General Question

MissCupid's avatar

How can I include my sister in my wedding when I don't like her?

Asked by MissCupid (370points) September 2nd, 2010

So… I’m getting married next October and I’ve asked my baby sister to be a bridesmaid. Problem is… I have another sister. We used to get on but basically, she’s not a nice person. I love her dearly but she’s a horrible friend and she’s hurt me badly, which I’ve forgiven but not forgotten and I don’t include her in my life as much any more. But… now, my mum wants me to ask her to be a bridesmaid.
I don’t want to. She despises my best friend – who is maid of honor – and the feeling there is mutual. So I really don’t want them in a situation where they have to be in close company for most of the day as I’ll be stressing about it.
SO… how can I include my sister to keep my mum happy and stop a family feud but not have her be a bridesmaid? Help!

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35 Answers

Seek's avatar

It’s your wedding. You are supposed to be the happy one – not your mom. If your mom wants her to be a bridesmaid, she better stage a wedding of her own. Mommy’s not going to be the one that has to put up with her in your wedding – it’s going to be you and your other bridesmaids.

Tell your mom you’re very sorry, but this is the best choice to save the sanity of all involved.

Mom2BDec2010's avatar

I agree with @Seek_Kolinahr if you don’t want her to be a bridesmaid don’t let her. It’s your special day.

rebbel's avatar

Rate your own happiness (it is your wedding, not your mother’s) higher then your mother’s.
If your sister feels the same as you about your relationship together, she’ll probably understand that she is not going to be asked to be a bridesmaid.
If she doesn’t understand, it is her problem, not yours.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Don’t make her a bridesmaid to please your mom.

WestRiverrat's avatar

Put her in charge of the gifts table or cutting the cake at the reception. You should not make her a bridesmaid if you do not want to. If you include her in another part of the day, that should mollify you mother.

chyna's avatar

Put her in charge of the sign in book. This way you are doing her a favor by not having to buy a bridesmaid dress she will never wear again.

harple's avatar

So much about a wedding is caught up in keeping everyone else happy – perhaps it’s to teach one diplomacy, very useful in the marriage… You need to be happy, first and foremost, but I imagine part of that will come from your mother being happy and not giving you grief on the day (or for the rest of your life whenever your wedding is mentioned). You’re right, don’t make her a bridesmaid, that’s too personal for someone you feel that way about. There are so many other roles she could fulfil though – maybe doing a reading at the ceremony? That’s a great honour, but over and done with once it’s done…

Your_Majesty's avatar

Tell your mom and make sure she wants to understand your situation. Or you talk with this particular sister for a ‘compromise’,where she would be allowed as your bridesmaid as long as she promise will behave appropriately for the sake of your wedding. You both can really try to fix your personal problem for the sake of this wedding or just pretend to get along for the same purpose.

Austinlad's avatar

It’s one night and one occasion that hopefully will be remembered with pleasure for many years to come. Wouldn’t it be better just do what your mother wants and include her dughter, your sister? Do you really want to exclude a blood relative and have that lingering in everybody memory in the future? Sometimes, you just have to put your own feelings aside for the sake of peace.

Seek's avatar

@Austinlad As a person who did everything in the world to appease chronically complaining family members, I want a do-over. My wedding was miserable, for myself, for my guests, and for everyone involved.

Oh, invite just one more person… just have it inside instead of outside… shouldn’t your cousin be a bridesmaid… you should do it in the afternoon, not at night… really? that music?... those dresses are really low-cut…

Oi friggin’ vey.

Austinlad's avatar

I’m sorry for that, @Seek_Kolinahr but you’re not @MissCupid . If the gesture doesn’t work for her, I think it still would have been better to try including her sister rather than cutting her out. But that’s just me. Whatever she decides, I wish her well.

janbb's avatar

I usually find a place for toxic relatives that is far away from where I’ll be at an event that is important to me and yet gives them something to do. A sign in table is a great idea or perhaps she could do a reading. Don’t have her be a bridesmaid if it will create angst and annoyance.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

There are many tasks and responsibilities in organizing a wedding, just like there is in putting on a play. If you are using one of many wedding planner guide books, see if there are items that she might enjoy helping out with and that you’d trust her to handle, even if it is a task that traditionally falls under the role of someone else.

srtlhill's avatar

If it’s your wedding that others are paying for maybe you can see it in your heart to forget past problems for a few days.
Maybe this will be a fresh start for you your husband to be and your existing family. Maybe you are even right to be mad at your sister but would you want to be forgiven for past indiscretions.
If she can’t meet your wishes half way then put your foot down. Don’t be a bridezilla that ruins your day. Be in control but don’t try to control every detail. You’ll be admitted before your married. Enjoy YOUR day no matter what happens. Weddings are way to much over the top in my opinion, life isn’t like like. I should have just recommended
Keep your wedding simple and happy, but have a great honeymoon. Congratulations.

Austinlad's avatar

I love your comment, @srtlhill. What better occasion than a wedding to wipe some slates clean?
At least to try.

Disc2021's avatar

I find myself agreeing with both @Seek_Kolinahr and @Austinlad. Well, I’m glad it’s not my wedding!

Taking both sides of the coin into heart, I would try having a talk with your sister and your best friend and seeing if a happy medium can be reached – where your sister agrees to calm the hell down and your friend agrees to keep things non-hostile. If both parties are even slightly apprehensive about it and it’s evident that a problem will brew, I would then decide to keep sis’ out of the show.

You dont want to end up hurting your sister’s feelings and even hurting your own in the future by not including her but you also dont want your wedding going awry due to the obvious issue. Decisions decisions.

it’s situations like this that would make me decide on a small “no more than 5 people” wedding at city hall.

Austinlad's avatar

Excellent ideas, @Disc2021.

krose1223's avatar

If the way you feel about your sister is how she feels about you, why in the world would she be a bridesmaid? I had a bridesmaid in my wedding that I really didn’t want to do it and I think it ended up doing just as much damage as leaving her out. I tried really hard to be nice, and to make her feel included in things but it just didn’t work out that way. She didn’t go to my bachelorette party because she and my MOH despised each other. (Funny you’re in the same spot.) It was just awkward all the time and I was always stressed out and grumpy because I wanted to keep everyone happy. I think I ended up hurting her feelings just as bad because she still got left out of a lot of things and I think it was obvious that no one really cared whether or not she was a part of it.
Funny thing is, out of two bridesmaids and one MOH I am only friends with one bridesmaid now. I don’t talk to the girl I didn’t want in my wedding, and my MOH and I had a falling out. When I look at my wedding pictures I always get kind of sad and think what a waste of energy it all was.

I guess you just need to weigh the pros and cons. If your sister is understanding in not being a bridesmaid I definitely wouldn’t do it. It will just cause more problems between you two and even more stress on the relationship. Your mom can get over it, what can she say if you and your sister have reached an understanding?

mrrich724's avatar

I’m sorry if this answer was already mentioned but just in case it wasn’t:

This is YOUR wedding, not your mother’s. If there is any time you have a warrant in your life to be selfish, it should at least be on this day. IT’S YOURS. So to hell with her, and don’t let her be in it.

If you’re mom can’t handle it, she is the one wrongly being selfish, and I’m sorry, but she should have to just deal. It’s not her wedding, and they aren’t her memories more than yours. She’ll learn to live. And if she loves you, she will be able to appreciate being there on YOUR day.

musicislife75's avatar

if i were you i wouldn’t let my sister in the wedding. i don’t like my sister either. if i were to get married, i wouldn’t let her be in my wedding. since i despise her to much, i wouldn’t even invite her to my wedding. but thats me.

BarnacleBill's avatar

Do you think your sister wants to be in the wedding, or is your mother going to lay a guilt trip on her, too? It sounds like your mom is trying to use your wedding as a way to patch things up between you. If you add your sister, you have to add another groomsman, and the thing grows exponentially.

Don’t let you mom dictate your day. She had her chance to arrange a wedding when she married your father.

Brian1946's avatar

If your mother has a problem with you not having your sister at your wedding, just tell her that turnabout is fair play, and in compliance with that, you’ll be sure not to go to any wedding (if any) of your *cyster’s.

*Intentionally misspelled. ;-)

Austinlad's avatar

Pettiness, anger, revenge, pride—oh my, @Brian1946, what a great way to get the wedding and new marriage off to a positive and loving start!

BratLady's avatar

You’ve chosen your best friend as maid of honor,which is good. Does the groom to be have a sister? If so have her as a bridesmaid and elimate both of yours. If he has no sisters, just have a maid of honor and lert your sisters do the guest register or any thing simple to keep the wedding cost down and you and the groom happy. Sorry if your mom will be unhappy but you didn’t plan hers and she shouldn’t plan yours. Mothers are suppose to help not run the show.

Brian1946's avatar


It seems to me, that Occam’s razor would dictate that the way to get the wedding and new marriage off to a positive and loving start, would be to maximize the number of people at the wedding with whom one has positive and loving relationships , and to minimize the number there of those with whom one has acrimonious relationships.

Gapper's avatar

Make the announcement that you will be having only one bridesmaid and a maid of honor. Your dream wedding party may have been a gaggle of friends in lovely gowns, but weigh the cost. Making it obvious that you and your sister have had a severe break or have a sour pus in your bridal party. Also, if you do make Mom happy, what assurance do you have that your sister will change her nature and be a loving kind support on your day of days? Or will you have to be always looking over your shoulder to make sure there isn’t a knife stuck in your back?

Austinlad's avatar

And it seems to me, @Brian1946, and I say this with all due respect to your well expressed perspective… Occam’s razor cuts both ways.

At any rate, @MissCupid, best wishes and good luck with whatever you decide. Lots of good input on this thread.

cookieman's avatar

Who’s paying for this shindig?

If it’s Mom, then ya gotta play by her rules (as much as you may disagree with them).

If it’s you (and your fiancĂ©), then a compromise role (guest book attendant, reader, etc.) is your best bet to keep peace.

MissCupid's avatar

Wow… thank you all so much for your advice. I agree with pretty much everyone. I still can’t decide.
My sister probably wants to be a bridesmaid – she doesn’t understand how she’s hurt me even though it’s clear to everyone else. She’s in denial and can’t see why we can’t be ‘friends’. Saying that, she’s not made any effort to save our relationship.
I love my mum and want to her to be happy but I also want to be true to my heart and not taint my day… ARGH!

Disc2021's avatar

When all else fails – count to 3 and ask yourself the question “Do I want my sister to be in my wedding?”. The first, immediate answer that comes into your head is probably the one that you should go with.

BarnacleBill's avatar

Maybe you need to have a heart-to-heart discussion with her. One that begins with, “Mom is after me to ask you to be a bridesmaid, and as much as I love you and would want to be able to share my big day with you, I have hesitations. Here’s the reasons that give me pause.”

MissCupid's avatar

@BarnacleBill After a long and tearful ‘discussion’ with my mum you has said it’s ‘both sisters or none at all’ I think that is going to have to be the option I take. She already thinks I don’t want her involved so the worst she can do is refuse and then she’s the ‘bad guy’.
I am now seriously considering elopement…

Seek's avatar

@MissCupid Shame on your mother for putting you through such pathetic emotional blackmail.

Brian1946's avatar


I eloped for my second wedding: my wife and I were in our 50’s then.

How about having a modified elopement where you just invite people that you want to without all the extraneous hoopla?

I.e., no gifts, no formal wear, etc.

krose1223's avatar

There is absolutely nothing wrong with an elopement. lol I thought about calling the big wedding off, doing it with two witnesses, and just telling everyone to meet us somewhere afterword to celebrate.

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