Firing A Bridesmaid

by admin on January 30, 2012

I am engaged to be married in July 2013 and am having a bit of a dilemma with regards to bridesmaid selection.

When I first got engaged, I planned on choosing my cousin and my younger sister, ‘S’, as bridesmaids. I don’t have any particularly close female friends, and figured it would be easiest to pick bridesmaids from within my family.

The problem is that my sister’s behaviour has been quite disrespectful. She is only 18 and has always had a bit of a self-absorbed streak, and tends to place her own needs above those of others. I was counting on the fact that she would respect the importance of a wedding, as I will do when she gets married, but this hasn’t been the case so far.We held our engagement party in October, and she was living in another state at the time. My parents paid for her plane ticket (even though she has her own money) and arranged a flight which would get her there by 7pm, in plenty of time for the party which began at 8:30. At 9pm, she and my father still had not arrived, even though my parents were hosting the party. She had sent them a text message telling them she’d missed her flight due to ‘car trouble’ and demanded that they purchase a new plane ticket for her. She and my father didn’t arrive until 10:30pm and my dad missed out on the speeches and most of the food. I later found out that she had lied about the car trouble and just couldn’t be bothered getting to the airport on time. The missed flight plus new ticket cost my parents over $300.She has since been sending emails to my parents full of disparaging comments about our wedding plans, calling my fiance and I “stupid” for spending money and making fun of him for having a job that doesn’t pay a whole lot. I feel like her behaviour will not change as the wedding gets closer, given that nobody in my family has ever raised the issue of her behaviour being unacceptable.

Is it an etiquette no-no to inform her that she will not be a bridesmaid and choose a friend instead? I am really bad with confrontation but imagine that I would have to explain my reasons behind my decision, but I don’t want to cause a family drama. I don’t have to pay too much attention to my parents’ opinion as we are funding the wedding ourselves, but I have heard horror stories from friends about dealing with family issues while planning a wedding and I want to avoid this, especially as I am also completing my Masters degree and am already quite stressed.    1223-11

There is a proper way to fire a bridesmaid.    Rule  One is to not do it passive-aggressively as many are tempted to do in order to avoid confrontation.   It’s going to be tough to fire a family member from the wedding party no matter how dainty one treads.  So no cold shoulders, sabotaging dress orders or leaving her out of bridesmaid communications, etc.

Rule  Two is that this requires a face-to-face discussion, not a phone call or email.

Rule Three concerns what to say.  Focus on the bridesmaid’s well-being and happiness and avoid making this about you.   Here is how I would word it…..”S, it appears to me and other family members that you seem unhappy and stressed about my upcoming wedding and your role in it.  I think it would be best if we agree that maybe being a bridesmaid isn’t where you will best be happy celebrating our wedding with us and we find you a different role that is better suited.  I would hate to think that my wedding is causing you problems so what do you think about doing a reading during the ceremony or being the guest book attendant?  Or maybe just have fun whooping it as a guest?”   And then be sure to reassure her that she will welcome to attend all bridesmaid fun things like a hen’s night.  Particularly with a family member, you want to make sure the firing is not symbolic of removing them from the family.

By wording it this way, the topic of concern is about her, not how her behavior is distressing you.   You also give her a graceful “out” to say, “Yes, accepting the honor of being a bridesmaid is more than I expected.”   But if she balks at stepping down, you have made it quite clear that her behavior has been noted and that this is a wake up call.  You never know, she may straighten up, fly right  and become at least an acceptable bridesmaid.  Good luck.

{ 47 comments… read them below or add one }

Cat January 30, 2012 at 4:54 am

I would not try to remove her because of the family drama she would create, but neither would I allow her to control the wedding. With this as a guide, I would expect her to try to delay your wedding: she won’t finish getting her hair done, get dressed on time, her make-up isn’t right etc. (My brother pulled this sort of thing every time some event was important to me so I have been through the drill.) She has a control issue.

Go through with every thing on schedule. If she isn’t ready, she’ll just miss it. Make it clear you will not wait for her-ever.

You made a mistake with the engagement party by not letting her take a taxi from the airport and keeping your Dad at home to host the engagement party as he should have done.


lkb January 30, 2012 at 6:16 am

I understand where the OP is coming from. However, before taking such a step, I strongly suggest that she first try to talk things over with the sister and, possibly, with the parents. Kicking one’s only sibling off a wedding party could result in repercussions that will last the rest of your life..

I repeat — I do understand. I’d be tempted to do the same. But do think. it. over. very. carefully.

Best wishes on your wedding, your marriage and your degree.


MellowedOne January 30, 2012 at 6:57 am

You are allowing an 18yr old to cause all this drama in your life? Seriously?

Please, call this child and tell her (basically) to either shape up or she will be shipped out.

And, as a side note, how do you know what she is emailing your parents? I’m assuming your parents are volunteering the information. For your own sanity, I suggest you ask they keep such information to themselves.


Katie January 30, 2012 at 7:04 am

Reading between the lines of what you’ve written, I sense that there is a potential issue in terms of how your parents are dealing with this (I could be wrong, though!). Have they expressed an opinion about her behaviour? If not, then I’m surprised that they haven’t spoken to her about the way she is acting, which is disrespectful and totally out of line (particularly her comments about your fiance’s job).

In terms of being a bridesmaid, then probably what I would do is to speak to my parents first, laying down my concerns about how she’s acting, and the impact that it’s having upon you. I would tell them that you don’t particularly want to have her as bridesmaid, because of the way she’s been acting. Then see how they respond. I can totally understand your reluctance to cause a family ‘drama’, but if she can’t be a bit more pleasant and respectful, then I don’t see why this should threaten your enjoyment of your day.

Good luck x


The Elf January 30, 2012 at 8:49 am

I was wondering about the parents too! I mean, they paid for an airline ticket Sis completely blew off. I’d be angry, to say the least. The other stuff is just icing on the cake. Bride should get the parents opinion on what to do next, because if she “fires” the sister as a bridesmaid without parental support then she might find herself on the receiving end of their anger.

Gossip and backbiting is one thing, but not bothering to get to the airport in time when flying on someone else’s dime is a special kind of selfish. I’m willing to bet it isn’t the first time she’s pulled stunts like this and the parents condone it.


Katie January 30, 2012 at 11:01 am

Yes, this is *exactly* what I was thinking!


OP February 7, 2012 at 9:48 pm

OP here. Yes, she has pulled this stuff before and my parents have tended to let it slide.

My mother admitted to me once that she finds S’s behaviour unacceptable but she hopes that S will just ‘learn’ how to respect others. I believe one does not learn acceptable behaviour without being taught that what they are currently doing is NOT acceptable but this viewpoint doesn’t go over well.

We are five years apart in age, and my parents have told me that they felt they made some mistakes when raising me and have decided to do the opposite with her. The trouble is, they may have been too critical of me, but it didn’t affect me too badly and I think it’s worse to allow a child to have complete freedom.


Kali January 30, 2012 at 7:25 am

I’d go with the politest possible way of saying “look, sis, you’re clearly unhappy with the wedding arrangements. We could never ask you to be a part of something that makes you so upset, so, no worries, we’ll just have to find another bridesmaid.”


Margo January 30, 2012 at 8:20 am

Would it be worth sitting down with your sister to try to discuss this, first?
After all, this is your sister – you are going to have a relationship of some kind with her for your whole life.
Its hard to say whether this is general cluelessness, selfishness or both – did your sister feel she ‘ought’ to be your bridesmaid without really wanting to be? (that doesn’t excuse her behaviour, but considering if there is a reason behind her behaviour might make it easier to deal with it without starting a massive family row which could go on for years.
It sounds as though your parents have been enabling her behaviour – is there a risk that they will blame you rather than her if you take her out of the wedding?


--Lia January 30, 2012 at 9:11 am

What was her response when you first asked her to be a bridesmaid? Was she thrilled, or did she say she’d do it with no enthusiasm? This might go more easily than you suspect. In person would be better, but if you can’t swing that, get her on the phone and ask her if she’s into this. Make it clear that it’s okay if she’s not. I, for one, can love a friend dearly and still think dressing up, marching down an aisle, and making a toast is sheer hell. Add choosing dresses on top of it, and I’m stark raving lunatic. And that’s when I adore the couple with no misgivings. Your sister may be the same way plus family issues.

So let’s say you’re talking to your sister, you ask her non-judgmentally if she’s excited about being in the wedding; she takes a few inappropriate potshots at your fiance, and you tell her with a ton of love that you understand that it’s not her thing. She comes as a guest. Maybe she dresses in your wedding colors or gets a special corsage to identify her as your sister, and that’s it.

I’d also be on the alert to the possibility of adolescents growing up. 18 year olds can do a lot of growing up in 1 1/2 years. The self-absorbed streak of a late teenager that expresses itself in sarcasm all over the place can become the loving brilliance of a smart young adult with a keen eye for family dynamics.


Wink-n-Smile January 30, 2012 at 1:22 pm

Lia – you are so right about the growing up she’ll be doing at this time. She is away from home, at a particularly trying age, and going through who knows what? In 18 months, she will undergo a whole lot of changes, and she may turn out to be a great bridesmaid. Or not. She may be under a huge amount of stress.

Basically, it’s time to lovingly talk about it, without judging her, and give her the out she may be needing. And if she really does want to do it, educate her gently on what she needs to know and do.

I would not be a teenager again for all the money in China.


June February 3, 2012 at 8:38 am

That was my first thought, too. She’s a teenager!
Doesn’t excuse her rude behavior, but I’d give her one more chance to shape up before she’s out of the bridal party.


OP February 7, 2012 at 9:57 pm

Lia, I hope you are right about the growing up! She has had a bit of an arrogant streak her whole life, but it has gotten worse over the past few years. Perhaps being away from home for the first time and starting uni will help her mature.

I do differ with my parents on the best way to manage such behaviour. My mother flat out refuses to pull her into line, to the point where she will refer to my mother as “an idiot” and “retarded” and she receives no discipline. I haven’t heard too many negative comments to my face, but the things she has said behind my back are really quite horrible (among others, that I deserved being in an abusive relationship because I was too stupid to leave, and that I was making up a mental illness for attention). Perhaps this incident has just been the icing on the cake of many years of resentment.


ferretrick January 30, 2012 at 9:12 am

I think you can confront her a little more directly, but phrase it in terms of, “When you do X, it makes me feel Y.” When you don’t get to the airport on time and miss my engagement party, it makes me feel like the most important day of my life is not a priority to you. When you make disparaging comments about my fiance, I feel like you aren’t sharing my joy and that makes me sad because you are my only sister. When you demand our parents spend extra money on two plane tickets, it makes me feel like my wedding is a burden on my family rather than a celebration. If she gets defensive or hostile, well, then proceed with telling her that while she is still welcome to attend as a guest, you have decided to find another bridesmaid. I definitely would not offer her a reading, guestbook attendant, or any other alternative role in the ceremony. She’s made it clear she can’t be counted on not to screw things up. And, ideally admin would be right, this conversation should be done face to face but that may not be practical since your sister lives far away.

I also agree wholeheartedly with MellowedOne. Unless she’s cc ing you on the e-mails she’s sending your parents where she makes nasty comments, which I find unlikely, the reason you know about it is your parents are telling you and spreading the bile. Tell them, politely but firmly, “Mom, Dad, her comments only serve to upset me, and cause me more stress and hurt feelings. I would appreciate it if you would not tell me anymore about them. Thank you.” Do this repeatedly every time they start to bring the subject up until they get the message.


Gracie C. January 30, 2012 at 1:17 pm

I wouldn’t say anything along these lines – “When you don’t get to the airport on time and miss my engagement party, it makes me feel like the most important day of my life is not a priority to you.”

Whether a person’s wedding day is the “most important day of their life” is debatable, and the wedding in question was nearly two years away at the time (the engagement party was in October of 2011 and the wedding is in July of 2013). A wedding nearly 2 years away, that isn’t your own, isn’t a priority for anyone but you (collective you, not specific you). To think it should be anything more than a blip on their radar at the onset of the engagement is ridiculous.

And I disagree that the sister has “made it clear” that she’ll screw things up. She screwed up one event (with the parents’ assistence, quite frankly), due to messed up travel arrangements (would like to know how the OP knows she lied about the car mishap). Who knows what she’ll be like 6 months from now, a year from now, or 1.5 years from now when the wedding actually takes place. I’m not saying the bride shouldn’t talk to her sister, but leading with me, me, me / my special day / if I’m not your priority for the next year and a half I don’t think you should be in my wedding, doesn’t seem to be the way to go.

And frankly – despite the OP describing the sister as a little self absord (which she likely is), I think she might actually need to look in the mirror as well. A statement such as, “I was counting on the fact that she would respect the importance of a wedding” leads me to think the OP might be one of those women that really thinks everyone else’s worlds should revolve around her wedding day. She can’t possibly know if her sister won’t repect the importance of a wedding as the wedding is 1.5 years away.


Jennifer January 30, 2012 at 6:10 pm

I have to agree – I got fired from a wedding because I couldn’t make a pre-wedding party event. That really sucked. A bridesmaid is supposed to get a dress and be there on time. Anything else is what YOU are requiring of your bridesmaids.


OP February 7, 2012 at 10:00 pm

I don’t think it should be everyone’s most special day, there is a bit of back story there I suppose. S has a history of expecting attention when anything happens to her, but flat out ignoring major events in everyone else’s life.

If I’d rung her up two nights before and said “come interstate for this party” I’d completely understand her behaviour. She knew about this event two months in advance and she knew how important her attendance was to me and my family. It wasn’t the party that was important, it was all of us being there together, because she had moved interstate and I knew my parents were really missing her.


Gracie C. January 30, 2012 at 9:41 am

Ok – first of all – shame on your parents for sharing your sister’s emails. I never understand why people do that. It just causes hurt feelings and resentment and gains nothing. You also shouldn’t be so hyper-focused on how your parents choose spend their money. They bought her plane ticket, and paid for the ticket when she missed the flight. They could have told her that wasn’t possible – but they didn’t. I’m not sure I see how their financial choices concern you. I get that you were annoyed that dad missed most of the party – and I don’t blame you at all for that feeling – but again – they could have made (or insisted your sister make) other arrangements. You should probably let go of infractions of your sister’s that weren’t really against you.

As for firing her from the party- the wedding is nearly a year and a half away – while I agree that your sister is acting like a total ass, I wouldn’t be surprised if things shifted with a little more time. I’d hold off if I were you. There likely won’t be any duties for her for a while, and by then you’ll have a better handle on her state of mind. I’d have a deadline in your head of when you’d want to have the talk with her if her attitude doesn’t change, but I think it’s a little early considering it will likely cause a huge family drama. And that’s not to say that you can’t talk to her about her behavior – absolutely do that – but I don’t think you necessarily have to fire her.

I also must admit that I’m also a little perplexed about your comment about ditching your sister and asking a friend to replace her. She said you didn’t really have any close female friends worth asking really- so why ask someone if you decide your sister isn’t the right person? Just to have the “numbers”?


Chocobo January 30, 2012 at 9:50 am

I would rethink before making a rash decision.

How, precisely, did the bride find out about these emails? I would put that on the same terms as gossip. Everyone says things from time to time that the victims were not meant to hear or know. Certainly it is something that the sister should have left unsaid, but that the gossip was repeated to the bride is nearly worse. How is confidential information repeated to the bride helpful to their relationship? How is that information even useful to know? It isn’t, for the same reason that spelling out exactly why you are dropping her from the bridal party in excruciating detail isn’t. It will only cause more drama, and it certainly won’t have the desirable effect of changing her behavior. Has anyone ever met success by baldly telling other people what their flaws are?

The sister’s selfishness in the engagement party debacle is undeniably rude. However, the sister was demanding of her parents and was rude to them as the hosts. Why the parents enabled such nonsense is beyond me, but that’s their issue. There seems to be very little offense directly to the bride in this whole story, except that her sister nearly missed the party.

If this is still enough to kick a sibling out of the party, then that is up to the bride, but it would be wise to heavily weigh the fears of the future with the possible consequences of the family rift it may cause. Should the bride decide to drop her, the admin’s advice is spot-on. Put the focus on the burden it is for her and your concern for her happiness–rather your concern for your own happiness–and tell her you would be willing to let her simply come as a guest if it would be easier for her. It is important to say this kindly and sincerely.


Angel January 30, 2012 at 10:29 am

I agree with post #1. Make it clear that you are going through with everything on schedule, and if she isn’t there, she will miss it. People act like this because they are allowed to. I wouldn’t allow it if I were you. And make sure you get your parents to back you up on this. Tell them in no uncertain terms that because of the fact that you and your fiance are paying for this wedding, what you say goes. If your sister doesn’t want to get with the program, she’s out. The engagement party would be the LAST time I would wait for her. The next time your parents try to tell you about one of the nasty emails just respond like this: “Why on earth would you tell me this? Are you TRYING to hurt my feelings?” and leave it at that.


Meegs January 30, 2012 at 10:38 am

OP, obviously you know your sister better then we do, but I urge you to talk to her about this. I am sad to say that I was once your sister in the story. I was 18 when my sister got married and at that time I was silly, a little self-centered, and thought I was the coolest thing in the world. I was a terrible maid of honor. I barely helped at all and was very uninterested in the planning. I never wanted to accompany my sister on any sort of wedding-related errands, all I wanted to do was spend time with my boyfriend. It wasn’t that I didn’t love my sister – we have always been super-close – I was just immature and didn’t realize what an important time it was for her and how much she wanted and needed me to be there for her. I still cringe when I think about the fact that rather than going home after the rehearsal dinner and spending quality time with my sister on her last single-girl night, I went out to a keg party with my boyfriend instead.
Obviously I am not that silly girl anymore and my sister and I are best friends. Though she was hurt at the time, she understands that I was just a kid and didn’t really grasp how selfish and bratty I was being. It wasn’t until I was getting married myself that I truly realized it – my sister was the best maid of honor to me, by the way, and actually I got to make it up to her by being a stellar maid of honor for her when she remarried.


Wink-n-Smile January 30, 2012 at 1:27 pm

Your post makes me feel very hopeful. Thanks for sharing!


OP February 7, 2012 at 10:02 pm

This does make me feel a bit better. I don’t think I can let her behaviour go unnoticed, but I might have a sit down with her about it rather than not allowing her to be in the bridal party.


politrix January 30, 2012 at 12:03 pm

I agree completely with the Admin. OP isn’t comfortable with her sister being a bridesmaid, sticking to a schedule and leaving sis out of the events if she misses them is only going to create more tension and probably backfire terribly. It’s a wedding, after all, not a nite out at a restaurant. Everyone has to be on the same page, especially with timing.
As for the e-mails, unless OP read them herself, she should take what her parents say with a grain of salt. But her sister’s behavior at the engagement party is enough of a red flag to me to indicate that she does not belong in the wedding party.
I had a similar situation with my cousin… she had prior experience planning special events (and a pronounced bossy streak), so I figured she’d be great for helping out on the wedding day, making sure things were running according to schedule, etc. SO I asked her if she’d be willing to lend a hand on the day of the event…. just to help out here and there, mind you.
Fortunately for me, she showed her true colors long before the actual day, bossing my family and me around, and being extremely demanding . So I quickly (but nicely) told her that while I was very grateful that she was willing to help me out on my special day, I realized how unfair it was to her that she’d have to be “working” on a day when everyone else was celebrating, partying, catching up with friends and family, etc. and since I wanted to make sure EVERYONE enjoyed themselves at my wedding — especially the ones I loved and cared for the most — I would relieve her of her duties, and thanks again anyway.
It was a perfect snow job lol. She was none the wiser, no one’s feelings were hurt, and I had a lovely, (mostly) stress-free wedding day!


Wink-n-Smile January 30, 2012 at 1:09 pm

This part:

“arranged a flight which would get her there by 7pm, in plenty of time for the party which began at 8:30. ”

set warning bells ringing in my head. Having flown a time to twelve, I have learned the following:

NEVER count on a plane being on time (weather and/or security can hold up a plane).
NEVER count on your passenger making the flight, in the first place (traffic and/or security can hold a person up).
ALWAYS count on the passenger disembarking exhausted and in a foul mood (not good for a party guest).

In other words, if airline travel is involved, the best plan is to schedule the flight for the day before, to allow plenty of time for delays and for the passenger to rest up from the flight. Especially if they’re flying coach, air travel is gruelling.

And I’m not just saying that because I check for the barf bag before I check for the safety information. My other traveling companions who are not as physically delicate have the same experiences with delays and being tired and annoyed from the flight.

That said, she shouldn’t disparage your fiance or your wedding. If she does, you may want to ask her why. It’s possible she has a reason. Maybe the guy hit on her, and she’s trying to steer you clear of him, without revealing that. I don’t know. Anyway, it’s time to take the bull by the horns, and take Admin’s advice. Give her a graceful out, and an opportunity to step up her behavior.

And for goodness’ sake, schedule the flights, hairdresser, dress-fittings, etc. with plenty of time for delays. Delays WILL happen at some point. It’s just a question of when, and which event.


Jennifer January 30, 2012 at 6:08 pm

“ALWAYS count on the passenger disembarking exhausted and in a foul mood (not good for a party guest).”

I would never want to go straight from a flight to a party as I get really sick to my stomach on planes.


Wink-n-Smile January 31, 2012 at 10:43 am

Yeah, I was horrified at the prospect, myself. If I had been the sister, I would have sucked it up, because I love my siblings, but I KNOW I would have been utterly miserable.

I’m not a good flyer.


OP February 7, 2012 at 10:05 pm

I know she really disliked my last boyfriend (with good reason) but the reason I was hurt by her comment is that she has always seemed to get on well with my fiance. They will never be best friends – after all, there is an 11 year age difference – but she’s always been nice to him and they treat each other with respect despite having very different personalities.

As for the flight, we did suggest an earlier flight but she insisted on flying out that night so she could hang out with friends in her state that morning.


Wink-n-Smile January 30, 2012 at 1:16 pm

OP said that her sister admitted she simply didn’t bother to show up to the airport on time. That is, as a previous poster has said, “a special kind of selfish.”

However, maybe it’s just me looking through my personal lens here, I’m inclined to give the sister the benefit of the doubt. Maybe she just really, Really, REALLY hates flying, and couldn’t bring herself to do it, until she truly had to. Maybe the guilt of having her parents shell out for another flight is what got her on that plane. Maybe she’s too scared to admit her fears to her family.

Maybe she was delayed, for real, but in such a way as she couldn’t let her parents know. “Sorry, Mom and Dad, that I missed the plane, but the illicit sex I was having was just taking so long, and then the guy’s pants got tangled in my bra strap, and we wound up needed to drag ourselves over to the desk for scissors to cut ourselves free.” In such a situation, I’d probably lie, too.

So, yeah, she could just be selfish, or maybe there’s more to it than that. Given your parents’ behavior, I’m willing to be that they’ll scrounge for all sorts of excuses for her behavior, rather than tell her she’s not up to snuff on your wedding. Therefore, be prepared for their defence of her.

I like the Admin’s suggestion to make the “firing” all about making things easier for your sister. Very gracious, indeed, and your parents won’t really be able to argue with it, even if they do want to spoil her.


Gracie C. January 30, 2012 at 5:53 pm

Actually – she never says her sister admitted it – she says she “found out” – she doesn’t mention how.


Wink-n-Smile January 31, 2012 at 10:42 am

You’re right. I read that wrong. Thanks!


OP February 7, 2012 at 10:07 pm

Sorry, should have clarified that – yes, she did admit it to me later that night.


VM January 30, 2012 at 1:53 pm

Just a passing note — I’m struck by how money seems to be a leitmotif in all the reported behavior. Demanding she must be bought a second ticket…you’re “stupid” to spend money (is she thinking that you should bully your parents into paying for the wedding like she did with the tickets?)…your fiance doesn’t make enough money. I’m getting a strong whiff of sugar-daddy diva above and beyond the standard operational teenage self-absorption.


OP February 7, 2012 at 10:10 pm

She attended a private school whereas I attended a state high school (my father taught there when she attended, so they received a fee discount). I don’t think she’s trying to be a diva or a gold digger, but a lot of her friends came from wealth and I believe she has observed the advantages they’ve had in life and feels herself entitled to the same, despite our family being in a very different financial situation.

I believe this is more the fault of my parents than S, as she can’t help wanting to relate to her friends. I know it would have been hard for her at first, to come to a new school as a middle-class student and see her friends get given $100 monthly shopping allowances and new cars on their birthdays. However, she is not an idiot and she must understand that our family are not well-off and won’t magically become so.


Sarah Jane January 30, 2012 at 2:39 pm

First of all, your parents are enablers. I, too, find myself wondering why they share her nasty comments with you. Are they trying to stir up drama? Are they trying to get you to kick her out of the wedding?

Secondly, I agree with those who suggest that you give her the year and a half to grow up a little bit. Maybe don’t share so much about the details of the wedding with her right now. She may be jealous of the attention you’re receiving. As the wedding gets closer, involve her more, but as someone else said, do not allow her to steal your joy by her antics. Do not accommodate her tardiness or any other attempt to thwart your plans.


Miss Raven January 30, 2012 at 2:43 pm

I agree that this sort of thing normally takes a certain amount of tact and planning. But OP, you are presented with a unique opportunity. Perhaps it has never been your place before to tell your sister that her behavior is completely unacceptable. But this is your wedding, she is your bridesmaid, and her behavior has been unacceptable. Now you may speak freely.

There’s no need to be melodramatic or bring up old grievances. But I disagree with the OP that you should not be more clear about why you are requesting that she step down. You should be perfectly clear, because you are not doing anyone any favors by mincing words in this situation. I think that you should explain to her, neutrally and clearly, that she has been inconsiderate, self-absorbed and mean spirited, and that you no longer require her services.

This is a crucial time in your sister’s life. Perhaps no one has called her out on her atrocious behavior before. Maybe, right now, before she becomes an adult who has never been reprimanded, you can give her a nudge in the right direction.

I regret that I missed my opportunities to do so with my own brother, who is now an inconsiderate, mean-spirited adult. Eighteen is the perfect age to be taught this lesson: Your actions have consequences. Your actions hurt the people who care for you.


Gracie C. January 30, 2012 at 5:59 pm

Except other than missing her flight – she has not been inconsiderate, self-absorbed or mean spirited to the OP. She has made comments to their parents – comments the parents should have never shared with the OP. If the OP wants to talk to her sister about her behavior it should be limited to actual interactions they have had between them, not things she has been told. A decent approach might be to have a chat with her about the expectations for her role, and ask if she’s prepared to meet those expectations. I still think it’s premature though.


Miss Raven January 30, 2012 at 2:43 pm

Edit: Disagree with the Admin, not the OP! Goodness, what a typo.


Jennifer January 30, 2012 at 2:47 pm

I second the “shame on your parents” for telling you about the emails. That is totally inappropriate.

Second, you have to admit, the engagement party thing was badly-planned. You got a flight arriving at 7 for an event at 8:30? People miss flights, she’s young and this is probably one of the first times she’s gotten herself to the airport and she did at least try to get on a second flight.

Third, you shouldn’t jump to “firing” her. Your wedding is over a year away and going for the nuclear option first is likely to drive a wedge in your family. Why don’t you just talk to her?


Enna January 31, 2012 at 10:15 am

Why are your parents telling you what she is saying? I see where Jennifer is coming from but maybe they are trying to warn you that they think she shouldn’t be a bridesmaid as she doesn’t respect you and your future husband? Telling a person about what another thinkgs about them is a catch 22: it could be the wrong thing or the right thing. If someone was saying bad things about me I would want to know espcially if they were going to be a bridesmaid at my wedding. I think you need to tell your parents that they should tell her to stop saying bad things to them about you: if she can’t say it to your face she shouldn’t be saying it at all. And if it does get out that your parents have come clean she only has herself to blame for sending the emails in the first place.

You do need to talk to your sister about this: maybe she is scared of losing her sister. I think Admin’s suggestion is a good one.


jena rogers January 31, 2012 at 1:05 pm

Admin response is not definitive enough for my liking. I wouldn’t ask her opinion… I would cut this nonsense short. And sorry, but if I were the bride, it’s important to reinforce with a bratty sis that, at this time, it IS actually about me — as well as my parents’ happiness (as they have apparently been placed in the middle) and the happiness of my husband, other attendants and attendees. And it sounds like she lives elsewhere, so I don’t imagine I’d go out of my way to confront her personally if it is going to cost me precious time and money. A phone call, if personal visit is not possible, is the next best thing: “Sis, I can see by your behavior that you are not ready for — or at least interested in the responsibilities of being an attendant at my wedding. I’d like to keep this as stress-free for everyone as possible. I wish I didn’t have to tell you this, but I need you to step down from this job. I hope you understand that I have other people’s feelings to consider here and I don’t want our parents, etc. to feel stressed. I hope you can take some time to consider how your behavior effects these people who are important to us, and that you can still make it to our wedding as a guest. Period.


jena rogers January 31, 2012 at 1:08 pm

I should clarify… I wouldn’t as Sis’s opinion (as in, “What would you think of taking on another role?”)… Sorry for the confusion.


Enna February 2, 2012 at 12:17 pm

It’s good to have sevearl suggestions I think then the OP can use which one she thinks is best for her sister.


melanie February 2, 2012 at 3:55 pm

Hey gurl for now just hold on to it I will make it up there and we can go from there. Oh auntie dar was sayin if ya needed a brides maid she is avalible. Love ya sis

23 hours agoWynter-Solstice Autume-Blaze Campenrelli
ok maybe her and you

20 hours agoWynter-Solstice Autume-Blaze Campenrelli
what are you trying to tell me .cuz rite now i am not liking what i read from you .iwanna know a for sure answer

19 hours agoAudra Jewitt
I am there for you 100% but you had mentioned that some of the bridesmaids that you had were being difficult and auntie said that if you need some one to call her but as to where to send the dress everything is so up in the air about addresses that it is easier and safer if you hold on to it and I will come pick it up


SJ February 3, 2012 at 12:38 am

Sorry. I can’t get over the fact that you’re wedding is so far away, but you’ve already had a party for it.


OP February 7, 2012 at 9:51 pm

Parents decided to host an engagement party basically as soon as we got engaged. I was on holidays from university at the time and it was pretty much the only time that was suitable. The wedding is a long way away to allow for the demands of my university schedule, plus we have to save money.

We would have been fine without the party to be perfectly honest, but it seemed to mean a lot to my family.


OP February 7, 2012 at 10:19 pm

Thank you all for your kind suggestions!

I think I will sit her down next time she comes back home and have a chat to her about this. Perhaps I am being a bit unfair on her or overreacting to this incident because of our history. I have probably been a bit of a wuss in the past, in terms of not addressing it when she has been rude or disrespectful to me, for fear of upsetting my parents.

I have recently spoken to my mum about it and she admits that the way S treats my mother and I is quite rude, and that it’s worth having a gentle discussion about it. Not “I hate you and I never want to speak to you again”, but more “when you say x, it makes me feel y and you may not realise this but it’s upsetting to me”. I really think she doesn’t do a lot of what she does on purpose – she genuinely does not realise that her behaviour can be at best inconvenient and at worst hurtful.

Thank you in particular to those who pointed out that she is only 18 and has a fair bit of growing up to do. I think I tend to forget that, as she does act ‘beyond her years’ in a number of ways, so when she does something typically ‘teenage’ it is a bit out of character.

I also believe I have expected a sisterly relationship that is just not going to happen with us, due to our extremely different personalities. We will probably never be the sort of sisters who are each other’s best friends and confidantes, but I would be happy with a pleasant if not entirely close relationship.


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