Wedding Etiquette Forum

Other "bridemaid-like" titles?

My fiance's older sister is mentally handicapped, and we want to have her as a part of our wedding.  We are trying to overcome some challeges in order to make this happen because she is not able to wear the same outfit as my bridesmaids and will not be coming with us for group pics b/c of the noise on the bus, etc.  So, I am totally fine giving her the title of "bridesmaid," but I think that may be a bit odd since she will be dressed differently than the other 8 girls.  She (and their parents) would really like her to stand up with us during the ceremony, which is fine with me, but is there some other type of title that I can give her in the program so that she stands out in a good way and feels special?  I realize that this is somewhat of a sensitive topic, so I want to emphasize that I have the best intentions possible in asking this question.  Thanks for your help!

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Re: Other "bridemaid-like" titles?

  • Go with "bridesmaid."  Who cares if she is dressed differently?
  • Honorary bridesmaid. 
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  • I would just call her a bridesmaid.  It really doesn't matter that she's dressed differently.
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  • I would just call her a bridesmaid.
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  • Just stick with Bridesmaid.
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  • Mrs.B6302007Mrs.B6302007 member
    5000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 25 Love Its Combo Breaker
    edited December 2010
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_other-bridemaid-like-titles?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:961bda3d-b3e4-458c-ae2b-fb0e207ded08Post:bfe32cde-827b-424e-8c24-52051a7b3cf8">Other "bridemaid-like" titles?</a>:
    [QUOTE]My fiance's older sister is mentally handicapped, and we want to have her as a part of our wedding.  We are trying to overcome some challeges in order to make this happen because she is not able to wear the same outfit as my bridesmaids and will not be coming with us for group pics b/c of the noise on the bus, etc.  So, I am totally fine giving her the title of "bridesmaid," but I think that may be a bit odd since she will be dressed differently than the other 8 girls.  She (and their parents) would really like her to stand up with us during the ceremony, which is fine with me, but is there some other type of title that I can give her in the program so that she stands out in a good way and feels special?  I realize that this is somewhat of a sensitive topic, so I want to emphasize that I have the best intentions possible in asking this question.  Thanks for your help!
    Posted by silver711712[/QUOTE]

    The worst thing you can do for a mentally challenged person is something that makes them even more different or worse, excludes them. Just call her a BM regardless of  the  clothing.
    The Bee Hive Est. June 30, 2007
    "So I sing a song of love, Julia"
    06.10.10

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  • I'd just call her a bridesmaid.  Her mental handicap and the other accomadations that she needs shouldn't effect her title.  I would feel that giving her a different title would make it look like she's less a member of the bridal party instead of making her seem special.  I know that's not your intent, so just call her a bridesmaid because that is what she'll be.

    Also, is there anyway that someone from the family can drive her to the picture site instead of her going on the bus so that she can be part of those?  It would be a bit sad for FI's family to have all these pictures of the family and everyone else from the wedding without her in them.

  • I appreciate the comments guys, but I'm looking for ideas other than "bridesmaid."  The family has suggested just having her hand out programs, but we are trying to make her more than that w/o making her an actual bridesmaid.  Thanks!
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_other-bridemaid-like-titles?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:961bda3d-b3e4-458c-ae2b-fb0e207ded08Post:bfe32cde-827b-424e-8c24-52051a7b3cf8">Other "bridemaid-like" titles?</a>:
    [QUOTE]My fiance's older sister is mentally handicapped, and we want to have her as a part of our wedding.  We are trying to overcome some challeges in order to make this happen because she is not able to wear the same outfit as my bridesmaids and will not be coming with us for group pics b/c of the noise on the bus, etc.  <strong>So, I am totally fine giving her the title of "bridesmaid,"</strong> but I think that may be a bit odd since she will be dressed differently than the other 8 girls.  She (and their parents) would really like her to stand up with us during the ceremony, which is fine with me, but is there some other type of title that I can give her in the program so that she stands out in a good way and feels special?  I realize that this is somewhat of a sensitive topic, so I want to emphasize that I have the best intentions possible in asking this question.  Thanks for your help!
    Posted by silver711712[/QUOTE]<div>
    </div><div>[QUOTE]<strong>I appreciate the comments guys, but I'm looking for ideas other than "bridesmaid."</strong>  The family has suggested just having her hand out programs, but we are trying to make her more than that w/o making her an actual bridesmaid.  Thanks!
    Posted by silver711712[/QUOTE]</div><div>
    </div><div>Which is it?</div><div>
    </div><div>Based on your OP, I say just call her a bridesmaid. If she's standing up during the ceremony, she is a bridesmaid - bridesmaids don't have to match, nor do they all have to take the same vehicle.

    </div>
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_other-bridemaid-like-titles?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:961bda3d-b3e4-458c-ae2b-fb0e207ded08Post:1e5add3a-3957-4016-a939-228f8013803c">Re: Other "bridemaid-like" titles?</a>:
    [QUOTE]I appreciate the comments guys, but I'm looking for ideas other than "bridesmaid."  The family has suggested just having her hand out programs, but we are trying to make her more than that w/o making her an actual bridesmaid.  Thanks!
    Posted by silver711712[/QUOTE]

    How about having her be a flower girl?  <-- sarcasm.

    If you want her to stand up with the bridesmaids, then call her a bridesmaid.  Otherwise don't have her stand up there and have her be an usher or something.  To single her out just because she is differently dressed is kind of mean in my mind.  If you don't want her to be a bridesmaid, just let her be a regular guest rather than making up a meaningless title for her.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_other-bridemaid-like-titles?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:961bda3d-b3e4-458c-ae2b-fb0e207ded08Post:1e5add3a-3957-4016-a939-228f8013803c">Re: Other "bridemaid-like" titles?</a>:
    [QUOTE]I appreciate the comments guys, but I'm looking for ideas other than "bridesmaid."  The family has suggested just having her hand out programs, but we are trying to make her more than that w/o making her an actual bridesmaid.  Thanks!
    Posted by silver711712[/QUOTE]

    <div>JIC.</div>
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  • Bridesmaid or guest. I'm sure you have very good intentions, but there's not much getting around that. Having her hand out programs or other positions where she's working for you just aren't right, in my opinion.

    She's already different, I'm sure she'd like to feel included in some way instead of singled out.
  • If she's standing up next to you during the ceremony, she's a bridesmaid, just like the others.  I am getting confused now - what do you mean "without making her an actual bridesmaid"?  What do you think "actual bridesmaids" do that she won't be doing?
  • I'm also slightly confused..I think putting her as "bridesmaid" in the program WOULD make her feel special.  Even if she has to wear a different dress (which I think is fine) could she wear a dress in the same color family and that could make her feel more included?  And give her a bouquet or corsage?
  • Have her stand on FI's side, and call her a groomswoman.  She can wear a black dress to match the tuxes, and carry flowers like the BMs.  Have someone else drive her to the picture site.
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  • And why can't she be in the pics?  Can't someone drive her  separately if the noise on the bus bothers her?
    The Bee Hive Est. June 30, 2007
    "So I sing a song of love, Julia"
    06.10.10

    BFAR:We Defined Our Own Success!
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_other-bridemaid-like-titles?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:961bda3d-b3e4-458c-ae2b-fb0e207ded08Post:1e5add3a-3957-4016-a939-228f8013803c">Re: Other "bridemaid-like" titles?</a>:
    [QUOTE]I appreciate the comments guys, but I'm looking for ideas other than "bridesmaid."  The family has suggested just having her hand out programs, but we are trying to make her more than that w/o making her an actual bridesmaid.  Thanks!
    Posted by silver711712[/QUOTE]

    How about a sign around her neck that says "BE PATIENT WITH ME, I'M A RETARDED BRIDESMAID"?

    That sounds like what you're trying to point out to everybody, after all.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_other-bridemaid-like-titles?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:961bda3d-b3e4-458c-ae2b-fb0e207ded08Post:bfe32cde-827b-424e-8c24-52051a7b3cf8">Other "bridemaid-like" titles?</a>:
    [QUOTE] So, I am totally fine giving her the title of "bridesmaid," but I think that may be a bit odd since she will be dressed differently than the other 8 girls.  She (and their parents) would really like her to stand up with us during the ceremony, which is fine with me,
    Posted by silver711712[/QUOTE]

    Based on that, I still say just call her Bridesmaid.  It won't hurt anyone or anything.
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_other-bridemaid-like-titles?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:961bda3d-b3e4-458c-ae2b-fb0e207ded08Post:c28d407e-087a-48ca-971d-972e1bd39212">Re: Other "bridemaid-like" titles?</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Other "bridemaid-like" titles? : How about a sign around her neck that says "BE PATIENT WITH ME, I'M A RETARDED BRIDESMAID"? That sounds like what you're trying to point out to everybody, after all.
    Posted by zitiqueen[/QUOTE]

    This made me literally LOL, and now the ADT guy here thinks I'm psycho. 
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  • I don't understand WHY you're looking for something other than "bridesmaid."  If she's standing up with you, that's what she is, regardless of if she rode the bus, was in pictures (why not??), or looks like your bridesmaid clone #8. 

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  • Please don't single this girl out!  She's your FI's sister and if he and his family want her to be a bridesmaid, just let her.  Why would you want to accenuate and call attention to her differences?  Some people have bridal parties where everyone has different dresses, so what does it matter if your FSIL wears something that works for her?  She is a person and your FI's sister and deserves to be treated as such!  Don't treat as less by giving her some made up title in order to no have her be your bridesmaid.  If she's standing up front being happy for you, she's doing all that a bridesmaid needs to.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_other-bridemaid-like-titles?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:961bda3d-b3e4-458c-ae2b-fb0e207ded08Post:c28d407e-087a-48ca-971d-972e1bd39212">Re: Other "bridemaid-like" titles?</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Other "bridemaid-like" titles? : <strong>How about a sign around her neck that says "BE PATIENT WITH ME, I'M A RETARDED BRIDESMAID"?</strong> That sounds like what you're trying to point out to everybody, after all.
    Posted by zitiqueen[/QUOTE]

    This made me laugh out loud REALLY loud.
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_other-bridemaid-like-titles?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:961bda3d-b3e4-458c-ae2b-fb0e207ded08Post:bfe32cde-827b-424e-8c24-52051a7b3cf8">Other "bridemaid-like" titles?</a>:
    [QUOTE]My fiance's older sister is mentally handicapped, and we want to have her as a part of our wedding.  We are trying to overcome some challeges in order to make this happen because she is not able to wear the same outfit as my bridesmaids and will not be coming with us for group pics b/c of the noise on the bus, etc.  So, I am totally fine giving her the title of "bridesmaid," but I think that may be a bit odd since she will be dressed differently than the other 8 girls.  She (and their parents) would really like her to stand up with us during the ceremony, which is fine with me, but is there some other type of title that I can give her in the program so that she stands out in a good way and <strong>feels special</strong>?  I realize that this is somewhat of a sensitive topic, so I want to emphasize that I have the best intentions possible in asking this question.  Thanks for your help!
    Posted by silver711712[/QUOTE]

    I'm sure she would feel the most special and happy if she was just treated like everyone else: by giving her the same title as your other bridesmaids.
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_other-bridemaid-like-titles?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:961bda3d-b3e4-458c-ae2b-fb0e207ded08Post:c28d407e-087a-48ca-971d-972e1bd39212">Re: Other "bridemaid-like" titles?</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Other "bridemaid-like" titles? : How about a sign around her neck that says "BE PATIENT WITH ME, I'M A RETARDED BRIDESMAID"? That sounds like what you're trying to point out to everybody, after all.
    Posted by zitiqueen[/QUOTE]
    FTW!
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  • I think bridesmaid is fine.  I would have her do whatever she can that day and not ask any more of her or her parents.  I think people will think it's very sweet of you to include her. 

    Bridesmaids, in case you didn't know, are supposed to represent those nearest and dearest to you - not those that can do the most work.  That might not be what your getting at, but by including her in those nearest and dearest to you, I think you'll be making a step in the right direction.

    And fyi - my little brother (who is special needs) was an usher in my wedding.  It was completely fine.  
  • I think the easiest thing would be to make her a groom's woman.  Then she would be on your FI's side, in a different dress which many times is what they GW do.  If she can't manage standing up for the whole ceremong she will be closer to your FIL's and she can sit down with them.  She can be in as many pictures as she can stand taking, and she can ride to the wedding with your FIL's, she doesn't need to be in the limo.  Anything else you do will honestly make you guys look bad that you are only giving her made up jobs and titles and not just putting her in the WP.

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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_other-bridemaid-like-titles?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:961bda3d-b3e4-458c-ae2b-fb0e207ded08Post:c28d407e-087a-48ca-971d-972e1bd39212">Re: Other "bridemaid-like" titles?</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Other "bridemaid-like" titles? : How about a sign around her neck that says "BE PATIENT WITH ME, I'M A RETARDED BRIDESMAID"? That sounds like what you're trying to point out to everybody, after all.
    Posted by zitiqueen[/QUOTE]

    <div>Holy win.</div>
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  • Just call her a bridesmaid, like pps suggested. If you are fine with calling her that, then why argue about it?

    I agree with pps that giving her a different title than the other women in your bridal party would single her out and not necessarily in a good way. I would guess that she wants to be just like everyone else, so have her as a bridesmaid, regardless of her dress or where she stands during your ceremony.

    I can understand her not being able to handle a noisy/rowdy bus if she is mentally challenged. Hell, I have trouble handling that sometimes myself. But don't make her stand out any more than she already does, make her feel part of the group.
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  • OMG, Ziti.  I couldn't help but laugh.
    The Bee Hive Est. June 30, 2007
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    06.10.10

    BFAR:We Defined Our Own Success!
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