Sister Not Coming to Wedding

Updated on April 06, 2019
N.C. asks from San Diego, CA
21 answers

My sister is not coming to my wedding.
Should I take her off my will and life insurance policy?

My sister is a stay at home mom and has a husband who works from home. It would be just her traveling. He has his parents, 3 sisters to help watch the 4 kids for 2 days.

First, she said she probably won’t come being dramatic, but then she seem interested. I put her as a bridesmaid with our other sisters. I thought there would be no way or reason for her not to come. It would only be her, but she could bring her baby if she wanted on the plane. It’s also a big family reunion and our father’s birthday. She hasn’t seen us all for years.

She sent back rsvp not coming. I am very hurt. I flew to her wedding with my kids. She went to our cousins. She didn’t even try to come to mine. I told her she didn’t have to be bridesmaid just come. But it was just excuse after excuse.

To me wedding and funerals are mandatory family functions, at least you try to make an effort.

She had spent hundreds of hours with her husband’s family and at events over the past decade.

I am considering taking her off of my will and life insurance policy that I have her on with my other sister. This is to take care of my kids and help our parents. I feel I can’t trust her to do the right thing for our family. If she won’t come to my wedding, she definitely won’t even come to my funeral.

I feel our values are different that this is just a ploy for attention. Should I write her off? Am I wrong?

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So What Happened?

Thanks for the input. I took her off. I have 3 sisters so wanted them all to be my bridesmaids. The other 2 are, with no issues.

It’s our fathers 70th birthday and a rare opportunity for our parents to have all their children physically in one place which hasn’t happened in 20 years.

My mother has always enabled her and makes excuses for her. She perpetuates that she is just too fragile, too mentally unstable, and just can’t handle normal day to day items. I guess it is true. She can’t have it both ways.

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answers from Minneapolis on

Something is going on with you sister that you have not mentioned or do not even know about. It may in fact not have a thing to do with you. She has 4 children and a work at home husband. That sounds like a lot. Maybe she is overwhelmed and can’t add one more thing to her life.

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Boston on

Given the harsh and nasty things you write here in response to other people, I suspect that you may be like that in real life too, in which case I might keep my distance too, family or not.

An invitation is exactly that, and can be accepted or declined. It is not a summons, and your wedding is not mandatory. I suppose you'll retaliate as you see fit regardless of what anyone here writes to you.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Holy hot drama! Ummm . . . I guess since you are getting married, you will have a new will and your life insurance should be going to your new husband and your kids, shouldn't it?

Stop being a butt-hurt baby. You sound like a 12 year old "I don't like you so I'm not going to share my barbies with you."

At least she RSVP'd - now THAT'S my pet peeve.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Your answer is in your last paragraph: you have different values. She has been telling you for years that she's not all that interested in some other people in the family.

I wonder if a few things have been said too harshly. Maybe you didn't mean it this way, but you said "I put her as a bridesmaid." Most people don't "put" anyone there - they invite and explain why the prospective bridesmaid would enhance your day and make you happy because of her wonderful qualities. You say she "seemed interested" but it's not clear that you really talked openly with each other. You seem to work more on "rules" - such as when you say that it's a rule that weddings and funerals are mandatory family functions. No one likes to be told there is only one set of rules for life, and it's yours.

You have another assumption that stay-at-home moms don't work, and one that people who work at home don't actually work. I have done both and you couldn't be more wrong. So perhaps your feelings are coming off to her as disrespect, even if you don't intend them that way. So maybe she wasn't "being dramatic" but was already hurt, and maybe her "excuse after excuse" (while extremely frustrating to you) were her many ways of telling you no.

In reading your responses to many questions on Mamapedia, I observed that you have an extremely direct style. That doesn't sit well with a lot of people, so maybe you are putting people off either intentionally or unintentionally. Some people have very different communication styles, and perhaps you and your sister are in this category. Maybe that's why she made a bunch of excuses, because she's not the direct sort of person to say, "Sorry. No." If your sister doesn't feel you'll listen to her or respect her position, she may just say no to things. It's even possible that you have hurt her in the past just as she is hurting you now. You can work on that if you want to, but maybe this isn't the time when she seems to have made her decision and when you're so emotional and have a wedding coming up that obviously is important to you.

Re the will - what's the point? You don't trust her. Are you planning to punish her or try to blackmail her by saying, "if you don't come, I'll disinherit you"?? Besides, you are getting married. Your husband will be your next of kin and should be in your will. If you want to give him instructions to take care of your parents, do that. Or, set up a trust with a bank so there is a trustee to pay some of your parents' expenses and nothing else.

You can't control everything, only your reaction to things. Get back to focusing on your wedding, who is coming and who loves/supports you. Don't miss out on those friendships because you are focused on one that isn't working.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Wow, I can see why she spends more time with her husband's family than yours. You sound very childish and demanding. Weddings and other family events are things you should WANT and ENJOY doing, not obligations to be tallied tit for tat.
By all means take her out of your will, I guess that will make you feel better in some twisted way, like you're taking something from her for not giving you the attention you want, or having your so called values. I'm sure she couldn't care less.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Denver on

Family attendance at weddings and funerals is mandatory? Wow.

First, people grieve differently after a loved one's or family member's death. Some can't face the stress of a funeral, visitation, graveside service, talking with people, etc. Some want to quietly pray or mourn in private. Some are okay with the funeral and related observances, and they plunge right in to planning meals for the family and choosing flowers and making arrangements.

Second, the only mandatory attendees at a wedding are the bride, the groom, and usually an officiant (clergy member or justice of the peace or someone who got an online license), and sometimes a witness if legally required. Everyone else who attends does so out of friendship or love or joy.

You don't "put" or assign bridesmaids. You ask, politely. And it all depends on budget, relationship, time requirements, etc as to whether they accept or decline.

Yes, your values are different from your sister. That's an understatement. You're already planning your funeral attendance.

If you're happy to be getting married, if you're in love, then count your blessings and enjoy your life. If you're getting married to put on a show and take attendance and plot revenge and re-arrange the insurance policies, well, good luck to your groom I guess.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

i'm giggling a little that you call yourself 'reality chick' but you're being a drama llama over your wedding.

yes. you should absolutely take her off your will and insurance policy and transfer your husband to them because that's what grownups do.

then your sister should go on and enjoy her life without you and your snitfits because this degree of self-absorption and manipulation are signs of some significant narcissism, and she probably doesn't need it in her life.

enjoy your wedding.

ETA, giggling even harder now at asking for advice, getting pretty uniform responses, and then being so proud of yourself for not taking it. your 'reality' is a strange, mirrored universe.


7 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Just wow.

Lighten up. The world does not revolve around you.

She shouldn’t be on your will or insurance anyway. I would hope you put your children first.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

I wouldn't have had my sister in my will or on my life insurance policy in the first place.
That's what your significant other/soon to be husband and kids are for.
Generally the flow of death benefits goes to spouse/kids - I've never heard of these things going to siblings.

If you've been living your life with your fiance and have decided to finally make it official - good for you - congrats! - but I can see why your sister might not see the point in participating in your celebration seeing as she's considered you to be married already even though you technically weren't up to this point.
It's kind of natural for siblings to grow apart as they establish their own families.
Wish each other well but the family you grew up with should take a back seat to the family you have established - same for all your siblings.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on


How old are you? You sound like a 21 year old having a bridezilla moment.

No. don't take her out of your will and life insurance. Have you stopped to think that she is in an abusive relationship and her husband "controls" her?? Especially if you haven't seen her in years?? Come on.

Yes, weddings and funerals are important life events. This isn't your first marriage, is it? Was she at the first one?

Stop keeping score. Stop with the drama. You're only adding to it. Tell her you're sorry she can't make your wedding and you know she will be there in spirit. Let it go. Stop being a bridezilla.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I would never make a rash decision based on if someone was coming to my wedding - to do with wills, estate planning, etc.

I would take some time and wait until this is all over - just don't let it affect things at the moment. Enjoy your time and then think things over later. Let your emotions simmer down for a while. You're very hurt as you say. Not the time to be making these decisions. Your lawyer would tell you that.

Congratulations on your upcoming wedding.

ETA: You have her on your will and policy - is this to inherit your money or to look after your kids? I'm confused (or both)? "to take care of my kids". Is this on top of her four? Sorry - just not following.

** Saw your SWH.

Seems rash.

Do you actually mean you went to the lawyers/insurance and had this done in the time you posted this question?

Makes me question this post.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Focus on what you can control. Focus on your wedding. It’s a big event with a lot of details to manage. Focus on who is attending and who is going to be supportive of you during this time.

The fact is your sister is not coming. Trying to figure out the real reason why is just going to be a mind game you play on yourself.

Accept she will not be there. Focus on this big event and the new life you are about to start. There will be plenty of time to figure out your relationship with your sister after you have adjusted to married life.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Santa Fe on

To me weddings are not mandatory and you are being overly sensitive. Going to a wedding does not mean "good values". Sometimes you just don't have the money, or time, or feel overwhelmed and you just can't make it no matter how much you love that person. Cut your sister some slack here. What matters is your long term relationship as sisters...not attending one ceremony. I think YOU need to look at what really matters. A one day ceremony is not what really matters.


To me weddings are not mandatory and you are being overly sensitive. Going to a wedding does not mean "good values". Sometimes you just don't have the money, or time, or feel overwhelmed and you just can't make it no matter how much you love that person. Cut your sister some slack here. What matters is your long term relationship as sisters...not attending one ceremony. I think YOU need to look at what really matters. A one day ceremony is not what really matters.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I have two sisters that didn't come to my son's wedding and it hurt but life goes on. I really don't talk to them anyway for other reasons. I could ramble on and on about some of the 'family' values that were instilled in us over the years. Yes, funerals and weddings, etc. are/were supposedly mandatory until my mother remarried and changed her own rules. However, here are some of my thought: can you talk to your sister? If so perhaps you straight out ask her why she isn't coming-and take in mind someone mentioned she could be in an abusive relationship and might be worried about her children. She also might think her husband is cheating on her. None of these have anything to do with hurting you. She also might feel incredibly sad about leaving her children. If she is a full time mom/housewife-that is her job to her and some of us feel sad about leaving our children for perhaps even a short amount of time. Next, and I seriously wonder why she is on your life insurance policy, etc. if she isn't really that close to you-and you don't know what her husband is like. He might take control and all of your life savings, etc. will go to him. Just thoughts. Forgive me. I am sorry for you. It does hurt. Best wishes on your marriage!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Antonio on

Sometimes from the outside looking in it seems her husband would willing keep the 3 or 4 kids happily and with the help of his family.

She might be getting a guilt trip on the other side of how could she run off and "abandon" them for two days. Or her MIL might be allowing the kids to do things she doesn't agree with if she isn't there. She might have horrible anxiety. She might be dealing with a situation you have no outward clue that is going on. OR she could be a horrible selfish person who doesn't care about her family any more. It just seems weird to me she wouldn't come unless going would be a financial hardship or personal nightmare.

Get her off the life insurance...and if she is a guardian on your will you might rethink that and write out a codicil (I think that is how you spell it) until you can get that changed to someone seems she can barely keep her kids and family going much less have time to step in if yours had a time of need.

Congrats on the wedding!!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Indianapolis on

It's something going on with your sister. Is her husband controlling and making her stay away from her family? If you take her out of your will it shouldn't be because she didn't come to your wedding it should be because you think she will not do the right thing with your kids and parents. I know your sister not attending hurts but your wedding is a special day and you need to enjoy it. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

Your children should be the recipients of you life insurance policy not your sisters or parents. The money they receive would be used for thier care so whoever had them would have access to the funds although you may want someone else to administer how the funds are distributed. You really need to talk to an attorney. Your children’s interest are not protected. If you leave the money to your sister and your sister and her husband decide to start a business with the life insurance money, your children could be left with nothing. Don’t think it doesn’t happen.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

Do you really want to write your sister off for this? I know it’s a big deal for you and maybe should be for her. If you want to maintain a relationship however imperfect let it go. Talk to her about it but if this is the extent of the problem with her, let it go.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Athens on

You mention that you have other sisters-put one of them on your policy. She is not the right person for what you need. Write her off literally and figuratively.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

I wonder if she feels trapped I was a stay-at-home mom for 9 years have them my husband here and my mother and I would not be able to make myself leave my kids or go anywhere by myself my brother really wanted to get me a getaway hotel package for my birthday something for me to do by myself and even though they're older I just can't leave my kids Behind. Maybe she has some kind of anxiety or agoraphobia Maybe her husband is controlling have you tried asking her if everything's okay asking her why she seems to have left your side of the family behind?,



answers from Anchorage on

Sounds like you are being petty because she can't come to your wedding, but in the end it is your will and life insurance and you can do with it whatever you see fit. My husband and children are the resilience of mine because IMO that money is for paying for my final expenses and taking care of my immediate family (my kids).

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