Everyday on @theweddingpic Instagram Stories – we do a question and answer period. Brides ask us anything and we give the best possible answer that we can give. It seems like every day there is a bride that asks us this question;
“Do I have to ask my fiancee’s sister AKA future sister-in-law to be in my bridal party?” OR “I am not that close to my sister, do I have to ask her to be a part of my bridal party?”
The short answer is, no. You don’t *have* to ask anyone to be in your bridal party if you do not want them to be in it.
With that said, there are also family politics and etiquette to consider when making the decision not to include your future sister-in-law or your sister in your wedding.
It Might Create Tension in Your Relationship With Them. Of course your sister might just expect to be asked and your sister-in-law might have the expectation too. When they realize you have chosen your bridal party and they are not in it – this might create some tension. You obviously don’t want to start off your relationship with your SIL with tension so consider whether it is worth it to just include her despite not being very close.
As for your sister, even if you aren’t close she might have expected to be asked anyway so this could hurt her feelings. If you don’t feel close enough to her to ask her to be in your bridal party – as a courtesy it is important to have a talk with her before hand and perhaps include her in other ways.
Ultimately, it is still your decision but keep in mind that decisions have consequences and some of those consequences might have long term strains on your relationships. Weigh the pros and cons of including them and see what is the best decision from there. If you decide not to include your sister-in-law or your sister in your bridal party, consider involving them in other ways. We had a bride who did just that:
“I have 3 sisters and I am not very close to any of them but I do have a bunch of close friends. I didn’t want to disappoint my family so instead I involved by sisters by asking them to get ready with my bridesmaids and I as well as have them at the receiving line outside the reception. This helped keep them involved but not directly in my wedding party. It worked out great!”
I hope this suggestion and ours helps you decide whether to ask your sister-in-law or sister to be in your bridal party even if you are not close. Stick to your gut and think long term!