I wasn't sure where to put this so I decided to come here. I would like some advice and maybe this is just me venting to other future brides who may understand what I'm going through.
So to start, from the beginning my fiancé and I only wanted to have 4 people per bridal party. So 4 on my side, 4 on his. We came to this agreement and ran with it. I have one sister and he has one brother. He didn't want his brother in the wedding (personal reasons as his brother has been in and out of jail a majority of the time we have been together, can't truly be trusted to be there for him, etc) I always wanted my sister in my bridal party. Not as a maid of honor (as I knew she didn't want the responsibility and she just wants to be apart of the day rather than having all the pressure on her to help) which I am completely fine with. I never had officially "asked" her because I just felt like the time would come and I would.
4 months ago I was talking with my parents explaining to them how if she was going to be apart of this then she definitely needs to be financially responsible herself (more background info: my parents baby her. She's 22 years old and they give her money at the drop of a hat, pay all her bills, etc) so because my parents decided to help us a bit with the wedding I didn't want them to pick up the tab because she didn't want to spend the money herself. My parents were completely on board with me and agreed at that time. I decided to go out to dinner with my sister and mom and explain all this to my sister in front of my mom so there was no misunderstanding on any sides. I asked her simply if she knew the responsibilities of being in a wedding. She responded with "no" I said ok, well you are going to be responsible for your dress, shoes, jewelry, etc. she responded with "well. I'm not going to pay for any of that". I asked her "well who do you think is? Because it's not me" and she goes "well mom and dad are going to pay for everything" mind you, my mom butted in and said no, this isn't how it's going to work etc. well in the typical fashion of my sister she snapped a gasket in the middle of the restaurant and said "I don't have the money to pay for a $800 dress and shoes (first off nobody said anything about $800 dresses or shoes, at this point no dresses were picked out and I would NEVER expect my girls to pay crazy amounts of money as I've been in a wedding and understand the cost). I told her I would never want her to pay that much and she wouldn't but there are responsibilities I need her to understand. In a nutshell she said "eff you and eff your wedding. I never asked to be apart of this and you're forcing me to be in it" I said "I'm not forcing you, I'm asking. You either want to be apart of this or you don't. So do you want to be apart of my day?" And she said "no I don't" and walked out of the restaurant.
I obviously was very upset and distraught over the way this all went down and my mom said "maybe it's best this way. She will just stress you out and you don't need to be stressed over this. It's her decision and she made it. It will be ok"
A couple weeks after this debacle I ended up asking somebody else to replace my sister. My parents knew about this, and so did my sister. I got them gifts, etc. We had also talked about the bridesmaids and groomsmen numerous times in front of both my parents and my sister. There was no confusion as to who or who wasn't in the wedding. I should add that I was also a little upset at the fact that my parents never stuck up for me when this happened. They not once went to my sister and said "listen, you are going to regret not being in your only sisters wedding. I think you should rethink this, etc" Not once did they ever say anything to her.
So cut to now. We are a year to the wedding. I have my whole party, he has his whole party. I made an appt in December to go dress shopping for myself. I rented out a dress place on a Sunday for the girls and whoever would like to join. I had asked my mom if I should include my sister even though she isn't in the party. I already knew the answer but I just wanted to get a definite count. Well, cut to Monday and my dad asked me to call my mom at home. I call her and she goes "I think there is a little miscommunication about what's going on with your bridal party" I was like "ok.....what's the confusion" and she goes "well when I told your sister not to make plans for December she turned around and asked if she would be picking her dress the same day as you. And I asked her what she meant and she said you know, my bridesmaids dress. I'm still picking that out right?" Naturally my parents were like whoa whoa whoa. You told her you didn't want to be in the wedding. She goes "No, I didn't want to be the maid of honor. I never said I didn't want to be a bridesmaid." To be clear, I never once mentioned maid of honor to her because my childhood best friend is my maid of honor and that was the decision from the beginning." So I asked my mom what she was getting at and she said "well can't you just add her into the wedding?" Now, I probably could but the decision from the beginning was NO MORE than 4 per side. And if I add one person on my side it's uneven, and we don't want that. I told my mom I would call her back the next day to discuss this.
So cut to yesterday, I get out of work and call my mom. I start the conversation with what I said before. How I'm really upset at the fact that my mom and dad didn't say anything to her 4 months ago about this and how they didn't sit her down and explain to her what she was really saying no to, and now they are guilt tripping me into changing everything because now all of a sudden she wants to be involved. My mom said that my sister didn't understand what she was agreeing to because she's never been in a wedding. I completely understand all that, but like I said to my mom, she's 22 years old. If you don't know something, look it up. Ask questions. Don't act like you're 6 years old and tell me to go eff myself and run out of the restaurant because you don't like what we are saying.
So and argument ensues. My mother starts berating me and my fiancé asking why we can't just add more people. First off, it's more money (bouquet, hair and makeup since I'm offering to pay for that, another gift etc) and we already have these things set. Yes it's a year away, but I made additional plans BECAUSE she said 4 months ago she wanted nothing o do with this. I said "I am not adding more people because now she decides she wants to be in the wedding it doesn't work this way. This is my wedding and I'm sorry but she made her own decision when she acted the way she did. Why didn't you ask her why she didn't want to be apart of this and now you're screaming at me to change it." So because I wasn't saying anything she liked she started in with the "well how often do you talk to (bridesmaid #1) how often do you talk to (bridesmaid #2) why do they get to be in the wedding and she can't?" I simply responded with "you aren't going to sit here and question who my friends are or aren't. Again; this is MY wedding and my decision. I'm sorry" I could then hear my dad in the background screaming that the reason I don't want my sister in the wedding is because I'm afraid she's going to embarrass me and that's the true reason and he's not happy about this. First off, those words never came out of my mouth and second off, she is the reason she's not in the wedding, not me. Then he proceeded to stay he's going to tell all my bridesmaids and my fiancé how he's not happy and they don't deserve to be in my wedding and he will tell them how they feel.
After about 10 minutes of going back and forth my mom made the comment of "who is paying for this wedding, we are". I calmly replied with "mom, not for nothing. While we appreciate the fact you gave us money in the beginning, you haven't given us money since then and that was a year ago. We still have plenty to pay off before the wedding is "paid" and the last time I checked we are all paying for this wedding and my money is just as green as yours". She ended the conversation with "you're a disappointment" and hung up the phone on me.
After all this, it's safe to say my fiancé is truly not happy. It's causing us to fight because he is done with the way my family treats me and how it affects how I feel. Ultimately this is his wedding too and he said the decision is made. I cried about this 4 months ago and it changed nothing so I did what I needed to do to start getting all my ducks in order. He doesn't want to talk about this anymore and he's over it. My question is, should I give in and just make an extra spot for her to make everybody happy? Or leave it the way it is. I feel like I'll be going against all the original plans we had for our wedding. We planned it this way for a reason and it's not my fault that she said no and is not retracting her statement. We came up with the idea that maybe my sister and his brother can walk down together, just not stand with us, but that way they are still apart of the day, just have no responsibility. I'm super upset at the fact that this is supposed to be a happy time and I'm being guilt tripped into something that honestly isn't even my problem at this point but is being made into my problem.
We have also decided not to take any more money from my parents as it seems like they feel they threw us some money and they feel that they can just dictate to us how our wedding will be because they helped us a bit. I was told by numerous people that weddings bring out the worst in people and I didn't think it would be this way until now. I just need advice on maybe what I should do or how I should approach this with them. Thanks in advance to anybody that reads all this. Also sorry for any spelling/grammatical errors. Typing all this on an iPhone is no good! Haha