Any woman who has more than one sister (shoutout to mine, Thing 1 and Thing 2) knows that there is nothing quite as awkward as deciding which sister should be your maid of honor for your wedding day. Typically the honor will go to the older sister, unless they've already served as one in another sister's wedding; some are axing the awkward altogether by having multiple maids of honor. But this sister who just offered $10,000 to a bride to be maid of honor and cut their other sister out of the role may just take the (wedding) cake on sticky sisterly wedding situations.
The situation was brought to light on a Reddit thread started by user Richbiche (#bless), who shared the drama in a post hoping for some advice. Seeing as the situation is a little unprecedented, you can't blame her. Apparently she has two sisters, a 20-year-old younger one she is close with, and a 31-year-old sister she is not close with — in fact, she and her younger sister haven't gotten along with the older one as far back as childhood. Naturally the bride chose her 20-year-old sister to be her bridesmaid, but that's where the story gets a little bit hairy.
The post immediately saw an influx of advice from users — some telling her to dismiss the offer outright, others offering ideas for how to reconcile the situation, and others taking the more devious route and suggesting she take the $10,000 and not make her maid of honor at the last second. In order to clarify the situation for people offering advice, Richebiche wrote a second comment:
My older sister Mary was always daddy’s little girl and she grew up cruel, selfish, and conceited just like him. My little sister and I have never been close with her or our father but we’ve always been there for each other.
When my father passed last year he left Mary the bulk of his estate. Mary is flashing about town with the cash while my sister and I have been struggling to help our ailing mother get by. Mary visits our mom once in awhile and spends her time there making the kind of cruel comments our father made and texting. I really don’t like her but she mostly ignored me until now.
My younger sister Anne has always been the great beauty of the three of us and my older sister has always reserved the best of her vitriol for Anne. I know showing up Anne is probably the only reason Mary wants to be my maid of honor.
To further clarify the situation, Richbiche also commented that the total cost of their reception is $100, as it will be a potluck in the park. In fact, she wrote that they wouldn't even be using the money for the wedding, which they've already planned cheaply — putting into context just how much the money would mean to her and her partner.
But when issues like this go viral, the real question here isn't so much what Richbiche is going to do, but what you would do if you were in a similary situation. I personally think that this is a case where you try to compromise — say you won't take the money, and make both sisters maids of honor. It's obviously important to the bride's older sister, even if she is going about making it happen a wrong and totally toxic way — and if matters to the older sister as much as she claims and truly isn't about showing up the other sister, she will agree to the terms. Past issues aside, sisters are for life; to quote a Kacey Musgraves song, because I am Kacey Musgraves trash and I don't care who knows it, "Family is family, in church or in prison, you get what you get, and you don't get to pick 'em." Is it going to be uncomfortable having the older sister serve as a second maid of honor? Hell yes. But would you regret forever if something as silly as wedding party hierarchy affected your relationship with your sister for the rest of your lives? I can't speak for anyone else, and I obviously have very little perspective on this bride or what her sister has put her through, but I know I would.
It does, of course, bring up an compelling point about weddings and the role of toxic family members. Are you obligated to accommodate them on this day, which is, all tropes about brides aside, your day? Or are weddings the occasion where you make compromises and hope for that for your sake, everyone involved will rise to the occasion and the experience could be a healing one?
Of course, Richbiche might have nothing to worry about, thanks to one commenter who's about to be pulling some overtime for work ...
Not exactly the sisterly fairy tale ending you were crossing your fingers for, but somehow much, much more satisfying than any other alternatives!