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Bridesmaids and Best Man Selection Etiquette

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Class n Sass

Shiny_Rock
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Jan 14, 2007
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306

OK so I''m newly engaged (5 days) but I am already thinking about my wedding party. I am pretty sure what girls are going to be my bridesmaids; however I have one issue. My FH has 4 sisters. One of his sisters hosted a dinner party at her house which is where he proposed to me. Is it proper etiquette for me to choose one of his 4 sisters as a bridesmaid? I''m not close to any of them and I thought bridesmaids should be people you are close to.


Also my FH wants his 15 year old brother to be his best man. His brother will be 16 by the time we are married but he is immature beyond belief. I know for a fact that he will not be able to handle any of the responsibilities that come along with being the best man. I don''t want him ruining important parts of the day with his immature behavior. I don''t mind him being in the wedding party as an usher but just not being something as important as the best man. I''ve tried explaining this to my FH but he said he can give all the best man responsibilites to another usher. I really don''t think that it''s fair to give the responsibilties to someone else but they not hold the title. Please offer your advice. Also is it true that the best man must be 18 years old to be able to sign the marriage certificate as a witness?

 

KimberlyH

Ideal_Rock
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Jun 15, 2006
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7,485
CNS,

You aren''t obligated to choose anyone to be in your bridal party, but in regards to having one of his sisters and not the other three I would tread carefully.

In regards to his brother being his best man, does it really matter where he stands on the day of the wedding? My point is, the role is less about what he does for the groom and more about your fiance''s feelings. It''s obviously very important to him that his little brother be the best man and that matters more than whether or not he fulfills his obligations in the role (this whole concept of duties and obligations of members of the wedding party is just a bit too much for me! It''s a wedding day and you want to honor your closest friends and family by having them be a part of it, it shouldb''t become a job for them). He''s going to be part of the wedding either way, so I would let it slide.

As for signing the marriage certificate, my guess is the person(s) have to be 18, but they don''t have to be your maid of honor and/or best man. We had no bridal party at our wedding and my dad and mom signed as our witnesses, it doesn''t make our license or marriage any less valid.
 

Pandora II

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 3, 2006
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9,613
Class, I have always had an idea in my head of how my wedding day should be and all my friends and families weddings the speeches have been very important. My father spent 3 weeks researching and writing his speech for my sister. If my FI suggested asking someone who I felt wasn''t capable of doing the role properly I would be very unhappy. Luckily FI picked my favourite one of his friends who has guaranteed a fab speech - however...

He''s not going to be so good at the rest, so FI is having 4 Best men. Speech BM will also do the ring holding, but another will compere the day, another is in charge of music (he works in an orchestra) and another is sorting the stag party. It will work really well this way and they are all really pleased to be asked. So it can work.

Re BM''s - Can you ask FMIL''s advice on this one?
 

diamondfan

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 17, 2005
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I think if you are going to ask one sister, it is going to have repercussions, so it might be best not to ask any at all. You could always smile sweetly and say you just could not pick one of them and not the others and you did not think FI had enough pals to match up!!! Seriously, you should have who you want in your wedding party.

I understand the point of the little brother, BUT, FI wants him and so I think A: just have him up there, but do not give him really much at all to do and B: FI should take him out and have a "man to man" talk about being up there and sort of general conversations about expected behavior and how you both know he is up to the task since all eyes will be upon all of the assembled party, not just the bride and groom. Give him the room to rise to the moment, but be prepared that it might be beyond him. He does not have to be the one to sign the document.
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Aug 8, 2005
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40,198
DF has three sisters... fortunately they have kids. One will be my flower girl, one a junior bridesmaid and the one sister I am close to I am asking to be my matron.

That's IF we don't elope. LOL.

Any chance the sisters have kids? If not you can always have one stand up with you... and the ask the others to do a reading. A reading. Together.



I have to agree that the idea of chosing attendants because of their fitness for duty to be distasteful. I think you should surround yourself with those you want standing next to you for who they are -- not what they can do for you. If your FI wants his brother-- its HIS choice to pick his Best Man. And, really if the other groomsman is a true friend to your DF then he won't mind picking up the slack.
 

flopkins

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 15, 2004
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2,025
I went thru this drama regarding BM, and DH only has ONE sister. so she ended up on DH''s side. it was all good.

If your FI really wants his brother standing next to him, I just don''t see a big deal. Maybe see if he can get some help with the speech or something. But you never know, you might be surprised... DH actually considered asking someone else on his side to give a speech instead of his brother, but I convinced him that his brother ought to do it, and BIL gave the BEST speech EVER!!!! We still talk about it now, and it''s almost been a year after the wedding.

Oh, and I think for the certificate, any two ppl can sign, it''s just that usu it''s the MOH and BM, but it doesn''t have to be.
 

icekid

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 17, 2004
Messages
7,470
I''m actually in a similar situation, in that my maid of honor will be my little sister who is currently 15 but will have turned the old age of 16 by the wedding.

And personally, I would be incredibly offended if my FI suggested that I replace my sister because she is young and immature. Of course she is, she is 16! I chose her b/c she is my SISTER. We''re very close, and I never even considered choosing someone else. The point of the bridal party, IMO, is not that they will fulfill whatever predefined duties you have for them. My bridal party will be the people I want to be standing next to me when I get married. I don''t care if my sister does not help with anything for the wedding- it''s not the point for me. (though she has offered to do the cake tastings for me
)

And I would definitely NOT choose 1/4 sisters. We are including ALL of the siblings in ours, because they''re family and we don''t want anyone to be hurt. Next to my sister (on my side!) will be my two younger brothers and FI''s sister, and I would not have it any other way.

I think you will be surprised how mature your FI''s brother can be, given a chance and proper instuction.
 

anchor31

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 18, 2005
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7,074
We wanted a small wedding party of four and include our two best friends, but we both have a brother and sister... so we decided to have his brother and best friend on his side and my sister and best friend on my side, and then have my brother as an usher and his sister as a reader. That way, everyone is involved.

My FI and I both wanted to ask our respective best friends to be Best Man and MOH, but we decided to ask our siblings instead to avoid hurt feelings. My sister is not really into it, so I''ve decided that even though traditionally the MOH has specific duties and the BM has specific duties, I''ll just split the duties up according to their interests.

There are a lot of things that are "expected" in weddings, but sometimes it works well to just tweak them a little to suit you better. If your FI wants his brother to be the Best Man, I think it''s fine. It doesn''t mean that said brother absolutely HAS to do a speech. As for the sisters, it probably should be all or none, but I''m sure they''d appreciate having a role in their brother''s wedding.

Good luck!
 

Class n Sass

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 14, 2007
Messages
306
I am involving his family in the wedding. One of his nieces will be a junior bridesmaid and one will be the flower girl. His nehew will probably be the ring bearer. So I think I wil forgo asking one of his sisters to be a bridesmaid.

As far as the best man situation, I totally understand him wanting his brother to be the BM; however, they are not really close at all. He''s closer to his sisters than his brother. I believe he is selecting him out of obligation. Since he is choosing him for this reason that''s another reason why I am a bit uncomfortable with him selecting him as the BM. If he''s choosing someone out of obligation then I feel they should at least be someone that can handle the situation. When I say he''s immature I''m not exaggerating one bit. The other day we were at a large family dinner and in the middle of him being silly he tripped over his own foot, knocked a bunch of stuff over and almost hurt one his sisters. He is very uncomfortable around girls. All of my bridesmaids are mid to late 20s and I can only imagine what it will be like when he has to walk down the aisle with one of them or dance with one of them. He may not do it.

I''m not trying to offend my fiance, I''m just trying to be realistic.
 

KimberlyH

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 15, 2006
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7,485
CNS,

Will it matter in 10 years who stood next to him/who he called BM? Weddings fly by and time goes on and these things that seem so important now will be insignificant, if not totally forgotten, sooner rather than later. What does matter is your fiance''s relationship with his brother, and he obviously feels that his little brother should be the person who stands next to him at his wedding, his reasons don''t matter, what he feels does.

As for involving your future sisters-in-law, if you talk to your fiance and you both feel that you can involve one without asking the other three withour causing a huge rift in the family, I don''t think it''s a big deal. Be willing and ready to explain why to the other three sisters.

Just remember in the scheme of things the way this day goes is a lot less important than your and your future husband''s relationships with his family.
 
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