It's no surprise that family expectations can have an impact on wedding preparations, so when your future spouse has siblings, there can be pressure to include them in the wedding party. We asked planners who have seen it all to weigh on whether the groom has to ask his future brother-in-law to be a groomsman.
Wedding planner Beth Helmstetter suggests first talking with your fiancée to see how important it is to her that you include her brother as a groomsman. If it would mean a great deal to her, or if she's including your sister in her bridal party, it's probably worth honoring her brother with the title of groomsman. "I'd recommend looking at the big picture. This can be a great way to imply that the groom now considers your family his family," Helmstetter says. "That simple gesture can go a long way in creating a bond between the men and the rest of the family."
Michelle Leo, owner of Michelle Leo Events, recommends thinking about whether your future brother-in-law's feelings will be hurt if you don't include them, or whether that will cause more arguments with the rest of the family. "You're joining the family and have many years of events and celebrations to come where you'll both be present," she says. "Why not start making memories on a positive note right from the get-go?"
If you want to avoid extra stress around the issue and hurt feelings among family members, remind yourself that it's just for a day, and while you may end up becoming less close with the friends who were part of your wedding party over the years, family will always be there. In the future you may end up really close with your brother-in-law and you'll be glad you included him when you look back on the day. On the other hand, you should be able to choose who is a part of your wedding day, and if you don't want to include your future brother-in-law as a groomsman, consider asking him to be a part of the ceremony by officiating, reading a prayer or other literature, or even standing by his sister's side as a bridesman.