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Sister not a bridesmaid

Without going into too much detail, my sister and I have not gotten along and probably never will.  She has made numerous backhanded comments regarding our engagement and upcoming wedding that I've completely cut off all communication methods with her.  I've spoken to my father and grandmother about the issues I've been dealing with and both of them are in agreement that cutting her off was a wise decision.  

Now we are in the process of preparing our budget for our wedding and I was informed that my parents will not help pay for our wedding unless my sister is a bridesmaid.  My fiance and I have discussed that we are fine with them not helping with our wedding financially but I'm just wondering if anyone else has experienced an issue such as this.  I know it's just one day but I want people who support and believe in us standing by our side and my sister is not that.  At this point, she will be lucky to be invited.  Did you let your parents bully you into making big decisions or did you tell them where to stick it?   My dad understands where I'm coming from but he does not like confrontation so it's basically going to come down to my mother and I.  If it gets to the point, do I threaten that my mother will have a minimal part on our wedding day (ie. no recognition beyond being walked down the aisle)?  We are over a year out from getting married and I was not expecting to deal with sister issues anytime soon. 

I'm very torn on this and would love to hear what others would do in this situation!  TIA! 

Re: Sister not a bridesmaid

  • I think it sucks your parents are offering with strings attached that amount to how two grown adults get along well with one another. But that’s what they are doing. 

    Your parents are giving you a choice here and IMO the best thing to do is decline the money and tell them the bridal party is not open for discussion. Don’t threaten your mother, but also don’t engage with her about your sister in the WP either. 

    Like PPs have said; other people can be dramatic, make demands, or put strings attached to offers designed to pressure you to do things their way, but you don’t have to have any part of that. 
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    I agree with the PPs: Turn down the money .

    This is a good time to set and enforce boundaries, starting with making clear that only you are entitled to decide who your bridesmaids are.  Your parents are not entitled to make that decision for you by pulling financial strings.
  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs member
    10000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    It sucks that your parents are trying to force you into something like this. Definitely decline their financial help. 

    I got married the first time when I was 23. My parents paid for the wedding, and my mom used it to push me into what she wanted me to do. I had to get married in a church (I wasn't even religious, neither was my FI), she forced me into having my cousins in my bridal party, she made me cover up a tattoo on my shoulder. She picked out the favors without my input. I could go on. I was miserable by the time the wedding rolled around, and it still bothers me 15 years later. 

    Don't let this happen to you! 

  • ei34ei34 member
    Seventh Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    You were smart to decline your parents' money!  Plan the wedding you and your FI want.  I love @flantastic's wording for dealing with your mother re your sister. 
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    They say that money comes with strings, and it's usually true. Some parents are not as blatant and unreasonable as yours are being, but most parents end up having some sort of non-negotiables when they foot the bill. (Mine wanted say over the guest list. There was no one we had issue with, just that we couldn't otherwise afford, so NBD.) The good part is that you see what theirs were before you went down the road signing contracts and making plans. Since this is pretty dramatic and unreasonable, I'd be concerned that even if you accepted this one you'd end up with 3 more big demands later. So, good idea to decline the money.

    There's no reason to threaten your mother or refuse to treat her like a MOB. She is still your mother, and outside of this one unreasonable string, I don't see that she deserves some kind of reduced standing. If it's in retaliation to strings on the money, that's just petty. 
  • MesmrEweMesmrEwe member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited April 10
    With money comes strings, you've made your choice that the string is unacceptable, and OWN IT!  That's O.k.!  No further discussion needs to be had and wasting time rationalizing your decision is wasting time from your life you can be doing other things like planning your marriage instead!  Having hypothetical discussions in your head with your Mom isn't having discussions with your Mom.  You're mirroring her with ultimatums in these hypothetical discussions, and that wastes everyone's time and festers anger.  Your wedding is a year out, there are other details to attend to.  People plan funerals in less than three days and work this type of family dynamic out, keep it in perspective.  

    1) You don't want sister in your WP, decision made. DONE! Avoid the desire to send that discussion to committee!  What would a CEO do after a business decision is made - let it go!
    2) Cut the wedding discussions around your sister.  
    3) Your parents aren't assisting financially, plan the event you can afford on the budget you can afford limiting discussions from people who are not writing out checks to pay for said event.  Make your decisions and own them keeping in mind that you must properly host your guests for the time of day/location of your event.  
    4) Your parents are honored guests at your wedding, they should be there basking in the moment of their baby getting married.  Not bogged down with tasks/parts/etc.  Rethink how you're approaching this!  Your wedding planning/execution is no one's responsibility other than you/FI, if people offer to help you with things, be gracious for that help.  Take your Mom dress shopping, keep it fun, and keep it light!  By all means, learn the fine art of "Bean Dipping" to change the discussion whenever the discussions of your sister and the wedding come up - it's not about "tell them where to get off", it's about learning to do so diplomatically by setting boundaries and sticking to them.  
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