The Vine: October 24, 2012
My BF and I were engaged in January 2012 and are planning a wedding for February 2013. We each have one brother. When we asked people to be in our wedding party, we included both of our brothers. My brother, D, is a few years older than me. Despite our differences and his tendency to compete with me, I thought it was the right thing to do to include him in our wedding. After all, he ismy brother.
In May, D got engaged. He is planning a November wedding. He did not include me in his wedding party. I have recently learned that he is going to include our step-niece and step-nephew. He is not close to these children, as they live in a different state. I feel like including them in his wedding and not me is sort of a slap in the face.
I don't want to be in his wedding, but at this point, I don't want him in mine. I jumped the gun by including him. Honestly, I thought my mother would be crushed, and my brother would be hurt if I didn't include him, and it would cause a huge family drama. Similar situations have happened before, with my mother defending him. If I had waited until he announced his wedding party, I could have avoided this whole situation, because if I'm not included, then it would have been no big deal if he's not in mine.
I know I probably just have to deal with having him as a groomsman at this point. I can't un-invite him, can I? If I just have to deal, what's the best way?
Congrats! And: yeah, that sucks. No, you can't un-invite him, and that sucks too. I mean, you can, but…you know. It's one of those "it's not that you don't have choices, it's that you don't like any of them" situations. Leave him in as a groomsman, say nothing, and seethe because you tried to do the "right" thing and got stuck him, while he did what he wanted and suffered no consequences? No good. Disinvite him, create a big drama, wound your mother, and have that hanging over both weddings? No good. Call him up and say, "D, I know we don't have the closest relationship, and I'm not asking to be included at this late date, but it does sting that you put the Steps in your wedding party and not me, when 1) we're siblings and 2) you were included in mine"? No g– wait. That might work.
But: it depends on your definition of "work." What do you want to happen here? What exactly is the source of the irritation? Do you want your mom to stop siding with D on everything? Do you want to work on your relationship with D and make it less adversarial? Both? Something else? The thing with weddings is, they bring all these conflicts and historical hurts to the fore and then inflate them like crazy — but then it's basically the worst time to try to address or fix them, because the wedding is not about those things.
Reminding yourself that this is true, that weddings churn up all that shit every single time and you're far from the first person to find herself in this sort of situation — that could help you breathe through it. It is just one day (well, two days), and it isn't anything you didn't already know, or feel, about your family dynamic. That said, it's okay to feel hurt or irritated or defeated by it. Let yourself have the feelings; ask yourself what you would like to see change in the future (not for nothing, but since there's apparently no "winning" with D and your mom, you might try not playing the next time); separate it from the wedding. Reassure yourself that you did the best you could, and that you behaved graciously if nothing else.
It's going to keep bugging you periodically, and again, that's fine; let that happen for five minutes, then move on. But one more thing to keep in mind, as many TN commenters have noted over the years, is that your wedding day is a super-packed whirlwind, and if your brother is not an out-and-out asshole or the kind of drunk you have to "manage" at events, his presence will probably not factor much into the day itself — but may even pleasantly surprise you, and you're off the hook for a bridesmaid's dress.
Tags: the fam