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Etiquette

Do we have to include FSIL's boyfriend in family photos?

arels483arels483 member
First Comment
edited February 2014 in Etiquette
We have only met FI's sister's boyfriend one time. I don't want to be rude and I really don't want to upset FI's sister, but I don't want to include this guy in our wedding photos. He was not included when FI's oldest sister got married in September, but nobody in the family had met him at that time. I don't know him well at all, and I do not know that he will become family down the line. My brother's girlfriend will be included, but she is one of my bridesmaids and she and my brother will be getting engaged very soon. I don't think that the boyfriend would be offended-- he wasn't upset at all about FI's oldest sister's wedding. I am a little concerned that FI's sister will throw a fit, she tends to cause tension within FI's family. So, the question, is there a delicate way to approach this before the wedding?

Thank you in advance!
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Re: Do we have to include FSIL's boyfriend in family photos?

  • edited February 2014
    My answer after reading just your subject line: Yes

    My answer after reading the whole post: Yes. She deserves to throw a fit if her significant other isn't invited. You're asking your nearest and dearest to be a part of your celebration of love, they should be able to do that with the person they love, too. How serious they are now or may become down the road isn't yours to judge. You have to invite him or you run the risk of royally pissing her off (as you would most people, myself included)

    Edited to address: he doesn't have to be in official family photos. If you're seriously that picky about the candids that your photographer takes throughout the event, then that's another issue. Seriously OP, the less you try to micro-manage your wedding the happier you'll find yourself through the planning process. Please do the right thing and invite him.
    Amyzen83
  • Fran1985 Fran1985 Narnia member
    Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 500 Comments Name Dropper
    Are you talking about the photos or inviting him? For photos just do different combinations- ie one with all the girls, with your parents, with Fi parents, etc. You will have plenty without him in it. As for inviting him yes, you absolutely have to invite him. It doesn't matter at all that you "don't see him" joining the family in the future.

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    doeydoMarzipan13
  • misshart00misshart00 Oklahoma member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    arels483 said:
    We have only met FI's sister's boyfriend one time. I don't want to be rude and I really don't want to upset FI's sister, but I don't want to include this guy in our wedding photos. He was not included when FI's oldest sister got married in September, but nobody in the family had met him at that time. I don't know him well at all, and I do not know that he will become family down the line. My brother's girlfriend will be included, but she is one of my bridesmaids and she and my brother will be getting engaged very soon. I don't think that the boyfriend would be offended-- he wasn't upset at all about FI's oldest sister's wedding. I am a little concerned that FI's sister will throw a fit, she tends to cause tension within FI's family. So, the question, is there a delicate way to approach this before the wedding?

    Thank you in advance!

    I also wanted to say that the only photos we have on our walls are of the two of us. No giant family photos.
  • Sorry, I should have been a little more specific. I more was wondering if he should be included in family pictures. I totally understand that he needs to be invited-- I turned down a wedding invitation for one of my college roommates because they did not invite my fiance. FI's sister changes boyfriends pretty frequently, which is why I am not sure.
  • Inviting him to your wedding and including him in family photos are two entirely different things! Yes you need to invite him for your fsil sake but no he doesn't need to be in your family photos
    Jen4948
  • Yes you have to invite your FSIL's boyfriend.  It's rude to not invite SO's.  She and he probably won't be offended or surprised that he's not in any posed, formal pics.
  • Yes you should invite him. If he's been around since at least September and they are dating when you send your invites out, then he's not just a plus-one. As for pictures, take some with him in (even if it's just a couple) and some with him not in. Both DH and I have sisters who were "only" dating someone when we got married. Two-plus years later, both guys are still here and one will become a BIL this July. I'm glad we included both of them in the official pics.
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  • arels483arels483 member
    First Comment
    edited February 2014
    I will invite him, for sure. He has already received a save the date. My question pertains only to family pictures. It is sooo rude not to invite an SO like that. I would never do that! 
  • doeydodoeydo Southwestern Ontario member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    I wouldn't bring up the subject or try to break it to her that her BF won't be in the pictures.  Just don't invite him over to take pictures if you don't want him in them.
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  • pinkshorts27pinkshorts27 Oregon member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Anniversary First Answer
    phira said:
    My photographer had an opinion about this, and I found it really interesting (and helpful).

    Before talking with our photographer, I was on the fence about including significant others. I felt weird that my mom's boyfriend of 7 years was in family photos at my brother's wedding, or family photos at my uncle's wedding two weeks later (my mom broke up with her boyfriend about a week after my uncle's wedding). My mom also used to talk disparagingly about how so many of her wedding photos included her former brother-in-law's girlfriend because my grandparents had INSISTED that she was part of the family, and then they broke up soon after. Now there was this RANDOM girl in the family photos.

    I agreed with my mom and felt weird that her boyfriend was in our formal family photos, but still felt a bit weird because, well, where do you draw the line? People get divorced; you can't really draw the line at marriage. And it's the opposite in my partner's family: looking at photos of past weddings, boyfriends and girlfriends are present. I know from experience that if you're in a serious relationship, you're treated as a family member.

    My photographer touched on the subject when we were meeting with her. We were discussing the style of photography we wanted, and the kinds of photos we wanted. We definitely want family formals and posed shots of us alone and us and the wedding party. But we don't want lots of cute Pinterest-worthy photos; we really want to document the day so we can look back and say, here was our wedding.

    Our photographer mentioned that because of that, she encourages people to include significant others of family members in those photos. She said that it can be easy to fall into the mindset that these are strangers, they're not really family, that it's too likely they won't be around in X number of years. But if you think about the photos as a snapshot of your life ("This is who was with us when we got married"), family formals stop feeling like an exclusive party with a VIP list and a bouncer. So yes, it's a bit awkward that my brother's wedding photos (which he may never look at again--he's getting divorced) have my mom's ex-boyfriend in them. But her ex-boyfriend was her boyfriend at the time of the photos, at that point in our lives.

    There are going to be PLENTY of people in your life who are important to you, but don't come to your wedding. There are the people who've passed away, the people who can't make it, the people who aren't born yet, and the people you haven't met yet in your life. It's just a snapshot. That's it. Literally, it's a snapshot.

    I suggest what PPs have suggested: Take some family photos with the boyfriend (and any other significant others) and without him. That way, you are still letting your future sister-in-law know, "Your boyfriend is part of your family, and we're acknowledging it." Because someday, he might be part of your family for real. And it would be nice if he were in some photos.
    I love this attitude. 

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    IMathlete
  • Thank you, RajahBMFD! Those are some great ideas! I will run it by my photographer and I will definitely put a picture of the two of them on my must-have list.Thank you for reading my post so that you knew what I was asking. I did edit the subject line for clarity. 
    rajahmdIMathlete
  • misshart00misshart00 Oklahoma member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    RajahBMFD said:
    Good grief people. Actually read the OP. She never said she wasn't going to invite him, she was specifically asking about including him in family photos. Sheesh, even the title referenced just the photos. Can we please stop hounding her to do something she's clearly already planning to do?

    She changed the title. First it said "do we have to invite FSIL's boyfriend?"
    Amyzen83ei34KittyKaty20
  • It actually said 'include'. I would never ask if I needed to invite him, that is a given.
    xhellokitty
  • misshart00misshart00 Oklahoma member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    arels483 said:
    It actually said 'include'. I would never ask if I needed to invite him, that is a given.

    I apologize for misreading.
  • I was on the opposite side of this, and thought it was super weird that the family was trying to involve me in their photos. I had been dating my FI for about a year and a half at that time, and we had talked about getting married, but I was really really uncomfortable when they insisted I was in all the photos at my Fi's cousin's wedding. So I think maybe you should have a chat with him, see what he's comfortable with?
    I felt awkward being in FI's oldest sister's family photos, even though we were already engaged. I actually wanted to sit out with the boyfriend in question. 
  • It depends on how you stage the family photos. I ditto a PP who suggested doing one with and one without, and one that's just the two of them, so they have it.

    There are ZERO photos of our wedding where EVERYONE in the wedding (or in our families) is in the same photo. We did photos with my side of the family, then DH's side, then WP, etc. (Part of that is because my husband's grandmother is a shrew and refused to be in photos with my parents because "we're not family." She also tried to have "family photos" that did not include me, the bride, because "you may have married in, but you're not family.")

    If you do several variations on the photos, you should be able to avoid drama from your FSIL and also not have someone you apparently don't want in your photos in your photos.
    Anniversary

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    I'm gonna go with 'not my circus, not my monkeys.'
  • pinkshorts27pinkshorts27 Oregon member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Anniversary First Answer
    It depends on how you stage the family photos. I ditto a PP who suggested doing one with and one without, and one that's just the two of them, so they have it.

    There are ZERO photos of our wedding where EVERYONE in the wedding (or in our families) is in the same photo. We did photos with my side of the family, then DH's side, then WP, etc. (Part of that is because my husband's grandmother is a shrew and refused to be in photos with my parents because "we're not family." She also tried to have "family photos" that did not include me, the bride, because "you may have married in, but you're not family.")

    If you do several variations on the photos, you should be able to avoid drama from your FSIL and also not have someone you apparently don't want in your photos in your photos.
    She sounds awful!  My grandma is the opposite extreme, everyone she has ever talked to is like family. 

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    Amyzen83huskypuppy14
  • It is easy enough to exclude him but based on FSIL's potential attitude it might just be easier to have him in one photo.

    We told all of our family members we wanted them to stay after the ceremony for formals in the church.  Naturally my Uncle's girlfriend was hanging around because she was there with him.

    When we got to the grouping that my Uncle fit into she was sitting in a pew not expecting to be included.  After we posed for the photos of that group I quickly called Uncle's girlfriend to join, she jumped in and a couple of seconds later that group was completely done.  Easily done, time efficient, and gives options of her in some photos but not others.  I printed a 5x7 for Uncle after the wedding and he was happy to have it with girlfriend in it.  If that relationship ever changes a reprint can be done for him with the other version no problem.

  • It depends on how you stage the family photos. I ditto a PP who suggested doing one with and one without, and one that's just the two of them, so they have it.

    There are ZERO photos of our wedding where EVERYONE in the wedding (or in our families) is in the same photo. We did photos with my side of the family, then DH's side, then WP, etc. (Part of that is because my husband's grandmother is a shrew and refused to be in photos with my parents because "we're not family." She also tried to have "family photos" that did not include me, the bride, because "you may have married in, but you're not family.")

    If you do several variations on the photos, you should be able to avoid drama from your FSIL and also not have someone you apparently don't want in your photos in your photos.
    Grandma sounds like a bitch!
  • Cookie PusherCookie Pusher Looking over your shoulder member
    Seventh Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited May 2014
    FSIL didn't include me in any of her wedding photos even though FI and I had been engaged for over a year (and had been together almost 12 years) when she got married. I was pretty "meh" about it, to be honest, because I didn't have to wander around a horse paddock in my heels and nice dress. I was inside drinking whiskey and eating grilled cheese sandwiches. FBIL's date and I spent a good chunk of the time snarking about how many etiquette breaches FSIL committed, which was way more fun than being in pictures anyway. Since it sounds like your FSIL might give you a hard time if you don't include her boyfriend, I would just suck it up and have the photographer take some photos with him included. Just because the pictures get taken doesn't mean you have to order them.

    ETA: Gosh, why do things that are true/actually happened so offensive? If you weren't stalking me, you never would know I was even posting here. Do you drive around following me while I do errands too? Stop being so damn creepy.
    ~*~*~*~*~

    KittyKaty20
  • I would include him in some photos, but not all.  

    FI & I had been dating for a year or two and were living together by this point and his sister, her husband and their baby came up and they got together with FILs and FI + FSKs to do family photos.  I was just standing there at the photo place all awkward and wasn't included in any of them.   FI's sister hardly *ever* comes home and F & I have been together for 8 years there are absolutely no family photos in existence with all of us in them.
    Formerly known as flutterbride2b
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  • I attended my college boyfriend's cousin's wedding (we had been dating ~1 year), was not included in the photos and never expected to be included.

    When FI's sister got married (FI and I had been together for almost 3 years but weren't engaged yet) I was included in the photos, which actually surprised me. I wasn't expecting it at all but was happy to be included. If I wasn't included I would have totally understood though.

    If your FSIL will put up a fuss you could always do some pics with the boyfriend and some without.
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  • ac411020ac411020 member
    Third Anniversary 100 Comments 25 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited February 2014
    My now husbands brother got married 6 months ago. At that time we were engaged and I was not included in any family photos. I was extremely hurt that I wasn't included in at least one variation since our wedding was set and the bride and groom were both in our wedding so obviously they knew we were getting married mere months after them.

    I would definitely agree to include him in one variation and not in another. I would not have been hurt at all if I had been allowed to be in one picture.
  • I definitely would consider including him in some photos, but maybe not all of them. In general, you'll probably want a wide variety of pictures, anyway.

    If FSIL and him do end up together forever, you'll have great pictures of them. If she moves on, like you said she does frequently, it'll only be a few pictures you can point to reminiscently and say, "Remember him!? Boy those were the days..."

    It's like the "no ring, no bring" rule. It doesn't make sense because not every engaged couple gets married, not every married couple stays married and not every human being strives for marriage. And a bunch of other reasons, but those are my three favorite. So just because you happen to know your brother's gf will most likely be around for the long run, you honestly don't know as much info about your FSIL's bf. He could be considering popping the question next week, even if she has in the past changed bf's frequently.
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  • Fran1985 Fran1985 Narnia member
    Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 500 Comments Name Dropper
    RajahBMFD said:
    Good grief people. Actually read the OP. She never said she wasn't going to invite him, she was specifically asking about including him in family photos. Sheesh, even the title referenced just the photos. Can we please stop hounding her to do something she's clearly already planning to do?
    She edited the original OP- at first it was unclear. People were responding before they saw her responses. 

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    KittyKaty20
  • Amyzen83 said:
    It depends on how you stage the family photos. I ditto a PP who suggested doing one with and one without, and one that's just the two of them, so they have it.

    There are ZERO photos of our wedding where EVERYONE in the wedding (or in our families) is in the same photo. We did photos with my side of the family, then DH's side, then WP, etc. (Part of that is because my husband's grandmother is a shrew and refused to be in photos with my parents because "we're not family." She also tried to have "family photos" that did not include me, the bride, because "you may have married in, but you're not family.")

    If you do several variations on the photos, you should be able to avoid drama from your FSIL and also not have someone you apparently don't want in your photos in your photos.
    Grandma sounds like a bitch!
    Pretty.Damn.Much
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    I'm gonna go with 'not my circus, not my monkeys.'
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