Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Afternoon Quickie: “Can I Be in Two Weddings in One Weekend?”

Thought this was a good one from the forums:

Wedding Bells Pictures hs

Last summer I was asked to be in my one best friend’s wedding (Friend #1) on Sept 19 (Saturday). Today my other good friend (Friend #2) just asked me if I could be in her wedding on Sept 18th (Friday) that is 4 hours aways. I understand that etiquette sides with friend #1 because she asked first; however, both of these friends mean so much to me.

So my question is if it would be offensive to friend #1 if I miss her rehearsal dinner on the 18th so I can attend friend #2’s wedding? I plan to leave after dinner of friend’s #2 wedding, drive back and stay the night at my friend #1’s bed & breakfast that she rented, and be there to help her in the morning of her special day of the 19th.

Is this possible? Can I please two people in one weekend? — Two Bridal Besties

It’s possible, but you definitely want to check in with bride #1 first and get a feel for how important it is to her that you’re at the rehearsal dinner. Maybe you already have a sense of how she might feel about such a thing. Is she generally pretty laid-back? Has she been super invested in planning her wedding (like, have you and the other bridesmaids been getting lots of emails with updates on everything from what shoes she’s debating on wearing to what color napkins she’s chosen for the reception)? If you’re pretty sure she’d be ok with you missing her rehearsal dinner, just explain to her how equally important this other friend is to you and how much it would mean to you to be able to be at her wedding. Tell her you’ve made a commitment to her first so that, if your missing the rehearsal dinner will make too much of an inconvenience, you’ll be there. If you really aren’t sure at all how she would react to your missing the dinner, or you suspect she wouldn’t be happy about it, you could just tell her that your very good friend is getting married the day before her and you wish there were some way you could be there. If she shrugs and doesn’t say anything, there’s your answer. If she suggests you skip the rehearsal dinner, then there you go. Yes, it’s a little passive going this route, but, if your biggest worry here is offending her, this is a safe way to avoid that but still gauge how she’d feel about you missing part of her wedding activities.

As far as being IN wedding #2, I’d just make things as easy as possible on yourself, considering the circumstances, and graciously suggest you simply go as a guest. You’ll already be spreading yourself pretty thin by hitting, in two days, two weddings that are a four-hour drive apart, without being responsible for posing for professional photos and fluffing wedding dresses and wearing taffeta gowns for both of them.

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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com.

13 comments… add one
  • call-me-hobo

    call-me-hobo January 29, 2015, 3:37 pm

    Honestly, My MOH didn’t even make it to my rehearsal dinner. There really isn’t that much to rehearse, as long as about 3/4th of the bridal party is there. Ask bride #1 if she’d be cool with it, and then tell bride #2 what’s up with the situation. Although, Wendy makes a good point- it might be more stressful for you than you realize, especially if one of the brides turns out to be a secret Bridezilla in the making.

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    • avatar

      zombeyonce January 29, 2015, 7:25 pm

      My rehearsal dinner featured about 5 minutes of rehearsal, just us figuring out what order everyone would walk in, and we could have done that just before the ceremony. The rest of the dinner was just to hang out with everyone that had come from out of town.

      Unless she’s a super controlling or anxious bridezilla, I can’t imagine missing rehearsal dinner would be upsetting to her. But WWS: being in two weddings in two days would be pretty difficult.

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  • avatar

    Friend of Beagles January 29, 2015, 4:20 pm

    WWS. That being said, I’ve stood up in two weddings in two days, and it was great (except for the MOG trying to kick me out of the rehearsal dinner for the second wedding to save the cost of a slice of pizza–come on, lady!), but it was crazy, and my two weddings weren’t as far apart as yours are. It’s all going to depend on how cool the brides are.

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  • Lyra

    Lyra January 29, 2015, 8:24 pm

    Yeah I read this in the forums and I just think that’s insane, trying to be in 2 weddings in 2 days. I get being close friends, but would it really matter in 10 years that you were in both bridal parties? Probably not. I know there are people…people who I would consider close friends even…who will be getting invites to my wedding but won’t be able to come. And that’s ok. I get that some people live farther away and either can’t make the trek or already have summer vacation plans or whatever.
    .
    I don’t mean to cause a stir or anything but I have to wonder if people in their younger 20’s (which it sounds to me the LW is) tend to feel the obligation to participate in EVERY friend’s wedding they are asked to be in. “Oh she’s such a close friend!” I can say if I was asked to choose my bridal party even just 5 years ago I would have asked 6 girls. At my wedding in August I will have 3. I think there is a friend/priorities shift when you get older.

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    • avatar

      Milla January 30, 2015, 3:10 am

      Eh, I dunno. I’m 30 and got married this past June and had five people in my bridal party. But all we asked our bridal party to do was walk up the aisle before us and then stand in spots, so we were pretty laid back about the whole thing.

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      • Lyra

        Lyra January 30, 2015, 9:03 am

        I get that and I’m not saying that older people don’t have large bridal parties because obviously some will choose to. But I’ve seen pictures — mostly people who are in their young 20’s — where there are 8-10 bridesmaids, and I personally think that’s over the top. I was simply using myself as an example.

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    • Portia

      Portia January 30, 2015, 9:18 am

      Yeah, I think I’ve changed my opinion on that with age too, and perhaps with my guy. But also, I think the culture has changed a bit and weddings with fewer attendants are more in vogue these days as an active decision.

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  • something random

    something random January 30, 2015, 11:19 am

    WWS. I’m surprised at all the people who are saying don’t even worry about the first bride’s feelings at all. If she is so much as slightly concerned about details for any reason she must be a crazy, controlling, bridezilla. I agree that missing a rehearsal and dinner would probably not be a big deal for most people. But if the lw did make a commitment and now wants to cancel on less important things so she can commit to someone else, the courteous thing to do would be to ask and be open to her friend’s feelings.

    There may be details we don’t know about. Like maybe they are doing a less traditional ceremony (there is more to practice) or doing some of their photos the night before. For me, I would less concerned about missing the rehearsal and more concerned about the first wedding going late, dinner getting started late, or there being traffic or some other complication that might make it difficult for the letter writer to make it back in time to get ready and take part in the actual wedding or photos. For this reason, I would personally not be involved in both bridal parties. I’d go as a guest to at least one of the weddings.

    When you have a large wedding party (and wedding) things can get complicated. Coming from such a large family, I had seven bridesmaids and I didn’t even include everyone close to me. I had to make up other jobs because some people got their feelings hurt. I had siblings who strongly wanted to walk down the isle with their spouse or didn’t want someone else walking their spouse down the isle. I had bridesmaids who hated how the hair stylist did their hair (I told my bridesmaids to choose whatever they wanted) and bitched about it. I had people who disappeared when it was time to take pictures and other family members demanded we wait for them. It was stressful. So I’m sympathetic to brides who have to accommodate a bunch of requests. But this bridesmaid sounds considerate enough. Clearly she strives to be a good friend. So I’m sure she could ask and it would be fine.

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    • mandalee

      mandalee January 30, 2015, 12:21 pm

      I don’t anyone in the forums said not to worry about the first bride’s feelings, just that if she was a good friend to the LW and had a reasonable, understanding approach to a wedding and her expectations of her bridesmaids and knew how much the other bride meant to the LW, there’s no reason why LW can’t do both weddings if she wanted to. I dealt with a lot of requests during my wedding and I accommodate all of them I could (with the exception of my dad wanting to include Budweiser on the beer list at the wedding, which was a firm no) because I was just happy they were going to be part of such a big day.

      I also wouldn’t see need to worry if dinner or anything ran late on the day of wedding #1, since most venues have a cutoff time when festivities need to end in the contract of a wedding. So, even if dinner ran late or what not, there would be a set time when things were over and LW could plan on that.

      Also, I wish I could find the blog post now, but one of the wedding bloggers on Glamour I think it was, was a bridesmaid in a wedding one day and then ran one of the big marathon the next day and those things start early and still managed to do it all. So, even those immersed in all things weddings, understand that sometimes life events have a way of piling up.

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    • Lyra

      Lyra February 1, 2015, 1:00 pm

      Yeah I agree that sometimes things just go later than expected. Say she DOES choose to be in the Friday wedding and her role is done at 10 pm…assuming she leaves IMMEDIATELY from the reception (hard to do when you’re a member of the bridal party), she would still get there at 2 am, then needs to either check into the hotel or wherever she’s crashing, then MAYBE gets to bed by 2:30 or 3…then gets up by 8 am to do it all over with her other friend, assuming she will be at the entire reception, finishes at MAYBE 11 or 12. It’s a lot, plus she promised the Saturday wedding friend first that she would be in it. What happens if the LW oversleeps and is late and misses the hair appointment or something? Then the Saturday bride is upset…
      .
      I guess my point is that you can’t be everything for everyone, as much as you (general you) want to.

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  • Skyblossom

    Skyblossom January 30, 2015, 12:13 pm

    I answered this in the forum and now I’ll say the same basic thing.

    There are two things I’d consider.

    If the first bride and groom are well into wedding planning they may have already paid for the bridesmaids rehearsal dinner. In that case it would be rude to skip unless you confirm with the bride that there is someone else they would like to invite to the rehearsal dinner. Since it is traditionally the grooms family that pays for the rehearsal dinner it can make the bride look bad to her future in-laws if they pay for a dinner for her friend that is not eaten. If they don’t have to pay in advance or haven’t paid yet they might be happy to have one less meal to buy. You will only know if you ask.

    The second thing is when the wedding will be and what kind of weather you can expect. If you are in a southern climate and can anticipate good weather I don’t see a problem with a four hour drive. If you live in a northern climate and the wedding is in the winter your four hour drive could become eight hours in a heavy snow or the road could be closed due to ice. If it is in the winter in a northern climate I’d go to the second friend’s wedding as a guest with the understanding that you will be there, weather permitting.

    You can’t decide this without talking to the first bride, the one with whom you already have a commitment.

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  • bittergaymark

    bittergaymark January 30, 2015, 3:29 pm

    Ugh, this is such a sign the narcissistic age we live in. It’s all me. Me! ME!!! Nobody values the feelings of others or seems to care if they are already COMMITTED to something else. Hey, so long as a much better offer roles in, gotta get on it! Because it’s all about me. Me! ME!!!

    You made a commitment. NEWSFLASH: the rehearsal dinner is USUALLY the time that the bride and groom REALLY gets to hang out with their wedding party as at the wedding there will be a vast reception of people to meet and greet.

    Honestly? Life means missing things sometimes. Especially when you already said yes to something else… Also, if Friday Wedding is such an AMAZINGLY important friend how did she not already KNOW that you were in a wedding…

    To do what many of you are suggesting and advocating here is not only tacky and very bad form — it is, hell yes! A major breach of etiquette… But hey, if that’s how you wanna roll. And that’s the image you truly wish to project to the world — then have at it.

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    • Lyra

      Lyra February 1, 2015, 12:47 pm

      I agree with your comments on the commitment, and I definitely agree that if this wedding on Friday was such a valuable and close friend she would have known about the fact that the LW was already asked to be in a wedding that same weekend. I’ve had to miss friends’ weddings before for various reasons…INCLUDING being in someone else’s wedding the same day. Does it suck? Sometimes. But life goes on.

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