I am getting married in eight months. I haven’t made precise plans for the hen yet but I have a good idea of who I’d like to invite.
The invitation would not include my sister in law, my brother’s wife. My brother got married about a year and a half ago. My family were very supportive and welcoming of his girlfriend/fiancée prior to this. I’ve never had a sister and really did make an effort with her thinking we could have a special bond. We noticed she would only ever talk about herself and never ask us anything about ourselves, but we chalked it up to nervousness. Otherwise she was lovely.
As her wedding approached, I confess I did expect an invite to her hen for both my mum and I. I realise in hindsight one should never expect! But our relationship with my brother is very close and as I said, we’d been pulling out the stops to make her feel part of the family. I also share mutual close friends with her. In the end she had a night and invited her mum, gran, and friends.
My brother had two stag nights - one with her male relatives included and a private night at his best friends which was for his closest three friends and him. My sister-in-law-to-be invited her own brother to attend this private stag, only telling my brother at the last minute. My brother has always found him quite awkward and it kinda killed the relaxation of the night. She clearly thought the ‘brother in law to be’ was entitled to go.
Since the marriage we've continued to be supportive of her. We socialise as a family, we help her run errands etc. She is nice and we are getting a bit closer but I feel like she distanced herself from us at the time of her wedding and for me it’s hard to feel like we’re friends yet. To put it cruelly it feels like we’re her social workers sometimes.
Which brings me to my own hen. I really want to have fun and relax with the people I am closest to including my close female relatives. I only want one addition which is my fiancé’s mother- we get on great and are becoming good friends. I think due to all the time I spend with my sister in law she will expect to be invited. In fact, she’s mentioned the hen once or twice even though I’ve not brought it up.
How do I convey to her that I don’t plan to invite her to the hen? I don’t feel like I can say: "you didn’t invite me to yours so I’m just copying you", as we’ve now known each other for so much longer and spent much more time together.
Edit: Just want to thank you all so much. I feel so much better equipped to handle this now!