Sticky Family Situation

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EditorBree Posts : 7 Registered: 4/22/09
Sticky Family Situation
Posted: Jul 29, 2009 10:15 AM

Hello, Brides!

My fiance and I are running into a couple of sticky situations with family, and while I think I know how they need to be handled, I thought I'd ask for some advice.

First off, I've asked my fiance's sister to be one of my bridesmaids. She's currently dating a man my fiance doesn't like at all (I haven't met him, but reports aren't good. Possible drug issues.) My fiance doesn't want him at the wedding, and plans to tell his sister he's not welcome. I understand he doesn't want this guy around (I'm not sure I do either, from what I've heard), but I think it's inappropriate to tell a member of the bridal party they can't bring a date if they choose to. The way I've understood it, you can ask guests to come stag, if you can't really accommodate extras, but not bridal party members. I really worry about this thing causing a rift between him and his sister.

The second issue (sorry, this is a bit long) concerns my fiance's two youngest half siblings. He really doesn't get along with them, and I don't care for them either. They're not nice people, let's leave it at that. We don't want them at the wedding, but my fiance thinks his father will be offended if we don't invite them, even though he's not all that close to them either. My fiance has stated that once his father has passed away (hopefully many years from now, don't misunderstand me!) he'll be completely cutting off contact to these two siblings. But we're feeling slightly strongarmed into inviting these people to our wedding, which we think should be a celebration with the people we love, and who love us. We don't want to have to go photoshopping people out of our wedding pics! But, I'm guessing that the conventional wisdom is, we'll have to invite them. What does everyone else think?


Bride2008 Posts : 3,058 Registered: 3/28/06
Re: Sticky Family Situation
Posted: Jul 29, 2009 10:36 AM Go to message in response to: EditorBree

First, congratulations on your engagement.

Your FSIL's date isn't an uncommon situation. People on the boards have had similar issues in the past. You really can't tell her who she is and isn't allowed to bring, unless you are willing to have a possible rift. I wouldn't worry about it just yet though. Your wedding is over a year away. By that time, this "boyfriend" could be long gone. If he is still around, let FH handle the situation. It is his sister and no good can come from you getting involved.

The half-siblings are a more difficult situation. You are right - your wedding should be about the people you love and who love you. His half siblings may not exactly fit into that. However, it is very difficult to leave people of this relation office, because it can cause a lot of family discord, espeically since you think his father will really want them there. I think FH should sit down and talk to his dad about the situation. If FFIL is adamant that they be invited, I would do it, especially if you have a good relationship with him. FH can just explain that if Dad wants him there, Dad will have to keep an eye on them and make sure they behave. If he is indifferent, skip the invitation, since you have no long term plans to maintain a relationship with them.

I don't think however, that you need to include them in photos.

Best of luck in your planning!

P.O.O.P.E.R. - People Offended by Offended People Executive Recruiter

Edited by: Bride2008 on Jul 29, 2009 10:51 AM


simplebride2 Posts : 33 Registered: 4/17/09
Re: Sticky Family Situation
Posted: Jul 29, 2009 10:44 AM Go to message in response to: EditorBree

I agree with PP about the boyfriend. Just wait, he won't necessarily last or your opinion of him may change. Don't push her closer to him by making her defend him when the wedding is so far away.

I disagree with the other part though. I would just invite them. There will be so many people there that it's not like you will have to spend a lot of time with them. And, while they come to the wedding, they don't have to be in the professional pictures. They can be "guests" more than "family" if you aren't that close.


myra Posts : 5,550 Registered: 3/28/06
Re: Sticky Family Situation
Posted: Jul 29, 2009 1:24 PM Go to message in response to: EditorBree

You seem to be making lots of assumptions about how people will feel and react. For example, you "feel" that you are being strong-armed into inviting the two half-siblings, but has anyone actually discussed this issue with your FFIL? As for Sis's boyfriend, as a PP said, he may not even be an issue by the time of the wedding. Many couples have a "no ring/ no bring" rule for dates, and that includes the wedding party. There's no law that says that anyone who is not engaged or married gets to bring a date. In any case, wait til closer to wedding time and then communicate with the peopole involved. As a general rule, let your FH discuss issues in his family; you concern yourself with issues in your own family.
myra at


Rose217 Posts : 474 Registered: 8/9/08
Re: Sticky Family Situation
Posted: Jul 29, 2009 6:42 PM Go to message in response to: EditorBree

I'd consider the long term effects inviting or excluding your FSIL's boyfriend will have on family relationships. I'd also consider how long have they been together and if this battle is worth fighting. That's my only advice cause I don't know what I'd do in your shoes. ;)

As for the half-sibs, I'd say invite them to keep the peace with FH's father, but they don't have to be included in any photos. Or you can take only 1-2 pictures with them, because you never have to order those prints. For the family shots, say "immediate family only" or do both immediate and then blended. That's what I'll be doing.


CoutureBride27 Posts : 130 Registered: 5/5/09
Re: Sticky Family Situation
Posted: Jul 30, 2009 8:41 AM Go to message in response to: EditorBree

Hi, well my advice would be:

1. Speak to FH's sister and tell her about your concerns, by not just inviting him or telling her that you don't want him there, might 'cause some bad vibes. The best thing to do is talk about the problem and you could sit together and discuss the best option that will make everyone happy, especially you and FH!

2. We're in a very similiar situation, FH does not have a good relationship with his father at all, and he calls he's stepdad father, so he told me that he's not inviting he's real dad to the wedding. Ultimately the day is about the two of you, if you know that having the siblings there would just upset and ruin the day, then I don't see why you need to invite them, also, you don't really have a relationship with them, and I feel that you musn't invite people out of obligation, but because you want them to share in your special day!

Good luck!
: )

Cherish all your happy moments:  they make a fine cushion for old age.

**Christopher Morley**


Agape14 Posts : 201 Registered: 12/31/08
Re: Sticky Family Situation
Posted: Jul 30, 2009 11:35 AM Go to message in response to: EditorBree

I'm a firm believer in acting according to your actual relationship with people, not just based on genetics. I don't believe in the "blood is thicker than water" mantra as an absolute because in my own experience sharing common DNA doesn't make people treat you properly, and oftentimes people with no family relationship can be very close to you.

If your FH has a bad relationship with his half-siblings and feels very strongly about not inviting them, then I'd say don't invite them regardless of how Dad feels. But in that case, be prepared for a potential rift with Dad. On the other hand, if he's just lukewarm about them and it's a preference rather than a core principle, invite them to save the family drama.

My initial feeling when doing our guest list was that only the people closest to me and FH would be invited. It's our day, why should we have to do anything we don't want to. Etc etc. But the truth is that it's a celebration of both families and there will inevitably be a variety of people that you'll be asked to include that you either have a very limited relationship with or maybe even none at all (relatives, friends of family, business associates etc) but who are close with your parents or other significant family/friends. So the rule I'm using is that the parents can make their list of "must haves", prioritize them, and unless we have a reasonable objection (that individual has personally done us wrong in the past) the guest will be invited space permitting (using the priority list). Each set of parents has a general cap of invitees based on our budget and the venue space, but other than very specific instances, we're not editing their list.

So unless the half-siblings have done something heinous, I'd encourage FH to just invite them, be civil, and enjoy the day. As for the bad-news boyfriend, maybe you could introduce your BM to a more suitable gentleman =)



~~Life's tough, wear a cup~~


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