The Sweet Christian Bride

Sibling Camaraderie

My older sister and I grew up seventeen months apart, which meant that just as she broke the ice with a certain stage of life or rite of passage, I squeezed in through her path right behind her.  Thankfully, she never begrudged me that privilege.

We certainly had our squabbles over clothes and I struggled at times with feeling like I was in her shadow, but we’ve always been close friends.  She has always commanded my respect and admiration simply by being herself.

When we were younger and dreaming of our future weddings, we would talk about each other being the maid of honor.  The day I actually got to ask her to be my maid of honor was literally a dream come true.  And she was a perfect maid of honor, a blessing to me.

But what if you are not close with your siblings?  Do you have to include them in your wedding, especially in a way as intimate as being in your bridal party?

A good rule of thumb to go by is all or none.

You know your siblings and whether it would be a good decision for you and for them to be in your wedding or not.  You also know your parents.  Sometimes parents have a very strong desire for their other children to be honored in your wedding and thus doing so would be honoring your parents.  Ask God to clearly show you (with compassion) the desires of your family in this regards and to give you discernment for how to best respond to those desires.

But if you do include one, include them all.  Wedding memories last a lifetime thanks to our current documentary technology.  Even if you aren’t on good terms with one now, you hopefully will be later in life.  And even if they are shy or young or unruly, you can always find some way for them to appropriately participate. 

There are so many opportunities for you to play to their strengths.  If you have verbal siblings, give them a reading in the ceremony, let them announce the bridal party in your reception, or invite them to give a toast.  If you have musical siblings, allow them to play or sing a solo of your choosing.  If your siblings are not comfortable with public speaking, they can usher, oversee the guest book, or walk a family member down the aisle.  Even designating them a privately planned yet publicly seen element can be honoring, such as having them create a photo display, a floral arrangement, or a dessert that is prominently displayed with a by-line recognizing their handiwork.

The most intimate opportunity to include your siblings is, of course, in your bridal party.  If you and your fiancé have siblings of the opposite genders, you might consider having his sisters as your bridesmaids and your brothers as his groomsmen.  This can be a delicate topic of discussion, but one that, if mutually decided on, certainly creates a positive foundation for building relationships between you and your siblings-in-law.

Your siblings are your family for better and for worse.  Pray that God would show you His will for how you can love, honor, and respect them with your wedding.

Photo © Rachael Siebenaler, RSPix

By Lindsay
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  • The Sweet Christian Bride
    • Katherine Wolf says:

      I have been moved by the closeness of the 2 of you. It is a beautiful thing to see. I have also gotten to know your sister a little through Lauren and it has been wonderful to see what fabulous women you both are!!!