Is it ok for girl to not want stepsister as a bridesmaid but wants real sister as maid of honor?

May 12th, 2011

My husband and I have been married for about 6 months and had dated about 2 years prior to that. We have 6 kids between us, 3 girls and 3 boys. The oldest 3 are in college and the youngest 3 live with us so we have my husbands youngest daughter and one of my boys and my daughter living at our house. My oldest step daughter Sarah just got engaged and they are planning on marrying in May. Of course she will ask her biological sister Lizzy to be her maid of honor. Sarah called her dad last night and told him she already has 6 bridesmaids for her wedding and doesn’t really want to ask her stepsister Carly to be a bridesmaid because she doesn’t really know her very well. Carly is 15 and has always wanted a big sister and was SO excited when she got 2 (one her age and an older sister). If she isn’t asked to be a bridesmaid at the wedding it will crush her. Anyhow when Sarah called to say she didn’t want to ask Carly to be a bridesmaid Sarah’s dad said he would talk to me and let her know. So we talked and sent Sarah a text telling her that I had talked to Carly about this a couple months ago (knowing Sarah would prolly be getting married very soon) and I had asked Carly if she would be hurt if she wasn’t a bridesmaid and she said yes. Sarah replied back and said “are you sure she would feel that way? and then what does that mean for my fiance? does he have to have her boys in it?” He told her no they aren’t going to be that way and it wouldn’t really matter to them. She then replied “well if Carly wasn’t being that way…….”. This is Sarah’s wedding and her big day but if she doesn’t ask Carly to be in wedding then Carly will be hurt very badly especially with the fact that Sarah’s biological sister lives here with us and will be the maid of honor so Carly not being asked to be a bridesmaid by her new sister will be a daily reminder of the hurt. My husband says well these are people she has a history with, she doesn’t with Carly. I feel like the right thing to do would be throw in 1 more bridesmaid so Carly doesn’t feel bad. And by doing that it would make Carly think that Sarah is just the most wonderful thing and she would feel accepted by Sarah as part of her family. What are your thoughts?
I never got involved. I have kept my mouth shut except for when I have been asked by my husband then I simply answered honestly. I do agree it’s the brides decision. I fully accept her decision. Doesn’t mean I think it’s kind, cause it isn’t. I have also talked to my daughter about she how she probably won’t get to be in it. And i have no doubt my daughter would ask Sarah to be in her wedding regardless. There is only 4 years between the 2 girls and Sarah’s sister is the same age as my daughter. and there won’t be drinking at Sarah’s party or anything going on that a 10 year old couldn’t see or do. It’s not an easy situation but and I don’t neccessarily think there is a right or wrong here. It’s really about being a kind hearted person or not.

17 Responses to “Is it ok for girl to not want stepsister as a bridesmaid but wants real sister as maid of honor?”

  1. LizlovesJH says:

    Yes it is not only ok but it is what that day is supposed to be about the bride, not a 15 year old step sister she hardly knows. You have only been married 6 months and…..

    Carly needs to get over this.

  2. Khailah Bernard says:

    I agree. I mean, yes I feel sorry for Carly, but if it’s her wedding and she barely knows her, she kind of has the right to do what she did. If it was just to spite her, then it was wrong. But I think that the bride has the choice.

  3. krissylyn says:

    I will not buy into the “it’s her day” nonsense and tell you that it’s okay for your daughter to make the decision based on that excuse, but I will say that I think a 15 year old is too young to be a bridesmaid – especially in a group of 6 women.

  4. Lizzie says:

    Well seeing as you’ve been married for 6 months, and dated for 2 years how can Sarah not know Carly? Either she actively tried not to know her, or she doesn’t like her. I’d say that the fact that it is her day she does have preferential choice, but that’s kind of harsh.

    As for the people who are saying 15 is too young to be with women, that’s not true. She’s in college, so Sarah is ranging from 17-22, which is not a big difference between the two girls.

    Overall, I would say that is is Sarah’s choice, but she should explain to Carly herself why she can’t be chosen, none of this telling the father, to the mother to Carly and vice versa. That’s my opinion though.

  5. perfectvelvet says:

    Carly doesn’t have to be a bridesmaid, but she could be included in the wedding in some other way. It would be nice, but it’s not required. If I wasn’t close to someone, I wouldn’t ask them to be a bridesmaid either.

    All of that aside, Sarah needs to put on her big girl panties and tell Carly all of this herself. Making you and your husband the middlemen shows that Sarah is immature and obviously aware that not making Carly a bridesmaid would hurt her feelings; otherwise, she wouldn’t be worrying about it and wouldn’t have even mentioned it to you.

  6. nova_queen_28 says:

    You cannot and should not force Sarah to have someone in her wedding that she doesn’t want to ask. And if that means Carly’s feelings are hurt, it is unfortunate but you are going to have to deal with it.
    Why should anyone bend what they want for their wedding to a 15-year-old? That seems crazy. Its not like there is any etiquette that says who you must put in your wedding party.

    I might have your husband ask Sarah if there is something that Carly could do so she feels included in the wedding. Perhaps a reading or as an usher so she isn’t totally left out of the event and relegated to being “just a guest”.

  7. seamstress says:

    I understand completely what you are saying here. I understand your daughter’s expectations and how you and your husband want to be the go betweens and how the bride feels.

    Brides maids are not “thrown in” for good measure. Your daughter was 13 when you came into your husband’s life. She never had the chance to get close to her step sister and therefore she is not part of the bridal party.

    While you are obsessed with your daughter’s feelings, you are giving zero consideration to the brides feelings. How fair is that? It is so easy for you to say to just include your daughter, but the reality of the situation is that you are being emotional about this and not fully realizing that your daughter really has no place in the brides bridal party, by design. So, I think you need to accept that and stop pressuring the bride to include your daughter.

    Perhaps your daughter can hand out programs at the ceremony or ask people to please sign the guest book so she feel included and special. But, insisting your daughter be a brides maid is rather pushy and quite not your choice in this instance.

  8. Rawr! says:

    Wow, ever heard of paragraphs?

    It is absolutely OK for her to choose her bridesmaids based on who she actually wants to be part of her wedding.

  9. John M says:

    It’s your wedding. When everyone else has long forgotten it, you’ll be the one who remembers.

  10. Halo Mom says:

    THe firs thing is you can not let this get to be a problem in your marriage

    It’s Sarah wedding, she could ask who ever she want
    Ask Sarah if she could give Carly a part in the wedding, like doing a reading, so she is not totally left out.
    Point out the good thing of not being a bridesmaid
    Like, picking out a dress you really like, not the one the brides picks out
    A lot of people see this as a good thing
    Tell her you could make a day out of dress shopping, and you could ask Sarah and the other child to come.

    Sarah seem to know this would of been a problem for Carly, and did not care
    So, do not make it a big thing

  11. Jilly says:

    I really do see where you’re coming from. That it would be a small gesture on Sarah’s part but would mean the world to Carly. Really, adding another bridesmaid to the 6 that already exist wouldn’t be that big of a deal for Sarah but really probably would mean the world for Carly. I get all of that. And I realize what an awkward position this puts you in. You’re a newly blended family and this would make everyone feel like they actually are a family rather than a bunch of people who happen to live under the same house.

    Unfortunately, it’s Sarah’s decision. What you might see as a small concession on Sarah’s part to make someone else happy could be seen as a pushy step mother putting the needs of her own daughter above that of her step-daughter whose wedding it actually is. 6 bridesmaids really is a lot. And, honestly, a 15 year old kid who I’ve only known for 2 years wouldn’t be on the top of my list of people to expand an already (in my opinion) bloated bridal party to begin with.

    I know that you see Carly and her excitement and the fact that she’s going to feel left out and it might be clouding your judgment a little. If she’s hurt, she really will get over it. Or, at least, when the time comes for her to have her own wedding she’ll understand a little better. Of course, every teenager wants to get dressed up and be a bridesmaid but that’s not a good enough reason to choose someone. Can she do a reading or have some other function? I think including her isn’t a bad idea, but I don’t think that this is the battle to be fighting.

    Everyone makes concessions for family harmony during weddings. This whole ‘it’s my day’ stuff doesn’t actually fly in real life. But, in this case, I would be very very careful of pushing too much. And I’d be a little wary of bringing it up with you daughter. If she wants to talk about it, fine. But I’m not sure that you are helping the situation by initiating a conversation about a wedding you have no control over and really no say in raising your daughters hopes with no way of backing it up.

  12. The Original GarnetGlitter says:

    As a mother I understand the feelings of 15 year old girls however….

    1) It’s always the bride’s choice who she wishes as her attendants
    2) She should have those girls she is close to.
    3) It’s NOT about extended families being ‘acknowledged’ publicly or a ‘pecking order’. It’s not about what others feel is the ‘right’ thing to do…it’s the bride’s choice.

    Now there’s the ‘dashed hopes’ and disappointment of your 15 y/o Carly-which I MORE than understand having raised 3 daughters and a son to adulthood.

    While a parent wishes and has the strong urge to see to it their child never is disappointed in life….it’s a bad move. Part of being a parent is to teach them the skills they will need to cope with REAL LIFE and that includes dealing with disappointments.. I don;t have to tell you Real Life doesn’t give a HOOT about whether your kid is disappointed or not and sheltering them, never letting them develope the emotional skills to deal with disappointment is doing your children a great dis-service.

    Then there is the practical aspect…Now a days most bridal attendants are adults and as adults often tailor the pre-wedding activities to that fact…how will Carly feel if she can NOT attend the bachelorette party but the other girls CAN because she’s underage by law? And if anyone expects the bachelorette party to be tailored to Carly being underaged, well that is NOT fair to the bride because it’s NOT about Carly.

    The wedding is because your step-daughter and her guy wish to committ to each other in is NOT so Carly can feel good. And at 15 she will get many oportunities in future to be in a wedding party. Nor is it a ‘tool’ to bring Carly and her new step-sister together.

    I would listen to your husband and use this as an opportunity to teach Carly 1) there are many disappointments in Life….2) This is just ONE wedding, not the ONLY wedding in her family/life 3) She can’t always get what she wants, especially when it’s NOT about her 4) To accept a situation with GRACE 5) and to find the good in any disappointment.

    What good you ask? Why Carly can get the fanciest, prettiest outfit of her choice to wear as a VIP guest, not have all the responsibilities that go with bride’s maids and she gets to party at the wedding and not look like some matchy-matchy cookie cutter stamped gal like so many bride’s maids do.

    It’s all in the approach Mom and YOUR attitude too will go a long way in preventing any drama this can generate.

    I am not so sure that you are NOT transfering YOUR feelings onto this situation….becareful that you do NOT because it’s NOT your wedding nor is it designed to make YOU feel good, either.

  13. thisjustin says:

    My thoughts are that you are a pushing an issue that is sure to cause discomfort among your family. Although Sara may be a little thoughtless it is certainly her wedding and her day to be with people she is close to. You should not be trying to make her feel obligated to include your daughter, who she is obviously not close to, in her wedding.

  14. lalala says:

    Sarah should not be “forced” to ask Carly to be in the wedding. Her wedding party should consist of people she is close to. Of course, if she wanted to ask Carly that would be fine but obviously she doesn’t.

    At 15, Carly should be old enough to accept and get over the fact that she wasn’t asked.

    It was rude of you to get involved.

  15. bridgette says:

    Lol I wasn’t even a bridesmaid at my sister’s wedding when I was a preteen, and we have a pretty decent relationship. It’s totally fine for her to not include her in the immediate bridal party, especially if they are not that close. She already has six bridesmaids, and in this economy, it could be difficult to add one more.

    If your daughter (or you) feel that this could cause hurt feelings, why not suggest perhaps an alternative role for her, like greeting and seating guests, or being in charge of the guest book (which I ended up doing at my sister’s wedding). That way she can still be involved without unhappy feelings from your daughter or her fiance?

  16. Suz123 says:

    You write: My husband and I have been married for about 6 months

    And your hubby is correct . . . six months does not constitute a history.

    Carly will face many disappointments in life. This is just one of them. Your job as her mother is to teach her to handle this disappointment graciously.

    Please ask Sarah if there is something else Carly can do to feel involved, such as handing out programs or bubbles . . . or serving as the guest book attendant. And of course, it would be nice if she was invited to a bridal shower.

    Carly will have many other opportunities to be a bridesmaid.

  17. Rachael says:

    If I were Sarah I wouldn’t have Carly as a bridesmaid either. Why would she? She’s an adult. She was an adult before you ever started dating her dad. Carly is not her sister. Carly is the daughter of her dad’s new wife. Of course her actual sister would be in the wedding. Her actual sister has been part of her life. Carly has no reason and no right to be offended and I think it’s horrible that you are trying to make the bride feel guilty about not asking Carly to be in the wedding.Obviously her friends who she’s known for years would rank higher than her dad’s new wife’s daughter.

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