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Family trying to control my wedding party

So my fiance has a sister that is 19 almost 20, and a little sister who is 9. His mother was upset because I don't want to have any jr. bridesmaids, but there is no changing that so she has gotten over it. Now since me and my fiance were talking to our coordinator (who happens to be in his family) we were telling her about who was in our wedding party. His mother got really upset because we said his 19 year old sister isn't going to be in the wedding. She said it's not right, it's "proper etiquette", and there shouldn't even be another option... blah blah blah. My fiance told her that we both picked who we wanted on our sides and I picked the people who are closest to me, and me and his sister have probably only held 5 maybe 6 conversations over the 4 and a half years me and him have been together. So obviously I don't feel close to her. So his sister decides that she wants to bring this up at his 9 year old sisters birthday party and his grandmother starts yelling at me and my fiance about how wrong it is... He told her that she couldn't be a bridesmaid but she could do something else. She said no, I stopped being a hostess a long time ago so I'm not doing that. Who the heck told her that she could pick what she wants to be in *our* wedding!!! I'm not sure how I'm supposed to deal with this. Now when I'm around his sister she won't even say hi to me. And his mother is not acting the same either. I don't want to put her in my wedding party but I don't know what to do!

Re: Family trying to control my wedding party

  • What about having your FI ask her to stand up on HIS side?Weddings and opinions are like....feet.  Everyone has at least two!Yes, ideally you pick your side and he picks his.  If only life was that easy.  Unfortunately now that you're blending two families, you're going to get tons of opinions.  What you do or don't do can be the subject of CONSTANT discussion for years - long after the wedding cake and top tier are consumed.Think about it and decide if it's worth it.  For some brides and grooms, having family in the wedding is more trouble than it's worth.  For others, it's just adding one more person who may not be the most 'into' being a BM or GM but it pacifies the people involved and can make the entire planning process MUCH better.Decide if it's worth it.  Remember, sides don't need to be even and sometimes asking the person can be a great gesture in mending fences.
  • I can see why they'd be hurt. Being in a wedding can be a big thing for a young girl and they probably had some expectation that they'd be a part of it. That being said, you are right. Who is in your BP is your choice to make. I would just sit down with them and explain to them that while you love them, you selected others. Have a heart to heart conversation about it. Do you have any other roles that they could play that might make them feel honored?
  • Our plan was to ask her to write a poem and be a reader, but his mother said she's not going to do it unless she's a bridesmaid! WHAT! Well I guess she won't be a reader. I thought that was a very special thing to do, actually more than a bridesmaid because you're actually writing something special for us and speaking, the rest of the bridesmaids aren't doing that. And he said he is not about to have her as a groomswoman, he doesn't want to at all.
  • First off, your wedding isn't until 2011. You shouldn't even be picking a bridal party at this point. By doing it this far in advance, you've now gotten yourself stuck in 20 months of this feud. Take it as a lesson learned not to jump the gun next time. That being said - you and FI are entitled to pick your own bridal party. But like PPs said, you should also decide if it's worth it to you to exclude the future sisters-in-law if it means a fight with them and your future mother-in-law. Some families consider it customary to include the siblings ... I know my mother would've been very upset had we excluded my brother and sister, but then again the three of us are close so it wasn't an issue to begin with. Other families are fine with you leaving out siblings that you're not close to ... obviously your FI's family is not one of them. Your FMIL should ideally be arguing with your FI over this, since they're HIS sisters and ultimately it's HIS decision as to whether or not they're in the bridal party. If he's agreeing with you not to include them as his own attendants, then he should be standing up to his mother and telling her to butt out and to leave you out of it. If your FI is letting his mother and sisters yell at YOU because of all this, then that isn't right and I would really rethink your relationship if he's going to let them do this to you. If you want your older FSIL to do a reading, talk to HER about it. Not your FMIL. It is not FMIL's decision as to whether her older daughter is a bridesmaid or nothing. At 19, your FSIL is old enough to make that decision without her mommy. You'll unfortunately need to deal with FMIL regarding the 9 year-old, but if you want to deal with the teenage sister then deal with her as an adult and not through FMIL.
  • Sorry - you can pick your wedding party whenever you want to. I already know who I'm close to, so I have already picked them. And my wedding is in a year and a half, trust me that's not to soon to do anything. And like I already said, he told them that she is not going to be in the wedding party. So I really don't need you to give me advice on how my relationship is thanks.
  • LBecker, pp is correct that it's advised not to pick the WP too early. Of COURSE you know to whom you're close today. The issue is that brides often come on here stating that they asked someone to be a BM when the engagement was new but as the wedding drew closer, the friendship drifted. Once you ask a BM you can't remove one - just food for thought. Also, know that this is an open forum and anyone can post. You don't have to like the advice but being rude to those giving it is not appropriate. As for the WP, would having her stand on your side really be so bad?
  • Ummm...OP, if you've already decided who's going to be in the wedding party and your FI has already confirmed that his sisters will not be in it, what exactly were you looking for people to say?  You asked how you're supposed to deal with the situation and that you don't know what to do.  I think it's perfectly reasonable for posters to comment on your relationship with your family and friends since you were supposedly debating on who to add to your WP.  I didn't even write the reply you're referring to and was a little taken aback by your response.
  • Okay, well that is other's choices on when they pick their WP but I picked mines already, so there is no point at debating that is all I'm saying. My WP consists of 2 of my best friends since we were 12 and my aunt, so friendships drifting is not what I'm worried about. And I said that my fiance said something when his family had something to say and mbc or whatever said that I need to evaluate my relationship with him - that is why I said I don't need them to comment on my relationship because that has nothing to do with the advice I asked for. I said I don't know what to do in this situation, which is why I posted this, because I'm not sure how I'm supposed to handle the situation.
  • This is the point that Mbc is trying to make ( I think) : You and your FI will be husband and wife. That's a team effort. The time to things as a team is now as you two plan the wedding as an engaged couple. If you two are very much together on your WP decision ( and you need to be), then the arguments and insults made by FMIL and FSIL to you are towards your FI as well. He needs to stand up for your mutually agreed upon decision to his family and let them know that what they say to you isn't appropriate and it's as insulting to him as it is to you. If he doesn't stand up for you and the decions that you two made together then that's an issue you have with him and will continue to have with him long after you two are married.
  • He does stand up for the decision that we made, but that doesn't stop them from having something to say. His mother is very opinionated and she just won't let it go. She has called every night since last Thursday talking about the situation and besides telling her that his sister is not going to be a bridesmaid, we don't know what more it is we can do.
  • And he said he is not about to have her as a groomswoman, he doesn't want to at all.Well, then that's decided. You aren't close to her, so they can't dictate to you who will stand on your side. HE doesn't want her on HIS side, which is really the issue, and has nothing to do with you.However, your FMIL is really enabling FSIL's behavior, which is bad news. Just tell her you won't discuss it anymore, they should talk to FI if they want to know the reasons.
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  • I understand that anyone can post and I don't have to agree with what they say, but if they're not giving advice on what I asked for advice on, then what is the point of commenting on the topic? That's all I'm saying. I'm not going to go on anyone else's post and say something that has nothing to do with what they asked, that's not helpful, it's pointless. All I asked for is what we should do about his family, not about our relationship. And what people advise you to do for your wedding isn't needed if it wasn't asked for. I've already decided because I know who my friends are so that's just the bottom line. Other people are free to do as they want just as I am. I'm not trying to be rude, just stating my case. And thank you for the advice. The problem is she won't change the subject, she'll just continue talking about it and I'll sit there not responding and her and my FI will have a big argument about it. So he and myself don't want to be disrespectful to her and play her game but it doesn't seem there are any other options...
  • Then he needs to tell her that the matter isn't open for discussion. The bean dip bean dip bean dip.
  • Oh, his sister is mad to. She knows how his mother and grandmother are so she just keeps talking to them about it so they will call and say something. When he said we we're going to ask her to do something else she said she is to old to be a hostess and she is not doing that. That wasn't even what we were going to ask her to do, but her problem is she automatically assumed that she was going to be a bridesmaid just because it's her brother's wedding.
  • And if she won't stop after repeated attempts at bean dipping then he needs to end the conversation. "Mom, this matter gas already been discussed and decided and I can't talk to you if you insist on being like this. ".
  • Are you absolutely sure that you can't have her in the wedding as a bridesmaid? If it were me, this would be more trouble than it's worth. I'm a believer in picking your battles and this is not one that I would pick. I wouldn't want to deal with this for 2 years.
  • Honestly, from how you're making it sound, it's way easier at this point to just say she can be a BM. I'm not sure if part of the "non-negotiable" aspect is a matter of symmetrical sides or what, but really, you're not going to hear the end of this unless you add her, I can already tell, this WILL come up at every single birthday/Christmas/reunion etc, that his family hosts for the rest of your lives. And every time, it will pretty much boil down to " ... and lbecker410 wouldn't even ask 20-year-old sister to be a BM in her own brother's wedding". You do not want to deal with this, especially if FI has an otherwise good relationship with his family, because it will probably end up putting a strain on the marriage.Look at it this way: while you're up on the altar, exchanging vows and all that lovely stuff, you're not even going to be able to SEE your BMs. You won't. They will be behind you. So if you really can't think of any other reason to suck it up: you won't even have to look at her that day.I know that's coming off as a tad bitter, but truth be told, I've only been watching this thread for the past 1/2 hour listening to this saga, and all I can think "God, I'm ready to ask this girl to be in MY wedding just to get his family to shut up".

    If you fire a WP member, you're against America.

    "Meg cracks me up on the regular. Now she gets to do it in two different forums. Yay!!" ~mkrupar
  • I decided that I was going to have a total of 5 bridesmaids but I haven't picked the other two yet because people's situations change. I just said I don't want her in the wedding party because I don't talk to her unless we're at a family function and most of the time then it's just a hey. And now after all this drama, if I tell her, oh well I do want you to be a bridesmaid it's still going to be the same way because they're going to say I only did it because everybody was mad that I didn't do it in the first place. I feel like there is no way to win! He told his mom that if I decide to put her in the WP than that's my decision and we would let her know and she said, well don't do it because we tell you to do it, do it because you want to. Even though she keeps saying how wrong it is to not have her in the WP. I just want to tell her to mind her own freaking business because I'm tired of hearing it.
  • So you still have 2 spots that you need to fill? If it were me, I would try to establish a relationship with her and then ask her to be in the BP. It's just not worth having all of this family drama.
  • I wouldn't let her in. Yes, it may help, but if SIL is acting like a brat now about this, does anyone honestly think that she'll be a cooperative bm? And by cooperative, I simply mean having conversations about dresses and the etcs, or will she have Mommy and G'ma voice disenting opinions? You said that you two aren't close, which is fine. But if your FI really was close to her, or cared about all this drama, he'd just stick her on his side regardless of his adversion to groomwomen. Sadly, until this fire burns itself out, you're going to have to have FI field all calls, questions and concerns about this. As you said, they're the ones acting badly. It's on them. You did nothing wrong.
  • Do your inlaws know that you want 5 BMs and only have 3 picked out? If they do, I'm willing to be that a LOT of their behavior can be attributed to this: You basically have 2 "open" spots, and yet you won't ask you FSIL to be in it, even though there's technically a "space" that she could easily be in.

    If you fire a WP member, you're against America.

    "Meg cracks me up on the regular. Now she gets to do it in two different forums. Yay!!" ~mkrupar
  • Yeah, good luck with this situation.  I agree with some pp that at this point, I wouldn't cave.  I think you're right that letting her be a BM wouldn't necessarily help the situation.  There's always the possibility that it may, but I think it more likely that making her a BM now would just make things very awkward.  Stand firm with your decision, and definitely make sure everyone's aware that this is your FI's decision as well.
  • It looks like you are in a no win situation.Letting her be a bridesmaid isn't an option for you. They get mad at your. You lose.Even if you do let her have one of your two precious spots as a bridesmaid, she will, as you pointed out, know that you only asked her because you felt you had to. She will remain mad at you. You lose.Your FMIL will not hear of her standing on your FI's side. Not an option. The fighting remains. You lose.Her family wont hear of her playing some other part in the wedding. The arguing continues. You lose.There is absolutely, positively no way for you to stop the fighting unless you relent and let her be a bridesmaid. And, as we both know.... (and as I pointed out) she will know you are only relenting because you felt you had to. Again, you lose.You have only two options. Tell them to knock it off.. or you have to suck it up.My advice, as unwanted as it probably is... get to know her. So far the only reason you have given for not allowing her into one of your precious two remaining spots is that you don;t know her. Get to know her. You might end up really liking her and truly wanting her to be in your party. You've asked our opinions on how to deal with the family and you have shot down everything we have said...If changing the subject is really not an option for you or flat out telling them that her being a bridesmaid is not going to happen, then you really need to decide now what is most important to you. ...Your perfect bridal party sides with exactly 5 people on each side....Or your new family. Those are your options. If you dont' want to lose, I think you need to admit to yourself you already have submitted yourself to defeat. You want advice on how to deal with your future family? Either continue ignoring their pleas for a bridesmaid spot or just suck it up and get to know your FSIL.
  • This is your FI family he should stand up and say the truth that he made the choice not to have them in the WP because if he had wanted them in the WP they would be groomsmaids
  • I am with you on this one. I don't think you are any where in the wrong. They are the ones that are mantipulative. I think the last comment you posted is exactly what you should say. Stand strong both of you and do not let them draw you into all the crap. Good luck girl. You are doing the right thing.
  • I'm sorry, what does me being 21 have anything to do with this??? I seriously think it's insulting for you to say for as long as we're married, like we're going to get divorced...
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