My fiance and I got engaged less than1 month ago and already there is trouble with my family. We each have 3 bridal party members (bridesmaids: my 2 sisters and his sister), (groomsmen: his 3 lifelong friends). My mom called (and later posted on this forum) re-including my sister’s husband (aka brother-in-law) as a groomsman. I was first told by my family that it was proper etiquette (I checked many books/sites, including this one, and it does not appear to be mandatory) and then told it was family tradition (which I don’t quite believe). My brother-in-law is a great guy, but I don’t feel strongly about having him as a groomsman. My fiance likes him, but does not know him that well. My mom, fiance and I finally sorted things out and agreed to ask my brother-in-law to be a reader, which we thought was a nice compromise.
When I told my sister we were going to ask her husband to be a reader she abruptly ended the call and she has not returned any of my calls since). Also, although the rest of my family respects our decision, they prefer that we make him a groomsman and are upset because my fiance “should have wanted to include him as a groomsman.”
Are my fiance and I the bad guys? Should we keep standing our ground (we barely care any more at this point) or should we call the brother-in-law and “promote” him from reader to groomsman?
As we have mentioned in many previous posts, the groom selects his groomsmen based on his relationships. So, he invites those closest to him to act as groomsmen.
It is an honor to be asked to be a member of the bridal party, not a right. You select the number of attendants based on the size of your wedding. The more formal the wedding (the more guests), the more attendants you’ll need. If your wedding is semi-formal then you already have enough groomsmen and the point is moot. You can find that information in any etiquette book or on this website.
I’m sure we gave your mother the same advice when she posted, and she might think this is her family’s tradition, but if the wedding couple doesn’t need, or want, more attendants then, well, they don’t – it is their decision.
I couldn’t agree more. There are so many people creating their own brand of etiquette and calling it family tradition, which is basically just a form of control and entitlement. Your brother-in-law is not entitled to be part of the bridal party if not close to your fiance.
It’s unfortunate that some people feel that they are so important that they deserve special treatment and are above the “rules” the rest of us follow. We follow those rules because they are fair and logical. I hope everyone can calm down and focus on what is most important here: you two marrying.
Bride’s Brother as Groomsman?
I just got engaged and now working on asking the members of our bridal party to be in the wedding. I have an etiquette question…. should the bride’s brother be a groomsman? My fiance already has his close friends picked out and he is not very close with my brother. Everyone I ask seems to have a different opinion. Help.
Bride Next Door
There are no real rules about having the bride’s siblings or groom’s siblings in the wedding party. If he has other friends who he is closer with and would rather have them standing up with him – he should have who he wants. I don’t think it is a big deal at all.
I agree. There are no rules that say that siblings have to be in the bridal party. That’s a personal thing. Each person should pick the people they want to stand up with them. If he is not close with your brother, then there’s no reason to ask him to stand up with you guys. If you WERE close with your brother and you wanted him in the wedding party, I’d suggest you ask him to be a bridesman.
Some families would expect the bride and groom to include each other’s siblings in the wedding party. There are only so many groomsmen the groom can have, and he shouldn’t have to exclude his own friends to include an in-law he may not be close to. That’s the theoretical answer of course, the reality is that not having the brother in the wedding party could cause more discord than it’s worth, especially in families.
Should I ask my fiancée’s brother to be one of my groomsmen?
We aren’t particularly close so I’m concerned it may be a bit awkward. He is under age (he’s 19) so I don’t know how that would work with bachelor party activities which groomsmen are typically involved in. Also, I’m not sure how he’ll fit in with the rest of my groomsmen which are my old friends from high school and college buddies.
Why don’t you ask him. Your bride’s family will love you forever. He will figure out what to do at the bachelor parties. Your groomsmen will like him and understand that he is your brother in law to be. It is just for a day. Do it, it is a win, win situation. Think of all the people you will make happy. I know of several people who did not give their future brother in law the honor and they so regretted it later on. In the future, you could end up being very close to this guy.
Family should always come first, close or not. He will be hurt if you do not ask him and later you don’t know as he matures you and he may become closer, especially if you have children and he will be uncle to them. I would definetly ask him. It won’t be awkward if you treat him like your brother but not your baby brother just a brother. I know, family sticks by you when no one else will. Start as you mean to go on. Your other friends may go their seperate ways after they marry, maybe not, but you know your brother will always in some way be a part of your life. Family first, you may not know how much he looks up to you, at his age he may not want his “hero worship” to show, but, there has to be feelings there.
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