Weddings are stressful to plan even without family drama, but when you've got longstanding beefs, unreasonable family members, and people taking sides, things can get out of hand quickly.
Around the time my sister got married I had a lot going on. I was divorcing, had 2 kids under 2, and me attending her wedding would require an overnight trip, which I was prepared to do, until I found out with less than a week to go that it was childfree.
I called her and said I couldn't make it. She didn't take it well. We both said sh*t we shouldn't have and we both apologised, but when we made up, she asked if I could come to the wedding now and I said no as the circumstances hadn't changed, at which point the argument started up all over again.
The day of the wedding she sent me a series of messages about how she wanted me there and she needed some time before we talk next, so I needed to wait for her to contact me.
That was 3 years ago and we still haven't spoken. I got engaged 2 months ago, and we told my family a month ago. One of my parents told my sister, who contacted me, and I ignored her, because in the last 3 years, I've moved on.
I'm happy she had her wedding, her way, but she knew it would cause issues for me, which is why she only told me last minute, she said some things about my kids and me that I can't forgive, and if not for me getting engaged, she might have never reached out to me again, as it's been nearly 3 years so clearly my ongoing presence in her life is not a big deal to her.
I've explained my feelings to my family, but they want me to meet with her, hear her out, and invite her to the wedding. I asked what happens if I don't do that, and their responses have ranged from being mildly put out to not going in solidarity. I have asked where this response was when I couldn't go to her wedding, and they've said it's different because I had an invitation while she doesn't.
I don't want to get into a debate about me attending her wedding, or her coming to mine, I just want some advice on how to address this whole issue with my family in regards to them choosing sides, as I would like them to be at my wedding, but I'm still not inviting my sister.
Comments from the original post:
I'm sure some won't agree but I wouldn't bat an eye at anyone saying they wouldn't go in solidarity. If something that silly will prevent them from showing up to my wedding, it's probably best that they not come.
I want people that are supportive at my wedding. Might as well put my efforts and attention into those that deserve it.
Think of all the money you’ll save on catering with all these “solid” family members not attending for reasons that make zero sense.
All the family wanting you to change and fix and mend and move past…. Where were those people when you needed help to attend sister’s wedding??
Who stepped up offering babysitting? Transportation? A place to stay? Funds?
Oh, no one? Then why do get get a say now? Only the folks who helped you last time get any say this time.
I was not planning on updating, and I'm sorry it's been so long but I felt an update was warranted.
I contacted the relatives who have been harassing me about inviting my sister to my wedding. I said, in short, that I don't want to talk about my sister any more. That we had our issues way back when and the resolution, if you can call it that, was no contact.
I intend to continue not speaking to her because of how she acted back then, and shared part of the truth, admitting that when we had that argument she insulted my kids due to the circumstances of my split with their father. I included a couple of quotes from my argument with my sister that I felt comfortable sharing, specifically some about my children.
A few people apologised after that, and I thought things were resolved, until my sister put her little 'woe is me' act back on, talking about how mean I was to her on her special day and saying I was punishing her, and she somehow managed to turn the tide back around and into her favour.
The messages then began trickling in and in the last 3 weeks all but 2 of my relatives have said they are not attending my wedding in solidarity with my sister. I haven't even sent out invites yet so to get this many negative RSVPs in advance probably belongs in the record books.
My family made up the overwhelming majority of the guest list, which was pretty small to begin with, so now we only have less than 20 people left on said list, including kids, and no one else to invite, and that's assuming the remaining guests can all come.
My fiancé and I are now considering eloping, which sucks because we didn't want to do that, but we no longer have enough guests to warrant an actual wedding as most wedding services are designed for a couple hundred people so the cost per guest has skyrocketed.
And to just deliver that final blow, I spoke to my sister, in person, and after once again insulting me and my kids she added that I should let her know the date for my wedding so she can plan a party, and possibly a vow renewal, for the same day. This was probably only said to upset me in the moment, but I wouldn't put it past her to actually do this either.
All in all, I'm glad I no longer speak to my sister, I just wish she'd left my life quietly and not kicking and screaming
Comments from the update:
That last jab about having a party or vow renewal would have been the final nail in her coffin for me. That would be THE absolute last conversation I would have with her EVER. In sickness, health, death, new kids, graduations, all the milestones she would forever be out.
Exactly. It hurts now I‘m sure but OP now knows exactly who she can trust and rely on and who isn’t in that circle.
Small weddings can be awesome, maybe not like the one originally planned, but you can still have an amazing day that will rock for you, your partner and everyone attending.
Sounds like you are better off without her and most of your relatives in your life. Have the wedding you want. It doesn’t matter if there are two guests or two hundred.
The sad fact is that people rarely change. And those who do put on a lot of work to do so. I am NC with my family. Occasionally I get back in touch with one of my siblings. Nothing changes. They act all happy about it and then launch straight in to the behavior that made me go NC to begin with.
RSVPing no go something you haven’t even been invited to takes some balls. Save yourself the money and effort and don’t send these people invites. You don’t need this drama in your life.
Congrats on your engagement and upcoming wedding. I’m sure you’ll have a wonderful day.