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Etiquette

Including people in the wedding but not in the bridal party

So, I always read posts about how people are trying to include people in the wedding and want to make their kinda sorta friends or family guest book attendants, or ushers, or cake cutters, or whatever. I always think “oh that sucks for the person who gets asked!”  Well, I just got an email from my brother’s fiancé confirming that I will be an usher in their wedding next month, and hand out programs, and get people seated.  This is after I had just confirmed that I would help round up family and friends for pictures before the ceremony and during cocktail hour.  It’s going to likely be about 90 degrees or hotter, and the last thing I really want to do is hand out programs, help people find their seats, and then stand in the back for the ceremony.  C’est la vie! Obviously I can’t say no but thanks for letting me vent.

And if you are thinking of asking someone to be an usher to “include them”-think long and hard about if that person would really care if they were included or not.  If the answer is no, don’t give them a shit job to do (well really, don't give anyone a shit job to do).

MayDay513[Deleted User]RebeccaB88SuperMinty

Re: Including people in the wedding but not in the bridal party

  • You can say no, duh.   Frankly, every job I thought was a "shit job" I am paying someone to do or am removing it.  If I ask a family member to do something, it is because I think it is meaningful and important.   I'd rather have someone say "no" to me than be all grouchy about it.  
  • @SilverSarahB, I'm pretty sure that me venting on here is a lot different than being grouchy at their wedding about having to seat guests and hand out programs.  

    I think it would be a lot easier if my brother were the one telling me, rather than his FI who I've only met 3 or 4 times.  Unfortunately, it sounds like my brother already confirmed that I would do it, even though this is the first I'm hearing of it (or maybe my mom signed me up, who knows).
  • You're right, you're not grouchy at their wedding.  But you are being grouchy here, and that's kinda off-putting to me, which is why I mentioned it.  Like, I am asking an uncle to do a reading.  If he went online grouching around about not wanting to but he just couldn't say no, I'd be pretty hurt.  If you're just resigning yourself to do it anyway, then do it with a smile and some grace.  However, if you really don't want to do it, then just say so.  It's not all that difficult.  "Hey, brother, your fiancé made a remark about me being an usher.  I had been planning on attending as a guest, is that okay?"    
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    edited July 2013
    You can say no: "Brother, FSIL, I heard that you want me to do X at your wedding, but I'd prefer just to be a guest.  Please make other arrangements for ushering and handing out programs-and ask me before you have any other expectations of my 'helping out'  I don't appreciate being taken for granted."
    PrettyGirlLostBlue_Bird[Deleted User]
  • @SilverSarahB, I'm pretty sure that me venting on here is a lot different than being grouchy at their wedding about having to seat guests and hand out programs.  

    I think it would be a lot easier if my brother were the one telling me, rather than his FI who I've only met 3 or 4 times.  Unfortunately, it sounds like my brother already confirmed that I would do it, even though this is the first I'm hearing of it (or maybe my mom signed me up, who knows).
    Are you close with your brother? I'd give him a call to confirm and jokingly tell him he owes you a beer.

    Feel free to vent! Oh the things we put up with for our families!
     Daisypath Anniversary tickers
  • I hate that. I would be irritated. I would say no. I am ok with you venting online. :) It sounds like they didn't even ask which is bs. I think when the day comes you can do it with a joyful heart.  I agree about not giving people shit jobs. I similar thing happened to my DH.

  • You're right, you're not grouchy at their wedding.  But you are being grouchy here, and that's kinda off-putting to me, which is why I mentioned it.  Like, I am asking an uncle to do a reading.  If he went online grouching around about not wanting to but he just couldn't say no, I'd be pretty hurt.  If you're just resigning yourself to do it anyway, then do it with a smile and some grace.  However, if you really don't want to do it, then just say so.  It's not all that difficult.  "Hey, brother, your fiancé made a remark about me being an usher.  I had been planning on attending as a guest, is that okay?"   


    You're missing a pretty big difference here. A reading is including someone in the ceremony. Giving someone a CHORE is very different.
  • You're missing a pretty big difference here. A reading is including someone in the ceremony. Giving someone a CHORE is very different. 
    I could only compare with a job I am actually asking someone to do.  I guess the "chore" depends on what is really being asked for...I've had family members and family weddings be ushers and it was viewed as an honor.  I'm not having ushers, so I really don't know much about it.  But no matter what is being asked (handing out programs to holding a sign in a parade after some horses), the OP can always graciously decline.   I'm guessing that the OP's brother didn't sit around with his soon-to-be-wife saying "Hmmm, let's take this crap job and give it to my sister."   Most of the time, when a bride and groom are deciding involvement in the day, they don't think of any job as the "Crap job".  If they did, they probably wouldn't include it. 
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    You're missing a pretty big difference here. A reading is including someone in the ceremony. Giving someone a CHORE is very different. 
    I could only compare with a job I am actually asking someone to do.  I guess the "chore" depends on what is really being asked for...I've had family members and family weddings be ushers and it was viewed as an honor.  I'm not having ushers, so I really don't know much about it.  But no matter what is being asked (handing out programs to holding a sign in a parade after some horses), the OP can always graciously decline.   I'm guessing that the OP's brother didn't sit around with his soon-to-be-wife saying "Hmmm, let's take this crap job and give it to my sister."   Most of the time, when a bride and groom are deciding involvement in the day, they don't think of any job as the "Crap job".  If they did, they probably wouldn't include it. 
    In and of itself, being "included" is not an honor.  The only "jobs" that double as "honors" are bridesmaid, groomsman, ring bearer, flower girl, usher, or reader.  Sorry, but handing out programs, circulating the guest book, and monitoring any gift tables (and since gifts should be sent to the couple before or after the wedding, this shouldn't even be there) are not "honors."  These things are work that people who are asked to do them may never say that they don't feel honored to do, but don't make those who do them feel "honored" or "included."

    I think that this need to "include" everyone the couple is related to, living or dead, human or other animal, adult or infant, is a trend gone too far.
  • I never get the "They totally want to be included thing" either - especially in regard to adults. Really? Someone will be upset if you don't ask them to be free labor for the wedding? If I'm not a bridesmaid or reader, just let me relax and enjoy your wedding. That's being included enough.

    image
    Dreamergirl8812
  • I think people feel guilty when they don't include certain people in their WP. My cousin did this at her wedding. It was a destination wedding for me. I knew maybe ten people at the wedding, total (of 150 people). But she had me in charge of the guest book and gifts. It was awful. She called me a month before the wedding to bestow this "incredible honor" onto me. Ugh. I would have been so happy to sit back and enjoy the wedding on my vacation instead of taking care of the guest book and gifts.
  • I think there are those family members and friends that are deeply honored when they get to help. However, there are also those brides-to-be who think that the world revolves around their wedding, therefore if they ask you to work as a wedding slave you should be fricking grateful.

  • phiraphira Bahstin member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    You can totally say no. Even if you already said yes, you can call up your bro and say, "Hey, bro, I'm so sorry to do this, but I've had some time to think about it, and I'd rather just be a regular guest family member. I'm not sure I can stand so much in the hot weather! But thanks for thinking of me."

    Because honestly, you should have been ASKED to be an usher. Not TOLD you were one. If you're rude for backing out, they were rude for not actually asking in the first place.

    My partner and I have worked out (we think) the ways we're going to honor people at the wedding, but everything will be optional. There ARE some jobs we're going to ask people to do, but we will 1) be asking them, and 2) be paying them. For example, a friend of ours has indicated that she wouldn't mind being a day-of coordinator, so we are going to formally ask her, go through what we'll need, and offer to pay her for her time.

    She'd be the person who'd help people find seats, or find people for photographs during cocktail hour. It's not an honor--it's a job. Honors are things that aren't entirely necessary, and are largely symbolic (e.g. walking down the aisle).
    Anniversary
    now with ~* INCREASED SASSINESS *~
    image
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    edited July 2013
    You're right, you're not grouchy at their wedding.  But you are being grouchy here, and that's kinda off-putting to me, which is why I mentioned it.  Like, I am asking an uncle to do a reading.  If he went online grouching around about not wanting to but he just couldn't say no, I'd be pretty hurt.  If you're just resigning yourself to do it anyway, then do it with a smile and some grace.  However, if you really don't want to do it, then just say so.  It's not all that difficult.  "Hey, brother, your fiancé made a remark about me being an usher.  I had been planning on attending as a guest, is that okay?"    
    Better grouchy here/online than at the wedding itself, don't you think?    At least here people can safely blow off steam before it builds up to the point that they jeopardize important relationships and cause property damage or other very serious consequences.

    Sorry, but you're just not entitled to expect everyone to be smiley-faced all the time here, no matter how "off-putting" it seems to you.
    PrettyGirlLost
  • Look, I get it.  They asked me to be an usher because they were trying to be nice and include me.  But seriously, I am the last person in the world who would get offended by not being included in my bro's wedding, and I really think that if he'd thought about it, he would have known that.

    SilverSarahB, I really don't think that having to pass out programs and seat people and then stand in the back to make sure people know where to go (at this less than 90 person wedding) is the equivalent of doing a reading.  And I will say that I am offended by the fact that you're telling me to go do it with a smile and some grace as if I would do it any other way (seriously, we're all grown ups here, so telling me how to behave at someone's wedding is a little over the line IMO).

    @Liatris2010, you hit the nail on the head-they gave me something to feel included when they really didn't need to and I wish they would have just thought about what kind of person I am and if I'd actually be hurt by not being in the wedding (we see each other maybe once a year and aside from the very occasional text, don't really talk much, so being included is far from what I would expect).
    PrettyGirlLost
  • I don't understand the purpose of a guestbook attendant. Can someone explain this to me?
    Anniversary
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    I don't understand the purpose of a guestbook attendant. Can someone explain this to me?
    We don't either.
    NYCMercedes[Deleted User]PrettyGirlLostgrumbledore
  • All I can see is someone holding out a bunch of pens asking "Have you signed the guest book? You really should sign the guest book. Here we have pens."

    I had to do this once too (at a wedding I was a bridesmaid for), it was super lame!  And I felt really awkward telling people to sign the guestbook and like, shoving a pen in their hand.  But I did it "with a smile and some grace" since I'm betting SarahB was probably going to assume I was just a big grouchy bitch about it...
    Liatris2010RamonaFlowers
  • Gee I wish I had known that I needed a guest book attendant. Apparently the big poster board with pens and markers wasn't clue enough that you should sign it. Did all my guests sign it? No, but I love it just the same.

     

    Anniversary
  • @freebread03, why do you have to stand in the back?  I would never ask a specific guest to stand in the back at my wedding, never mind my sibling.  If you're not comfortable saying you've had a chance to think about it and aren't going to do it at all, why don't you tell your brother that you are happy to greet people and hand out programs, but you will be sitting with your SO/parents/family/etc. in the front during the ceremony.  

    polly212
  • invited to the wedding = included in the wedding

    (well, as long as you take up the invitation and attend).
  • I don't get the "guestbook" or "gift table" monitors either.  I think one of the best things I ever saw to illustrate was a BS job those things are was an episode of Sex and The City in the second season when that happened to Miranda.  

    Two words that come to mind about those two jobs/honors/inclusions...."Real. Dumb." and maybe even, "borderline offensive."  

    I agree with PP's, just call your bro and let him know that you appreciate that he and FI thought of you, but you'd prefer to just be a guest on that day.  As an aside, I know you mentioned that if your brother knew you, he'd know you didn't need that "honor" to feel included, but if you guys don't talk terribly frequently, maybe his FI convinced him that it was a good idea or said it 500 times and he just finally smiled and nodded  (trying to polyanna a bit right now, admittedly, but people do crazy things around weddings...)

  • arrippaarrippa Sam Adams Craft Commonwealth member
    Eighth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    I don't understand the purpose of a guestbook attendant. Can someone explain this to me?

    I was a guest book attendent twice :/

    The purpose is to make the bride feel better about not including the person in the wedding because no one (but the bride and my mother apparently) would ever think this is a good job. Everyone knows to sign the guestbook.


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