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Help! Advice for handling a troubled sister (and self-appointed MOH) who, realistically, may cause d

  My older sister has had a lot of problems throughout her life with drugs, alcohol and has been in and out of rehab and psychiatric facilities throughout her life.  She is a BIG personality and, of course, sees herself playing a large part in my wedding, but I have been sick worrying that she will show up wasted, give an embarrassing toast or worse, just go off the deep end and get sick again. 
     I love my sister and I don't want to upset her, but with all of the terrible things she has done to me over the years, I dont really care to have her as a big part of the wedding (and showers, bachelorette parties, ec). 
     I know it sounds bratty but it kind of sucks bc I basically don't have a maid of honor since there's no way she can handle any "duties". 
   I know there's not much I can do, but all I want is for her to show up on the wedding day not wasted or pilled out and looking like a mess and sort of quietly enjoy the ceremony.  What can I do to diffuse the situation?  I need creative here- don't want to hurt her feelings or be the cause of another melt-down. 
 
  If anyone can relate or has dealt w a similar situation, I would really appreciate your advice. 

Thanks!! 

Re: Help! Advice for handling a troubled sister (and self-appointed MOH) who, realistically, may cause d

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    quotequeenquotequeen member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    If you don't want her to be in the wedding then don't ask her to be in the wedding.  If you feel obligated to call her MOH anyway, then just ask somebody else to be co-MOH, and have that person give the toast.  If you're worried about her causing a drunken scene at your wedding, though, you're not really going to be able to prevent that whether she's in the WP or not.  You can ask the bartenders to keep an eye on her and cut her off if she's had too much.
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    lalap69lalap69 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_moms-maids_advice-handling-troubled-sister-self-appointed-moh-realistically-may-cause-drunken-scene-ruin-wedding?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special%20Topic%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:357Discussion:ece8946a-e3de-49a0-8f3f-dc19993bfbf8Post:0b9332c4-9e16-4421-af69-db7d02bbe1f0">Help! Advice for handling a troubled sister (and self-appointed MOH) who, realistically, may cause drunken scene and ruin wedding.</a>:
    [QUOTE]  My older sister has had a lot of problems throughout her life with drugs, alcohol and has been in and out of rehab and psychiatric facilities throughout her life.  She is a BIG personality and, of course, sees herself playing a large part in my wedding, but I have been sick worrying that she will show up wasted, give an embarrassing toast or worse, just go off the deep end and get sick again.       I love my sister and I don't want to upset her, but with all of the terrible things she has done to me over the years, I dont really care to have her as a big part of the wedding (and showers, bachelorette parties, ec).       I know it sounds bratty but it kind of sucks bc I basically don't have a maid of honor since there's no way she can handle any "duties".     I know there's not much I can do, but all I want is for her to show up on the wedding day not wasted or pilled out and looking like a mess and sort of quietly enjoy the ceremony.  What can I do to diffuse the situation?  I need creative here- don't want to hurt her feelings or be the cause of another melt-down.      If anyone can relate or has dealt w a similar situation, I would really appreciate your advice.  Thanks!! 
    Posted by agebruno[/QUOTE]
    There are no duties for MOH/BM.  Their only duties are to show up in the dress.  Your MOH should be the person who is closest to you.

    I understand your concerns regarding your sister's issues.  If you don't want her to be MOH, don't ask her, but be aware that it might affect your relationship, especially if you've let her believe that she is your MOH.  You could also not have speeches at your reception if you're worried about it.  You can also ask your bartenders to keep an eye on her and make sure to cut her off if she has too much, since that's their job anyway.
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    bablingbrookebablingbrooke member
    5 Love Its Combo Breaker First Comment
    edited December 2011
    My sister was my MOH and got so wasted at the wedding she had to be escorted out.  I had no idea until three days later.  She will not ruin the wedding.  

    Focus on the big picture here: You are marrying FI.  I promise you that once you see him all your worries disappear.  At the reception you will be talking to 100 people, be pulled in 100 different directions, dancing, eating, cutting the cake, posing for photos, throwing the bouquet...you will not notice what, if anything, your sister does.  Get a grip.  Don't be melodramatic.  
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    lalap69lalap69 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    I was hoping you would make your way onto this thread to share your story, Brooke. :)
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    MarsarahMarsarah member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Is there anyone in your family that she really respects such as your parents, aunt, uncle, grandparents that can have a "stern" talk with her about how she should behave at your wedding? If all else fails, talk with her. Tell her your worries, then ask if she can promise you that she will be the big sister you need her to be at the wedding, and not the person who is going to be the embarassing side show.
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    lrn7804lrn7804 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    My sister doesn't have drug or alcohol problems but trust me has other problems I don't need to go into. So, since you can't control how she will show up for the wedding, I would say, do as I did. I appointed my best friend as my MOH and my sister as my MOH so that my sister felt important, but I know all the important things like the bridal party, ect would be taken care of by my best friend. Also, because my sister is nortiously very late for everything....I am having my girls sleep over the night before my wedding. I called it a "slumber party" as to not upset my sister. If I told her it was because she was always late, it would set her off the deep end. Good Luck! Kiss
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    edited December 2011
    My brother is the same way. I actually have made a decision when he attacked my mother that he isn't allowed at my wedding. My father is all sorts of pissed at me but I can't have him there if he will destroy my wedding. The mother of his children also put a restraining order out against him for his kids. I simply told him that his kids are in the wedding party and I am not changing that. I also didn't want him near my mom because of the abuse he put her through. Some times you really just have to tell the person how it is. They will fight you tooth and nail and you will hurt their feelings no matter what you do or say. That is hard. I feel sorry that my brother isn't going to be a part of my wedding but he needs to learn that their are consequesnces for his actions and not attending my wedding will be one of those consequences. I even had to go as far as to threaten him that if he shows up I will have him arrested and press charges. Your sister may be reformed. Maybe you could ask her to handle something you really don't care about just to see how she does. Ask her to be a bridesmaid instead of a MOH. I think she would be happy just being included.
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    cukimerrydollcukimerrydoll member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    You should see Rachel Getting Married.

    Forgive the ad at the beginning of the trailor.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wDDgSwEo1s
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    edited December 2011
    My younger sister is in much the same boat as your older sister. I made the mistake, in the euphoria of being newly-engaged and happy with the world, of inviting her to be a bridesmaid.Since then, she has continued with the destructive behavior that she is known to embrace, despite all my attempts to help or reason with her, and she has personally lashed out at me for nothing. I knew I had to un-invite her to be part of my BP, since she tends to do this when I least expect it. I can just see this happening on my wedding day. It was one of the hardest things I have had to do, and she claims she won't come now. That's a hard pill to swallow, but I came to the realization that I have dealt with her destructive behavior for so long, and I have been a victim of it even as I tried to help her too many times. This day is about my relationship with my FH, and whether she's in the audience as a witness or not won't really matter when it's all said and done. And chances are, she will show up anyway. So, I encourage you to tell your sister that you love her, you want her to be a witness to your loving relationship and the ceremony that seals your lives together, but that her past behavior does not leave you with enough confidence to give her a front-and-center role in your wedding. If she flips out, stay calm, but firm. Tell her you are sorry she feels that way, and you hope she changes her mind. Then drop it.
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    lindseroolindseroo member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    lrn I am probably doing the same thing!  I was my sister's MOH, but she is unreliable and we aren't even really friends.  I am having my best friend be my MOH and do everything that entails (that she volunteers to do of course, I'm not talking "MOH duties" here), and giving my sister the title of "matron of honor" so as not to ruin any relationship we do have.  Because while we're not friends, we don't hate each other either.
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    edited December 2011

    I had a similar problem but with my younger sister. Her =whole life she has had to be the center of attention and make everything about her. She even made a scene at our fathers memorial service! I wanted her daughter (my neice) as my flower girl since my nephew (also her son but m=our mom has custody) was the ring bearer. But her ex husband who has the daughter said not unless Jenn was there. So I asked a friend if I could use her daughter. When she found out, she emailed me saying that if her kids were in the wedding then she should be there to brag & boast about how cute they are and what a wonderful job they did. I simply told her that it was my place to boast about them not hers as it was my wedding and not hers.

    I just simply didn't invite her...period. It was bad enough that my FSIL's made the comment " But we're always the stars" at the rehearsal within earshot of my mom. She turned to them and said BUt Christine never has been & it's her wedding. The SIL's are fine, but they grew up performing in dance guard and such so it was a little tough for them to not be in the spotlight.

    My advice, Talk to her about your concerns and if that doesn't work tell her she can sit with your parents and watch. As for toasts, drinking and scenes afterward...have someone watch her and tell the bar to limit her to a certain amount of drinks so she can't get drunk.

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    edited December 2011
    In your post you indicated she is a "self-appointed MOH". As someone already married I understand that people make a lot of assumptions about weddings and their role. The first thing I'd do is talk to her about why she wants to be in your wedding. If she is truly recovering she might want the opportunity to be there for you now.

    If she doesn't have an answer or she simply doesn't want to be left out then your concerns are probably well founded. I am lucky enough to be close to a large group of girlfriends. Everyone couldn't be a bridesmaid. One of my friends was disappointed but did a beautiful reading at my wedding and came around. Another chose never to speak to me again. I am better off. The people who stand with you should be people you love, trust and who add to the experience.

    When you talk to your sister I suggest letting her know what you expect from your maid of honor. She might not want all the responsibility and would welcome the help of your friends. Good luck!

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    edited December 2011
    i have the same issue with my sister. she is sober now, but abused drugs and alcohol for years and really ripped our family apart. my other sister and my parents are now doing great, but things are still tense with my one sister. she hasn't spoken to my mom in over a year and i worry about her bringing drama to the wedding. not wanting there to be too much drama, though, i did ask her to be a bridesmaid. she's involved, but not the person who really needs to be there for me (my oldest sister is my MOH!)...

    it was a really difficult decision to have her be apart of the wedding, but i know that she is trying, and i am trying, to establish some kind of relationship after so many years of not wanting her in my life at all. i was so afraid that she wouldn't come through in getting her dress (her one "duty"), but she just ordered it last weekend (i only know because my dad called to tell me). she doesn't take direction very well and i was so afraid that if i asked if she'd bought it yet it would send her off the deep end (the littlest of things will make her flip out) but thankfully it didn't come to that.

    the best advice i can give is to take a deep breath about it and accept that you cannot control what she does the day of. since i've accepted that, i'm so much more calm about her participation because no matter what she does, i'm not going to allow it to affect my experience and my joy on that day. i know it's hard, but don't let her have the kind of control over you! just talk to your family about your concerns so if they see her getting out of hand, they can deal with it, not you. also make sure that you send her little hints about your expectations for the day, not pointed at her, but in general about everyone so she doesn't feel like you're attacking her. that's what i've done so far and it seems to be working. Best of Luck!!
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    edited December 2011
    I am sorry you are stressing over this in what is supposed to be such an exciting time. If I were you I would sit down and talk with your fiance about your worries and concerns. Decide together what approach you should take. I have a step-brother who does drugs, got drunk before his sisters wedding, was outside the reception smoking weed the entire time and then joked the next day about how he doesn't even remember the ceremony and he almost fell asleep at the altar. I noticed and therefore did not invite him to my wedding but his sister (the bride) did not notice.  Good Luck with whatever you decide!
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    felicia220felicia220 member
    First Anniversary First Comment
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_moms-maids_advice-handling-troubled-sister-self-appointed-moh-realistically-may-cause-drunken-scene-ruin-wedding?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special%20Topic%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:357Discussion:ece8946a-e3de-49a0-8f3f-dc19993bfbf8Post:4fd3fb4e-dbdf-443f-8c44-6f5a2d42bfa6">Re: Help! Advice for handling a troubled sister (and self-appointed MOH) who, realistically, may cause drunken scene and ruin wedding.</a>:
    [QUOTE]If you don't want her to be in the wedding then don't ask her to be in the wedding.  If you feel obligated to call her MOH anyway, then just ask somebody else to be co-MOH, and have that person give the toast.  If you're worried about her causing a drunken scene at your wedding, though, you're not really going to be able to prevent that whether she's in the WP or not.  You can ask the bartenders to keep an eye on her and cut her off if she's had too much.
    Posted by quotequeen[/QUOTE]

    <div>May be some of the best advice I have ever seen on TK.  Love the co-MOH thing!</div>
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    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_moms-maids_advice-handling-troubled-sister-self-appointed-moh-realistically-may-cause-drunken-scene-ruin-wedding?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special Topic Wedding BoardsForum:357Discussion:ece8946a-e3de-49a0-8f3f-dc19993bfbf8Post:f69e1121-82e5-48d5-9b37-11024c24487d">Re: Help! Advice for handling a troubled sister (and self-appointed MOH) who, realistically, may cause drunken scene and ruin wedding.</a>:
    [QUOTE]You should see Rachel Getting Married. Forgive the ad at the beginning of the trailor. <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wDDgSwEo1s" rel="nofollow">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wDDgSwEo1s</a>
    Posted by cukimerrydoll[/QUOTE]

    That movie is so right on about a similar situation. 

    I will say that the advice you've gotten so far sounds great, but I have alcoholics/addicts in my life, and I have accepted that I have absolutely no control over their drinking/drugging.  If they want to drink or get high, they will, regardless of what I would tell the bartender or what I could tell them.

    (On a non-wedding-related note, I'd recommend Al-Anon and the whole "detaching with love" approach.  <a href="http://www.al-anon.alateen.org/">http://www.al-anon.alateen.org/</a>  The book Codependent No More is good, too.)
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    KnibletKniblet member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Only YOU can ruin your wedding.  On that day, things WILL go wrong.  But you have to let a lot of it go.  Just smile and enjoy the day.

    And as someone else mentioned, the BP doesn't have a list of "duties".  (The wedding industry will tell you that they DO, but read around the Knot.  They don't.)

    If you love her and want her to be there, you can ask her to be your BM.  No one NEEDS a MOH...unless you are giving them chores.
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