Am I wrong for not wanting my fiance's sister as a bridesmaid?

·4 min read

Question: "My fiance and I dated for three years before getting engaged. During the time we were dating, his sister has been living in Florida. I have a great relationship with his entire family, but I’ve interacted with his sister only a handful of times. We've haven't had any problems, but we don’t really have a relationship because she lives in another state. Unfortunately, much of what I know about her is through social media. My fiance feels the two of them are not close mainly because they are different.

Recently, my fiance and I were in Florida on vacation and planned to meet up with his sister. We let her know our plans including a brunch reservation we invited her to. This is where things became eye-opening for me. She had no regard for our time or our privacy. She invited herself to everything we did, even when we outright said we were doing something alone. She tried to use us to get her on-again, off-again boyfriend back in good graces with her parents. It got to a point that we had to say something which turned into back and forth phone calls between us and their parents who were attempting to keep my fiancé’s sister calm.

I want to wear a black wedding dress but my mom refuses to attend if I do. Who's right?

My 25-year-old husband wants me to stay home and 'cocoon.' Is this normal?

I have two sisters who I have amazing relationships with, and I have several friends who have a special place in my heart. I have rooted relationships with these ladies, and I don't with my future sister-in-law. I feel that on my wedding day, I want the people who I have amazing relationships with standing with me. Based on his sister's history, I feel she would be a liability and would somehow make my day about her. I’ve spoken with my fiance about it, and he agrees with my decision. We agreed she would have a different role at our wedding and in the planning process. I know their parents will be upset, but I know they would understand.. I think it’s safe to say she will not take it easily. Am I wrong for not wanting my future sister-in-law in our wedding party?"

Answer: When it comes to wedding parties, those who stand next to you should be those you are closest with. Choosing a bridesmaid or groomsmen out of obligation, pressure, or trying to do a favor doesn't usually leave either party happy. Asking friends and family to be part of the wedding party is an honor to many and at the very least, a way to thank them for their love and support over the years. Being a part of a wedding party usually requires responsibility, financial commitments and work. It is perfectly normal not to want someone you aren’t the closest with or most confident in standing by you. Additionally, you and your fiance are in agreement with this decision so there’s no reason to doubt your choices. His parents may be sad for their daughter, but it is you and your fiance's day, therefore big decisions, especially ones this personal, should be left solely up to the two of you.

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That all being said, you may want to try not ton assume the worst of your fiance's sister. Being a bit of a devil’s advocate here, it was probably annoying that she sabotaged your trip, but she could’ve seen this as the only opportunity to bond with you both. Despite the distance, she is actively trying to create a relationship with you, and maybe she just has an unusual way of going about it or difficulties in her personal life caused her to self-sabotage. You don't have to be best friends with her, but looking at her actions more optimistically may make the relationship better and you less likely to feel negatively about everything she does and says.

Based on your writing, it sounds like you have a great plan for your wedding day and a nice way to include her still. If she gets upset about it, just sit down and have an open conversation about your wedding party with your fiance and her. While it may be difficult, I’m sure she will come to understand the decision if you handle the situation with transparency and kindness. Congratulations, and I hope your special day goes off without a hitch.

Morgan Absher is an occupational therapist in Los Angeles who hosts the podcast, "Two Hot Takes" where she and her co-hosts dish out advice. She writes a weekly column, sharing her advice with USA TODAY's readers. Find her on TikTok @twohottakes and YouTube here. You can reach her by email at Mabsher@gannett.com or you can click here to share your story with her.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: I don't want my fiance's sister as a bridesmaid. Is that wrong?