Moms and Maids

Sister (MOH) in Peace Corps... Trying to include her in wedding planning

My sister (2 years older than me) is going to be my MOH. She has been in Namibia for the past 1.5 years and won't be back stateside until October 2016. The wedding is in July 2018.

She is not the biggest fan of my FI, which might be for another thread... but she is also feeling a little - left-behind, maybe, is the right phrase? - that her little sister is getting married before her, got proposed to 'without her' and is now planning a wedding while she is halfway across the world. I want her to be happy about the wedding, feel like she is a part of it, and hopefully feel closer to/happier about my FI in the process. 

Talking to her about all this is difficult because she is in a very rural village and the reception is terrible. We can communicate mostly through Whatsapp (texting basically). I try to call her when I can, but even when I get through, the conversation lasts about 10 minutes, is often really hard to hear each other, and we get disconnected every few minutes, so it ends up being frustrating. Thankfully the network held out for me to tell her I got engaged! But there is a 9 hour time difference and I accidentally woke her up at 6 am :(

She also does not generally have access to internet, and when she does, it is very brief and limited.

The venue will be selected before she is back - I've sent her a couple photos of what we are looking at so that she feels like she knows what is going on and can offer input. 

Anyways - any general thoughts on how to make her feel included?

I'm not really sure what 'her domain' is as MOH. I've never been in a WP so I'm not sure what it involves. We've talked a tiny bit about wedding dress shopping and the bachelorette party. The rest of the WP has not been determined. Some threads I see say the WP basically just has an obligation to show up in a dress on the day, and others have lists of 'WP obligations'. 

Thanks for any feedback! 



Re: Sister (MOH) in Peace Corps... Trying to include her in wedding planning

  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Tenth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    Her only obligation as a member of your wedding party is to acquire the designated outfit and show up in it on time, sober and in good spirits and to process up and down the aisle with you. She has no other obligations. Forget about those "lists."

    I don't understand about your FI proposing to you "without her." ?

    She'll be "included" just by being at the wedding. Maybe take a few special photos with her.
    OurWildKingdomSP29
  • When she gets back she could go dress shopping with you or go to fittings if you already have the dress. She could also help you look through flowers and such. All this is assuming she wants to do these things.
    short+sassyOurWildKingdomcharlotte989875cowgirl8238
  • I mean honestly, what is she really going to be able to do from Namibia? I think you should continue to do what you have been doing-sending photos or updates, etc. Send her notes or a care package, talk about non-wedding things.

    As you have mentioned and people will note this here often is that the bride and groom plan the wedding, the wedding party "shows up on the day..." Also, IMO, when she comes back in Oct 2016 you have 9 months until the actual wedding, plenty of time for her to help if she wants. 
    I agree with this. Yes, the only requirement for wedding party members is to show up on the day of. However, many wedding party members want to do more. But, I can't tell from your post whether she actually wants to be super involved or if you're just projecting what you think her feelings are onto her. I say keep doing what you're doing and if she wants to be more involved when she gets home, she will offer. 
    Heffalump
  • I mean honestly, what is she really going to be able to do from Namibia? I think you should continue to do what you have been doing-sending photos or updates, etc. Send her notes or a care package, talk about non-wedding things.

    As you have mentioned and people will note this here often is that the bride and groom plan the wedding, the wedding party "shows up on the day..." Also, IMO, when she comes back in Oct 2016 you have 9 months until the actual wedding, plenty of time for her to help if she wants. 
    Thanks - definitely when she returns there will still be plenty to do. 

    Just nailing down the venue is exhausting... so I think once my FI and I figure that out, we are taking a little break from thinking about the wedding for a few months anyways  :D


  • Jen4948 said:
    Her only obligation as a member of your wedding party is to acquire the designated outfit and show up in it on time, sober and in good spirits and to process up and down the aisle with you. She has no other obligations. Forget about those "lists."

    I don't understand about your FI proposing to you "without her." ?

    She'll be "included" just by being at the wedding. Maybe take a few special photos with her.
    I guess what I meant by this is she has had a difficult time adjusting to being so disconnected from family/friends (because she is in such a rural area) and when big events have happened over the past 1.5 years since she has been gone, she has expressed distress at them happening and her not being able to share in them as they happening.

    Re: the 'lists', I think she does have interest in helping with the wedding (she's mentioned a few times that she is excited to be 'the best MOH ever!', I'm just not sure what all that entails - what should I definitely leave alone for her and I to do together (I think the dress shopping is one of those things) and what things are ok to do with just my FI?
  • Thanks @lovesclimbing & @ILoveBeachMusic  - 

    She has mentioned that she is excited to be my MOH and referenced things like planning the bachelorette party/dress shopping, so I don't think I am projecting :) But, we have a good relationship so next time I get a decent connection on the phone maybe I'll just ask. 


  • flantasticflantastic The Midwest member
    Ninth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Jen4948 said:
    Her only obligation as a member of your wedding party is to acquire the designated outfit and show up in it on time, sober and in good spirits and to process up and down the aisle with you. She has no other obligations. Forget about those "lists."

    I don't understand about your FI proposing to you "without her." ?

    She'll be "included" just by being at the wedding. Maybe take a few special photos with her.
    I guess what I meant by this is she has had a difficult time adjusting to being so disconnected from family/friends (because she is in such a rural area) and when big events have happened over the past 1.5 years since she has been gone, she has expressed distress at them happening and her not being able to share in them as they happening.

    Re: the 'lists', I think she does have interest in helping with the wedding (she's mentioned a few times that she is excited to be 'the best MOH ever!', I'm just not sure what all that entails - what should I definitely leave alone for her and I to do together (I think the dress shopping is one of those things) and what things are ok to do with just my FI?
    The nine months between October and next July are plenty of time for her to do anything she wants - find a BM dress, plan any parties she wants to. Right now she's being the best MOH ever by being your sister and friend.

    The wedding party really does not need to be involved in the planning of the wedding. Text her pictures of flowers if she really wants to help decide things, but you can and should also do anything that needs planning while she's gone. It's hard, but it's part of the commitment she made to the Peace Corps. Honestly, I don't really understand people who make visits to venues or other vendors beyond the couple and anyone else (like a parent) who's paying for it. You shouldn't feel bad about leaving her out of those things, because they weren't really the place for her anyway.
    OurWildKingdomSP29cowgirl8238short+sassy
  • CMGragainCMGragain member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    edited February 2017
    She is in Namibia by her own free will, right?  She made the choice to go there.  You do not need to feel that she is "left out" of your wedding plans in any way.  It was her choice to go overseas.  She must adjust to this.  It is her problem, not yours.
    When she returns, greet her with enthusiasm and love.  What could anyone else ask?
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
    SP29sparklepants41short+sassy
  • Thanks @lovesclimbing & @ILoveBeachMusic  - 

    She has mentioned that she is excited to be my MOH and referenced things like planning the bachelorette party/dress shopping, so I don't think I am projecting :) But, we have a good relationship so next time I get a decent connection on the phone maybe I'll just ask. 


    Well, these are both things that don't need the next year and a half to take care of. A bachelorette is typically very close to the wedding. Typical planner lists tend to say buy a dress nine to 12 months before the wedding, but you likely don't need that much unless you're going with something super high end and designer. If you're going to a typical boutique, you should have plenty of time if you go within a couple months of her return.

    Many people have whole engagements shorter than the time after she gets back. Mine was less than six months. I'm sure there will be plenty left for her to be involved in after she gets back if she wants. 
    OurWildKingdomSP29sparklepants41cowgirl8238
  • Thanks everyone! I am the first of 4 kids in our family to get married, so the sibling dynamic in wedding planning is all brand-new. 

    I appreciate the feedback and reassurance that I really don't have anything to worry about. I'll just keep doing what I'm doing and address the rest when she gets back/wants to play a bigger role. 
    ILoveBeachMusicshort+sassy
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Tenth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    Jen4948 said:
    Her only obligation as a member of your wedding party is to acquire the designated outfit and show up in it on time, sober and in good spirits and to process up and down the aisle with you. She has no other obligations. Forget about those "lists."

    I don't understand about your FI proposing to you "without her." ?

    She'll be "included" just by being at the wedding. Maybe take a few special photos with her.
    I guess what I meant by this is she has had a difficult time adjusting to being so disconnected from family/friends (because she is in such a rural area) and when big events have happened over the past 1.5 years since she has been gone, she has expressed distress at them happening and her not being able to share in them as they happening.

    Re: the 'lists', I think she does have interest in helping with the wedding (she's mentioned a few times that she is excited to be 'the best MOH ever!', I'm just not sure what all that entails - what should I definitely leave alone for her and I to do together (I think the dress shopping is one of those things) and what things are ok to do with just my FI?
    I would communicate with her as best you can about what's going on while she's still in Namibia, and as PPs have suggested, allow her some time to recover when she comes home.  Instead of asking her to be involved in anything specific, consider simply updating her as to how the plans are going and only ask her for specific input about matters that specifically concern her, like her dress. But if she has suggestions to make, let her make them and take them into consideration when making and implementing your plans.
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