Wedding Planning Etiquette When It Comes To Sibling Wedding Dates
My fiance and I just got engaged a couple of weeks ago and have already found our dream venue and set our date for September of next year (over a year and a half away). My fiance’s brother and his girlfriend got engaged one week after us (happy coincidence) and were initially hoping to get married this year.
Well, we saw them at a party this past weekend and they mentioned that they are now thinking about having their wedding next year between April and August. I was a little surprised that they would even consider having their wedding within 1 -2 months of ours so I told the other bride to be that it would be nice if we tried not to plan our weddings too close together – mainly out of consideration for our future in-laws and our mutual guests. (Not to mention that they’ll be having a destination wedding and I think people would like more time in between travels). Apparently this upset her and she told her fiance (my fiance’s brother) that I was rude.
My fiance called his brother last night to smooth things over and explain why we feel this way. He pointed out overlapping bridal showers, bachelor/ette parties, travels, expenses etc. His brother didn’t respond well and said that we are being petty and that it shouldn’t matter. I think they’re both pretty angry with us.
We’ve talked to my fiance’s parents and they feel the same way but I’m not sure if they will be comfortable saying anything to the other couple. The last thing I want is any “drama” surrounding either wedding so I’m not sure what to do next.
So, my question is, what is the etiquette when it comes to sibling wedding dates? Is there a certain amount of time that they should be spaced apart? What should I do?
Jay Remer, The Etiquette Guy, International Protocol and Corporate & Social Etiquette
There is no reason why this should turn into an argument. As I see it, you need to take the high road here. There is no etiquette surrounding this matter, per se; however, common sense should prevail. My advice is to plan your wedding as you want it. The other couple has indicated that they are taking the low road, showing no respect at all for your wish to coordinate dates. They are having a destination wedding. You are not. There is no reason for you to start making suppositions and assumptions on how other people will feel or react or behave to this situation. If you act from your heart with good intentions; follow your inner voice; and create the wedding of your dreams, whatever else happens will fall neatly into place. And finally, even though you have done nothing wrong, apologize for upsetting the other couple and bring this matter to a close. Life is constantly challenging us to take responsibility for what is ours. We don’t need to take on what isn’t. Congratulations and best of luck!
Jodi R R Smith, The Mannersmith Etiquette Consulting
Author, The Etiquette Book, A Complete Guide To Modern Manners
Congratulations on your upcoming wedding! This situation is more common than you might think. Kind and considerate siblings do try to space out their weddings; both for the ease of the guests as well as out of respect for the other couple. Clearly, the other bride does not care what you feel or think. You will have plenty of room to stretch on the high road. Plan the wedding of your dreams and know that those who love you will be there on your special day. There will be some difficult decisions on the part of your fiance’s family who will be invited to both, but in a weird way, you have no control over who attends which wedding and therefore can focus your time and energy elsewhere. Good luck…your future sister-in-law has all the makings of a super bridezilla! The best wedding gift you can give your future husband is peace in the family. I wish you all the best.
Dr. Meredith Hansen Find Love. Get Love. Keep Love.
Psychologist and relationship expert helping you learn how to live happily ever after!
This is a difficult situation, but I agree with the other experts. You have tried to be respectful by speaking to your future brother and sister-in-law and now must move forward. The focus from here should be on working together to plan, prepare, and problem solve as a couple. Allow your engagement to be an opportunity to grow as a couple. Keep the lines of communication open, dream together about the life you’ll build, and talk about your marital expectations. The more you focus on your relationship, marriage, and wedding, the less you’ll worry about your brother-in-laws wedding.
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