do.  She didn't have to ask me.  Now that I am engaged she AUTOMATICALLY ASSUMES she is part of my wedding party because we are "family".  UGH! She hasn't talked to me for 4 months because of this, I only found out yesterday after sending an hand written letter to her guessing why she was mad at me.  She created this entire scenario in her head with unrealistic expectations and is now mad me because I chose my friends (whom I've known longer) to stand with me.  Just because you married into the family and I was in your wedding does not make you automatically part of mine.   

    Sorry you are having to deal with this - such ridiculous stress during what is supposed to be a joyous time.  
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  • lnixon8lnixon8
    500 Love Its 500 Comments Third Anniversary Name Dropper
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    This has to be MUD. SHE created the entire scenario in her head? But you were the one to write a handwritten letter?


  • auriannaaurianna
    Seventh Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
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    bmbly10 said:

    Sorry I'm sure I am reviving the post a bit but I have to vent - I'm in a similar situation with my SIL.  I was in her wedding because, well she married my brother.  In my opinion that was the respectful/courteous thing to do.  She didn't have to ask me.  Now that I am engaged she AUTOMATICALLY ASSUMES she is part of my wedding party because we are "family".  UGH! She hasn't talked to me for 4 months because of this, I only found out yesterday after sending an hand written letter to her guessing why she was mad at me.  She created this entire scenario in her head with unrealistic expectations and is now mad me because I chose my friends (whom I've known longer) to stand with me.  Just because you married into the family and I was in your wedding does not make you automatically part of mine.   

    Sorry you are having to deal with this - such ridiculous stress during what is supposed to be a joyous time.  




    She could still be 100% respectful/courteous without asking you to be in her wedding. She had no requirement whatsoever to ask you to stand with her. If it was anyone's responsibility to ask you (which it was not) it would have been your brother's.

    That said... while she was in no way required to ask you, she probably thought she was. And now she thinks you are required to ask her for the same reasons.

    She is of course completely incorrect in both respects. However, since you know this is likely the misconception she had, and because she is family, a little sensitivity is warranted.

    Her feelings are hurt. And while you did nothing wrong and should not feel obligated in any way to ask her to be a bridesmaid now, try to understand how she is feeling rather than being upset about it.

    Is she acting poorly? Yes. Did you do anything wrong? No.
    But does she deserve to be shunned for having a misconception and feelings about it? Not really.

    You don't need to write a letter. You don't need to explain why your bridesmaids were better choices. Assuming it's true you just have to say something like:

    "I was honored that you asked me to be in your wedding. However I honestly assumed it was in large part because you were marrying my brother and he also wanted me in the wedding.
    When it came time to pick my bridesmaids I wanted to pick the people I am closest to and that is my friends.
    However, I am very happy we are family now and I hope in time we can become close as well. I'm sorry your feelings were hurt. That was no my intention."
    SP29lizybeffOurWildKingdom
  • bmbly10bmbly10
    10 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper
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    @MobKaz  I don't see the hypocrisy here.  What I am saying is because she married my brother, the "general" expectation is that as his sister I would be a part of her wedding party.  Yes, I would have been hurt had she not asked me, but sure has hell would not have thrown a huge fit (like she is now) by not being part of it.  I chose who I chose because these ladies know me better than anyone else, my relationship with my SIL is not that close.  Why would I want someone in my bridal party that I am not that close with and barely knows me!?  
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  • bmbly10bmbly10
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    @lnixon8 I wrote the letter because I had no IDEA what in the hell she was mad at me about.  I chose to send it to try to make some form of amends, and what I get back from her 3 weeks later is a text message explaining why she is upset. I'm still baffled by it all.  
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  • bmbly10bmbly10
    10 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper
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    @aurianna  She is pretty big on "formality" things, so I know she knew the general expectation that siblings of your husband/wife are typically asked to be in the wedding party.  Now, that said, it's not a requirement but generally a respectful thing to do.  

    It's just incredibly frustrating, but another part of this is my brother and her will have a 1 yr old at the wedding, where is that baby supposed to go (if she was in the bridal party), on her hip while she stands with the girls? my parents? my brother?  If anything not asking her is a courtesy to her so she doesn't have to figure out where baby will need to be and if he gets fussy she can easily leave with him to calm him down.  

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  • HeffalumpHeffalump
    Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
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    edited May 12


    bmbly10 said:


    @aurianna  She is pretty big on "formality" things, so I know she knew the general expectation that siblings of your husband/wife are typically asked to be in the wedding party.  Now, that said, it's not a requirement but generally a respectful thing to do.  

    It's just incredibly frustrating, but another part of this is my brother and her will have a 1 yr old at the wedding, where is that baby supposed to go (if she was in the bridal party), on her hip while she stands with the girls? my parents? my brother?  If anything not asking her is a courtesy to her so she doesn't have to figure out where baby will need to be and if he gets fussy she can easily leave with him to calm him down.  





    That first bolded is not universally true.  Sometimes they are, sometimes they're not.  I find that the answer here is as individual as families themselves.  There's no one size fits all answer.  So I 100% disagree that it's "generally a respectful thing to do."

    As to the second, weak sauce.  Parents are in wedding parties all the time, this isn't unique or unprecedented.  If you and your H don't want her to stand up with either of you, that's your call, but then own it.  Don't pretend that it's because of their child.  I assure you, she has managed to do many things in the first year of that baby's life without staying in physical contact the entire time.
    charlotte989875OurWildKingdomDrillSergeantCatshort+sassy
  • lovesclimbinglovesclimbing Alaska
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
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    edited May 12


    bmbly10 said:


    @aurianna  She is pretty big on "formality" things, so I know she knew the general expectation that siblings of your husband/wife are typically asked to be in the wedding party.  Now, that said, it's not a requirement but generally a respectful thing to do.  

    It's just incredibly frustrating, but another part of this is my brother and her will have a 1 yr old at the wedding, where is that baby supposed to go (if she was in the bridal party), on her hip while she stands with the girls? my parents? my brother?  If anything not asking her is a courtesy to her so she doesn't have to figure out where baby will need to be and if he gets fussy she can easily leave with him to calm him down.  





    H and I are having a baby in a month. I would be highly offended if someone decided for me that I couldn't do something because of the baby. Have the decency to, you know, treat me and my H like the adults we are and make the decision for ourselves what we can or cannot do with the baby and what arrangements we need. 

    ETA: to be clear, you don't have to ask her (although I think your double standard, as others have pointed out, is sucky), but if you don't ask her, please, please, please don't blame it on the baby or base any part of that decision on the baby. 

    OurWildKingdomInLoveInQueenscharlotte989875short+sassy
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