Korynn
Dedicated April 2020

Future sil is driving us batty

Korynn, on December 7, 2019 at 9:37 AM Posted in Etiquette and Advice 0 17
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Morning ladies and gents. I'm looking for advice on how to address a problem sibling in a wedding party.



A little background. She is FH's only sibling, lives just over an hour away, and is in her mid 20s. FH and I drive to see her and my FMIL on a weekend at least once or twice a monthm His mom is the BEST omg I adore her. But more to the point. His sister, one of m6 bridesmaids.
What has us frustrated is that she doesn't respond to any questions or bridal party requests when they are made by me or my sister.
The wedding is in four months, and she hasn't ordered her bridesmaids dress yet. She has had the past 10 months to do so, since that's when we decided on the styles for the girls to pick from. We even added a few extra choices when she said she didn't like halter or strapless dresses.
I've asked her on more than one occasion, but never more than once in the same week, if she has ordered her dress yet. They take a few weeks to come in, after all. So I'm worried about how close to the wire she's getting.
We are also DIYing the bridesmaids bouquets since the venue requiressilk flowers (cruise ship). I've asked her to come up and stay the weekend with us to work on them with me and my sister (my MOH), because I really WANTED to spend that girl time with her and my only sister. That way the three of us could bond and be crafty and productive.
Any time I try to bring up my concerns by asking if there's any way I can help, she seems to just shut down and change topic. How can I express my concerns without getting their mother involved, if she doesn't want to listen? She's 24, and I feel like "tattling" to my FMIL would only hurt the situation.

17 Comments

  • Destiny
    Rockstar May 2020
    Destiny ·
    • Flag
    If she doesn't get her dress than she can just be a guest. Is there somthing going on in her personal life? Maybe shes feeling jelly that brother is getting married before her? Ik when my brothers had there babies i was green with envey, (only one who EVER said they wanted kids)
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  • Korynn
    Dedicated April 2020
    Korynn ·
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    There isn't anything in her personal life that she's let us or her mother know that's going on, so I really couldn't say. I can understand the jealousy aspect, but it just hurts so much. I've been seeing my FH for seven years now, and we've been engaged since 2017. So it's definitely not like it's out of the blue. I worry, and I want to help, because she's going to be my family. This whole thing really hurts the FH too because she is his only sibling.


    Even if she doesn't get a dress, yes she's still welcome to attend. But he was really looking forward to her being up there with us.
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  • MOB So Cal
    January 2019
    MOB So Cal ·
    • Flag

    I agree about the dress. If she doesn't have it by the wedding, she'll be a guest. (You said they come in within a few weeks, so she really does have time.) Based on her lack of response/enthusiasm, I'd assume she doesn't have much interest in coming to work on crafts and bond with you and your sister. It's great you made the offer, but I'd just let it go and you and your sister do them yourselves. Would it be cool if the three of you were besties? Yes, but not necessary. I definitely would NOT "tattle" -- that's pretty much guaranteed to NOT make your relationship with her better. If your FMIL figures it out on her own that her daughter hasn't ordered a dress and chooses to talk with her about it, that's on them, but I would not get involved. At 24, she's an adult who gets to make her own choices.

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  • Korynn
    Dedicated April 2020
    Korynn ·
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    It's just incredibly disheartening for the both of us is all. She was there the day we got engaged, but has more or less ignored any requests to actually participate in the bridal party beyond her agreeing to be up there with us. Which is definitely not a requirement, but at least telling us upfront "hey i don't feel like it" would be better than no contact imo. Things will still get done, I just wish there was a good way to start that conversation with her.
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  • MOB So Cal
    January 2019
    MOB So Cal ·
    • Flag

    I get that, but all you can do is reach out. If she's already a bit standoffish, I'd consider that "only texting her not more than once a week" to ask if she's ordered her dress could seem to her to be completely over the top and kind of obnoxious from her perspective. It doesn't sound like she and FH are super close, and it's hard to know all the family dynamics to understand why that is. She may be jealous, she may resent your close relationship with her mom, she may resent that she's not as close to your FH as they used to be, she could be feeling like at 24 her life isn't where she hoped it would be, etc. There are just SO many things that may be influencing her attitude right now. You've made offers, but I'd consider backing off a little. If she already has an issue, repeatedly asking her about wedding stuff may be making matters worse. If possible, perhaps encourage FH to spend time with her alone when you are in her town -- they can go to lunch together or whatever. Let him work on his relationship with her first. Either way, despite it being disappointing, I think it might help to realize that trying to push her to interact with you doesn't seem to be making things better and may be making them worse. The plan is you'll be family soon and forever; give her time and space and you might be surprised how your relationship grows over the years as everyone continues to mature. Good luck! (I've been married 32+ years, and between us, we have 10 siblings and their spouses. My relationships with different people have definitely grown and changed over the years as our circumstances have changed. Give it time.)

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  • L
    Lady ·
    • Flag

    Leave her alone about the dress - she has plenty of time to get it. If she doesn't, then she's not a BM - not worth stressing over.


    If you're DIYing bouquets you need to actually do it YOURSELF. You're BM's are not hired labor. A day of making bouquets sounds horrible to me, no matter how much I love the bride and I definitely wouldn't drive up to spend the weekend with my SIL and her sister to make them. I can be supportive and happy for you without being excited about crafts.


    Honestly, it sounds like she's not doing anything wrong and you're kind of bugging her. I don't appreciate being hounded (even once a week) to do a task that I have plenty of time to do. There's really not much she needs to respond to either.


    I get that it might not be exactly the omg girl time moment you were expecting but everyone is different about weddings, especially when it's not their own. I think you just need to back off and recognize that crafting, etc is not something she is interested in.

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  • Jeanie
    Rockstar February 2020
    Jeanie ·
    • Flag
    Give her a set date to order her dress by. Ask if there’s a problem delaying her from ordering it. Maybe there is something going on you don’t know about. You can let her know you’d love her help with the flowers, but that is not an absolute requirement of being a bridesmaid. Try asking her to do something not wedding related. She may feel that you only want to spend time with her because of the wedding, whether it’s true or not.
    Since you only have a few months left and she has had nearly a year to order the dress, I agree that it’s concerning that she won’t follow through. You or your fiancé should probably mention something to his mother. It sounds like you are close, and it would be awful if she was blindsided should the sister end up not being in the wedding. It’s not tattling, it’s communicating. As a mother myself, I would be heartbroken and angry if I showed up and my child was not in a wedding they were to be in. I would be equally upset if this happened and caused drama between children before the wedding and I had no idea there was an issue until there was a big fallout fight. It’s ok to tell his mom you’re worried the sisters dress won’t be ordered/delivered in time.
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  • A
    Super February 2020
    Andrea ·
    • Flag
    She’s a grown ass woman, she knows what she needs to do.
    I’d say make the bouquet without her, she probably doesn’t want to be bothered with it even if it means family time. I know my little sister would be the same way if I asked her. As far as the dress, if she’s anything like my little sister the more you pry the more she will push away. Just remind her one last time, preferably with witnesses in the room, and then let it be. If she gets the dress then perfect, if not then she can be a guest. She won’t learn until she’s in the situation, and she won’t appreciate your hard work cause she’s in her own world.
    • Reply
  • V
    Master July 2019
    Veronica ·
    • Flag

    Since the dress only takes a few weeks to come in, then she still has plenty of time. My sister-in-law didn't order her dress until like 2 months prior to the wedding because she was pregnant at the time. Unfortunately, she ended up having a miscarriage and after that is when she ordered the dress. She didn't have the dress hemmed until two days prior to the wedding. My mother-in-law is the one that hemmed her dress. Your sister-in-law obviously knows the style of the dress and where to get it. She also knows she needs to have the dress for your wedding so I am sure she will purchase it. Worst case, she isn't in the wedding. As for the flowers, she obviously has no interest in putting together bouquets. I wouldn't either as I am not very artistic so I would be worried about ruining them. Just because she is a bridesmaid doesn't mean she needs to bond with you and the other bridesmaids. Although it would be nice if she would, it isn't a requirement. My brother-in-law's wife made her own bouquets, but not every person in the bridal party helped. She got help from her fiance, my mother-in-law, my sister-in-law, her mom, the best man and maid of honor. My mother-in-law, sister-in-law, the best man and maid of honor stayed at their house for several days prior to the wedding since they had traveled from out of state so they were available to help with putting together bouquets. The rest of the bridal party either didn't want to help, didn't need to help or were otherwise busy.

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  • Kari
    Super May 2020
    Kari ·
    • Flag

    What does your FH think about the whole situation? It's his sister after all.


    Also, if you get down to the wire, I wouldn't hesitate to involve your FMIL if you and her get along great. You may think of it as tattling, but if you don't mention it to her and your FH's sister doesn't end up getting her dress or isn't able to be a part of the wedding party anymore, your FMIL might feel bad that she was left out of knowing about the situation that is unfolding.

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  • kymarmck
    Super March 2020
    kymarmck ·
    • Flag

    I think the best thing to do is do something non-wedding related to bond with her! I have a good friend who is not a BM who respectfully told me that she didn't want to be involved in my wedding planning or even talk about my wedding with/around her. Once we started doing things that were non-wedding related that's actually when she ended up opening up on her own about why she didn't want to be involved in my wedding planning or even hear about my wedding.

    I know I'm worried about a couple of my girls getting their alterations done on time but like many people have told me, it is what it is. It's hard to take a step back since I'm very Type A and always want to be on time (or 15 minutes ahead) lol. Hopefully your SIL orders the dress soon and gets her alterations done!

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  • Katie
    Devoted March 2019
    Katie ·
    • Flag

    I agree with some other comments, that in a nice but FIRM way, give her a deadline to order her dress and if she cannot meet this deadline, then you would love to have her attend as a guest. If it helps ease the fear of conflict, let her know that all members of the wedding party have been provided this deadline as well (even though I'm guessing no one else needs this deadline), however, make sure this is an individual conversation because throwing it in a bridesmaid group-chat will likely not get the point across that she is the one who is behind. I would mention these worries to your FH, while making sure to not sound like you're bashing the sister, and he may be in a better position to communicate with her or do with that info what he will.


    While I would not give her sole responsibility of any wedding tasks, I would always leave an invitation open for her to attend any crafting, planning, and general wedding girl time but do so with the understanding that she isn't very involved otherwise you're setting yourself up for hurt feelings and/or incomplete projects. There are a million reasons she isn't present that she may not be wanting to share: issues in personal life, her own version of "wedding blues", if she doesn't have any married friends and is not married herself she may not see this as a big deal to bail on crafting, she's worried about being left out if it's all your best girlies + her not knowing anyone.


    At the end of the day, be the bigger person, and make a best effort to let her participate because after your wedding day, you'll have another sister for life and how you interact with her now will set the tone (I know I sulked and pouted about being the "bigger person" when my sister did a lot of these similar things and ultimately was not in my wedding, because it's our big day right? Other people should be the bigger person? But being the bigger/kinder/etc. is always worth it, I promise)

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  • Future Mrs. B
    Devoted May 2020
    Future Mrs. B ·
    • Flag

    If she doesn't want to get her dress, that on her. She can attend the wedding as a guest. I don't think it's something that you should worry about since you have so much else to worry about. Everything will work out one way or another. Good luck!

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  • Korynn
    Dedicated April 2020
    Korynn ·
    • Flag
    Thanks for the advice, folks. As it turns out, she's decided to back out of even going to the wedding at all. So. There's that. FH is crushed, because we hadn't brought up the wedding at all for a month.


    100 days to go. Cheers, all.
    • Reply
  • Nonna T
    Master April 2014
    Nonna T ·
    • Flag

    Wait, she doesn't even want to attend??? WTH?!

    • Reply
  • Tanyia
    Devoted February 2020
    Tanyia ·
    • Flag

    Sounds like its time to draw the line. If she doesn't have the dress before the wedding, she'll be a guest! That simple.

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  • Korynn
    Dedicated April 2020
    Korynn ·
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    View Quoted Comment
    Correct! She rescinded her RSVP because of drama with her boyfriend and my FH not agreeing on a request they made. Turns out, the pair were expecting myself and FH to foot the travel expenses for them both. We put our foot down on that, but offered to help her with her attire financially instead. No dice. Ah well.


    He's livid, but MIL is on our side and fully supports how we handled it. All will be well in the end.
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