Future sister in law as bridesmaid

Hi all, 

So me and H2b got engaged last weekend, yay!

Now to the problem. I am unsure of who to have as my bridesmaids. As a couple we decided we would like 4 in each party as H2b thought two would be too few and I want the parties to be symmetrical. He doesn't know who he wants any of his party to be. I accept that, men just work on a different time scale and we have plenty of time. I have decided on my matron of honour and one of my bridesmaids they were easy. The other two are going to take thought. 

I am an only child and my H2b is one of three, 1 brother and 1 sister. He has suggested he would like his sister to be a briidesmaid. However as an only child I do not think I should be told who should be my bridesmaid. If I had siblings maybe this would be different.

Also for her age nearly 21, I find the way she behaves and acts as very immature. When we are visiting his family we often find we are treating her like a 10-12 year old. She is also very selfish and I just think she would cause me a great deal of stress on my big day. His mother is very disengaged with life anyway. She didn't even ask how he proposed. Can I get some advice on what to do? 

I haven't formally mentioned about her being a bridesmaid but we are going home in a month to show off the engagement ring. I would like to have formulated some form of answer before then as I know this issue will come up.

Thanks in advance for any advice and comments! :-)


  • I'm an only child and I'm having my FH2B's sister as a bridesmaid. We're not very close but I just see it as she's his only sister and she's going to be in my life forever. It took me a while to think about it and at first I was resentful but actually she's been so happy about it and it's brought us closer. I think in years to come I'd feel bad if I wasn't to have her. I think if I'd had a brother, I would have been really upset if FH2B didn't involve him in his wedding party. But that's just me. xxx

  • Sam60Sam60 Posts: 249

    When are you thinking about getting married? Don't rush into anything if it is a while off - she could change for the better or for the worse (to use a wedding phrase). It just rings alarm bells for me, lots of ladies on her have bridesmaid issues when the bridesmaids were already solid friends - it sounds like she has the potential to cause you a lot of stress, so you don't want to put yourself in that position unless you are 100% sure xx

  • Firstly congratulations to you both. As for the sister issue what about if you gave her a special role that wasnt bridesmaid-- could she be a witness or maybe do a reading? x

  • lubeslubes Posts: 1,555

    Hey Samantha,

    Firstly, congratulations on your engagement! My advice to you is honestly not to let this bother you just yet. Enjoy being newly engaged with your H2B - it's a special time that can get lost in the panic so many of us have felt about having to plan a wedding all of a sudden!

    I think you're approaching this "we want four on each side" in the wrong way. Is it more important for your wedding party to look symmetrical or is it actually more important to have people in your wedding party who you love, love you just as much and are completely supportive of you as a couple? They will be in your wedding photos forever. The fact that you have chosen two bridesmaids very easily, but aren't sure on the other two suggests to me that you are picking four bridesmaids for the sake of it. I have two bridesmaids and we have four ushers. Please tell me if there is a problem with that (which isn't, 'Well, it won't look even on the photos'!). Just getting you to look at it a different way!

    Now, the sister thing. H2B is an only child and I have a brother. H2B and my brother are hardly the best of friends - they have nothing in common beside me - but my brother is an usher at my request because he is my brother (!) which my H2B respects. In my opinion, a wedding is about two families coming together and you can't really discount his sister from the proceedings because she is a bit of a nightmare. If your H2B has expressed that he would like her to be a bridesmaid, you can't ignore that: it is his wedding as much as it is yours! What I suggest you do is sit down with H2B and discuss your concerns with him. Come to an agreement that you're both happy with. If you need time to think about it, that's fine - just tell the family you haven't made any decisions on what role you want everyone to play on the big day.

    What I will say is to carefully think about this relationship moving forward as you will be relatives after this: will she/other members of the family give you grief for years to come if she isn't a bridesmaid? Is it really worth it for one day? Sadly with weddings sometimes, you do have to compromise when it comes to family! H2B and I have had to invite various relatives who we don't like, are a bit grotesque, fall out all the time etc. but that's just the way weddings work! A popular saying on here regarding bridesmaids is that all they really need to do is wear a dress and turn up on the day. She will only cause you stress if you let her. If you're dead set on her not being a bridesmaid though, decide on something she can do instead - a reading or being a witness perhaps, as the other ladies have suggested. Just make sure she is included in some way - I would be proper miffed if my brother didn't ask me to do something at his wedding (if/when he gets married one day!).

    I imagine being so newly engaged that you haven't got round to booking your wedding yet? If not, focus on that for now! Once you have a date, you can start to put the finer details together as and when you see fit. You don't have to ask all your bridesmaids now or at the same time! There is no rush  x

  • I totally understand your situation here. Me and my OH both have 1 sister each. I am having my sister as BM, which was no doubt from the start but we've decided to not have his sister as BM. I wasnt that keen on having her for similar reasons as you've mentioned - she's immature and her behaviour most often requires the family to treat her as a child even though she's 20. she hasnt seemed interested with anything to do with wedding, and as there is a big culture difference between our families our ideas of weddings and roles at weddings are very different and I think it would cause a lot of effort to make sure we're on the same page- extra stress I just don't want. 

    Every situation is different though. Maybe you could sit down with your OH and tell him your concerns, and see if you can come to an agreement about a role for her. In my case, my OH is not bothered if his sister is a BM or not as they're not that close and I don't expect a backlash from my in laws about it, so I've taken this opportunity to go with my gut instinct and not include her.

  • My opinion is you should have who you want. The bridal party should be picked by you. The groom chooses the best man ushers etc 

    my partners sisters wanted to  it but I'm only close to one of them so I didn't cho any of them. I did choose his niece however  be the flower girl. 

    I chose my 2 best friends as bridesmaids and left it at that. I personally didn't want lots of bridesmaids and wanted children to be more involved in my ceremony X 

  • Jenni8Jenni8 Posts: 3,201

    Huge congratulations on your engagement yayyy! When are you planning to have the big day? 

    You have tons of advice on here already so I will keep my post short and to the point haha! From reading what you have put I would say...

    1. I think that you are approaching the decisions on bridesmaids and ushers from totally the wrong way. Choose who you wish to be surrounding you on the morning of your wedding day rather then people to make up numbers. 

    2. I am confused as to why being an only child means you feel you should not be told who to have as a BM?? No one should be put in this position, siblings or not. 

    3. If you will not feel comfortable about having you FSIL having a part in the wedding part, then don't have her. I am not.

    4. Try to enjoy being engaged before getting stressed about anything like this. Unless you are planning on having your wedding in 3 months, just enjoy it for a bit. I have been engaged for 8 months and have 16 months until my wedding and neither of us and 100% settled on who will be in the bridal party. 

    All the best for whatever you decide. If you feel under pressure to decide before the ring-showing next month then just say that BMs hasn't even crossed your mind!

  • Congratulations!!! Wishing you all the best on all you wedding plans and future life together.

    With regards to making you OH sister a BM you should always be true to yourself. I haven't made my OH sister a bridesmaid for a number of reasons that both my OH and I agree on. Do I feel bad??? Hmmm not really, on that day you want people behind you who have witnessed your journey and are truly happy for you both. They need to be people who will support and help you in your continued journey through your marriage. 

    Wedding planning can be sooooo stressful. I'm glad to be coming out of it all soon. My advice is be true to yourself without being mean about it all. See if there is anything else you can involve her in. I'm sure they'll be lots to do. Being engaged only once is the plan so please enjoy it and don't let anyone still your joy.

    All the best 

  • Anna22Anna22 Posts: 157

    There's already a lot of excellent advice here, just wanted to add one thing  -  don't make any decision about bridesmaids just yet,  Don't tell anyone who you've picked.  Just sit with the decision for a while to make sure it;s the right thing.  Also I wouldn't worry about the equal size of bridal party  noone apart from you will notice this.


  • I think the bridal party should be chose by you, to be bridesmaids are people you are close to and nothing to do with your h2b just has his party is essentially nothing to do with you. We arent having ushers or groomsmen etc I dont even know what they are! My matron of honour os actually h2b sister but thats beacuse shes ended up my closest friend. I have her,her daughter,my daughter and my friend for bm and h2b just has his best man

  • MissNdMissNd Posts: 122 New bride

    I think your bridesmaids should be chosen by you. I had the same with my SIL, I've had all my female cousins who I consider as sisters. There is 7 of them so I don't want any more. 

    The thing I thought is, if I have his sister, does that mean I will have to have his close female cousins too? As I'm sure his sister wouldn't want to be apart from them on the day..so it started to get ridiculous. 

    Stick to what you think is right x

  • Maria60Maria60 Posts: 113

    I think it's your own choise. Do as your soul says!

  • Thank you all for your wonderful responses. I think i started to panic slightly as I really like to be super organised. 

    As you all say its probably best to decide nearer the time I would need to order/buy the dresses. His sister would not really be suited to doing a reading. I am sure between me and H2B we will come to a decision. I should probably say he has even less patience for his sister than I do, in terms of how she acts. 

    Bridesmaids seem to be a very contencious issue. Good luck with all your own weddings! 

  • I was in a very similar situation. H2b's sister is young and immature. However I decided to ask her and she has been very helpful. It is completely up to you though. If you are not sure don't rush into a decision! 

  • Laura574Laura574 Posts: 3

    I am literally beside myself. I am not close to my h2b sister. I have been with my h2b for 9 years (childhood romance). And finally we are getting married. I have had his father who has not been nice to me over the years and neither that nice to my h2b - tell me " you are having his sister as bridesmaid arent you" he said it aggressively with me stuttering like No other and then repeated to ask me the question again.. I carried on stuttering and he then went on to say "has he not spoken to you" agin aggressively and again asked me this twice to which I replied abruptly wth the answrr NO both times. Turns out he has told my h2b to tell me to have his sister as my bridesmaid on 2 occasions and my h2b didn't mention anything to me as obciously he knew his father had absolutely no right in demanding such a thing. I feel completely threatend by his father and so does he if the truth be know and cannot bring himself to telL him to butt out. Me and h2b have been having the most awful arguments since. He completely understands that his father is completly wrong in demanding this but says "how can I tell them no". I have spoken to my mum who is worried that if I do say no to this that his parents will say they're not coming to the wedding. I have been very thoughtful about who I asked as my bridesmaids as I thought of it as who do I want there with me getting ready on the morning of my big day, in my photos and everything else and it's the people I love most. I feel acompletly forced into this situation and am on the verge of tears constantly. Why should I be forced into this? How dare he demand. But we are both too scared of the outcome of saying no. Please help me

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