Whether you invited your sister-in-law to join your bridal party or were assured by your husband you'd soon receive an invitation, it can come as a surprise when a woman you consider family doesn't ask you to be a part of her big day.
"Not being invited can give the impression that she doesn't consider you two to be close — that you're sisters only through marriage, and that she doesn't actually consider you a friend," commiserates Kelly Heyn, owner of Social Life Event Planning in New Jersey. "It's so hard in those situations not to question motives behind the act and overreact, but there can be a number of different reasons why you weren't asked, many of which might surprise you."
Rachel Needle, Ph.D., clinical psychologist in Palm Beach, Florida, points out your sister-in-law had a life long before you came into the picture — one with friends she's been close with for years. "This might be more about feeling closer to them and needing to include others whose weddings she might have also been in, than it is about you," she says. Your sister-in-law could also be trying to keep costs and drama low by keeping her bridal party small, Heyn adds.
So before you get upset, consider sitting down for a chat with your sister-in-law. "Communicate with her about your feelings it rather than letting your imagination run wild and perceiving something that might be inaccurate," says Needle. If your worst don't come true, you can ask your sister-in-law how else you might be able to contribute to her wedding. "The bride could ask you to give a reading during the ceremony or be by her side as she gets ready with the bridal party," says Heyn. And of course, you should absolutely expect to be included "in family photos — and maybe even one shot with just the two of you alone."