Should married couples be split up in a wedding party???

macy

When choosing the wedding party what is the rule on splitting up married couples up and pairing them up with other married people? Is it ok to split up a couple that just got married to be in a wedding party (husband is in the wedding party and wife is not or vice versa)??? Does the husband or wife not in the wedding party have the right to take offence?

Reason why I am asking is cause Iam going to be married 5 months when a family member of mine is having their wedding and has asked me to be in their wedding party, but not my wife to be. Does she have the right to get offended and if so what should I tell the family member?

I have married couples in my wedding party but chose not to split them up and pair them up with others.

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macy

Wedding etiquette websites don't have any information on this topic. And I have tried talked it over with my church, family and friends and got a mixed response. Some said that it is ok while others said it does not look right to split up a newly married couple, considering that this will be my first family event and my wife to be should not have to attend their wedding unescorted.

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sweet_pea10

It is fine to split up a married couple even if they are in the same wedding party and are asked to walk with someone other than their mate. If a friend knows the husband, but has met the wife only once or twice, his bride (who chooses the female attendants) is not obligated to ask the wife to be a bridesmaid and vice versa.

This is one of those situations where common sense prevails. If a woman is a bridesmaid, her husband should be happy to be her escort to the wedding. The same holds for a man who is a groomsman. His wife accompanies him to the wedding, but she is a guest. I am a wedding coordinator and this happens all the time. If the spouse who is a guest complains, then the bride and groom could take offense that the person is being insecure and clingy and trying to dictate what happens at someone else's wedding.

If you want to be in your relative's wedding, then tell him that you would love to participate. Hopefully, your wife will enjoy the wedding as the escort of a member of the wedding party. If for some reason your wife is unable to attend the wedding with you, that is okay too.

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duckie

I'll add another vote for it is fine to split up a married couple in the wedding party. I can understand a wife taking offence if her husband is so beloved to the couple as to be in the wedding party, but she isn't invited to the wedding. And I can understand a new young wife being nervous about sitting alone. I can understand her being disappointed at realizing she wouldn't spend the whole time next to her husband. I hold that anyone has a right to take offence for any reason they desire, however I don't immediately see the cause for offence in this instance.

If your wife is sufficiently upset by this, it would be better for you to quietly step down from being groomsman rather than to try to get her as a bridesmaid. Hurt family feelings sometimes last a long long time. Try to keep this from developing into a big family rift.

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susan_in_nc

I do not believe that there should be any pressure to make your wife a bridesmaid.

Splitting up couples is one of the reasons some brides and grooms are going with a sweetheart table instead of the larger head table with all the attendants lined up and on show. (Of course, the sweetheart table has other reasons too!).

I would ask in a polite manner if there is assigned seating and if so could my wife be seated with ____, because she only knows a few people and ____ will make sure she is comfortable while I attend to my duties as part of the wedding party. Adding a sincere "Thanks, I really look forward to being part of your wedding, but also want to look after my wife.

Susan

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gellchom

I have never heard of any rule, or even any custom, of always including spouses in wedding parties -- nor have I ever, in at least two hundred weddings, noticed it being done.

Attendants are chosen because of their relationship to the bridal couple, not to each other. This isn't about your wife, or you. It's about the bride and groom. If the relative were your sister or brother, and having tons of attendants, including all the other sisters-in-law, I could sort of see her feeling hurt at being the only one excluded. But you didn't say that -- just that she feels that she is entitled to be an attendant because her fiance is.

What if you don't even know an old friend's new spouse? Would you include that stranger in your wedding? Or exclude your old friend?

The person one stands with or walks with during the recessional is irrelevant. No one takes it as a symbol of their relationship to each other -- no one even notices, let alone cares, for heaven's sake. They are thinking about the bride and groom.

As for seating at the reception, I would seat couples together. Personally, I don't like head tables anyway. If you eliminate that, and just seat everyone wherever you would if they were ordinary guests, you eliminate the whole problem of whether to expand your head table to include escorts or split up couples. The bride and groom sit with their parents, grandparents, siblings, or whatever group seems to work given numbers and "wild cards" like divorces, or as a last resort at a "sweetheart table." It really doesn't matter much -- most brides and grooms report barely sitting down at all!

I wouldn't even ask, no matter how politely, about the seating arrangements, or anything else. If the hosts split you up, tough it out politely -- just as you hope your guests won't complain to you about the seating arrangements, food, music, or whatever at your wedding that don't happen to suit them. How would you like to get requests not to be seated with Uncle Dudley, or away from the speakers, or something like that?

You ask twice if your fiance has the "right" to be offended. Feelings are not a matter of "rights." She feels whatever she feels -- but that's not the same as blurting out every feeling you have. In my opinion, you both would be making a huge mistake to complain about this -- especially her, as she is just joining the family. She will only end up sounding utterly narcissistic. My first thought would be, "Good grief, she's having her own wedding in a few months. How much attention does she need?" For some reason, people really remember others' behaviors around weddings. Even if your relative were breaking some kind of rule, I would not say a word. If they make a mistake, that's their bad karma -- not an excuse for your fiance to try to control their wedding plans.

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macy

Well I pretty much expected most people would be fine when it comes to splitting up a married couple for a bridal party. At first I felt the same way too. However, I left out the fact that my wife to be doesn't really get along with my family member, as he has disrespected her in the past. And thought that it doesn't really matter as she still feels the same way regardless the fact that she doesn't get a long with him. I was put in a very difficult situation and had to make a choice tring not to upset either one. Unfortunately one would get upset and I felt I had to say no to my family member. The option of saying no was always there, however I feel bad that I had to make a choice and hope that my family member can understand. I feel that this decision should not affect our future relationship as he knew that some people would turn him down.

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talley_sue_nyc

If she doens't like him, and he has dissed her int he past,a dn she still holds it against him, why would she WANT to be in the wedding party?

I'd be relieved--and I might even decide to just send you on your own and stay home (and feel sorry for you, LOL!)

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willierod1834_aol_com

I believe that she has all the right to be offended, I have a similar situation, My wife of 21 yrs has been asked to be in the Bridal party of one of her gf that i do not like so much, I have not had enough strength yet to approach my wife and explain to her that I will not sit in a church and watch another man escort her down the aisles. In my mind others may not notice However as her husband I do notice that another man will be escorting her. Now there is a reason why I am 38 and have been married since i was 17 to the same women. Here is the secret I notice the Little Things. Never Ever Ask someone whom is Married to be in your Bridal Party without 1st realizing you may have to include her/his spouse, or they may not be able to because the spouse would be offended for the same reasons.

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gellchom

I'm not surprised that you are having a hard time getting up enough nerve to say something like this to your wife.

It was ridiculous enough that the OP's young fiance was so insecure that she thought she ought to be included in a wedding party of someone she doesn't even like just because her fiance is a groomsman.

And you're a 38-year-old man, and you've been married for 21 years! Don't you realize how controlling, insecure, narcissistic, and just plain silly you will sound if you say that you can't stand to see your wife walk with some random groomsman at someone else's wedding? Don't turn this into something that's about you. It's not.

It is completely irrelevant that the aisle is in a church. I'm sure you realize that walking down an aisle in a church with someone doesn't establish any kind of relationship. If you are saying that the imagery would be too emotional for you -- I think you really need to get over it.

Is this really about that at all? Or is it that it is the wedding of a "gf that [you] do not like so much"? Do you think that perhaps unconsciously you trying to annoy her, or to demand that your wife choose between you and her friend?

Your wife has stuck with you for 21 years; I assume she knows you well enough to reassure you herself and not let you dictate her decisions. But I can tell you that if my husband (of 28 years) said something like this to me, I'd be laughing so hard he'd have time to run away before I realized he was serious and got furious.

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LuAnn_in_PA

"But I can tell you that if my husband (of 28 years) said something like this to me, I'd be laughing so hard he'd have time to run away before I realized he was serious and got furious."

A HUGE AMEN to that!
(except I have a husband of 30 years!)

So childish.....

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nancylouise5me

No, really, Mike is it, you are offended because your wife is being escorted down the aisle by a groomsman (shaking my head in disbelieve)? Talk about being insecure. Are you still stuck emotionally in high school? I agree with the thought that you don't want your wife to be in the wedding at all just because you don't like the bride. How childish is that!? You are a grown man...start acting like one. NancyLouise

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gellchom

You know, reading Mike's post more closely, I see that he didn't (well, not explicitly) say he was going to ask his wife not to participate in her friend's wedding. He said:

"I have not had enough strength yet to approach my wife and explain to her that I will not sit in a church and watch another man escort her down the aisles."

Perfect. If I were "Mrs. Mike," I'd know just what to answer:

"Suit yourself. See you later."

I see you are getting emails of our responses, so -- seriously, Mike, is this post even for real? If so, please rethink this; don't say anything like this to your wife; just get over it, go, and behave yourself. If you can't be a good guest and supportive husband and keep this strictly to yourself, do everyone a favor and stay home. (Try asking one of the other attendants' spouses if s/he isn't offended not to have been an attendant -- I bet you'll just get an astounded look.)

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piranha20112011

I agree with Mike and it is a shame that most people don't think like him hence why maybe marriages do not last long.
Married couples should not be split up, its a wedding environment and couples are happier together. Only the ones that have children will know how hard it is to spend time together.
We were invited as a family to a wedding in the last month my husbands friend said he wants my husband to escort a bridesmaid. I do have a problem and its because of few reasons.
If you want to know ask but dont start to judge and trust me i am not a clingy person.

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colleenoz

Gee, I wonder how I've managed to stay married for 30 years without being surgically attached to my DH? Neither of us would mind being split up, we even travel separately if it doesn't work out that both of us can/want to go.
I trust my husband and he can escort a hundred bridesmaids if he's asked to, it's not like they're going to be doing anything untoward in front of all the congregation.
FWIW, when we had only been married a year or so, friends and family were amazed at how laid back I was after DH was on three different news services being pounced on by a very pretty young lady at the street New Year's party. I could clearly see he was not the instigator and was not enjoying the experience; why would I be mad?

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nancylouise5me

I know colleenoz, my husband and I have been married for 32 years and we have been separated at weddings a few times. We are still going strong. Why, because we are mature adults! We know weddings are not about us. As said before in this 7 year old post, it is about the relationship with the B&G. These insecure, immature people that can't be seated next to their spouse for a few hours need to grow up. They are just trying to make it difficult for the other spouse so they will say no to the B&G. How immature is that. Grow up people it is not about you! NancyLouise

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gellchom

We've now been married almost 31 years. We've been to hundreds of weddings together, and at only a handful did we sit together during the ceremony -- because he's a clergyman, so usually he was officiating! Somehow my marriage and I have both survived.

I wonder if piranha would say I should stand next to him through all the ceremonies. :)

She doesn't say what her "few reasons" for her feelings are, but I suspect they are specific to the people involved. Or maybe she doesn't want to be in sole charge of the children while he does wedding party duties, which is understandable, but pretty minor.

Piranha, what if you were asked to be a bridesmaid for a girlfriend or cousin? Would you insist that your husband be in the wedding party, too?

I definitely don't think that more people thinking like Mike would mean better marriages. His post alarmed me; it sounded very controlling and narcissistic.

This post was edited by gellchom on Sat, Mar 30, 13 at 21:05

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Karen10125

It's totally ok to split up couples, esp when for example the best man is obviously a best friend of the groom and his wife is just a friend of the bride's but she's having her sister as the MOH. As long as someone doesn't get paired up with an ex, everyone should just try to accept the wishes of the bride and groom. As far as someone not being asked to be in the wedding if their spouse is, they just need to be secure with themselves, put a smile on their face and attend the wedding alone. This isn't 1940. Women don't need an escort to go anywhere. Jeez, weddings have enough issues without this petty stuff.

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eandhl

I agree with the posters that say it is okay to split. We have been married 45 years and early on my DH was Best Man in 3 weddings that I was not the Maid of Honor or a Bridesmaid. In all cases the wedding party sat at the head table and all spouses were seated together at a table.

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gellchom

If it is "offensive" for a married person to walk back up the aisle with someone other than their spouse, then if the groom chooses his best friend as best man, must the bride choose his wife -- whom she may not even know -- not only as a bridesmaid, but as maid of honor, instead of her own sister or friend? What if he chooses his father -- does she have to choose her mother-in-law?

What if the bride would like her married sister as her maid of honor, and the groom would like his married brother as best man? Are they supposed to fight it out?

Honestly, this is about the silliest thing I've ever read here.

This post was edited by gellchom on Mon, Apr 8, 13 at 14:46

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kingofraz

So this just this happened recently to both my wife and I and we both had mixed emotions. Here was our thought process - typically at these types of events you are always with your significant other, and in a marriage people are joined together as one spiritually and symbolically. In both situations we really don't care about participation, or any of those types of things. It's was more about the separation of the intimacy between each other, and of being viewed of as two separate people when the whole basis of a marriage is to become one. To us it was a very contradictory concept to create a physical separation even though it may not be a big deal. I think the reality of the situation is really more around how strongly you feel about that particular precept. However, it doesn't excuse the jealous, and insecure types. If it were me, I would not separate out a couple primarily because I would like to recognize the couple as one, as I too plan to become one with my wife. So for me.. keep married couples together, and litter the rest with as many singles as you'd like. I would however contradict my personal feeling for the best bridesmaid, and man due to the elevated honor.

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colleenoz

Sorry, kingofraz, I find your thought process odd to say the least. Being "spiritually one" in my book doesn't make my DH (of over 30 years) and me conjoined twins. We are mature in our relationship enough to not be bothered if we are seen apart in public. We know we're married and that's enough for us. Seat me wherever you like, brides.

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tfitz1006

We had a few people in our wedding who were married. They escorted whomever and then we sat them with their spouse/SO. I never went for that head table thing. A few times I went to a wedding with a boyfriend who was a groomsman. No biggie, I just sat wherever the bride said to and had a nice time meeting new people. It's just a meal, after all...

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gellchom

kingofraz, as you yourself put it, "in a marriage people are joined together as one spiritually and symbolically." Spiritually and symbolically -- not physically or functionally. You are one, but you are still two separate people; that's the mystery of marriage. You each will still have friendships, activities, and interests of your own, and that doesn't make you any less spiritually "one." I know many couples with wonderful marriages, of thirty, forty, fifty and more years, and not one of them insists on always doing everything together and constantly being side by side. (That actually would not look like a healthy marriage to me, in fact.) If complete merger of identity is what suits you two and your view of marriage, though, fine, but it doesn't make it rude or wrong for others not to organize their own weddings, or anything else, around it. One but not both of you can be cast in a play or chosen for a softball team or whatever without it being a case of anyone "splitting you up as a couple." Wouldn't you think someone was ridiculous who complained that it was?

So it is with being an attendant at a wedding. It's about their marriage, not yours. Any statement made by the composition of a wedding party is about the couple being married and their relationships to the people who are important to them, not about the relationships among those people. Only one spouse being in the wedding party simply isn't "splitting up a couple" in any way. Your proposed system of "keep[ing] married couples together, and litter the rest with as many singles as you'd like" is silly, in my opinion; functionally, it will mean either excluding married people from the wedding party or requiring increasing, perhaps doubling, the size of the wedding party to include people the couple may not even know (and who may not even want to be attendants).

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kitasei

All of you young people seem to be unfamiliar with either Emily Post's rules of etiquette and the protocols of international diplomacy from which they derive. Both stipulate that couples married for more than one year should NOT be seated together at a dinner. They are expected to socialize with other guests. This recognizes that the responsibility of a good guest is to reach out to other guests, and that of the host is to enable guests to meet each other. Otherwise, why not stay home? When I first read this post, I assumed you were talking about being separated at the reception. Reading the comments, I realized that maybe you were actually complaining about not being included in the bridal party. That is a sense of entitlement beyond the pale. Do you think the ritual of the bridesmaids and groomsmen walking in pairs down an aisle reflects romantic attachment? Again, learn your etiquette and diplomacy, which asks that women should be escorted to their seats (this goes for guests as well. If you happen to attend this wedding with your mother, for example, one of these suspect groomsmen -- if they are doing their job - will offer his arm to your mother to take her to your seats. You should follow behind.) Now I can be persuaded from a feminist perspective that all of this is ridiculous, but somehow I doubt that's where you are coming from...

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Tim N Nita Edwards

I think it's a choice between you and your wife, because just as silly as some might say it is for her to be upset it's equally as silly for them to be upset if you respectfully decline. I'm reading these post and folks are saying things to insult the offended spouse such as "insecure,controlling and insecure " but it is not selfish to be inconsiderate of someone's spouse. We need to reconsider our priorities people we took vows that declared we would FORSAKE ALL OTHERS, so for me it's a no brainer. I choose my wife. Whatever that may be, if she's fine with it then I am, if not then I'm not. At the end of The day it's your marriage and all of these people (myself included) with their opinions will not have to live with your spouse, none of us will be there for the arguing or to ease hurt feelings. Nope! Just YOU. So let's think about our thinking ; make friends or family happy for a day but upset your wife is good but choosing to please your spouse and disappointing friends or family is bad

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colleenoz

"Forsake all others" means, "don't get into physical and emotional relationships with others", not "don't socialise with anyone else and always sit with your spouse". If your marriage isn't strong enough to hold up to being seated apart in the same room for a few hours then I'm sorry for you.

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gellchom

Well, to be fair, I think he is saying to put your spouse's feelings and desires ahead of others'. But how far do you take that? If the fiancee in the original post wanted the OP to insist that she be made a bridesmaid, should he do that? Of course not. Can you just imagine someone asking that? Putting your wife first does not mean catering to and enabling every selfish, childish, narcissistic demand she has.

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Sheena Rivers

I don't think it is about asking for your spouse to be in the wedding party rather saying you will not participate but will be with your spouse during the wedding my husband and I do not accept being in the wedding party unless the other is simply because we will not be walking down the isle with someone else and you can Take that however you want we are not clingy or insecure but we walked down the isle in our wedding after we were joined as ONE and will not walk down it with someone else and anyone to get offended by that is not really a friend anyway!! Not all people feel that way and that is totally fine this is how we feel just as the ones above said how they feel no one has to like it and can feel however they like about it but the couple of comments I read above are pretty childish you telling someone that how they feel is wrong pretty much and how they feel really doesn't matter lol everyone loves the way they want this is what works for some of us you can keep on with however it works for you but judging others is not right at all!!

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gellchom

You're right; no one should judge others' feelings. But although the conversation has veered away a bit due to later posters' situations, recall that the original post was not about whether someone should decline to be in a wedding party if their spouse is not, but whether there is a rule that brides and grooms must include both spouses in married couples in their wedding party, whether it is offensive if they don't, and what the included spouse should say to the bridal couple:

***

"When choosing the wedding party what is the rule on splitting up married couples up and pairing them up with other married people? Is it ok to split up a couple that just got married to be in a wedding party (husband is in the wedding party and wife is not or vice versa)??? Does the husband or wife not in the wedding party have the right to take offence?

Reason why I am asking is cause I am going to be married 5 months when a family member of mine is having their wedding and has asked me to be in their wedding party, but not my wife to be. Does she have the right to get offended and if so what should I tell the family member?"

***

So although you are right that we shouldn't judge anyone who would decline to be an attendant if their spouse is not, the rule is still what it is: brides and grooms do not have to include the spouses of married attendants in their wedding party, and it is not rude or offensive not to do so. And therefore, although you certainly may decline to be an attendant because your spouse isn't (or for any other reason), to complain about it to the bridal couple and certainly to expect or demand that your spouse be included, which is evidently what the original poster was asking about, is out of line.

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KATHY

33 years here and this sounds ridiculous to me. It is about the bride and groom and some people just need to get over themselves!

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Shelly Lynn

I don't think its inappropriate to separate a married couple. You can't really pick and choose people in your wedding party that way. Youre picking people in your wedding based on your relationship and closeness with them. What they mean to you. However.... As a married wife.... I'm in this situation right now. And it's effecting my marriage because my husband agreed to it even tho I don't really like the people based on how they have been towards me the last 5 years. They're nothing more than spoiled brats that get everything they want. Arrogant and snotty. The only reason why they want my husband in their wedding, is for show. And maybe even to throw daggers at me. I feel completely betrayed by my husband because he had been hiding this the whole year they were planning. And I even went as far as making their cake as a favor. Suddenly a week prior to the wedding. My husband tells me his suit is waiting for him and that he was going to go ahead and take the offer. Despite how I felt about it. But no....its not in appropriate to split up a wedding couple.

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arcy_gw

Sounds like the moral of this story is be the first in your family/friends to get married or you don't get to choose your wedding party--you are STUCK with spouses taking up spaces you might want for friends/siblings. The wedding couple are to choose the people THEY WANT to stand up for them. If you are not a person who can sit for a SHORT time alone during the ceremony...STAY HOME or say no thank you.

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Rachel Baksa

I'm struggling with this now....I see the original post was a long time ago, but obviously it applies. My husband (brother to the groom) was asked to be a groomsman. I wasn't asked to participate, I don't even know the bride actually. Neither does my husband. However, I have an issue with the fact that he didn't even consult me or my feelings about this. BIGGEST reason of all, we didn't even have a wedding ourselves. There was no isle for me to walk down with him. I'm heartbroken at the fact that, even symbolically, he is doing this with another woman. Yea she's 10 years younger than me, so what. She could be 10 or 80. It still would bother me. And I don't agree that spouses should be split at a wedding. I would never ask or expect someone (even if they were in the wedding party) to sit without their spouse! I wouldn't request them to have a "special dance" with someone else, especially without discussing it or giving them the option at least. I'm not clingy or insecure. But this is really making me want to stay home and it's breaking my heart because I love my brother in law and the family. I know it's about him and not me....however, even in situations that are about me, I still consider the feelings of others and would not have asked a married man or woman to walk down the isle or be seperate from their spouse. I am hoping my husband addresses some of my feelings before the wedding. Or hopefully they aren't even an issue if my bro in law considered this ahead of time.

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gellchom

So what do you think the right thing to do was? Should your brother-in-law not be able to have his own brother as best man unless his fiancee chooses his wife, whom she's never even met, as her matron of honor, instead of her own sister or best friend? It would have been nice for her to make you a bridesmaid (if she is having a sizable bridal party), but evidently that wouldn't be good enough, as your husband would still be escorting the maid of honor down the aisle. I think you have correctly identified the real source of your discomfort: that you never had the wedding you would have liked yourself. I understand that that is very disappointing. But it isn't this bride and groom's fault. Please don't put your husband in an awful position between you and his brother by giving him a hard time about being best man. He should listen to your feelings, of course, and try to cheer you up some other way. But neither the bridal couple nor he are doing anything wrong to you here. You know that, and you know that his escorting someone in the recessional is absolutely meaningless, and you know that making a fuss over this wedding isn't going to do anything to make you feel better about your own disappointment. Maybe it's time for you two to start planning a special anniversary party or second honeymoon?

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KATHY

I commented on this a long time ago but I still don't get what the big deal is. My husband was in his brother's wedding years ago, I wasn't and didn't expect to be. I wasn't close to the bride. I was proud of seeing my husband all decked out in a tux, so handsome, and he was mine :)

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colleenoz

I'm sorry to have to say this, but your behaviour in this says "clingy and insecure". It also says "jealous". It's unfortunate that you didn't get the wedding you wanted but that's not your brother in law's fault.

So what if your husband "walks down the aisle" with the matron of honour? It does not symbolise him being married to her or having any relationship with her at all. If he was to walk down the aisle with one of the groomsmen would you think that symbolises his being gay?

A mature, secure adult does not need to be grafted at the hip to their spouse at social occasions. They don't get worked up at the prospect of their spouse dancing with another.

"Or hopefully they aren't even an issue if my bro in law considered this ahead of time." So, what should he have done? Included you as one of the bride's supporters, even though you have never met her? Not asked his own brother to be his best man?

I think gellchom's suggestion that you and your husband should plan your own celebration is an excellent one.

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c t

According to the OP, Kingoffraz and Rachel, I should have been forced to have my fiance's sister-in-law (whom I'd met once) as my only attendant instead of my own sister? The self absorption is so great it hurts.


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Chris Hysell

MY fianee decided she might not be in her sisters wedding for this reason and because I know no one else at the wedding because it's just the rest of her family and she doesn't want to leave me alone with people I don't know without support becaus I am autistic

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gellchom

You do have a special circumstance, Chris. But I'm not sure why it has to mean she can't be in her own sister's wedding. Are you talking about the seating at dinner? The bridal party can be seated with their own escorts, either all of them at a bridal party table, or else just seated at regular tables just like everyone else -- that's how it's usually done anyway in my community anyway (no "head table").

For the ceremony, even if you were in the ceremony, too, you wouldn't necessarily be on the other side from her; many brides and grooms now put all the people they each asked on their own side, not all the women on the bride's side and all the men on the groom's. If she is an attendant and you are not -- like, say, she and the groom each just have one or two attendants -- then is it too hard for you even to sit through the ceremony without her right next to you? You say she doesn't want to "leave [you] alone with people you don't know" -- but you also said this is your fiancee's family, so presumably that means that they will be your family, too, soon. At some point, you are going to need to get to know them and to learn to be around them. I know it is very hard with autism. But she can't be at your side every second forever.

Presumably, though, your fiancee and her sister know all these suggestions anyway. It would be easy enough to arrange the seating at the reception and so forth to make it easier for you, for example. So I can't help but wonder if there isn't some other reason your fiancee doesn't want to be in her sister's wedding.

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Zenobia White

So what if the person that you're man for 3 years is walking down the aisle with is his ex or his baby mother that he was with for 6 years that you have issues with on a constant basis do you allow her to have something sentimental to be able to say because she was able to walk down the aisle with him before you did. Rather somwone elses wedding or not

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gellchom

How are you going to stop her?

If you insist that your boyfriend refuse to be in someone's wedding, then she will surely have even more hurtful things to say, and others might, too -- but if you just laugh it off, she will be the one who looks bad if she makes any trouble. If there are several attendants, maybe he could ask to be "paired" with someone else. They may not even have the attendants paired up at all.

I get it that it would be very hard to watch. But it's only a few seconds, and remember, he is your man now, not hers, and his walking with her in someone else's wedding means absolutely zero about his relationship to her -- after all, often it's brothers and sisters who are paired as attendants; no one thinks it means a romantic relationship. He's presumably loyal and faithful to you, and this won't change that. There is only one walk down the aisle that matters in the least, and this isn't it!

Being a confident, secure, grownup woman and not letting anyone see it bothers you is definitely your smartest, classiest move. Making any kind of a fuss will just magnify it and make you seem insecure.

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Zenobia White

Nothing I talk to him about behind closed doors should magnify anything like you said it will ultimately be up to him bcuz hw can ask to walk with someone else me being comfortable being there should be whats important to him personally or leave me home that im find with too. Just simple Consideration from him the bride and groom don't have to so why would I make a fuss absolutely not.


Was never going to stop her what she do its not my issue its what he does. She can be in my sister wedding for all I care no problem being in the same location. Just have my preference for my relationship and what I see as appropriate.

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gellchom

How many attendants will there be? Whose wedding is this -- what is his relationship and hers to the couple? I'm surprised they paired him with her -- are you sure they did, or are you just worried that they might?

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gellchom

Garrett, you can't really mean you would end a happy marriage over this.


I don't challenge your beliefs about marriage and weddings. And you are certainly entitled to your views about symbolism. (Although I do wonder what you would say about the type of situation in which the groom wants his married brother as his best man and the bride wants her married sister as matron of honor -- should one of them be forced to choose the other's sibling-in-law as honor attendant if they will be recessing together? Would it satisfy you if they walked one by one?)


But the effect of symbols depends on shared meaning. Does your wife share your view that being in a wedding party that she isn't in means anything about your marriage? If so, then perhaps you do indeed have a problem.


If she doesn't, though, then you are forcing her to choose between humoring your whim and being in her close friend's wedding. Ask yourself why are you putting her in that position -- the day before the wedding.


I suspect it has something to do with your feelings about the marriage -- otherwise, why did you tell us the detail that the bride "left her husband after 12 years of marriage [and] ... is marrying a new [new? 2 years isn't especially short, especially for a woman who is presumably at least in her early 30s] man she has been with 2 years." What does that have to do with your marriage?


If you felt good about this marriage, would you feel different about the wedding? What if this were her own sister's wedding? I believe you that you would refuse to be in your own brother's wedding if your wife were not. But evidently your wife doesn't attach the same symbolism to it that you do. Why make trouble by insisting on reading into HER choices what YOU would mean by them?


Or maybe something else is wrong and you see this as an objective excuse to leave your marriage. But I doubt anyone else would.


You've been married for 13 years. Maybe you have children. With all respect to your opinions on this subject, please think long and hard before breaking up your home over this. As I wrote above in response to another poster, there's only one walk down the aisle that matters, and that's the one that you and your wife took 13 years ago.


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nancylouise5me

A real man does not try and control his wife by threats, spoken or implied. He is flexible to circumstances and doesn't feel threatened imo. Same holds true for his wife. SHe is his partner. No if you don't obey my rules then i will walk away from you. Especially for such an insignificant action as walking down the aisle with a male attendant. So much for your purported love/marriage if you can walk away from it so easily. Jealousy, ehh maybe. Control is the bigger problem imo.

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gellchom

"people not standing up for themselves or their significant other which should always be foremost in your thoughts if you're truly married"

I think that this is the crux of your posts.

You have this view of what it means to participate in a wedding without your spouse. Okay, that's how you feel -- fine; the point here isn't whether anyone here agrees with you or thinks it's silly or controlling or anything else. Your feelings are yours.

But that quoted language says something else. It says that you expect your wife not just to respect that you are entitled to your feelings, but always, always to cater to them -- to the point of refusing to be in her close friend's wedding, on one day's notice -- over something that she may think is ridiculous, or perhaps that she believes is really just a pretext for your disapproval of her friend's marriage altogether.

You still haven't told us if your wife feels the same way you do about the symbolism of being in a wedding without your spouse -- you write, "I'm faaairly certain my wife has the same outlook" -- if she did, I suspect you'd know for sure, and I doubt she would have accepted the invitation to be in the wedding party. If she does agree with you, and she goes ahead with it anyway, then you are right: she is sending a message about your marriage that is a real problem.

But if she doesn't, that's something very different. Now you are asking her simply to obey you, to give up something that's important to her just because you are insisting on reading symbolism that she does not share, and that no one intended, into her being a bridesmaid.

You have strong beliefs about marriage being "one forever in the eyes of god" -- but does that only work one way? You're the one who wrote that your "significant other ... should always be foremost in your thoughts if you're truly married." Don't you have an equal duty to support her in her beliefs and her choices? If you are to be "one" in every activity and every decision, is that "one" always you and never her?

Are you really going to give her an ultimatum: back out of the wedding or get a divorce? Are you really going to leave her if she doesn't obey you on this? Are there children who would be affected?

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gellchom

You write,

“I have not asked her anything. We discussed aspects of things of this nature years ago and for the most part she agreed at the time. Maybe she still does? Maybe she changed? Maybe she never really meant it? I don't know. But I have said nothing to her about this since she brought up being a bridesmaid months ago.”

i am confused. This is so important to you, but when she told you about being a bridesmaid, you said nothing. Months passed and you said nothing. The wedding is tomorrow, and you’ve still said nothing. Nor have you confirmed what you hoped she feels about this.

What‘s the plan here? Just let her think everything’s fine, and then she comes home from the wedding to find you gone for good, with no warning? This sounds like a pretty sneaky test.

It’s one thing to ask that she make sacrifices for your feelings. It’s quite another to require that she read your mind as well. You talk about a “clear” line -- how clear can it be to her if you haven’t said a word?

It is baffling that in all these months you never told her how you felt, how important this is to you, that you really don’t want her to be in this wedding. Even if you tell her now, with just hours to go before the wedding, you are putting her in an impossible spot. You never just asked for what you want and need. You never gave her a chance to succeed. That’s what loving spouses do.

Which terrible outcome are you hoping for? That she will read your mind (or listen to an eleventh-hour ultimatum — because that’s exactly what it would be) and back out of the wedding, which will make everyone she knows think forever that you are a world-class controlling jerk? Or that you will have an excuse to walk out?

Those are the only two outcomes you have set up. I strongly encourage you to consider a third: accept that your wife is going to be in the wedding and attend graciously without complaint as her escort. If you don’t think you could pull that off, then plead illness and stay home — a very rude thing to do, but much better than spoiling someone's wedding. Next time, you can talk it over first, and maybe get a pleasant surprise. It wouldn‘t mean your feelings and opinions are wrong at all. It’s just being a loving and caring grownup spouse, and playing fair.

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nancylouise5me

You haven't said anything to change my mind, Garrett. You do make threats, you are controlling, I doubt you are that invested in your marriage if you can walk away from it so easily. I wonder if we asked your wife if she was in a happy/loving marriage what her answer would be. With what you revealed about your wife's previous husband, you sound similar to him. Extremist in your spiritual views. Sounds like your wife should have figured out why the first one ended before she picked a similar person for husband #2.

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gellchom

Okay, then -- the etiquette question was whether brides and grooms must ask spouses of attendants to be attendants, too. And the etiquette answer is no, there is no such requirement.


A secondary question is whether someone asked to be an attendant in a wedding should decline if their spouse is not also to be an attendant, or if it's okay to ask that they be included. Again, the etiquette answer is no.


People have different emotional responses to the idea of only one spouse participating in a wedding, and that's fine, but it doesn't change the etiquette rules. Plenty of things that are majorly hurtful aren't etiquette violations.


So that's the "conversation about wedding etiquette." If that's all you were looking for, I'm not sure why you told us all that other stuff.


Discussions on this site do tend to expand. I get it that you want to limit this discussion to only the points you want to discuss, but if you really want that, then don't write things like the details of your and this bride's marriages and your plans to walk out on your marriage if your wife participates in this wedding today. People are going to have opinions and voice them, so if you really aren't just trying to start and argument and truly don't want to hear others' responses to such startling comments, don't make them.


Let us know what happens.

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sushipup1

I think we've been trolled. All his posts have been deleted. Now, nothing makes any sense. Should we all delete our comments so things won't seem so disconnected?

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gellchom

I think we all wondered if this was trolling.

Let’s wait and see if he comes back and reports on this wedding — if it’s even real.

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