I feel so hurt by this; we were going to ask my nieces to be bridesmaids and now since I’d rather not have just my fiancés nieces (I’m not close to any of them), I will have no bridesmaids at all.
My brother has said he’ll try to pop into the evening reception, but I’m pig-headed and want to tell him not to bother. Am I over-reacting being hurt? I really don’t know how I’m meant to be around him when I see him. Isn’t blood meant to be thicker than water? — Bailed Bride
You’re not over-reacting being hurt that your brother (and only sibling?) has suddenly bailed on your wedding, but considering various details that aren’t included in your letter, it’s possible that your brother hasn’t behaved too unreasonably. For example, was Ken’s wedding date confirmed before yours? Did your brother agree to be in Ken’s wedding before he knew the date of your wedding? Have you sent out Save The Dates yet? If not, how was the date of your wedding shared with your brother? If your brother was already committed to Ken’s wedding and didn’t realize the date conflict because you hadn’t yet made an official confirmation of the date, I could better appreciate his position. But if STDs/ invitations to your wedding had been sent and he had already committed to attending your wedding, and THEN said yes to Ken… well, then that’s not cool.
But hurt feelings — which are totally understandable — aside, this isn’t worth a family estrangement. It sounds more than anything, this was a clumsy way of your brother communicating to you an oversight he made over a date conflict. He could have been much more graceful in talking to you about it, including being very apologetic and telling you he would make his best effort to be at your reception (not that he’ll “try to pop by”). But you know your brother and you’re probably already aware that he isn’t the most graceful or socially articulate person, right? Forgive him for his oversight and clumsiness. Tell him you’re disappointed that he won’t be at your wedding and that you had been planning to ask his daughters to be your bridesmaids, but tell him you understand that of course he can’t back out on a commitment he made to be his friend’s best man and that he’ll be at your wedding in spirit, if not body though you would be thrilled if he could make at least some of the reception (this is called “modeling a gracious attitude”; maybe your brother will take notes).
As for “blood being thicker than water” — that’s a dumb cliché someone came up with to rank relationships not in order of true connections and meaning, which are subjective and hard to “prove,” but by a measure that’s completely without merit in the absence of love, respect, and forgiveness.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org.