Wedding 911

SIL mad shes not included in bridal party

Hi! I need some advice/reassurance :( my fiance has two older sisters who are both married with small children (they are 6 and 8 years older than him, which makes them 7 and 9 years older than me) I had asked my fiancé if he thought they would want to be in the wedding (I come from a big Italian family and my mom only had 1 of her 3 sisters in her wedding because the other 2 were older/married with kids, etc) and he didn’t think they would be upset so I chose not to ask them to be bridesmaids. My fiancé  wanted to include my younger brother in his wedding party but I did not ask him too. My sister in law freaked out at me and fiancé last night saying we don’t value family and was incredibly offended that we’re not including them as bridesmaid (we mentioned that we wanted them to read at the ceremony and she basically told me that was a lesser role and not good enough) did I truly do something wrong? we’re having their kids in the wedding so I thought I was actually doing them a favor not having to stress about being in the wedding as well. I am absolutely sick about it and now feel like there is a dark cloud over my wedding. I honestly had no idea they would feel this way. Any advice ?

Re: SIL mad shes not included in bridal party

  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    No, you didn't do anything wrong. No one is "entitled" to a place in a wedding party - not even their sibling's. "Valuing family" doesn't require anyone to ask an FSIL to be a bridesmaid. And I certainly wouldn't do it after her temper tantrum.
    InLoveInQueensahoywedding
  • Thanks for your responses everyone! The only reason I included the “reasons” so to speak we’re more to paint a  picture of our relationship—we all get along fine and I do have a relationship with them (and like them a lot!) but it’s purely in the context of being my fiancé’s sisters. We very rarely  do things one on one (I’ve done something with one of his sisters one time) and up until a year ago both of them lived 12+ hours (only one lives by us now). My fiancé did not expect this reaction from them at all and I agree I could have handle the situation better—I asked him to sorta gauge it because to be honest I would rather my bridesmaids be people who truly know me and have been my friends for many years. I’ve never heard of a FSIL lashing out in this way so it truly shocked me. I have apologized to sisters for hurting their feelings (even though it was unintentional) but she really hurt my feelings as well and made me feel like a bad person
  • FWIW, your "reasons" for not asking your FSIL aren't great.  It was more like you were trying to gauge if they wanted to be BMs and then "made the decision" for them, without actually asking them and letting them make their own choices.

    What you should have asked yourself is, "Who do I feel close enough to that I WANT to ask them to be my BMs?"  And then asked those people.  If it included your FSILs, great.  If not, that's fine also.

    >snip<

    Yup. It's fine if you don't want them in your WP, but don't make it about their family situation. It's super annoying to have someone else decide for you if you can handle the "stress" of being in a WP (which shouldn't be stressful, btw. I've been a BM once and a MOH twice and have never felt stressed over it.)  As someone with a young child and another on the way, it's annoying when people decide for me that I already have enough stress or enough going on or whatever and don't ask anyway about whatever thing it is. Don't treat me like a child who can't make my own decisions. I can decide for myself if something will be too much and I need to decline. 

    ShesSoColdahoyweddingei34
  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I’d just like to include something. I am 12 years older than my brother’s FI. And even though I’m OLD, she still asked me to be in her wedding party. And I’m honored to be a part of it. If I didn’t want to be in the wedding, I would have declined. 

    charlotte989875MesmrEweei34
  • I think it's fine that you didn't include them, but it would have been more diplomatic to ask them for the sake of future harmony. It's not a requirement, but it might have been a wise thing to do. Is it possible to backtrack and ask them now? It might help your relationship with his family going forward.

    My daughter learned that one of her then-FI's sisters was put out because she wasn't asked to be in his older brother's wedding, so D decided to go ahead and ask both of FI's sisters, as well as the sister in law to be in her wedding. It was a good move for her and her friends understood that this was a family thing. They are a fairly functional family to begin with, but it may be different with your FI's family. If they're the drama queen types, asking the sisters to be in your party probably wouldn't help much. Only you can make this call.
  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Hi! I need some advice/reassurance :( my fiance has two older sisters who are both married with small children (they are 6 and 8 years older than him, which makes them 7 and 9 years older than me) I had asked my fiancé if he thought they would want to be in the wedding (I come from a big Italian family and my mom only had 1 of her 3 sisters in her wedding because the other 2 were older/married with kids, etc) and he didn’t think they would be upset so I chose not to ask them to be bridesmaids. My fiancé  wanted to include my younger brother in his wedding party but I did not ask him too. My sister in law freaked out at me and fiancé last night saying we don’t value family and was incredibly offended that we’re not including them as bridesmaid (we mentioned that we wanted them to read at the ceremony and she basically told me that was a lesser role and not good enough) did I truly do something wrong? we’re having their kids in the wedding so I thought I was actually doing them a favor not having to stress about being in the wedding as well. I am absolutely sick about it and now feel like there is a dark cloud over my wedding. I honestly had no idea they would feel this way. Any advice ?
    I do not think you did anything wrong.  You considered the idea with your FI.  Your FI, who should know them best, counseled you to not feel pressured to ask his sisters to be in your wedding party.  He could have asked them to be a part of his wedding party.

    They were wrong to "freak out" at you and your FI.  I have to wonder, however, if you had already inquired about their kids being part of the wedding party, whether they inferred incorrectly that they would be as well?  When it comes closer to the wedding date, consider asking them again as to whether they would like to read at the ceremony.  If they are still sour about something that was UP TO YOU and YOUR FI ALONE, consider yourself forewarned that you are dealing with some seemingly immature people.  Move forward accordingly.

    I disagree that family should be incorporated into a wedding party for the sake of harmony or diplomacy.  The only thing worse than feeling compelled to ask people you truly don't want, is feeling obliged to accept when you have no interest. 
  • It's the "Hindsight 20/20 factor"...  You probably should have approached the subject casually with them along with a neutral stance with your FI if you were considering having them in the WP instead of defaulting to when your Mom got married and how she did it and your FI's projection of how they'd react.  I'm reminded of what a trainer of mine said about attending a traditional Italian Wedding and the family dynamic is more like a secondary full time job..  

    O.k. if she doesn't want to read a reading - that's o.k. and honestly, I've been in her shoes where family tradition was, then I was asked to be a reader where they had me sit in the sacristy the entire service so I got to see squat which made that all the more enjoyable, then the aunt who normally read at "everyone's" wedding felt left out.  Then the bride decided to make her own seating chart instead of leaving things at the extended family "pecking order" (think Thanksgiving, everyone has their seat, and you don't change the kids' places around..) which proved entertaining.  Family dynamics can sometimes be fun to manage, but this just means it's time for you to get a better communication system in place since your FI's predictor of his siblings' opinions on things is on the fritz.  The courtesy "what do I need to know" (about family dynamics) type things might be in order to make your life easier down the road.  
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  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    MesmrEwe said:
    It's the "Hindsight 20/20 factor"...  You probably should have approached the subject casually with them along with a neutral stance with your FI if you were considering having them in the WP instead of defaulting to when your Mom got married and how she did it and your FI's projection of how they'd react.  I'm reminded of what a trainer of mine said about attending a traditional Italian Wedding and the family dynamic is more like a secondary full time job..  

    O.k. if she doesn't want to read a reading - that's o.k. and honestly, I've been in her shoes where family tradition was, then I was asked to be a reader where they had me sit in the sacristy the entire service so I got to see squat which made that all the more enjoyable, then the aunt who normally read at "everyone's" wedding felt left out.  Then the bride decided to make her own seating chart instead of leaving things at the extended family "pecking order" (think Thanksgiving, everyone has their seat, and you don't change the kids' places around..) which proved entertaining.  Family dynamics can sometimes be fun to manage, but this just means it's time for you to get a better communication system in place since your FI's predictor of his siblings' opinions on things is on the fritz.  The courtesy "what do I need to know" (about family dynamics) type things might be in order to make your life easier down the road.  
    This really would have been a bad idea. If she's [irrationally] upset to not be a BM, the fallout of sitting her down to tell her would have been ridiculous, and would have played right into FSIL's irrational hand. OP did absolutely nothing wrong here. She is not responsible for the FSIL acting like a child. 

    Also, none of this about family dynamics BS matters. If OP's family has traditions to include all the siblings in the WP, OP's FI should have brought that up. And even still, FI's family traditions do not obligate OP to include someone she is not close to in the WP. The FI didn't even want to include the sister on his side. 
    charlotte989875Jen4948
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