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Wedding Party

Stepsister Woes

Hello all.

I've had a step-sister for about 10 years now who I never really spent much time with b/c she was on her own and I lived with my grandmother when our parents re-married.

2 years ago, my step-sister had her first child and the family banded together to support her as she was a single mom.  Now, instead of never seeing her, we see her every other holiday or so.

In selecting my bridal party, I figured it would be a good idea to include her, so I asked her to be a bridesmaid.  She smiled and said with a disappointed tone of voice "I thought I was gonna skate by without having to be in this one.  I've been in lots of weddings...I guess I'm the go-to person."  She said she would do it and asked that I keep her posted, but there was ZERO enthusiasm in her response.  Naturally, I took this to mean that she didn't truly want to do it, but was agreeing out of obligation.  The next morning, I sent her a text stating that I really didn't want to make her do anything she didn't truly want to.  She responded by saying that she had been brain-fried from at-work classes the day before and not meaning to give the impression that she didn't want to be a bridesmaid, that she really wanted to be a part of my special day and hoped it would help solidify our relationship as sisters.  I chose not to respond to her text because I honestly didn't know whether I even wanted her to be a maid anymore, especially after her statement about "skating by without HAVING to be in the wedding."  She ran to her father (my step-father) who is now super concerned that his daughter may not be in the wedding.  Apparently, she fed him a line about thinking I already had my party chosen and only asked her as a last resort because I had no one else who would do it (where did that even come from???)

My grandmother, groom and step-father all feel I should give her another shot and hope this is a lesson for her to learn how to choose her words carefully in the future...

Should I buckle and give her another shot, knowing what her initial attitude was, or should I stick to my guns and not risk it?
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Re: Stepsister Woes

  • TrixieJessTrixieJess member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    edited January 2016

    Hello all.

    I've had a step-sister for about 10 years now who I never really spent much time with b/c she was on her own and I lived with my grandmother when our parents re-married.

    2 years ago, my step-sister had her first child and the family banded together to support her as she was a single mom.  Now, instead of never seeing her, we see her every other holiday or so.

    In selecting my bridal party, I figured it would be a good idea to include her, so I asked her to be a bridesmaid.  She smiled and said with a disappointed tone of voice "I thought I was gonna skate by without having to be in this one.  I've been in lots of weddings...I guess I'm the go-to person."  She said she would do it and asked that I keep her posted, but there was ZERO enthusiasm in her response.  Naturally, I took this to mean that she didn't truly want to do it, but was agreeing out of obligation.  The next morning, I sent her a text stating that I really didn't want to make her do anything she didn't truly want to.  She responded by saying that she had been brain-fried from at-work classes the day before and not meaning to give the impression that she didn't want to be a bridesmaid, that she really wanted to be a part of my special day and hoped it would help solidify our relationship as sisters.  I chose not to respond to her text because I honestly didn't know whether I even wanted her to be a maid anymore, especially after her statement about "skating by without HAVING to be in the wedding."  She ran to her father (my step-father) who is now super concerned that his daughter may not be in the wedding.  Apparently, she fed him a line about thinking I already had my party chosen and only asked her as a last resort because I had no one else who would do it (where did that even come from???)

    My grandmother, groom and step-father all feel I should give her another shot and hope this is a lesson for her to learn how to choose her words carefully in the future...

    Should I buckle and give her another shot, knowing what her initial attitude was, or should I stick to my guns and not risk it?

    She sounds like me without a lot of sleep, mouth engaged before brain. Having children will do that.

    You have asked her, if you unask her, your relationship will be broken. Addie's response is spot on, no one will be as excited for your wedding as you are.

    ETF: Grammar before coffee
  • Thing is, I've been a bridesmaid about 5 times or so and I kind of get how she might be feeling. When both of my best friends asked me, I was thrilled and so excited to be part of their day. When my SIL, with whom I am not close, but for whom I was clearly making up numbers....yeah, I pasted on a smile and said 'great, how exciting'. And internally sighed. For me, I only really want to be part of your WP if we are actually close enough for that decision to be a no brainer - it doesn't sound like this was a no brainer for you. I think your SS probably spoke without filtering her thoughts, which has understandably upset you, and has clearly made her feel terrible too. Like @AddieCake says above, no one will be as into your wedding as you and your FI. It's just something you need to accept and graciously move on. You asked her and she accepted. She is in your WP unless you want to potentially cause a family rift, which it doesn't sound like you do.
                 
    MyNameIsNotInLoveInQueenscollegechic
  • It sounds like she has a lot on her plate right now with work and family.  Reassure her that you do want her in the wedding, since you've already asked her, and leave the lines of communication open.  Ask her, privately, her budget for a dress, and let her know the dress you choose when that time comes.  You can still invite her to hang out with you and your other girlfriends; just keep in mind that an invitation is not a subpeonea, and she is within her right to decline any pre-wedding events (showers, bach party, dress shopping, etc).  Her only obligation, as AddieCake says, are to show up on time for the wedding in the agreed upon attire.  If you let her know that's all you expect of her, she may be relieved that you're not expecting her to be your wedding brideslave, which (from her initial reaction) it sounds like she was in numerous other weddings.  
    [Deleted User]cowgirl8238
  • I'm about to be a BM for the third time within 10 months. Was I happy to be asked? Yes. Was I as excited as the first time I was asked to be in a bridal party? No. Now through in single-parent exhaustion, class stress; I can see how she might not have been thrilled at that moment. However, when you texted her back she apologized and said she really did want to be there for you. So what's the problem? People make mistakes and she sounds like she knew she hurt your feelings. You're being immature by not replying to her text. Just tell her you want her there and move on.
    First, thanks to all PP's for their advice and time spent giving it.  

    I'd like to clear something up though.  The common conception is that I was disappointed that she wasn't thrilled when I asked.  I didn't un-ask because she wasn't as excited as I wanted her to be...that's selfish and unrealistic.  I un-asked because of her comment about sliding by without having to do it.  It just sounded like a burden for her and I wanted to avoid possible issues later.  

    What frustrates me the most is that I've now come to be the bad guy for being considerate of her feelings that she let slip out, especially since, as stated in the OP, she fed her father a line about thinking she was only asked because I had no one else to do it (still scratching my head on that one).  I'm the kind of person where if something is done for me out of grudging obligation rather than a genuine desire, I'd rather it not be done (this doesn't mean I expect the reaction I feel is appropriate).

    Also, to PP who mentioned me not responding to her text, I know a conversation has to be had, and it will.  I'm just trying to get a final decision in line before that comes.   
  • holyguacamole79holyguacamole79 a taco truck in Houston member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers

    The next morning, I sent her a text stating that I really didn't want to make her do anything she didn't truly want to.  She responded by saying that she had been brain-fried from at-work classes the day before and not meaning to give the impression that she didn't want to be a bridesmaid, that she really wanted to be a part of my special day and hoped it would help solidify our relationship as sisters.  I chose not to respond to her text because I honestly didn't know whether I even wanted her to be a maid anymore, especially after her statement about "skating by without HAVING to be in the wedding."

    Discussions like this should not happen via text. It's to easy to mis-interpret tone and feelings are more likely to get hurt. Pick up the phone and call, or go out for coffee to talk.
    charlotte989875PrettyGirlLostcowgirl8238collegechic
  • Knottie #, out of curiosity what are the expectations you have for your bridal party? It could be that she is used to very demanding brides and expects that from you as well. I know if my only bridal party experience was with a demanding bride I'd be less enthused about the next time I was asked, and it sounds like she may be used to people asking her to be a BM only because of what she can do for them. 
    image
    madamerwinPrettyGirlLostInLoveInQueenscowgirl8238
  • I think you are really blowing this up.  You have asked her.  She said yes.  She is a BM.  And, stop texting.  If you initiate a text conversation and then decide not to reply when things get sticky you are sending a message to the other person that you don't care.

    This is not a text conversation and shouldn't have ever been.  This is a phone or face to face conversation.  Call her, straighten this out, and let her know of course she is still in the wedding.

    If this is how you are going to respond when you don't get the reaction you want about your wedding this is going to be a long process for you.  You don't get to unask her or "buckle and give her another shot". 

    Your wedding is only this important to you and your FI.  She agreed to be in it so stop looking for issues.
    charlotte989875PrettyGirlLost[Deleted User]
  • justsie said:
    Knottie #, out of curiosity what are the expectations you have for your bridal party? It could be that she is used to very demanding brides and expects that from you as well. I know if my only bridal party experience was with a demanding bride I'd be less enthused about the next time I was asked, and it sounds like she may be used to people asking her to be a BM only because of what she can do for them. 
    Pre-wedding:  Purchase their own dress and shoes, and if they want hair and makeup, they will be paying for that themselves.  I will purchase their jewelry as a BM gift.  I honestly don't care what the dress looks like, as long as it's the same fabric and dye lot as the other BMs, which we'll discuss as a group soon.  This way, whether they want to spend 19.99 or 199.99 for a dress, they can shop within their comfort level.

    During wedding:  Walk, smile and have a good time.  This is supposed to be a celebration, not a part-time job. 
    thefanciestbeckler
  • kmmssg said:
    I think you are really blowing this up.  You have asked her.  She said yes.  She is a BM.  And, stop texting.  If you initiate a text conversation and then decide not to reply when things get sticky you are sending a message to the other person that you don't care.

    This is not a text conversation and shouldn't have ever been.  This is a phone or face to face conversation.  Call her, straighten this out, and let her know of course she is still in the wedding.

    If this is how you are going to respond when you don't get the reaction you want about your wedding this is going to be a long process for you.  You don't get to unask her or "buckle and give her another shot". 

    Your wedding is only this important to you and your FI.  She agreed to be in it so stop looking for issues.
    I hear you, but again, like I said in my previous post, this has nothing to do with not being pleased with her reaction.  It sounded like she didn't want to do it based on her comment about skating by without doing it, so I told her she didn't have to do it.  That's all.  I don't think I'm blowing this up in any way.  I'm really only asking advice because she's involved my step-father and NOW it's a bigger issue.
  • levioosalevioosa Southern California member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    PPs have it covered. I just wanted to throw my two cents in and say if I could never be a BM again it would be amazing.  I'm excited for my friends, but being a BM is exhausting, and it always ends up costing more than anticipated.  Go easy on the girl.  I can only imagine trying to wrap my head around work, school and a kid, full time, and then adding on being a BM.  


    image
    holyguacamole79charlotte989875PrettyGirlLostcowgirl8238
  • jacques27jacques27 member
    Knottie Warrior 500 Love Its 1000 Comments 5 Answers
    edited January 2016
    I've had a step-sister for about 10 years now who I never really spent much time with b/c she was on her own and I lived with my grandmother when our parents re-married.

    2 years ago, my step-sister had her first child and the family banded together to support her as she was a single mom.  Now, instead of never seeing her, we see her every other holiday or so.

    In selecting my bridal party, I figured it would be a good idea to include her, so I asked her to be a bridesmaid.  

    It's great that you have few expectations for your bridesmaids beyond buying a dress in their budget within the parameters and showing up.  But again, no one is going to be as happy as you our about your wedding and after being a bridesmaid a few times the shininess has worn off (especially if a few of those brides did have greater expectations - because let's face it, despite it not being a requirement, there's sort of a global expectation, however incorrect, that bridesmaids do a lot more than that).  She has a lot on her plate it sounds like.  Honestly, being a guest is still an honor and some people are much happier as a guest than having a role in the wedding.  But that ship has sailed.  You asked, she accepted - move on. 

    Truthfully, from your initial post, you sound like you asked her just as much out of obligation as she probably felt when she accepted.  Reread the parts above in red - that doesn't sound like someone who asked their stepsister because they have such a great, loving relationship that she couldn't picture getting married without her standing up there.  That sounds like someone who is using their wedding party to try to build a relationship instead of honor an existing relationship.  If we can read it in your post, she could probably read it in your tone.  If I only had an every other holiday relationship with a family member (through marriage), I probably wouldn't expect to be in their wedding and have a hint of "Did they feel obligated to include me?  Do they think I throw really awesome showers and are hoping I'll offer to throw one?"  I really don't think her comments to her father were probably that far off base - maybe that's how she really felt the scenario came off.  It may not be how you intended it, but it's how she's interpreting it.  Just like maybe her original comment wasn't intended to mean she would really hate to be in your wedding but that's how you're interpretting, even though maybe it was a reflection of how she was temporarily feeling and your wedding just sounded like more things to put on her plate at the time.

    You really can't do anything without damaging the relationship.  She's a bridesmaid until she chooses to remove herself or she does something so awful as to warrant ending your relationship altogether (physically assaults you, sleeps with your groom, etc.)  Move on and stop worrying about it.

     

    MyNameIsNotPrettyGirlLostcowgirl8238
  • ViczaesarViczaesar Central Coast, CA member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    justsie said:
    Knottie #, out of curiosity what are the expectations you have for your bridal party? It could be that she is used to very demanding brides and expects that from you as well. I know if my only bridal party experience was with a demanding bride I'd be less enthused about the next time I was asked, and it sounds like she may be used to people asking her to be a BM only because of what she can do for them. 
    Pre-wedding:  Purchase their own dress and shoes, and if they want hair and makeup, they will be paying for that themselves.  I will purchase their jewelry as a BM gift.  I honestly don't care what the dress looks like, as long as it's the same fabric and dye lot as the other BMs, which we'll discuss as a group soon.  This way, whether they want to spend 19.99 or 199.99 for a dress, they can shop within their comfort level.

    During wedding:  Walk, smile and have a good time.  This is supposed to be a celebration, not a part-time job. 
    Dye lots aren't a thing anymore, so don't worry about that.  They shouldn't have to buy specific shoes for your wedding; if you require specific shoes (which, frankly, you shouldn't because shoes are a major comfort problem for people) you need to pay for them, but if you let them wear whatever shoes they want or even choose a neutral color and they can choose their own then that's fine.



    MyNameIsNotPrettyGirlLostInLoveInQueenscowgirl8238
  • edited January 2016
    Viczaesar said:




    justsie said:

    Knottie #, out of curiosity what are the expectations you have for your bridal party? It could be that she is used to very demanding brides and expects that from you as well. I know if my only bridal party experience was with a demanding bride I'd be less enthused about the next time I was asked, and it sounds like she may be used to people asking her to be a BM only because of what she can do for them. 

    Pre-wedding:  Purchase their own dress and shoes, and if they want hair and makeup, they will be paying for that themselves.  I will purchase their jewelry as a BM gift.  I honestly don't care what the dress looks like, as long as it's the same fabric and dye lot as the other BMs, which we'll discuss as a group soon.  This way, whether they want to spend 19.99 or 199.99 for a dress, they can shop within their comfort level.

    During wedding:  Walk, smile and have a good time.  This is supposed to be a celebration, not a part-time job. 

    Dye lots aren't a thing anymore, so don't worry about that.  They shouldn't have to buy specific shoes for your wedding; if you require specific shoes (which, frankly, you shouldn't because shoes are a major comfort problem for people) you need to pay for them, but if you let them wear whatever shoes they want or even choose a neutral color and they can choose their own then that's fine.


    ------------------------
    The reason I included shoes in the list was because if they do desire special shoes, they know it's part of what they will be purchasing themselves. I don't know too many women who don't own at least one pair of black dress shoes, so hopefully that won't be an issue (leaning toward that as BP color so nobody is stuck with a color they hate afterward). If they don't mind shoes from like Payless then I can absolutely help and will make that known.

    I'm no expert but I really feel I've made decisions to make this as smooth as possible for them.

    ETA: Dotted line
  • flantasticflantastic The Midwest member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers

    Viczaesar said:




    justsie said:

    Knottie #, out of curiosity what are the expectations you have for your bridal party? It could be that she is used to very demanding brides and expects that from you as well. I know if my only bridal party experience was with a demanding bride I'd be less enthused about the next time I was asked, and it sounds like she may be used to people asking her to be a BM only because of what she can do for them. 

    Pre-wedding:  Purchase their own dress and shoes, and if they want hair and makeup, they will be paying for that themselves.  I will purchase their jewelry as a BM gift.  I honestly don't care what the dress looks like, as long as it's the same fabric and dye lot as the other BMs, which we'll discuss as a group soon.  This way, whether they want to spend 19.99 or 199.99 for a dress, they can shop within their comfort level.

    During wedding:  Walk, smile and have a good time.  This is supposed to be a celebration, not a part-time job. 

    Dye lots aren't a thing anymore, so don't worry about that.  They shouldn't have to buy specific shoes for your wedding; if you require specific shoes (which, frankly, you shouldn't because shoes are a major comfort problem for people) you need to pay for them, but if you let them wear whatever shoes they want or even choose a neutral color and they can choose their own then that's fine.


    ------------------------
    The reason I included shoes in the list was because if they do desire special shoes, they know it's part of what they will be purchasing themselves. I don't know too many women who don't own at least one pair of black dress shoes, so hopefully that won't be an issue (leaning toward that as BP color so nobody is stuck with a color they hate afterward). If they don't mind shoes from like Payless then I can absolutely help and will make that known.

    I'm no expert but I really feel I've made decisions to make this as smooth as possible for them.

    ETA: Dotted line


    I agree that most people have black dress shoes, but I suggest not worrying about dictating a color at all. It's just not worth your time (or theirs if they do have to get new shoes). No one will notice. I'm the one with all the pictures from my wedding - pictures with my BMs are in our living room, I see them all the time - and I still can't tell you what color or kind of shoes they wore. They all successfully accessorized themselves and looked great.
  • justsie said:
    Knottie #, out of curiosity what are the expectations you have for your bridal party? It could be that she is used to very demanding brides and expects that from you as well. I know if my only bridal party experience was with a demanding bride I'd be less enthused about the next time I was asked, and it sounds like she may be used to people asking her to be a BM only because of what she can do for them. 
    Pre-wedding:  Purchase their own dress and shoes, and if they want hair and makeup, they will be paying for that themselves.  I will purchase their jewelry as a BM gift.  I honestly don't care what the dress looks like, as long as it's the same fabric and dye lot as the other BMs, which we'll discuss as a group soon.  This way, whether they want to spend 19.99 or 199.99 for a dress, they can shop within their comfort level.

    During wedding:  Walk, smile and have a good time.  This is supposed to be a celebration, not a part-time job. 
    PP have talked about dye lots so I'm just agreeing that really isn't a thing anymore regardless on what bridal salons tell you. 

    Also if you purchase jewelry they are supposed to wear for the event it's not a gift to them it's a gift to you. Shop for them like you would for their birthdays. Before I found TK I had bought the girls all something to wear for the wedding but then with TK I realized it was wrong. Well now I had a limited budget but I still found all of the girls something unique and they all loved their gifts. They were totally surprised when they all had totally different things that were not wedding related. 

    They are adults they know how to accessorize so spend the money you would have spent on jewelry on something they'll actually like. 

    Finally don't discuss the budget as a group until you talk to each one individually. If everyone in a group is saying I can spend $200 and then it gets to me and I'm really only comfortable spending $20 then I'm going to either feel really bad to admit it or say I'm ok with $200 to save my pride when I'm really not. 
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    charlotte989875InLoveInQueens[Deleted User]



  • justsie said:

    Knottie #, out of curiosity what are the expectations you have for your bridal party? It could be that she is used to very demanding brides and expects that from you as well. I know if my only bridal party experience was with a demanding bride I'd be less enthused about the next time I was asked, and it sounds like she may be used to people asking her to be a BM only because of what she can do for them. 

    Pre-wedding:  Purchase their own dress and shoes, and if they want hair and makeup, they will be paying for that themselves.  I will purchase their jewelry as a BM gift.  I honestly don't care what the dress looks like, as long as it's the same fabric and dye lot as the other BMs, which we'll discuss as a group soon.  This way, whether they want to spend 19.99 or 199.99 for a dress, they can shop within their comfort level.

    During wedding:  Walk, smile and have a good time.  This is supposed to be a celebration, not a part-time job. 

    PP have talked about dye lots so I'm just agreeing that really isn't a thing anymore regardless on what bridal salons tell you. 

    Also if you purchase jewelry they are supposed to wear for the event it's not a gift to them it's a gift to you. Shop for them like you would for their birthdays. Before I found TK I had bought the girls all something to wear for the wedding but then with TK I realized it was wrong. Well now I had a limited budget but I still found all of the girls something unique and they all loved their gifts. They were totally surprised when they all had totally different things that were not wedding related. 

    They are adults they know how to accessorize so spend the money you would have spent on jewelry on something they'll actually like. 

    Finally don't discuss the budget as a group until you talk to each one individually. If everyone in a group is saying I can spend $200 and then it gets to me and I'm really only comfortable spending $20 then I'm going to either feel really bad to admit it or say I'm ok with $200 to save my pride when I'm really not. 

    -------------------------------------------
    Im actually doing BM proposal boxes, so if me not buying more in addition to the bottle of champagne, 2 essie nail polishes , Godiva, a makeup bag, a journal, lip gloss, a candle and their jewelry makes me the bride-zilla that most here seem to think I am, then it is what it is
  • @levioosa I respect your honesty. thanks
  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey member
    Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers

    Why are you doing BM proposal boxes if you already asked your BP?  Or did you only ask your step sister to be a BM so far?  And what have you decided with your step-sister?  Inquiring minds want to know.

    Also, you are supposed to give a gift to each BP member to thank them for being in the wedding.  I don't think your proposal boxes cut it.  What about the GM?  If you really want to give those trinkets, wait until the wedding and gift them to your BP at the RD.  If I were your BM, I'd probably be a bit miffed to get so much stuff just as a BM proposal and not get a token item as an actual thank you gift, especially when I spent money on a dress, hosting a shower, attending a b-party where I likely paid your way the entire evening.

  • @OliveOilsMom
    The boxes are for when I ask, not the wedding itself. It's a thank you for what they will be doing and the jewelry will be a thank you for their service during and afterwards. Another poster said that me purchasing jewelry for them is not so much a gift for them if I require it. To be fair, since I've not divulged the cost of the jewelry to be given (nor will I), having something purchased for you to wear and then you getting to keep it absolutely makes it a gift. I don't expect a shower or party @OliveOilsMom. All I ask aside from purchase of dress, shoes (because being uniform is not irrational) and hair/makeup if they choose. I'd be totally appreciative of anything they do further and will do my absolute best to show it in some way.
    The groom and I are paying for the entirety of the wedding and the reception, so unfortunately, any additional gifts are not possible at this time. This will have to be the last question I entertain concerning BM gifts as it's unrelated to my initial post.
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