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Wedding Party

Best Man vs. Bridesmaid

nebullamanebullama member
100 Comments 100 Love Its First Anniversary Name Dropper
edited January 2014 in Wedding Party
A messy situation has developed in our wedding party and it looks like it may be getting worse.  FI's best man is his cousin (I'll call him Bob), and one of my BMs is the woman who was until very recently Bob's FI (I'll call her Betty).  The two of them split up a couple of weeks before Christmas.  Bob and Betty have a child together so their lives are still attached to each other, and they have been fighting bitterly for several weeks.  Both of them have struggled to interact with each other in a civil manner for any length of time.

From their break up until now I had not discussed our wedding with Betty at all.  I've just tried to be a good friend to her as she went through the painful first stages of the break up.  It has been in the back of my mind though that she might choose to bow out, that it might be too painful for her.  The wedding isn't until May 31, so I thought it best to give it some time, and see if things settle down between them.  Her dress has been ordered and paid for, so I saw no reason to force the issue.  Plus, obviously, Betty has had far bigger things going on in her life than being a bridesmaid. 

FMIL (Bob's aunt) and Bob's mother have asked me on several occasions what I plan to do.  My bean dipping skills have been pushed to their limit.  Finally this weekend I was talking to FMIL and she pursued the question to a point where I broke down and just told her that had no intention of kicking Betty out, if she ultimately decided not to stand up I would understand, but I didn't think she needed to decide anything right away.  I wished I had managed to keep my mouth shut, for I suspected that this conversation would be made known to Betty.

So tonight Betty called me to talk about the wedding.  She said we are still friends, she is still happy for us and wants to stay in the wedding.  She also said her feelings towards Bob are improving (not quite as hurt and resentful), and she thought she could be happy and enjoy the day without the two of them fighting.  However, she also said that either FMIL or Bob's mom (I can't remember whom) had told her that Bob didn't want her there.  I honestly don't know what to think about that last part.  It could be true, it could be an exaggeration or misunderstanding, or it could be completely untrue.

FI has no objections to Betty standing up with me, but he doesn't want Bob to be uncomfortable or upset either.  I feel like he should talk to Bob himself to find out how he really feels about it, but I also feel like this isn't really Bob's decision and I don't want him to get the impression that it is.

So, in short, this is a mess that is being forced to come to a head before it should have.  Any advice?
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Re: Best Man vs. Bridesmaid

  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    Well, as has been said in myriad other threads about attendants dropping out, it's not okay to kick her out and expect to retain her friendship-especially because she has indicated that she wants to stay in the wedding.

    Definitely don't do it because of hearsay that Bob or his mother or your FMIL want you to.

    To be honest, I don't think your FI needs to talk to Bob about this.  Bob and his family need to accept that it's not up to them whether or not Betty is in the wedding, but if she is, they all owe everyone the courtesy of behaving like mature adults and not creating drama during your wedding.  If that's going to be a problematic or unrealistic prospect, then you might need security to escort away anyone who crosses that line.
    PrettyGirlLost
  • nebullamanebullama member
    100 Comments 100 Love Its First Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited January 2014
    Whoa, hang on.  I apologize because I may not have been clear, allow me to make myself so now: I still have no intention of kicking her out. Zero. I. Will. Not. Do. It. That would be beyond shitty.

    I am more concerned about whether FI should talk to Bob, and if anyone has any other perspective on this that I am not seeing.  Should I try to just keep letting it rest where it stands?

    Thank you @Jen4948. :)
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    PrettyGirlLostBubblegum5586
  • pinkcow13pinkcow13 The Concrete Jungle member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    I Would say that FI should not bring it up. At the end of the day, if Bob doesn't feel up to it, he can step down. But if he decides to stay in the wedding, Bob should be an adult about the situation, put their differences aside for a day, and not try to pressure you guys into kicking Betty out. All you and FI can do is be there for them, and respect Bob's decision if he cant be in the party. But yea, I would let Bob bring the subject up.
                                 Anniversary
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    doeydoemmyg65PrettyGirlLost
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers

    nebullama said:
    Whoa, hang on.  I apologize because I may not have been clear, allow me to make myself so now: I still have no intention of kicking her out. Zero. I. Will. Not. Do. It. That would be beyond shitty.

    I am more concerned about whether FI should talk to Bob, and if anyone has any other perspective on this that I am not seeing.  Should I try to just keep letting it rest where it stands?

    Thank you @Jen4948. :)
    To the bolded: Yes.  Stay out of it.  FI should not talk to Bob.  You said that he's okay with Betty being in your wedding party, and it's really only up to you and Betty (depending on whether or not she wants to stay in, and you said that she does). 

    So it's really nobody else's business.  Everyone needs to act like an adult.  So, when you get asked about Betty by your FFILs, just tell them, "Yes, Betty is still one of my bridesmaids."  If they demand that you force her to step down, tell them, "No."  You said yourself it's a shitty thing to do.  Let it go at that.
    doeydoPrettyGirlLost
  • nebullamanebullama member
    100 Comments 100 Love Its First Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited January 2014
    Everyone's ability to act like an adult is exactly what concerns me.  I am afraid that if Bob really doesn't want Betty there he will make that abundantly clear to his mom and FMIL.  If he pushes this they would feel that his "right" as family to be in the wedding trumps Betty.  This is why I initially thought that maybe FI should talk to him to find out what he's really thinking, and perhaps talk him into tolerating in being in the same (large, crowded) room as Betty for one day.  But I DO see the logic in PP's opinions that this is NOT a good idea.  In fact, it might go a long way to escalating the drama which is the opposite of what I want.

    Another aspect of this is that Betty's family makes a lousy emotional support system, and she has grown so close to Bob's mom & FMIL that they have been trying to council her through this.  They have a lot of influence over her.  If it came to them opposing her position in the wedding party, I know I can stand my ground well enough, but I fear they will try to talk her into stepping down.

    I guess there's nothing I can do about that though, and that's just one more point in favor of trying to let it rest.
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  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    I would stay out of it unless Bob brings it up to your fiance. If so, your fiance needs to tell him and his mother to put their big boy and girl panties on for the day and get over it. 

    I commend you for doing all the "steps" right here as far as being there for your friends first, her role in your wedding second. 




    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
    image
    OliveOilsMomPrettyGirlLost
  • I think you're handling this really well by letting adults work their shit out themselves. Just keep doing this. You're in a very uncomfortable position, but it's not your job to make Bob feel comfortable remaining in the wedding party, or to buffer Betty from your future in-laws, or to do anything else other than stand by both Betty and Bob. "Of course we still want you in the wedding party. We hope you can make it."

    If you're friends with Betty, which it sounds like you are, you might want to make plans to see her outside the wedding planning. Grab a cup of coffee or lunch or something. You don't have to have an agenda, but you'll be there to listen to her if she needs it, take her mind off things, or support her otherwise.

    Bottom line: You're doing the right thing so far. Keep it up.
    PrettyGirlLost
  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey member
    Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    nebullama said:
    A messy situation has developed in our wedding party and it looks like it may be getting worse.  FI's best man is his cousin (I'll call him Bob), and one of my BMs is the woman who was until very recently Bob's FI (I'll call her Betty).  The two of them split up a couple of weeks before Christmas.  Bob and Betty have a child together so their lives are still attached to each other, and they have been fighting bitterly for several weeks.  Both of them have struggled to interact with each other in a civil manner for any length of time.

    From their break up until now I had not discussed our wedding with Betty at all.  I've just tried to be a good friend to her as she went through the painful first stages of the break up.  It has been in the back of my mind though that she might choose to bow out, that it might be too painful for her.  The wedding isn't until May 31, so I thought it best to give it some time, and see if things settle down between them.  Her dress has been ordered and paid for, so I saw no reason to force the issue.  Plus, obviously, Betty has had far bigger things going on in her life than being a bridesmaid. 

    FMIL (Bob's aunt) and Bob's mother have asked me on several occasions what I plan to do.  My bean dipping skills have been pushed to their limit.  Finally this weekend I was talking to FMIL and she pursued the question to a point where I broke down and just told her that had no intention of kicking Betty out, if she ultimately decided not to stand up I would understand, but I didn't think she needed to decide anything right away.  I wished I had managed to keep my mouth shut, for I suspected that this conversation would be made known to Betty.

    So tonight Betty called me to talk about the wedding.  She said we are still friends, she is still happy for us and wants to stay in the wedding.  She also said her feelings towards Bob are improving (not quite as hurt and resentful), and she thought she could be happy and enjoy the day without the two of them fighting.  However, she also said that either FMIL or Bob's mom (I can't remember whom) had told her that Bob didn't want her there.  I honestly don't know what to think about that last part.  It could be true, it could be an exaggeration or misunderstanding, or it could be completely untrue.

    FI has no objections to Betty standing up with me, but he doesn't want Bob to be uncomfortable or upset either.  I feel like he should talk to Bob himself to find out how he really feels about it, but I also feel like this isn't really Bob's decision and I don't want him to get the impression that it is.

    So, in short, this is a mess that is being forced to come to a head before it should have.  Any advice?
    I think the only thing you need to do is keeping being a good friend to Betty.  And if she brings up the wedding, make it known to her that you are excited she is one of your BM.  

    With Betty being a bridesmaid and Bob being the Best Man, they don't really need to interact with each other at all on the day of the wedding.  I would give your photographer a heads up that those two shouldn't be posed together in group shots.  Have them seated at different tables at the reception and like you said, there will be a lot of people there, so it's very possible they won't even have to say anything more than Hello to each other.
    kmmssg
  • Thank you @AddieL73 and @emmyg65 ; :)  It may at some point come down to me having to tell that to Bob's mom myself.  If she has something to say she won't hesitate to come straight to me about it.  And as it happens Betty and I are planning to do just that next weekend (weather permitting).

    @OliveOilsMom Good idea about the photographer!  I don't think we'll do a ton of posed shots in general so that should be fairly easy to achieve.  The seating should be pretty easy too.  We're not doing a traditional long head table.  With everyone's SOs the wedding party will need to be split into 2 round tables anyhow.

    Thank you everyone.  I've been feeling like I'm being pulled towards a drama black hole, and I didn't want it to cloud my judgement.  Please think good thoughts for me that I can be peacefully allowed to enjoy our wedding with my friend included. :)
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  • I'm not usually willing to board the "It's your day" train, but I think Bob needs to get on board. This wedding is not about him and Betty, and it about you and your FI, and he agreed to stand up for him. I understand being around Betty is unpleasant for him, but he needs to suck it up or step down. Complaining about it in hopes that it gets back to the groom is immature, and I think the best thing to do is pretend you never heard a word about Bob being uncomfortable.
    image
  • I was in a somewhat similar situation, but in Betty's shoes. The bride (who is a BM in my wedding!) was very good with the whole situation. She did everything you're currently doing: was first there for me as a friend and talked to me about the wedding day when it seemed appropriate to do so (in her case, it was more to see how I felt about seeing him after a few months). One thing she did differently, however, was that she also spoke with the GM because he was also one of her good friends. 

    The conversations weren't to see whether we were ok with both being in the wedding party (everyone involved knew we'd still all be in the wedding but just had to make it the least uncomfortable possible), but more to see how we felt. So, I guess I would say that perhaps it may make sense for you to speak with the GM (or at least have your fiance ask him how he's doing with the situation).

    I have to admit, your situation has an added potential dimension of drama with family involvement. For now, it seems like you don't have to speak with them, but perhaps eventually you may just want to tell them that you recognize this may be uncomfortable but you've talked with both of them and they will both be fine at the wedding. 
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