Sometimes, from the moment you get engaged to the instant you say “I do,” it can feel like your wedding is more about friends and family than you and your fiance. As a perfect example of this family compromise versus personal preference scenario, here’s a tricky question we just got from a Wedding Paper Divas fan:
I’m recently engaged and fairly new to the whole wedding planning scene, so I was surprised when a good friend of mine was shocked that I wasn’t planning to include my fiance’s sister as one of my bridesmaids. My future sister-in-law is perfectly nice and has always made me feel at home in their family, but she is much older than me and I wouldn’t call us particularly close. Am I obligated to include her as one of my bridesmaids regardless?
Thanks for your help,
This is one of those tricky questions where the answer is—it depends. Is your bridal party big already? Do you get along well with her? Have you heard that she’s even interested in being a bridesmaid? And perhaps most importantly, is it important to your husband-to-be?
In general, I vote for including her as a bridesmaid. Whether you are close to her or not, asking your fiance’s sister to be a bridesmaid is a wonderful way to integrate her into your celebration. Imagine if your own sibling were getting married—wouldn’t you want to play a part in the big day? Plus, you are going to be family once you and her brother tie the knot. Why not make this gesture to start your sister-in-law relationship on the right foot?
The only reasons I would advise against including her is if she has been overtly rude to you or if she has told your fiance she doesn’t want to participate. I know you always imagined standing up at the altar with just your best girlfriends, but let’s face it—wedding planning isn’t just about making yourself happy. It’s not worth it to alienate your future in-laws just to free up a spot in the lineup, so we recommend including your future sister-in-law as a bridesmaid as a generous, loving and kindhearted gesture that will kick off your wedding planning in an elegant way.
And who knows? Maybe when you look back on your wedding photos in twenty years the two of you will be the best of friends after all!
Do you have a question for our wedding experts? Send your etiquette, wedding planning or style dilemma to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll post an answer for you!