Does My Sister-in-Law Have to Be A Bridesmaid?
If you are a fan of The Real Housewives of New Jersey, you've no doubt been witness to the drama between two sister-in-laws. The problems between Melissa and her sister-in-law, Teresa, just keep getting worse and there seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel.
If you are a bride-to-be who has always had a less than easy time getting along with your future sister-in-law, what do you do when faced with the dilemma of including her in your wedding party? This is an extremely delicate issue and also a tricky one, as my answer is that it really depends on each bride’s situation.
If you and your future sister-in-law do not have any problems and generally get along well, you may want to include her if it means a lot to your fiancee. Especially if you are marrying into a family that is very close. I think about the day when my only brother (and also the baby in my family) gets married, and I would love the opportunity to play a part. I would be totally honoured...especially if she genuinely wanted to include me. This would no doubt, show me how much she values me and considers me her family.
However, if you are planning to have just a small intimate wedding party, or, you are not super close to her, don’t feel obligated at all. Just because you get along with her does not mean that you must include her in your wedding party and she should understand that.
Now if you absolutely can’t stand her, or are simply not close with her, there is no golden rule that you must include her (or anyone else, for that matter) in your wedding party.
There are situations that are clear indicators to keep her away. If you have never felt accepted or liked, keep her at a distance.
On your wedding day, you should be happy and comfortable and if you have any tension at all, or are not 100 percent comfortable with your future sister-in-law, you are robbing yourself of being happy on your big day. As a bridesmaid or a maid of honour, she is expected to be there for you. You must be comfortable with the people you choose since you'll need to depend on them. If you are not comfortable enough to go wedding-dress shopping with her or to ask for her help on your wedding day, then you should not include her.
The worst is that you will not enjoy your day, and it will actually be ruined with memories of uneasiness, resentment and feelings of sadness. You get one chance to make your wedding day as happy as can be, so do put yourself first.
My Bottom Line
I am all about family and having them close. If you get along and she is close to your fiancee, it would be a really nice gesture to include her. She'd be happy, your husband would be happy and thus, you'll be happy -- a win-win situation. However, this does not mean you should automatically include your future spouse’s siblings just to make others happy. You have to have people stand up for you on your day who respect your relationship and are genuinely happy for you. Good luck!
Rita Wong is a wedding and events planner and owner of Rita Wong Events. Based in Montreal, she also plans many weddings every year for brides living in Toronto and abroad. She is a dedicated follower of new trends and her goal is to give each bride a wedding that is fresh, unique, and a personal reflection of who they are.