Badgering For Secondhand Invitations

by admin on September 17, 2012

A few weeks I got a call from my future sister-in-law saying that her husband’s sisters really want to come our wedding. I have told her multiple times that we just can’t make it happen. I start on the same speech I have said at least 5 times about how we can’t fit them in the budget, and I am uncomfortable with inviting them and not their husbands because of etiquette. (She told me to invite the sisters, and not their husbands or their kids. I told her multiple times that it is horrible etiquette, but she doesn’t listen). She tells me that they thought up the perfect scenario. The sisters are going to come alone to the ceremony, go somewhere while everyone eats and then when the dinner is over they will come to the reception.

I am not comfortable with this. One reason is because I have met them twice and my fiance has met them once. When I first met them they joked around about how, “We didn’t even know FSIL had a brother, she hardly ever talks about him.” Another reason why I am very uncomfortable inviting them is that at FSIL’s wedding last year my parents weren’t invited. Even though they sent FSIL an engagement present, my mother was asked to make cookies for the wedding, and my mother was invited to her bridal shower shower, they were not invited. They did not have a small wedding, it was a 350 person wedding.

Fiance spoke with her privately, first he said talked about how he doesn’t know them, then saying that if the venue finds out people sneak in they can and will charge us for it. He tried to keep his calm with the situation but she just couldn’t understand that we don’t want her husband’s sisters there. When she started throwing a temper tantrum fiance told her that he was very hurt and embarrassed that his future-in -laws were used and then neglected at her wedding (his words not mine).  She stormed off and didn’t talk to him for the rest of the night. About a week ago she texts me saying, “You know Stewart’s sisters really want to come to the wedding.” I still haven’t replied to her.

So should I keep on trying to get it through her thick skull or should I have my Dad’s best friend, who is very intimidating, ask them to leave if/when they show up to the reception? 0911-12

Your future sister-in-law is a child who is too immature to be reasoned with like an adult.   You’ve tried, it’s failed.  Time for a very direct answer, a firm, “No.”    And this issue of her sisters-in-law coming to your wedding is really no longer about bringing uninvited guests.  Your sister-in-law has found the chink in the armor and is tenaciously badgering you and your fiance because she senses a weakness she can exploit.   YOu can either ignore her latest pestering or reply with a terse, “I’m sorry, we cannot accommodate that request.”   Any attempts to verbally re-engage the issue should be met with, “No, that is not possible.  End of discussion,” and change the subject.

{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }

The Elf September 17, 2012 at 10:39 am

I wonder if Stewart’s sisters REALLY want to come to the wedding? Or were the sister-in-law’s sisters-in-law told that they were invited and now she’s trying to line it up? Or maybe sister-in-law is just making a power play on both sides and the sisters in question don’t know a thing about any of it? I just find it odd that only this one person is pushing for the invites.

In any case, admin has it right that only a firm “no”, without further explanation, will suffice. A “no” from both of you.


Cat September 17, 2012 at 10:43 am

It’s time for the ” What part of no do you not understand?” speech one gives when pressed to the limit.
“You have told us many times that these people want to come to our wedding. They are not invited, cannot come, and will be made to leave if they come anyway. What part of that do you fail to understand? Do not mention this to either of us again.” Practice the tone and resolute expression on your face.
She’s pushing for the same reason that children ask for something they can’t have over, and over, and over. They figure you’ll weaken eventually and they’ll get their way. She figures you’ll eventually just give in. Don’t. Once she knows she can manipulate you, it will never end.
With any luck, she won’t speak to you for years-or until there’s a baby shower they also want to attend.


Serena September 19, 2012 at 2:20 am

I agree. She’s testing you. Small children will push and push just to see how far they can go before you push back. It’s the exact same dynamic here. Start pushing.


Rebecca September 17, 2012 at 10:44 am

I would have to wonder if the sisters-in-law know how hard she is championing on their behalf. Whether they’re in on this or not I might consider contacting them directly. She may have been badgering them as well (“oh please come, it’ll be so boring without you!”),she may have already lied to them and wants to save face (“sure you can come!”), or she may be dealing with their pushiness and transferring it to you (“stop bugging me, I’ll try to get you in!”).

I’d set the record straight with them. That way they’ll know not to believe her if she says it’s possible, and they’ll get a clear from-the-horse’s-mouth explanation on why it just can’t happen. You could always invite them on a lunch date sometime so that they know it’s the situation and not them.


Bint September 17, 2012 at 10:53 am

I would go past no and say “No, and if anyone tries gate-crashing they’ll be kicked out by the venue.”

Then have them thrown out.

I’d also suggest your fiance talk to his parents to get family on side.


CaffeineKatie September 17, 2012 at 11:08 am

Yeah, I see a future of this if the OP and her husband to be cave on this issue. Asking once or twice is asking–this continued harping is definitely a power play. Polish that spine, and be direct. Good luck!


lkb September 17, 2012 at 11:55 am

I agree with the Admin, but I think I’d also have Dad’s big, bad, best friend on alert. Just in case.


Hemi September 17, 2012 at 12:03 pm

No. Stewart’s sisters are not invited. Please do not bring the subject up again.

Also, I’m of a similiar mind of @The Elf- why is SIL so adamant about the sisters coming? Does this woman not understand that she no right to try to dictate who is on your guest list? That begging for *her* SIL’s to be invited is rude? It sounds like something is up. I would think about trying to hire some security and/or definitely getting someone to help me be on the lookout for people sneaking in after dinner.

I would really love to know why she wants Stewart’s sisters there? Very strange that she keeps asking after being told no several times.


Barensmom September 17, 2012 at 1:17 pm

Ask your father’s friend and a few other strong attendees to be on the lookout for the sisters if they crash, or ask the venue if they have bouncers. Your FSIL has some gall to use and snub your parents, then try to foist her IL’s on your wedding.


StephM September 17, 2012 at 1:24 pm

“Can they come?”


2browneyes4 September 17, 2012 at 1:29 pm

It has certainly changed my relationships with people, but in similar situations I’ve gotten fed up and said “The answer is NO!” Then when met with protests or being questioned why, I have said “I don’t owe you an explanation.”

This has happened twice (neither time was wedding-related). Each time the person hung their head and slinked away. Each time the person then became wwaaaayyyy distant. In each case, I’m not upset because I’d rather be rid of someone who would badger me like that than to be rolled over by them and subsequently be mad with myself for not standing up.


Gee September 17, 2012 at 1:59 pm

I hate when people do that whining, “But they really want to come!” So? We don’t always get what we want. That’s life, deal with it. Yeah, and I want a free all-expense-paid trip around the world, but that’s not about to happen.

I agree with the admin. OP has tried repeatedly to politely explain, and has been ignored. It’s time for a firm, “No.”


essie September 19, 2012 at 9:59 am

I want a pony.


Kendra September 27, 2012 at 4:07 pm

And I want a Tuscan Villa like in Under The Tuscan Sun ;-)


ferretrick September 17, 2012 at 2:01 pm

“So should I keep on trying to get it through her thick skull or should I have my Dad’s best friend, who is very intimidating, ask them to leave if/when they show up to the reception?”


Although by keep trying to get it through her thick skull, I mean, just say no. DOn’t give reasons, don’t explain, just say no. No, i cannot accomodate that request. No, that won’t be possible. NO, I WILL NOT DISCUSS THIS ANYMORE!

And have Dad’s BF ready and waiting, because chances are she still won’t get it.


TylerBelle September 17, 2012 at 2:02 pm

Oh yes, the no-going-into-details, “I’m sorry, that won’t be possible…” -type of response is the best route.

This is a mind boggler for me. I’ve never planned a wedding, so perhaps that’s a reason why I don’t get this behavior. Why do some far flung people act as though it’s so earth-shattering important for them to attend the wedding? Especially after the bride / groom and / or their families have already answered in the negative, and more than once.


chechina September 17, 2012 at 3:27 pm

OP, you are right to ignore her text and I suggest you ignore her calls. However, I would not make this about how your parents were treated. That is a seperate issue. Your sister-in-law’s current rudeness is enough.


Original Poster September 17, 2012 at 5:09 pm

FMIL and FAuntIL have also mentioned the sisters wanting to come. I put my foot down with FMIL and I said “No, and I am not discussing this any more because I don’t want to upset anyone.” and with FAuntIL I just simply said that “I really need to talk to sister about this situation.” Everyone keeps on saying that the uninvited sisters are “family” and they should be invited. Well my parents are “family” also but they were terribly snubbed.

I really don’t understand why FSIL is acting like this she is a woman in her 30’s and she is acting like a child. The uninvited sisters are both in their thirties too. You would think they know better. I honestly think the problem is that FSIL told the uninvited sisters that they can come, but because they are not welcome she is too scared to go tell the sisters this. I plan on having my Dad’s best friend along with all 6 of the groomsmen on the lookout for them.


Hemi September 18, 2012 at 10:01 am

I agree with the posters that are saying FSIL had already invited her sisters and now she is either too embarrased or too much of a coward to tell them they are not and were never invited!

Keep standing your ground, OP! I think everyone here supports your decision. Maybe it is time to speak directly to the sisters or to Stewart. They might be horrified to know what she is doing.

I also agree with @Jen a. : this SIL sounds like a bully and if you show her now that you will not cave in to her bullying ways, maybe it will stop future attempts at bullying. Can you imagine how she would act if you refused her offer to throw some kind of tacky baby shower??


Jen a. September 18, 2012 at 8:56 pm

Great job, OP! I love when these stories involve an OP with backbone! It sounds like you have things covered. Not sure when you’re getting married, but I’d love to hear an update.


Ellen CA September 17, 2012 at 5:40 pm

Years ago when we got married, my husband’s brother-in-law’s four sisters and parents all approached us with some version of “you’re inviting us to the wedding, right?” They weren’t on our list because, frankly, we didn’t think they were close enough to us to even be interested. Knowing that they were, we adjusted our guest list and invited them all and they all attended.
As the years have passed, all four sisters and the widowed father have gotten married ( couple of them twice). So… ask me how many of those weddings we have been invited too? That’s right, not a one. Don’t invite them if you don’t have a personal relationship with them.


Jenny September 17, 2012 at 6:30 pm

Heck, I wonder if it’d be a good idea to talk to “Stewart” about it. I know it’s kind of condescending to talk to this husband, but this lady just won’t get it through her skull. Hopefully the husband isn’t as clueless. If he is, I feel for any children they might have.


dizzy September 17, 2012 at 7:20 pm

I was on the reverse end of this. My cousin was getting married and my parents and sister who lived at home got an invite and I didnt. I knew they were having a small wedding so I did not press the issue. My parents kept saying I should just come of course I was invited I stood my ground and did not go. Stay strong and repeat no.


ImJustSaying September 17, 2012 at 7:37 pm

When you tell someone “no” and they try to change your mind they are trying to CONTROL you.


Jen a. September 18, 2012 at 6:50 am

Stay strong, OP!

I have a feeling that this SIL is a bully, and will continue to try this sort of thing. You seem to be handling the situation really well! If you show her now that you have a backbone then she may reconsider trying to bully you into things in the future…


Lynne September 18, 2012 at 9:00 am

Or you could do what my aunt did to my sister. After being told three times that she couldn’t bring her kids, she showed up with them anyway.


Ashley Hurd September 19, 2012 at 4:23 pm

OMG that is horrible. She totally disrespected your sister! Was she able to join the reception? I’m evil enought that I had two hostesses that were ready to turn away uninvited guests.


LadyLelan September 18, 2012 at 9:02 am

If this person is already that pushy, what is it going to be in the future…

I’m afraid it is more than time to politely but very firmly answer on the line of “which part of the word NO do you fail to understand?”

Inform the family and OP’s Dad’s friend seems more than necessary as well.


doodlemor September 18, 2012 at 10:06 am

I agree with Hemi and The Elf that something is up. If you say that the sisters can come I bet that the husbands and children will show up, too.

It’s disturbing that FMIL also thinks that they should be invited. The entitlement here reeks.

Be sure that FH is supportive of you, and not likely to give in to pressure from his family. It seems probable that there will be other battles as the years go by in dealing with this family.


missmolly September 18, 2012 at 10:59 am

You’ve met these women TWICE for crying out loud! Just because in someone’s twisted mind, they qualify as ‘family’ does not mean that they warrant an invite. If I were to invite everyone that qualifies as my family, I’d end up with well over 200 guests, and that’s only on my side!

Simply say, “I don’t want people I hardly know at my wedding” and leave it at that.


Stacey Frith-Smith September 18, 2012 at 2:24 pm

You could approach the venue about this but an easier out is to rescind SIL’s invitation with regret. A simple note “we had hoped to enjoy our happy day with you and regret that your need for additional guests that we cannot accommodate has marred what should have been a joyous time for all our family. We are sorry you will be unhappy and don’t wish to subject you to a sad and stressful time. In light of this, we will be unable to retain acceptance of your RSVP in the affirmative and will have to defer our chance to celebrate with you to a future time. We are sincerely hopeful that we can spend time with you in days to come and will miss your presence at our event but cannot subject you to unhappiness by requiring you to attend when your objections to the hospitality we are able to extend are so pronounced. Best Wishes, Bride and Groom.” Then, stick to it.


Katy September 18, 2012 at 10:14 pm

“Can they come?”
“But they want to!”
“People in H–l want ice water, but they’re not going to get it.”
Hubby’s favorite retort. It hasn’t failed us yet.


essie September 19, 2012 at 10:04 am

I like that one! Another one I use with my kids – “There’s nothing wrong with wanting!”


Hemi September 19, 2012 at 2:00 pm

Haha, that literally made lol. I might need to use it sometime, if your husband doesn’t mind!


Angel September 19, 2012 at 1:17 pm

I agree with Stacy. Although you probably can’t successfully uninvite someone, you can’t allow your guests to dictate the guest list. Don’t let your FSIL run all over you. Because it won’t end here.


SJSomet September 20, 2012 at 1:03 am

I don’t get the whole, “But they really want to come,” thing.

If I don’t know the person too well, I can’t imagine wanting to go to their wedding THAT badly. And never badly enough to commit the faux pas of inviting myself.

Something’s fishy there, either with what the SIL is saying, or why these people want to come so much.


Angel September 21, 2012 at 1:15 pm

Maybe the sisters want to smash cake in the bride’s and groom’s faces?


Enna September 20, 2012 at 11:57 am

I would say talk to the sisters directly: find out what they know and make sure they understand that they aren’t invited. If FSIL has been manipulative then I would say maybe disinvite her? In fact you could say

“The answer is no. I have told you the answer is no 6 times now. If you mention it again you will no longer be invited.”


Kate September 28, 2012 at 3:47 am

You have done the right thing so far. Keep it up!

I also have somebody who is not invited to my wedding despite requests to the contrary. This person is my fiance’s brother’s girlfriend, and is not invited due to her past history of insulting my fiance and I; hacking into her boyfriend’s account on social media to insult us after we ceased contact with her; accusing me of being a snob because I go to university and work two jobs; and calling me the c-word when I asked her to please stop bad-mouthing us to the rest of the family. If she asks us if she can come, I’ll not only be giving a firm “no”, I’ll also be reminding her that our venue includes security guards who will be checking guests’ invitations.


Arlene November 13, 2012 at 11:29 pm

Simply by writing this, you’ve shown that you’ve had enough and are willing to draw the line. I advocate threatening to charge them for harassment. Even if you don’t do that, maybe you should tell the girl she’s uninvited and that she and anyone else who shows up without an invitation will be escorted off the premises via police presence. Great job sticking to your guns, especially with the insult to your mother. I hope your day is glorious!


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