Do You Have to Ask Your Future Sister-in-Law to Be a Bridesmaid?
Ultimately, it's up to you.
There aren't any set rules when it comes to including your sibling-in-law in your wedding party, but it can still be a point of contention among couples and their families. So, what's the etiquette for asking your future sister-in-law to be a bridesmaid? We asked industry insiders to weigh in.
Wedding and event planner Marcy Blum's recommendation is that couples look at this dilemma with the future in mind. "These people are going to be in their family for the rest of their lives, they will be aunts and uncles to their kids, so unless the person has committed a real atrocity, it's always better to be as inclusive as possible," she says.
Professional wedding planner Jacin Fitzgerald suggests thinking about how you would feel in certain circumstances to help you decide whether to ask your sister-in-law to be a bridesmaid. "If your fiancé only has one sister, and he is including your brother in his wedding party, you might want to just bite the bullet and include his sister in yours. If you feel like you will feel bad on the day seeing her sitting in the stands instead of by your side, include her," she says. "If you two really have no relationship and you don't see any impact in not including her, go ahead and exclude her. It's hard to strike the balance between feeling like you have to please everyone and doing what you want, so just go with your gut on this one."
If you decide against including her in the bridal party, you can find other ways to make her feel special. Ask her to help you with the planning, have her perform a reading during the ceremony, ask her to prepare a speech for the ceremony, and invite her to events leading up to the wedding, like your bachelorette party and bridal shower.
Ultimately, you shouldn't feel forced to include anyone in your wedding party—it's your wedding, so you should have your choice of who stands by your side at the ceremony. But, if it's going to cause hurt feelings or guilt trips, it might be best to include your sister-in-law as a bridesmaid to avoid unnecessary drama with the family you're marrying into.