Moms and Maids

She's assuming she's a bridesmaid...

So my future brother-in-law and his girlfriend have been dating for 2-ish years. We were pretty good friends in the past, but have since grown apart a bit. I felt like I needed to involve her in the wedding somehow, and was thinking I'd ask if she'd like to do a reading or pass out the programs, her choice. One day I was talking with my fiance, siblings, etc. about who we'd like to have involved in the wedding, and her name was brought up. We didn't specify the "roles" of everyone, who was going to be a bridesmaid, groomsmen, usher, or anything like that. Since this conversation, future brother-in-law's girlfriend is assuming we meant that we wanted her to be a bridesmaid. Now I feel stuck. I don't feel close enough to her to have her as a bridesmaid, but now I'm scared I'll hurt her feelings if I tell her that I wanted to have her be involved in some other way than a bridesmaid. What should I do? Should I suck it up and have her as a bridesmaid to spare her feelings? Or should I clarify to her that I'd rather her be involved in some other way?

Re: She's assuming she's a bridesmaid...

  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey member
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    GApeaches said:
    So my future brother-in-law and his girlfriend have been dating for 2-ish years. We were pretty good friends in the past, but have since grown apart a bit. I felt like I needed to involve her in the wedding somehow, and was thinking I'd ask if she'd like to do a reading or pass out the programs, her choice. One day I was talking with my fiance, siblings, etc. about who we'd like to have involved in the wedding, and her name was brought up. We didn't specify the "roles" of everyone, who was going to be a bridesmaid, groomsmen, usher, or anything like that. Since this conversation, future brother-in-law's girlfriend is assuming we meant that we wanted her to be a bridesmaid. Now I feel stuck. I don't feel close enough to her to have her as a bridesmaid, but now I'm scared I'll hurt her feelings if I tell her that I wanted to have her be involved in some other way than a bridesmaid. What should I do? Should I suck it up and have her as a bridesmaid to spare her feelings? Or should I clarify to her that I'd rather her be involved in some other way?
    First, don't ask anyone to pass out programs or bubbles or make sure the guest book gets signed.  Those are crap jobs and not anything that "honors" someone.

    Next, the conversation you had with your FI about the WP, ushers, etc, was that in front of FBIL's GF?  If that conversation was in front of her?  The answer to that question will be the basis of my answer.
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Tenth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    edited August 2014
    Well, don't ask her to be a bridesmaid if you don't feel close enough to her to have her as one.  But also don't ask her to pass out programs or do "work" roles to make her feel "included."  It's not necessary to ask every family member or family SO to be in the wedding party. 

    If you think she'd like to be a reader or usher, you can certainly ask her to do that.  But if she's not going to be one of your bridesmaids, you need to make that clear:

    "Mary, would you like to do a reading at my wedding?"
    "Yes, I'd love to... When do we [do something for bridesmaids]?"
    "I'm sorry, Mary, but there seems to be a misunderstanding.  I'd love for you to do a reading, but I've already chosen other girls as my bridesmaids."

    Hopefully neither she nor your FBIL will have a problem with that.
  • Yes, it was a poor decision on my part to discuss who was going to be involved in the wedding without specifying in what way we'd like them to participate, in front of FBIL's girlfriend.
  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    You could use the wording Jen did above.  But she will probably be hurt that she won't be asked to be a BM.  But just don't ever mention being a BM to her.  Don't talk about your BMs in front of her, it should help lessen any akwardness.
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Tenth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    You could use the wording Jen did above.  But she will probably be hurt that she won't be asked to be a BM.  But just don't ever mention being a BM to her.  Don't talk about your BMs in front of her, it should help lessen any akwardness.
    Well, I would only use that wording if the non-bridesmaid brings it up.  I'd never initiate the discussion myself.
  • I understand what you're saying Jen4948, but I feel like I must initiate the conversation. I can't just let her go on thinking she's a bridesmaid and just never discuss it, you know?
  • Yikes, yeah tbh I think if someone discussed "wanting me to be a part of the wedding" in front of me I also would assume that meant being a bridesmaid. Maybe just because I'm having a small wedding without ushers or guestbook attendants but I definitely think of those as being "helping out with the wedding" rather than being part of it, if that makes sense. Would it really be that big of a deal to make her a bridesmaid, especially if this is someone who is foreseeably going to be a part of your family for a long time? To me that would be the obvious solution, but maybe I'm off-base.
  • Yeah I think I should have been more clear about the roles of the people that were mentioned, but it's too late now. I really regret that because of course I don't want to hurt her feelings. It was my fault for the confusion. I guess I could have her as a bridesmaid, but I just don't feel close to her like I do with my other girls. And I don't really see her marrying FBIL in the future, just from some situations I have witnessed in their relationship.
  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Next time you see FBIL's GF, ask her then if she will be a reader at your wedding.  Don't ask or mention anything about the BMs, unless she brings it up.  Asking her now about the reading will probably help clarify what her "role" will be at the wedding.
    AddieCake
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Tenth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    GApeaches said:
    I understand what you're saying Jen4948, but I feel like I must initiate the conversation. I can't just let her go on thinking she's a bridesmaid and just never discuss it, you know?

    Yes, I can understand that, but there are some instances where being the one to initiate the conversation can be off-putting or add fuel to a potential or existing fire.  I think this is one of them.  If you say to her, "Oh, FSIL, you're not one of my bridesmaids," that could be very hurtful for her if she wasn't the one to bring it up. I think it'll go easier on her if she starts it and then you let her know that you've made your final decision about who your bridesmaids will be but that you aren't asking her.
  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    I like OliveOilsMom's suggestion.
    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
  • If this is your future SIL, I would just suck it up and have her in the wedding. You messed up, and there is no way to change this without hurting her. You have to be involved with her the rest of your life. Have her as a bridesmaid.
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Tenth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    edited September 2014
    PnkBride said:
    If this is your future SIL, I would just suck it up and have her in the wedding. You messed up, and there is no way to change this without hurting her. You have to be involved with her the rest of your life. Have her as a bridesmaid.
    I disagree.  No one should have to "suck it up" and have someone they are not close to as a bridesmaid or a groomsman.  There is no requirement that siblings or future siblings-in-law be in the wedding party, let alone that they or anyone else be chosen to avoid hurt feelings.  If any one decision should be left totally to the couple, it is who is in the wedding party.  Anyone upset over not being chosen should be the one to "suck it up" and get over it.  If someone has hurt feelings for the rest of their life over not being chosen as a wedding party member, they are being terribly immature to make that the basis of their relationship with the bride/groom.
    OliveOilsMom
  • I'm going through a sort of similar situation.  My fiancé's cousin, let's call him D, and his fiancee K, are getting married the December before our April wedding.  K is the person who actually introduced me to my now fiancé.  We used to be SUPER close a couple of years ago, but since then a lot of family drama has gone down.  We are on good terms but definitely not where we were, nor are we close enough for me to consider her a bridesmaid.  When we announced our engagement (she knew it was coming) she came over to my fiancé's family's home and was so excited and asking about details and if she was going to be a bridesmaid.  I just sort of laughed it off because we had just gotten engaged like literally two days before, so I was like honestly we haven't even gotten that far.  She made a point to say that they hadn't asked anyone to be in their wedding party yet which made me think she is going to ask me to be a bridesmaid.  Since then, I however have asked all of my bridesmaids informally.  My fiancé has not asked his guys yet, but that's his business.  I totally agree with the PP who said you don't have to suck anything up or have anybody stand up beside you unless you feel that close to that person.  Period!  Even if K asks me to be a bridesmaid, I will not include her in my wedding party.  I may give her a special corsage that we are giving to "special family members" (both of my parents, fiancé's dad, and all grandparents involved have passed, so instead of a traditional processional of the family, we are seating "special family", then fiancé's mom).  Please don't feel obligated to include her as a bridesmaid particularly if they aren't engaged and you don't see them lasting.  This girl's face is going to be hanging on your wall for years to come.  Bridesmaids and groomsmen roles have nothing to do with feeling obligated.
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