November 19

Can One Sister Be a Bridesmaid, But Not the Other?

Choosing bridesmaids is never easy, but when family’s involved it can feel impossible. Take this reader’s question, for instance:

Dear Divas,

I recently got engaged and I’m in the process of selecting my wedding party. I’ve chosen one of my two half-sisters to be a bridesmaid because I’m much closer to her. However, my mother told me it would be rude to include one sister and not the other. Is this true? Do I have to include a (half) sister even if I barely talk to her?

Thanks in advance for your advice.



Dear D,

Quite frankly, you don’t “have” to do anything. It’s your wedding, after all! But here are some things to think about as you make your decision:

  • What will the repercussions be? If your half-sister is the type to throw a fit over the news, include her. It’s not worth a lifetime of resentment! But most reasonable people will understand that a wedding isn’t a competition among siblings, and she might even be relieved that she’ll be spared the expense and time commitment of serving in the bridal party for a relative with whom she’s not particularly close. That all depends on her personality and your family dynamics.
  • Can you talk to her about it? It’s always best to deliver this type of news in person so you can explain yourself. It might be an awkward conversation, but it can also save a lot of hurt feelings and confusion later.
  • What other options do you have? Can you give her another responsibility, let her perform or read a verse at the ceremony or otherwise let her shine? Does she have great style, decor or flower tips? You can be inclusive of family members in a lot of different ways without adding them to the wedding party per se.
  • Will this be the best possible way for you and your spouse to start off your new life together? We’ve often found that most dicey etiquette decisions turn out best when you think about the tone you want to set for the rest of your marriage. If you can feel good about your choice in that light, it’s probably the best decision for you.

We hope this helps guide you toward the right choice for you. In the end, all that matters is that you get a big, happy wedding celebration you’ll look back on with love for the rest of your life!

Do you have a question for our wedding experts? Send your etiquette, wedding planning or style dilemma to and we’ll post an answer for you.


3 Comments   |   Posted in: Wedding Planning
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About Katie

Katie M. is a Writer at Wedding Paper Divas. She has the privilege of viewing nearly every piece of stationery before it goes up on the website, giving her the ultimate inside scoop on upcoming trends in the stationery world. She loves classic designs with a surprising twist, and enjoys finding new ways to express her ever-evolving personal style—a blend of traditional glamour and bohemian whimsy that makes Wedding Paper Divas a perfect fit! In addition to her love for writing, Katie is obsessed with health and fitness, skincare, UC Santa Barbara, all things adorable, the beach, dancing, cooking, getting real mail, fresh flowers, discount shopping, and shoes (who isn’t?). Katie is a contributing editor to Diva Dialogue. Be sure to check out her recurring feature, “Rant or Rave.”

3 thoughts on “Can One Sister Be a Bridesmaid, But Not the Other?

  1. Anastasia

    You absolutely do have to choose both, unless you’re completely rude and selfish. In what would is she less of your sister b/c she’s only “half” related. Even my step-sister isn’t looked upon as less of a family member. I hope your other sister never realizes you even questioned asking her.

  2. Dani

    Oh yes indeed, one can be but not the other! With my big family of six girls, there is/was no way we could ALL be each others’ bridesmaids… So everyone played (or will play) a different role. More dresses to buy, yes, but hey, everyone gets to do something.


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