My fiancé and I are getting married later this Summer, but my negative relationship with his sister is putting a damper on things. We've always been friendly toward one another, but we've never really connected as friends in any way. Since the wedding planning has begun, she's been helping out with some of the details, so I've started to spend more time with her. As it turns out, we have a lot of conflicting opinions on things, and even though it's my wedding, we've managed to butt heads over a few choices I've made. She has a certain set of views and beliefs and if she feels like you're not following them, she lets you know in a very upfront manner.
Needless to say at this point I'm really annoyed. I have my bachelorette party coming up in a month that I want to keep very small, with only my closest friends — I really don't want to invite her. I feel like she'll put a complete damper on my mood. I talked to my fiancé about it, but he thinks his sister will be offended if she's not on the invite list, so I just don't know what to do. Can I get away with not inviting her to the bachelorette party?
— Sick of My Sister-in-Law Selena
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Dear Sick of My Sister-in-Law Selena,
It is your wedding and your bachelorette party, and your sister-in-law shouldn't be trying to insert her opinions as demands, but unfortunately this is how family tends to be when it comes to weddings. It's likely that if you guys get through this without any head-to-head arguments, things will go back to the way they were when the wedding is over.
On that note, I think you really need to think things through before you leave her out. The bachelorette party is an opportunity for you to have some serious fun with your girlfriends, and there is no rule that says that you must invite anyone you don't want to. However, it's very clear that your sister-in-law's feelings will be hurt if you don't ask her, which can end up creating some post-wedding conflicts that could be easily avoidable.
I'd suggest asking a couple of your friends to make sure that she's entertained and out of your hair the entire night. Or consider having two bachelorette parties; a larger one in which you include your soon-to-be sister-in-law and a more intimate one with just your two or three closest friends. Keep in mind that a fun night with the girls may be just what she needs to loosen up and could lead to some sisterly bonding between the two of you. Either way, remember that a wedding only lasts a day, but the relationships with your in-laws can last for decades, so try to keep things amicable if possible.
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