Moms and Maids

Ways to include my FI sister?

My FI sister and I are not very close, and she is not in either one of our wedding parties. What are different ways we could include her in the entire wedding process? Our ceremony is outdoors and I don't believe we are having 'ushers' to seat people, and instead allowing people to sit wherever they would like. I am just looking for some ideas to include her. Thank you :) 
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Re: Ways to include my FI sister?

  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey member
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    My FI sister and I are not very close, and she is not in either one of our wedding parties. What are different ways we could include her in the entire wedding process? Our ceremony is outdoors and I don't believe we are having 'ushers' to seat people, and instead allowing people to sit wherever they would like. I am just looking for some ideas to include her. Thank you :) 
    Just being an invited guest is an honor.  I was "just a guest" at one of my brother's weddings and it was great!  I just got to enjoy the day with my family!

    You could always get her a corsage to wear. Or she could do a reading during your ceremony.
    CMGragain
  • what readings are you talking about and the reason for them? No one in either of our families have brought this up, and I have never been to a wedding where someone else spoke outside of the couple and pastor. 
  • You could get her to keep an eye on a few things on the day.  I did this with my MIL at my wedding (my own Mom had passed away a few years before and I didn't want my MIL trying to interfere while I was getting ready).  I asked her to check that the cake had arrived and was all in one piece, that the venue was set up correctly, that flower petals were sprinkled down the aisle like I wanted, she got the bouquets from the florist when they arrived and generally just kept an eye on little things while my MoH & BM were getting ready with me.  It made her feel included and I didn't have to worry about anything.
  • In many ceremonies, religious and secular, a reading is done by close friends or family that are not in the wedding party. In religious ceremonies this is often a bible passage or two, secular ceremonies may be poems or other meaningful passages the couple has chosen. Completely optional but if you are having a reading this is a nice was to honor someone who is not in the bridal party
    Knottie2017523
  • peachy13peachy13 in my cubicle, doing very important work member
    Fifth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    DH and I had two siblings (our siblings's spouses) who weren't in the wedding party, but we made sure they knew what time we were doing pictures (we did them before our ceremony) so that they would be included in our formals. 
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    [Deleted User]Knottie2017523
  • climbingsingleclimbingsingle NYC 'burbs member
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    You could have her do a reading. It's common in the wedding ceremonies I've attended - both religious and non-religious. I had one of my best friends read a poem during our ceremony. 

    Please don't give her any duties like looking after things, handing out programs, manning the guest book. These are not ways to honor someone. 

    You also don't have to do anything aside from inviting her. 

    InLoveInQueens[Deleted User]OliveOilsMomwink0erin
  • labrolabro Hotlanta member
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    I really like the idea of giving her some sort of corsage as an especially recognized guest. Assuming you're already doing corsages for your grandmother(s) and your mom and MIL. We didn't have readings or anything in the ceremony so there wasn't an opportunity to give someone that role.



    VicTim328kittykyatKnottie2017523
  • We asked my FI's sister to do a reading. Some people might pick a poem or something that was important to them but we told her just to run with it and I have to say it brought tears to my eyes as she read it. It was really perfect. 

    DON'T give her a job! That's just saying "you weren't important enough to be in our wedding party" and either "here's a made up position so we don't feel as bad for not including you" or "here's some work to do so that we don't need to worry about it." 

    I just need to add I can't imagine treating my MIL like Silvene did above... My guess is her MIL didn't feel involved but rather kept her mouth shut since that bratty bride was becoming her daughter in law!
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    InLoveInQueens[Deleted User]charlotte989875OliveOilsMom
  • princessleia22princessleia22 Oceanfront Property in Arizona member
    Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Answer
    There's no rule that you have to have all family included in the wedding.  I had my sister & SIL (brother's wife, who I'm close to) as BM's.  My brother and DH's sister had no official roles and just attended as guests.  They didn't feel left out at all.  You can also include her in pre-wedding events, even if she's not officially in the wedding party.  You can invite her to bachelorette party or to get manicures or whatever.  That may be an opportunity to have her included and maybe get to know her better.

    Like others said, if you really want to include her, ask her if she wants to do a reading during the ceremony (don't force her) or just get her a corsage.  But, do not give her jobs to keep her busy... making her work instead of enjoying the day is not an honor.

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    [Deleted User]
  • Silvene said:
    You could get her to keep an eye on a few things on the day.  I did this with my MIL at my wedding (my own Mom had passed away a few years before and I didn't want my MIL trying to interfere while I was getting ready).  I asked her to check that the cake had arrived and was all in one piece, that the venue was set up correctly, that flower petals were sprinkled down the aisle like I wanted, she got the bouquets from the florist when they arrived and generally just kept an eye on little things while my MoH & BM were getting ready with me.  It made her feel included and I didn't have to worry about anything.
    I already asked a close friend of mine who got married this past summer to do that, she volunteered after we got engaged (I kind of did that for her) and she was more than happy too.
  • lc07lc07 Sunny Southern California member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    A reading is a good option like PPs mentioned. So is a corsage. If she is of legal age and your state requires a legal witness you could ask her to sign your marriage license as a witness.
  • Silvene said:
    You could get her to keep an eye on a few things on the day.  I did this with my MIL at my wedding (my own Mom had passed away a few years before and I didn't want my MIL trying to interfere while I was getting ready).  I asked her to check that the cake had arrived and was all in one piece, that the venue was set up correctly, that flower petals were sprinkled down the aisle like I wanted, she got the bouquets from the florist when they arrived and generally just kept an eye on little things while my MoH & BM were getting ready with me.  It made her feel included and I didn't have to worry about anything.
    I already asked a close friend of mine who got married this past summer to do that, she volunteered after we got engaged (I kind of did that for her) and she was more than happy too.
    So the worse advice in this thread, and you confirm how you already have someone to do these things?  As a PP said, all of those tasks that Silvene mentioned should not be done by any guest of your wedding.  They are you & your FI's jobs or someone that you hire to take care of these issues.  No one should have to work at your wedding, unless you are paying them.
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  • levioosalevioosa Southern California member
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    Silvene said:
    You could get her to keep an eye on a few things on the day.  I did this with my MIL at my wedding (my own Mom had passed away a few years before and I didn't want my MIL trying to interfere while I was getting ready).  I asked her to check that the cake had arrived and was all in one piece, that the venue was set up correctly, that flower petals were sprinkled down the aisle like I wanted, she got the bouquets from the florist when they arrived and generally just kept an eye on little things while my MoH & BM were getting ready with me.  It made her feel included and I didn't have to worry about anything.
    I already asked a close friend of mine who got married this past summer to do that, she volunteered after we got engaged (I kind of did that for her) and she was more than happy too.
    No. I am not free labor to use as a makeshift day of coordinator.  This is a bullshit job.  


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  • spockforprezspockforprez Virginia member
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    Family can be a contentious topic on TK, and I understand why. So I don't want to make sweeping generalizations because each person needs to make their wedding day about their preferences and feelings. (Other than basic hosting responsibilities.)

    I did feel left out of my brother's wedding. While I'm not sitting here nursing a grudge, other family members still comment about it to me and if I'm feeling uncharitable toward my SIL (which I am occasionally) I'll think about it. (There were also other reasons to be irritated by my brother's wedding, like how they didn't do table visits to greet and welcome their guests because other than waiting in line at the buffet she literally never left the dance floor the entire night. My brother left the floor to mingle with a few people but as a couple they didn't visit their guests. My cousins were some of the ones left out from seeing the bride or groom, and they still talk about that 2.5 years later. Lurkers take note, you must greet your guests either via receiving line or via table visits!)

    Some of it had to do with her attitude; she would not permit me to include my FH in the family photos because we weren't engaged at the time. She also told my mom that since she (my mom) was hosting the rehearsal dinner that I could be invited - I'm not 100% sure on the etiquette but in my area siblings are always invited to the rehearsal dinner. And I think people comment about it mostly because SIL had 10 bridesmaids so it seemed conspicuous to them that I was left out. In reality she was in a sorority in college which I understand to be a huge deal with the sisterhood and all that, so having the 10 was probably still leaving a few out. While I would have been honored to be asked to be a bridesmaid and definitely would have accepted, I can understand why she didn't.

    I'm gonna disagree about programs; I know that won't be a popular opinion. But I see it as being a greeter, to welcome guests to the venue and give them a program, which I always appreciate at concerts or other events. I would love to do that for a friend's wedding! We omitted all unnecessary paper products for budget reasons, including programs, so I won't be doing it at my wedding. But I don't side eye it and I wouldn't get offended if asked to do it. I guess I just can't see hiring staff for 30 minutes to act as greeters. *shrugs*

    I think if you aren't close with her, you don't really need to think up something random for her to do. If you're having a readings, that would be nice. Or just honoring her with a corsage would also be a nice, small but sweet gesture, and one that I would have been proud to receive at my brother's wedding.
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  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
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    She should be in charge of the bounce house. 
    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
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  • We asked my SIL to do a reading (a passage, poem, or short story- like really short- of sorts) and we gave her a corsage.

    We are close, but not close enough that I would ask her to be part of my BP.

    Do not ask her to do any jobs, thinking it will be an "honour". 


  • Silvene said:
    You could get her to keep an eye on a few things on the day.  I did this with my MIL at my wedding (my own Mom had passed away a few years before and I didn't want my MIL trying to interfere while I was getting ready).  I asked her to check that the cake had arrived and was all in one piece, that the venue was set up correctly, that flower petals were sprinkled down the aisle like I wanted, she got the bouquets from the florist when they arrived and generally just kept an eye on little things while my MoH & BM were getting ready with me.  It made her feel included and I didn't have to worry about anything.
    I already asked a close friend of mine who got married this past summer to do that, she volunteered after we got engaged (I kind of did that for her) and she was more than happy too.
    So the worse advice in this thread, and you confirm how you already have someone to do these things?  As a PP said, all of those tasks that Silvene mentioned should not be done by any guest of your wedding.  They are you & your FI's jobs or someone that you hire to take care of these issues.  No one should have to work at your wedding, unless you are paying them.
    She volunteered to do it, all she is doing is double checking the cake when it arrives and helping me with any last minute things that day. I am not having anything else delivered or picked up. We are doing all of the decorating that week (our vendors are letting us in almost 3 days early for decorating). I am not nitty gritty on every little detail. Our ceremony is simple, and our reception is at a different location. My friend volunteered to do this as soon as we got engaged. I did that for her, and she is returning the favor. I guess returning favors for people, when they volunteer for it is a horrible thing for people to do around here. I did't ask, she volunteered and I took her up on the offer since I did it for her. Small town hospitality. 
  • I guess I should have made this clear in my op-I was not planning on giving her a job such as handing our programs, or guest book or anything along those lines. One of my good friends was asked to do that at her FI's sisters wedding, and was not too thrilled about it. We are not going to have anyone hand out programs (if we even do them). We are having a pretty low key, county side wedding ceremony. I was looking for other ways to maybe try and include hers so she doesn't feel left out. That is all, so please only suggestions along those lines.

    I had planned on giving her some flowers along with our parents, grandparents, other family, and friends who are helping out. I did not think about a corsage though, thank you for that idea. 


    I did not ask for your opinion on people who volunteer to help. 
  • levioosalevioosa Southern California member
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I guess I should have made this clear in my op-I was not planning on giving her a job such as handing our programs, or guest book or anything along those lines. One of my good friends was asked to do that at her FI's sisters wedding, and was not too thrilled about it. We are not going to have anyone hand out programs (if we even do them). We are having a pretty low key, county side wedding ceremony. I was looking for other ways to maybe try and include hers so she doesn't feel left out. That is all, so please only suggestions along those lines.

    I had planned on giving her some flowers along with our parents, grandparents, other family, and friends who are helping out. I did not think about a corsage though, thank you for that idea. 


    I did not ask for your opinion on people who volunteer to help. 
    Well, you posted on an open forum, which means you opened yourself up to any comments on what you have posted.  


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  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey member
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    Silvene said:
    You could get her to keep an eye on a few things on the day.  I did this with my MIL at my wedding (my own Mom had passed away a few years before and I didn't want my MIL trying to interfere while I was getting ready).  I asked her to check that the cake had arrived and was all in one piece, that the venue was set up correctly, that flower petals were sprinkled down the aisle like I wanted, she got the bouquets from the florist when they arrived and generally just kept an eye on little things while my MoH & BM were getting ready with me.  It made her feel included and I didn't have to worry about anything.
    I already asked a close friend of mine who got married this past summer to do that, she volunteered after we got engaged (I kind of did that for her) and she was more than happy too.
    So the worse advice in this thread, and you confirm how you already have someone to do these things?  As a PP said, all of those tasks that Silvene mentioned should not be done by any guest of your wedding.  They are you & your FI's jobs or someone that you hire to take care of these issues.  No one should have to work at your wedding, unless you are paying them.
    She volunteered to do it, all she is doing is double checking the cake when it arrives and helping me with any last minute things that day. I am not having anything else delivered or picked up. We are doing all of the decorating that week (our vendors are letting us in almost 3 days early for decorating). I am not nitty gritty on every little detail. Our ceremony is simple, and our reception is at a different location. My friend volunteered to do this as soon as we got engaged. I did that for her, and she is returning the favor. I guess returning favors for people, when they volunteer for it is a horrible thing for people to do around here. I did't ask, she volunteered and I took her up on the offer since I did it for her. Small town hospitality. 


    And its just as easy to say, "No, thank you.  I just want you to enjoy your time at our wedding!  It was so sweet of you to offer." Then change the subject. 

    And I have always volunteered to help my friends at their weddings.  But no one has ever asked me to check that the cake was delivered.

    InLoveInQueens[Deleted User]
  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs member
    Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    My FI sister and I are not very close, and she is not in either one of our wedding parties. What are different ways we could include her in the entire wedding process? Our ceremony is outdoors and I don't believe we are having 'ushers' to seat people, and instead allowing people to sit wherever they would like. I am just looking for some ideas to include her. Thank you :) 
    Are you still planning on a summer wedding?  Outdoor summer weddings in Illinois can bring extreme shifts in weather.  You do have an indoor contingency, correct?

    If your FI is not concerned enough to include his own sister in the wedding party, I would just let her come as a guest.
  • I was going to try and help you before you posted that snarky reply.
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  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    I guess I should have made this clear in my op-I was not planning on giving her a job such as handing our programs, or guest book or anything along those lines. One of my good friends was asked to do that at her FI's sisters wedding, and was not too thrilled about it. We are not going to have anyone hand out programs (if we even do them). We are having a pretty low key, county side wedding ceremony. I was looking for other ways to maybe try and include hers so she doesn't feel left out. That is all, so please only suggestions along those lines.

    I had planned on giving her some flowers along with our parents, grandparents, other family, and friends who are helping out. I did not think about a corsage though, thank you for that idea. 


    I did not ask for your opinion on people who volunteer to help. 
    By posting about it in a public forum, yes, you did.
    [Deleted User]
  • edited January 2016
     @marriedhamstermom  , @lnixon8, there really is no reason to be that bitchy in your comments.  We had a budget wedding and could not afford to hire a wedding coordinator or wedding planner.  My MIL was politely asked if she wanted to be included on the day, was given various options, as well as the opportunity to say "no, thank you", if she didn't want to do anything.  She wasn't working on the day, she was just overseeing a few things and since there weren't any issues, she had nothing to do and nothing to deal with.  She was more than happy to feel included in this way, as it was important for us to have someone making sure that things were in order before the rest of the guests arrived.  My in-laws chose to arrive at the venue a few hours before the wedding started and they would have been bored out of their minds if they didn't have something like this to keep them occupied.  

    @Knottie2017523  I apologise if I misread your initial post and misunderstood what you were asking.
  • Silvene said:
     @marriedhamstermom  , @lnixon8, there really is no reason to be that bitchy in your comments.  We had a budget wedding and could not afford to hire a wedding coordinator or wedding planner.  My MIL was politely asked if she wanted to be included on the day, was given various options, as well as the opportunity to say "no, thank you", if she didn't want to do anything.  She wasn't working on the day, she was just overseeing a few things and since there weren't any issues, she had nothing to do and nothing to deal with.  She was more than happy to feel included in this way, as it was important for us to have someone making sure that things were in order before the rest of the guests arrived.  My in-laws chose to arrive at the venue a few hours before the wedding started and they would have been bored out of their minds if they didn't have something like this to keep them occupied.  

    @Knottie2017523  I apologise if I misread your initial post and misunderstood what you were asking.

    Thank you @Silvene! We can't really afford a coordinator, even though we would absolutely love to (2 college students can't really afford a $20k wedding.. lol). I did not ask anyone too, she volunteered and I am not planning on having any problems or any issues, so she should not have to do anything. The girl and her husband are coming from out of town and she already said she would be there the entire weekend for us and wanted to help out anyway they could. I am glad that one person on this forum understands where I am coming from. 

    The original reason for this post was to see if anyone else knew of a way to include my FI sister in the wedding in a way that I did not know of. We are young, and have not really been involved in a lot of weddings until this past year so I feel like I am going to miss something or not have enough people involved. I was looking for that, not people to tear my post down. Thank you again Silvene, you don't realize how much I appreciate your response :) 
  • Silvene said:
     @marriedhamstermom  , @lnixon8, there really is no reason to be that bitchy in your comments.  We had a budget wedding and could not afford to hire a wedding coordinator or wedding planner.  My MIL was politely asked if she wanted to be included on the day, was given various options, as well as the opportunity to say "no, thank you", if she didn't want to do anything.  She wasn't working on the day, she was just overseeing a few things and since there weren't any issues, she had nothing to do and nothing to deal with.  She was more than happy to feel included in this way, as it was important for us to have someone making sure that things were in order before the rest of the guests arrived.  My in-laws chose to arrive at the venue a few hours before the wedding started and they would have been bored out of their minds if they didn't have something like this to keep them occupied.  

    @Knottie2017523  I apologise if I misread your initial post and misunderstood what you were asking.

    Thank you @Silvene! We can't really afford a coordinator, even though we would absolutely love to (2 college students can't really afford a $20k wedding.. lol). I did not ask anyone too, she volunteered and I am not planning on having any problems or any issues, so she should not have to do anything. The girl and her husband are coming from out of town and she already said she would be there the entire weekend for us and wanted to help out anyway they could. I am glad that one person on this forum understands where I am coming from. 

    The original reason for this post was to see if anyone else knew of a way to include my FI sister in the wedding in a way that I did not know of. We are young, and have not really been involved in a lot of weddings until this past year so I feel like I am going to miss something or not have enough people involved. I was looking for that, not people to tear my post down. Thank you again Silvene, you don't realize how much I appreciate your response :) 


    No one tore you down!  You say you are young, so why don't you listen to the multiple posters with LOTS of wedding experience tell you what is right and appropriate for your wedding day.  But instead you listen to the ONE opposing view.

    You don't know the budgets of anyone's wedding here.  My wedding was not $20k, but yet, I also made sure that my friends and family did not have to do any trivial work. 

    AND people did tell you how to involve your FSIL.  It was as a reader during the ceremony, BM, groomswoman, or as a guest.  If you felt so inclined, to also get her a corsage.  That's it.  Anything else you ask of her to try and include her, is just a trivial job that should either be handled by someone you pay or yourself.

    And I told those people thank you. She is not, and never was going to be given any jobs. EVER. No one in the families are. 
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