Wedding Party

The Nerve!

Hi everyone :D

So, I'm looking for a bit of advice on how to respond to an unhappy sister.

I've already chosen and asked my 3 best friends to be my attendants, I have no regrets to this desicion, it's the best one I can make.
I love my family and I think they are all wonderful. My 3 sisters are 9 to 19 years older then me, and while we have great laughs and tears together, they are not my best friends. We didn't grow up together and rarely talk except at family functions.
I got a call from one of them yesterday, saying how I should choose them as my attendants. OMG! What a horrible and awkward phone call that was! She is a very emotional person. Half way through her bullying tactics and sobbing, she says she only brought this up to tell me that she's OK with my decision. Yeah, right....I decided to pretend to believe her, so that we could just forget about it. Today I received this email...sorry it's so long. Maybe I'm now guilty of reading in to things, but it seems like she's still trying to guilt me about my decision, I don't think she's actually being supportive here.

Is it so wrong to want my closest people to me despite them not being my sisters?
It irks me a bit that she's making it seem that it's bad that I'm closer to girls outside my family.

I want to respond to her, letting her know that I'm upset that she feels so entitled and has put me in this very awkward position. Who tells the bride that they should be the bridesmaid?! But, I don't want to make this into a big family drama either. What should I say?

Thanks everyone :D

PS did I mention that her one and only attendant was not one of our sisters? Things that make you go 'hmmmm'

My Dearest Sister,

This is in regards to our phone conversation the other day about your wedding.  I felt sad for you after I thought about the whole thing.  To me, I wouldn’t expect this to be as hard of a decision or a pressured one at that.  I certainly didn’t want to do that... although I think I did.  No one in your family, including me, wants to put the pressure on you, that is not what we are here to do... in fact... you are lucky... you have a family that has been pretty supportive throughout your whole life. 
We are very lucky to have a family like we do... so many families are not nearly as close as we are... even if you don’t think we are that close...   Just think about it for a moment... Our parents have tried to keep our family close... We get together for holidays, birthdays, camping, vacations... etc.   We are there for each other through the good and bad times and always will.  We share all our news and get excited for one another... we cry with one another... we laugh at one another. 
Families love each other unconditionally, even when we don’t agree with each other’s decisions.  They have fond thoughts of one another as well as fights that happen.  But the thing is we forgive one another because we simply love each other.  We respect the others decisions even though we don’t understand or agree with them.  Families only wish the best for one another and have each others back.
I think you are closer to your family than you realize.  And for those who are not as lucky as you wish they could have a family like you have.
I know you love us too but to think that your relationship with anyone else would be more important than the relationship with your family is sad.  I really feel sad that you think this.  You may not talk to your family as much as your friends but I have to tell you... talking to each other is not the only thing that  is important... it is more than that.
We all are not perfect and we love each other anyways.  We have made our mistakes yet we always make amends because we care about one another.
Family will be there through the thick and thin and the best of times... Forever....
I am not writing this because of the wedding... It really has nothing to do with it.... I am writing this because I felt sad that you don’t think you have a relationship with your family that is stronger than the one with your friends.  I only wish you one day can see it differently.
I haven’t been as close to some of the family but... I have to say... I always keep them closer to my heart than my friends... because they are my family...
Your wedding is your day... It is a celebration of the beginning of your own family as well as an extension of the one you already have.  We are all happy for you both...  You will have all the love and support from your family.  I hope you know that.
You have always had a special place in my heart and always will.
 
Love you... very very much,
Your Sister, ;)

Re: The Nerve!

  • When I was married, amost 33 years ago, I had four dear friends (2 from college, 2 from work) and my sister in my WP.  The two from college were by bffs, and the 2 from work I saw and spoke to EVERY day.  My sister?  Well, I didn't see her so much, and didn't talk to her so much, but I felt like she should be in the WP.

    Going through life, 33 years later, I only talk with one of my WP.  Want to guess who?  Yep.  My sister.

    Friendships naturally ebb and flow.  But I agree with your sister.  Who are you going to see at Christmas dinner?  Who's going to be the aunts of your children?  Who's going to be planning your dad's 90th birthday party with you, like my sister and I are doing right now.

    Look, I can't tell you what to do and I'm not going to try other than to say that the last thing you should do is shoot your sister a snotty,  defensive email.  That's not going to help anything.

    You have well over a year until your wedding.  You would have been better off to have waited until after Christmas to choose any member of your WP.  But apparently that ship has left the dock.  And it's too bad.

    If it were me, I'd weigh a family that appears to be pretty supportive and functional against a 5 hour party.  But then, our DIL had both of our DD's in her WP, and our DD had her sister as MOH and her SIL as a BM in her WP.  And all of our girls:  our 2 DD's and our DIL have a great relationship.

    Good luck to you.  I hope you figure this out.
    "Trix, it's what they/our parents wanted. Why so judgemental? And why is your wedding date over a year and a half ago? And why do you not have a groom's name? And why have you posted over 12,000 posts? And why do you always say mean things to brides?" palegirl146
  • WTF? Alright, I can get that your sister's hurt but her letter is to me very unnecessary. Yes, you should have REALLY thought about your choice of excluding your sisters and the phone call should be expected but her to dwell on this and actually send an email is childish. 

    Obviously, she definitely IS trying to bring more guilt to you and to me, I would respond by saying "Sister, like I said before on the phone. I chose my WP, I'm sorry you feel hurt and excluded. I still love you a lot but please respect my decision and let's put this passed us and move on." Then if she brings it up either A.) ignore it or B.) change the subject. You don't need to really defend yourself anymore, but do not engage the situation further by telling her that she thinks she is entitled that will only cause trouble. 
  • edited April 2011
    Thanks Trix for your feedback! You are right, the ship has sailed on going back on what I've decided, even if I wanted to. The three girls I've chosen are right for me at this moment and as far as I can see in the future. You are right, I may change my mind a few years down the road, but I'm not going to now. I'm not that close with my sisters, not to say I don't love them. We don't call each other, and we didn't grow up together. I don't think I should choose them out of obligation. Also, choosing one of them is not an option. One of my sisters already tried that, and pissed off this same sister...
  • You're right Autumn. I guess since she got to release her emotions on me, I'd like to not have to suck it all in, but for the greater good, I suppose I will. I honestly didn't even think any of them would be expecting it.
  • It's hard for me to answer this b/c I don't have a sister or a brother for that matter--I'm an only child. I've never gotten to experience the relationship of siblings and I envy those who have. I had an awesome life and I love my parents dearly. But that is one relationship I wish I could experience. None of us can tell you what to do and the decision was made. But from here on out, I'd try to think of what your sister(s) might be feeling and try to be sympathetic. At the very least, don't shoot off an e-mail (not that you were going to). Can you ask your sisters to be readers at your wedding? If you want to honor them without having them in the WP, that might be a way.


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  • strlzfan11strlzfan11 member
    First Anniversary First Comment Combo Breaker
    edited April 2011

    As a sister who's been shafted from being in the WP (it's an unspoken rule in our family that siblings be in the WP) only to have the bride turn around and ask later, it's really off-putting.  My other sister & I felt like after-thoughts and it did nothing to help us forge a better relationship with the bride.

    I can understand your sister's hurt feelings, but I don't see how asking her to be in your wedding now or even down the road will make things better.  Asking them to do a reading or sing a song (if they have musical talents) may help them feel included. 

    Is it possible that she is having regrets about the way she did things when she got married?  Maybe she realizes that she made a mistake when she didn't ask her sisters to participate in the ceremony.

    You have to do what's right for you, but if I were you I would take her message to heart.  It appears that she's extending the olive branch to you in hopes that you'll be able to form a closer relationship.  Maybe you should try to meet her halfway.  I'm not saying you need to ask her (or your other sisters) to be in the WP, but I do think that you need to think long and hard about what kind of relationship you want to have with them.  If you want to feel like sisters then you need to do your part to make that happen.

  • blush64blush64 member
    First Anniversary First Comment
    edited April 2011

    EDIT:Since I don't know your sister I don't know how real her feelings are and if she is just stirring trouble so I can only answer from my life experience. I am sorry if I am way off the mark here.

    I think she sounds genuinely hurt. The letter does sound a little drama-queenish but it could be real.  I mean maybe at first she was being childish because no one should try to tell you who to have in your wedding party even if they are your sister. She should have kept her mouth shut on that or brought it up in a more mature manner.

    For you to say that you are closer to your friends than your sisters might make her feel as though you are saying you love them more than your sisters. Perhaps immature of her but sometimes we can't help our feelings.

    Maybe she felt you were closer than you were and to have it put to her face that you don't feel as close, maybe that was upsetting to her.

    I am not saying she's right, and I am not saying she isn't overly dramatic but maybe she isn't trying to manipulate you as much as she is actually hurt.

    I don't know either of you but there might be a chance she thought she meant more to you than you made her feel.

    If possible maybe you could ask her to do a reading or take part in some way.(as mentioned by PP)

    If she is the type to just complain over everything and cry over everything, then I suppose just try to ignore it.

    EDIT: I have a huge family and I do not see each and every member daily or monthly but I feel I am close to all of them. I have friends that I talk to everyday and who know more secrets about me than most of my family BUT I would never say I am closer to them. Friendships can come and go as we change or move but your famly is (usually) there for you forever. I can go without speaking to my cousin for 6 months if we are busy but if I need her for anything at all she would be there for me in a heartbeat. (and I would be there for her, and have been) It's just a family thing.

  • I don't think there's anything wrong with your choice!  I have had lots of friends who did not include sisters in their WP, and everyone survived. : ) 

    It's a totally valid point that the friends you chose might not be in your life years from now, but they're who are here right now as you are choosing to take this next step in life.  I know everyone chooses their wedding party for different reasons, but I've always been an advocate of choosing people who a part of your life with your FI, and I'm guessing that if you're not very close with your sisters, then it's probably not the case for them. 

    As for responding, I would take a day or two, so you can make sure it's a completely calm response. : )  Since she claims it's not about the wedding (which I don't believe for a second, but let's roll with it), maybe don't mention a think about the wedding or the WP and just respond to the rest of it and say that you completely agree that you're all very lucky to have each other, and you appreciate all of them and their support, etc. etc. and just leave it at that. Good luck!
  • Saric, you make a very good point! I think maybe she's sad that we're not as close as the ideal family...plus the added emotion that she's moving away from us in the next month. I didn't think of that being a reason of why she's all of a sudden so emotional about our relationship. She's always been known to be our family drama queen. I like the idea of responding to her by agreeing with her that we indeed have a good family and leave it at that. I should be able to choose whom ever I want without having anyone being rude about it. If I worried about everyone who thought would be in my wedding party, I'd go broke. This is obviously about her feelings of regret of our relationship not being as close as she'd like, than the actual WP. This perhaps, along with her moving away was a trigger, and she's just taking it out on me. Thank you everyone for your input. It's nice to hear everyone's opinions, even if they're slightly different then mine.
  • graysquirrelgraysquirrel member
    5 Love Its Combo Breaker First Comment
    edited April 2011
    I understand that your sister feels hurt, but I also think that she is being incredibly rude and is, in turn, being hurtful to you by keeping this going. If she is that much older than you, she should be adult enough to accept your decisions gracefully.

    You have the right to select whomever you wish to be in your WP. If you do not want your sisters in it, then that is just fine. Usually when someone tries to barge into a WP, that person is said to be committing a faux pas. I don't see how this is any different just because she is a relative.

    I would wait a few days to cool down and then thank her for her love and support without mentioning the wedding. Tell her that you are glad that she wants to be part of your life. If your sister is genuine about being closer with you, then she will continue to keep communication going and reply back to you. If she is just doing this because she is having a temper tantrum, then you will know it. If down the road you do feel like you want to include her, she should be honored to be a reader, usher, etc.
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  • I also decided not to have my sisters or my FI's sisters in the wedding.  ( I have 2 sisters and my fiance has 4)  I have a goup of friends who I spend all my time with and I wanted them to be in the bridal party.  I think it sucks your sister is putting you through a guilt trip.

    Hopefully it will all blow over. good luck!
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  • I have friends who think "family is everything," and they can't imagine not including them in every aspect of their lives. As a result, they often don't get that I don't subscribe to that way of living. I agree with Retread's comment that "DNA is not a ticket to the WP" (or anything else, really). My fiance and I have siblings that are not in the wedding party, and we are not giving it a second thought. Standing up with us will be the people who are in our lives daily and who are in our lives by choice, not the people who are there by chance.
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  • The part that got me about your sister's email is that she "felt sad that you don’t think you have a relationship with your family that is stronger than the one with your friends."

    I love my sisters, but I didn't ask them to be in my WP (one of my sisters actually thanked me when I told her who I was asking, becuas she has two young kids and may be pregnant again by October). I asked my friends, all of whom I've known for over ten years. All 3 of us (sisters) weren't asked to be in my brother's wedding and no one was offended. Both of my sisters and SIL have offered to help with the wedding in their own way - which I am so appreciative of because we are extremely close & I am happy they'll be attending and involved. I didn't ask my friends because I'm not close to my sisters, that's ridiculous.

    I get that she's hurt, but she has no right to be mad at you. She needs to get over it and stop trying to make you feel guilty and trying to change your mind.
  • I obviously don't know your sister so I have no background of how she handles things or how genuine she is but I really do think she sounded hurt, and i can believe her that that letter wasn't really about the wedding party at all - it was about you not feeling close to her and telling her that.  I read the letter as her trying to say she was hurt because she loves you and cherishes you as a sister and maybe handeled it the wrong way.  Kinda of like the action of not choosing her made a larger issue in her mind come about.  Again, i don't know her but thats how I read and understood it.

    I understand what she was trying to say, my sister is 10 years older than me.  We only lived together for the first 4 or so years of my life and she lives on the opposite side of the country now.  We are very different people in generl and always at very different points in our lives yet I never thought twice of asking her to be in my wedding party because I looked at it as I only asked the people who I knew without a doubt would be there for me and for my future family I am starting with the wedding forever.  I have mostly family for that reason even though I have many friends right now who I def. see more and talk to more.  My fiance feels like you do though.  He thought it was more important to have his friends and I kind of had to force him to ask his brother and my two brothers, because it was really important to me tht they were all up there even though my brothers are 13 yrs. and 9 yrs. older than me also.  I also have one of his friends as a bridesmaid.  So this is long but all I was trying to say is I understand (I think) where your sister was coming from or trying to come from and I really don't think she was trying to pressure you with that email I think she was trying to say I love you, I will be there for you no matter what, always, for the rest of your life, even though we are different and don't talk all the time.  Just my opinion obvi though. 
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  • I can see Trix's point. When I was married 33 years ago, I had my cousin, my sil, my husband's cousin and my 2 very best, closest friends in my wedding party. I wouldn't have believed that I would have lost touch with those 2 friends, but gradually through the years, that's what happened. We cousins are cemented together by family events, that have kept us close. My dear sil passed away a few years ago, but we had grown to love each other very much.

    DM- I'm not saying you are wrong in your choice, just offering a different perspective. I see that your sister didn't ask any of you to be in her wedding party,  but maybe she regrets that decision. I hope you won't answer her in anger. Once you put something in writing, it's very hard to make it go away. Think about it for a few days before you answer her email.

    Best wishes.



                       
  • She has NO right to expect to be in your wedding party if you weren't in hers. NONE! that emailed is so loaded and obnoxious. i would try to give her and yourself some time to cool off. then, you could think about incorporating her in the wedding in another way.
  • Well, I thought I sent a good email, and it blew up :( I told her that I saw how she was hurt by not being chosen, and I apologized. I did however, say that I don't think it's a bad thing that my best friends are outside our family. I did say that I didn't see how her reactions were being supportive. She responded with 'Fine' and continued on by saying she won't be attending my engagement party next week with her family. She will leave me alone and not email me or call me, until I have a minute for our relationship. C'est la vie. It does confirm that my not choosing her is for the best. I won't be needing any of that drama. I'm sad it ended that way. Hopefully it will blow over. I was upset before on he way she chose to tell me she was hurt, and it has now escalated. I really can't believe someone would react so badly to not being a bridesmaid. Thank you everyone for responding though! I tried ;)
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_wedding-party_nerve?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:37Discussion:bd61504e-5bcd-4516-a1cd-bed5f9987213Post:954add06-4bf9-40c1-8277-e0d05abd0320">Re: The Nerve!</a>:
    [QUOTE]Well, I thought I sent a good email, and it blew up :( I told her that I saw how she was hurt by not being chosen, and I apologized. I did however,<strong> say that I don't think it's a bad thing that my best friends are outside our family. I did say that I didn't see how her reactions were being supportive.</strong> She responded with 'Fine' and continued on by saying she won't be attending my engagement party next week with her family. She will leave me alone and not email me or call me, until I have a minute for our relationship. C'est la vie. It does confirm that my not choosing her is for the best. I won't be needing any of that drama. I'm sad it ended that way. Hopefully it will blow over. I was upset before on he way she chose to tell me she was hurt, and it has now escalated. I really can't believe someone would react so badly to not being a bridesmaid. Thank you everyone for responding though! I tried ;)
    Posted by DM&dc[/QUOTE]<div>
    </div><div>I wouldn't have explain how your friends right now are closer than your family and I wouldn't have called out her actions, a simple "I'm sorry you are hurt. Please respect my choices of the WP. Let's do something sometime to hang and strengthen our relationship." I'm not surprised that she immediately went into defensive mode and is shutting you out now. She sounds like a teenager that still hasn't grown up to be an adult that can think rationally and let things go if it doesn't go their way.</div><div>
    </div><div> Let her cool off for a while, she sounds like she is someone to hold this against you for a while but hopefully she will wise up one day and realize that her actions were inappropriate. Weddings do tend to bring out the craziess in many people, not just the Bride. 

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