Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

“I Have Two Weddings on the Same Day!”

wedding invitation

My good friend, a sorority sister from college, got engaged a year and a half ago to my friend from law school. They met through me, I was involved in the elaborate proposal, and I am a bridesmaid in the wedding this June. We have ordered bridesmaids dresses and paid for the makeup for the wedding day. The bride and I are not BEST friends, but I do consider her a very close friend and am ecstatic about her wedding.

I also have a half-sister who just got engaged right before Christmas. She is ten years older than I, and growing up, I lived in Baltimore and she lived in Philly. We are not super close, but I do feel a sisterly bond with her, and she has never missed a birthday or holiday. I might see her about two or three times a year.

My sister called me Saturday to let me know that she picked a venue and date for her wedding – the same date as my college friend’s. I told her this, and my sister said she remembered I had a wedding coming up but didn’t know the exact date, and that she should have checked with me. She told me that she didn’t want to make me choose, but that she was going to ask me to be the maid-of-honor and it would be weird not to have me there. I told her that I could not miss her wedding, and if she and my friend had gotten engaged at the same time, of course I would go to my sister’s over my friend’s. But my friend has been planning this for over a year – I have even ordered the dress! During the conversation it sounded like my sister didn’t EXPECT me to choose her, but that she wanted me to and thought that I would.

I am at a loss as to what to do. My first reaction was that I cannot miss my sister’s wedding, but my next thought was that I am heartbroken to miss my friend’s. I also do not want to let her down. My mother’s first thought — not my sister’s mother — was that I cannot cancel on my friend because I have committed myself to her. But I think I would seriously regret missing my sister’s wedding. Same goes for my friend. Help! — Bridesmaid X Times Two

My first reaction is different than yours was. My first reaction is that it was kinda shitty of your sister not to run the date past you as well as the rest of your immediate family and the other important people she and her fiancé want in/at the wedding. It was especially crappy considering that she KNEW you had another wedding you were committed to attending around the same time. I get that wedding planning is stressful and there are a ton of things to think about and it’s easy to forget things sometimes, but that’s why you make a to-do list and top of that list should be: Check potential dates with important family members and friends.

Unfortunately for you, your sister failed this part of Weddings 101. So you have a few options. Your first one, and the one I’d do as soon as possible if I were you, is talk to your sister and ask if this date is set in stone or if there might be some wiggle room. Explain how torn you feel — you’ve been committed to your good friend’s wedding for a while now; you’re a bridesmaid — and the couple’s matchmaker!; your dress has been bought. Not only would it be in totally bad form to back out now, you don’t WANT to back out. You want to be there to celebrate your friends’ wedding. But you want to be at your sister’s wedding to celebrate her, too, and the only possible way you could do both is if your sister changes the date, which may be doable since she only decided on this date a few days ago.

There could be plenty of reasons your sister decided on that particular date though, and there’s a good chance she didn’t ask whether you were available specifically because she didn’t want to give you a chance to say “no” and suggest she choose a different time. If that’s the case — and, again, it could very well be — then you’re kind of screwed. If she’s set on that date for a number of reasons, she probably isn’t going change her mind now just so her kid sister doesn’t have to make a Sophie’s Choice. And that puts you in the unfortunate position of doing just that, doesn’t it?

So… what do you do? Attend the wedding of your friend, whom you’ve already committed to, and miss your sister’s wedding, or cancel on your friend who’s counting on you so you can see your sister get married? The choice, for better or worse, is yours, and only you can decide which decision you can live with more easily. It may help to imagine the wedding photos and whose pictures you would be sadder to be missing from in, say, ten years’ time.

Personally, if it were mI, I’d go to the wedding I was already committed to and decide that, if it was so important to my sister that she have me at her wedding, she could have run the date past me before setting it in stone. That’s a pretty simplistic way of looking at it, I realize, and the nature of your relationships with both of these women will affect your decision. But to be committed to someone for so many months and then back out seems more hurtful than declining an invite on a date that’s already booked … even if it’s an invite to your own sister’s wedding you have to decline.

***************

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181 comments… add one
  • avatar

    jlyfsh January 10, 2013, 9:11 am

    Yeah, I have to agree with Wendy. I understand that you can’t please everyone. But, if you’re going to ask someone to be your maid of honor and you know they have another wedding (that they are in!) around the same time, you ask them when it is! Obviously you or someone else might have had an issue with the dates she mentioned, but this seems like a case of really poor planning. I honestly have no idea what I would do in this case. I feel like my relationship with my sister is different than yours, so I would probably have picked hers. However, I was very involved in her wedding planning and she checked with me before absolutely deciding on that date and asking me to be her bridesmaid.

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  • avatar

    artsygirl January 10, 2013, 9:13 am

    LW – Wow it is nice to be so popular, just sucks that you ended up getting double booked. You really don’t have a choice in this one though. You agreed to be in your friend’s wedding before your sister even was engaged. If you were just a guest that would be different, but you are a bridesmaid so you will just have to tell your sister you cannot make it. Maybe you can attend some of the other wedding events like the rehearsal dinner (so long as it doesn’t interfere with the other wedding).

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  • Cymepkee

    Cymepkee January 10, 2013, 9:20 am

    I love my little brother, but if I’d been put in this situation, I’d have picked my friend’s wedding which I had been committed to for a year and a half. Not only was it rude of your sister not to check with you when she KNEW you had another wedding to attend, but I’m assuming that the dress and makeup and anything else you’ve had to spend money on were not inexpensive. Sister or not, you’re committed to, and excited for, your friend’s wedding. I agree that you should ask if your sister can change the date and let her know that, if not, you regret that you just can’t go.

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  • Fabelle

    Fabelle January 10, 2013, 9:22 am

    I agree with Wendy & share her initial reaction of “That’s pretty shitty.” If your sister wanted to ask you to be her maid-of-honor, then she should have done that FIRST & then gave you the job of helping her choose dates. I assume she knew you were already planning your friend’s wedding, no? Common sense should have told her to check with you.

    Buuuut, she didn’t—so yeah, I’d try to ask if she could move the date. You made a commitment to your friend & I’d say you CANNOT back out of her wedding at this point. Your sister may be blood, but your friend’s wedding was set before hers (not to mention how involved you are).

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    • avatar

      SpaceySteph January 10, 2013, 10:16 am

      I don’t think I agree with everything, mostly because I am in the position of my fiance and I having to plan a wedding all by ourselves- everyone else lives in other states so even though my sister is my Maid of Honor, she wasn’t at all involved in the picking of the venue, or the date.

      That said, we did make sure that our wedding party and close relatives ok’d the date before we signed the papers.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest January 10, 2013, 10:35 am

        Wait…you said you didn’t ask your sister/MOH if the date was ok, but then got the ok from her before you signed the papers?

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      • avatar

        SpaceySteph January 10, 2013, 1:29 pm

        I said she wasn’t involved in the venue hunt or date picking because the OP suggested that the MOH should be involved in the process, but I don’t have the luxury of anyone’s help.

        Once we found a venue we liked and found what date was available, we contacted our parents and siblings to ensure that the date was clear before going back to sign the papers. But that wasn’t a “what dates are you available” it was a “block off this date for our wedding. tell me now if you can’t” Of course it was 11 months away, so nobody had any plans. I’m not sure what we would have done if my sister had texted back “sorry, busy that day.”

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      • avatar

        SpaceySteph January 10, 2013, 1:32 pm

        My general opinion is that the sister didn’t go about it the right way (and should suffer the consequences), but I think people are unnecessarily harsh on her as if she did it on purpose to make the sister choose.
        What is more likely is she was overwhelmed by the choices (or lack of choices at this late date) and felt she had to pick something quick, and rushed into it without fully grasping the effects it would have. She’s guilty of poor planning and bad timing, not willfully trying to ruin her sister’s life.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest January 10, 2013, 1:38 pm

        Ah, well that makes sense.
        As to your comment below, I don’t think the sister is evil or anything.

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  • avatar

    Desiree January 10, 2013, 9:25 am

    WWS. I suspect that your sister didn’t check with you first for the exact reason Wendy suggested: she didn’t want to give you a chance to say no. Your friend’s wedding was scheduled first and you already committed to her, so that’s that (at least if it were me). If your sister really really wanted you as MOH that badly, she should have checked with you before deciding a date; instead she has inconsiderately put you in a very uncomfortable position. My fiance and I had two weekends this year (precisely TWO) that we could potentially get married due to our medical school schedules. And we still checked with our important family and friends before booking anything.

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  • avatar

    SweetPeaG January 10, 2013, 9:27 am

    Ouch. This sucks and I wish I had the magic answer!

    But, I have to vote for going to the one you are already committed to. Just tell your sister it is too late to back out… which, in my opinion, it is!

    I am hoping your sister sees a little bit of reason and is able to change the date.

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    • avatar

      SweetPeaG January 10, 2013, 9:35 am

      Also, I don’t think the sister meant anything by this (eliminating a way for her to say no, as people have suggested). It just happens. I am engaged. And… I honestly didn’t consult with anyone before picking the date. ::Hangs head in shame:: I didn’t know that was a thing people do. I did listen to those that told me to change our original date (since it happened to be a holiday weekend). But, I didn’t ask anyone if it worked for them. Apparently, this was rude of me. But, this whole wedding business is new to me. I fully admit I don’t know the in’s and out’s. However, we did pick the date a year and a half out… kind of gives our close family & friends plenty of time, no? If someone couldn’t go, I also wouldn’t make a stink about it.

      I really don’t think her sister was trying to be difficult. It is just an unfortunate turn of events.

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      • avatar

        jlyfsh January 10, 2013, 9:39 am

        If you knew your maid of honor or bridesmaid had another wedding they were IN around the same time you were thinking, do you think you would have asked them though? Because I think that’s the difference. You can’t please everyone, you just can’t. But, I think if you don’t then you have to (like you are) be ok with people saying I’m really sorry but I have another commitment that day. Which it kind of sounds like the sister thought she would just forget the prior commitment, which is the crappiest part I think.

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      • katie

        katie January 10, 2013, 9:40 am

        well, i think one reason that you should especially check with people is if you are going to plan the wedding not too far in advance- which it sounds like the sister did. if your planning a year and a half ahead of time, and giving people that date a year and a half ahead of time, i cant honestly think of why anyone would have something set up so far in advance, you know? but it sounds like the sister is planning maybe 6 months ahead of time, in which there are TONS of things people could have already committed too, another wedding being only a small percentage, im sure.

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      • avatar

        SpaceySteph January 10, 2013, 10:18 am

        On the other hand, if you are planning a wedding without much lead time, you might be severely limited in options.
        When I booked my venue a year in advance, my first and second choice dates were already taken. If the sister really wants to get married in 4 months rather than 12, she probably had some slim pickings.

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      • katie

        katie January 10, 2013, 10:22 am

        well then that is the choice you make, i guess. if you only have one date to pick from at the place you want, but on that date specific people that you want at your wedding wouldnt be able to make it, then thats your choice

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      • avatar

        SpaceySteph January 10, 2013, 10:55 am

        Oh I agree. I just don’t think the level of premeditation was there of “the sister didn’t ask you because she didn’t want to give you a chance to say no.”

        More likely it sounds like “the sister was scrambling to get a venue and a date, and now must deal with it”

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl January 10, 2013, 9:43 am

        We checked with our parents, siblings and grandparents. That was it. We acutally have a very close friend who can’t attend becuase he is a groomsman in another wedding on the day after (in a state about 400 miles away). We’re super bummed.

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      • theattack

        theattack January 10, 2013, 10:15 am

        We didn’t really consult with people on our date either, but we set our date almost a year out from the wedding, and we immediately told all the important people the general time of year it would be happening. If there’s reasonable time (six months is not reasonable time), and you give them a chance to tell you that they have something going on, I think it’s fine.

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      • avatar

        MissDre January 10, 2013, 10:43 am

        @SweetPeaG, I wouldn’t have thought of it either. I’m not engaged yet, but the only thing I’ve ever thought of is to make sure my brother and his wife don’t have a dance competition that weekend (they own a dance studio, and the time of year I would like to get married is competition season for them). But then again, I would never just go and book a venue before even talking to anybody. I’d assume that when you tell your best friends and family that you’re engaged, a common question would be “Have you set a date?” and I’d reply “Oh we’re thinking around this date” and if they already have a wedding or important event at that time they’d say so, wouldn’t they?

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      • avatar

        SweetPeaG January 10, 2013, 1:56 pm

        I just didn’t think of it… I think I would have been overwhelmed going to everyone (my fiance has quite a big family (five siblings, two sets of parents, etc.). I admit I am making plenty of wedding planning mistakes. And will continue to do so until July gets here. You just really can’t please everyone! But, like I said… a year and a half out is kind of enough time for people to plan.

        This sounds like a different situation. Her sister sounds to be planning this with a lot less time and making expectations that can’t be met.

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      • avatar

        Riefer January 10, 2013, 11:21 am

        I didn’t check with people either. But, it was quite a bit in advance, and our families are typically not all that “busy”. Plus it was in February which isn’t exactly a high social season. 🙂 But we did tell everyone the date early enough that we could still cancel it if we needed to.

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    • avatar

      lets_be_honest January 10, 2013, 10:38 am

      Hmm, see this is strange to me about not checking with people. If I were planning anything, I’d check to make sure the people I really want there could come.

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl January 10, 2013, 10:42 am

        I agree. I check with everyone who is a VIP like 14 times before I plan anything. But I am a huge over planner so maybe that’s why.

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      • katie

        katie January 10, 2013, 10:42 am

        i think it does come down to priorities, though. is the priority your super special venue? is the priority being married on a certain date? is the priority that certain people will be there no matter what? dont think you can pick all of those.. or at least, very rarely would you be able to pick all of those.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest January 10, 2013, 10:45 am

        What’s the point of a super special venue if you don’t have super special people to share it with though? I guess that’s just my priority, so you’re right. It just seems strange to me that anyone’s wouldn’t be their friends/family.

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      • katie

        katie January 10, 2013, 10:49 am

        i agree… lol. i dont care if i would have to hold a wedding at my own house, i just want everyone i love to be there.

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      • theattack

        theattack January 10, 2013, 10:52 am

        I agree with you that I definitely want my loved ones to be there. At the same time though, I have a very large family, and we have close friends spread out all over the place with different priorities. There would be no possible way for everyone we love to be there, and I don’t think I would want to have to make the decision between those people I love. The most you can with a large group is pick a date that works for your must-have people (ie: parents, best friend) and then let everyone else know the date as soon as you can.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest January 10, 2013, 10:55 am

        Well yea, it’d be hard to have every single person you want, but I just assume the must-haves are parents, best friend, and siblings. Of course, not everyone is close with their siblings.

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl January 10, 2013, 11:01 am

        But if you’re going to ask a sibling to be the maid of honor or in the wedding party you should definitely ask!

        And if you’re not close with your sibling, don’t have them in your wedding party! It’s ok!

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest January 10, 2013, 11:05 am

        Yea, exactly. Seems like common sense.

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      • avatar

        bethany January 10, 2013, 11:12 am

        I agree with you- Everyone values something different. I valued my loved ones being at my wedding. Other people value having the wedding they’ve always envisioned in their head, and will have do anything to make that vision happen. Did anyone see the movie Bride Wars? I mean if you want a wedding at that Plaza, you want a wedding at the Plaza!

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  • katie

    katie January 10, 2013, 9:28 am

    WWS. i always assumed that you ran this kind of stuff by people first- dates of important things like weddings, big birthday celebrations, family reunions, ect… you dont just plan huge events that involve a whole family without at least some input. i mean, even when i was in high school and me and my two best friends would plan our moderately large combo birthday parties, we always had to play around with the whole month of october to see what people were doing when…

    honestly, i hope other people cant make it too. i know that sounds bad, but maybe if she realizes that it wasnt the best idea to just decide on a date without anyone else’s input, she will be more likely to change it. i also hope she hasnt put any money down, or if she has, she can still change the date but keep the same venue or something…

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  • avatar

    bethany January 10, 2013, 9:32 am

    I agree with Wendy.

    When I got married, I asked my friend to be my MOH. I told her up front what time of year and where we were thinking of getting married. Then before we booked the venue, we checked with our immediate families and my MOH (rest of bridal party was family members) to make sure that worked for them BEFORE we signed a contract. That’s how it works.

    You introduced this other couple. I’m sure you being at the wedding means the world to them. They planned their wedding over a year in advance, you gave them your word and you ordered the dress. It’s not their fault your sister messed up. Go to your friend’s wedding.

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    • avatar

      Riefer January 10, 2013, 11:25 am

      Yeah, think of how you’ll affect their wedding now, if you don’t go. They’ve got it all planned, presumably. If they want the number of bridesmaids to match groomsmen, they’ve got that worked out, and you would be throwing a wrench into it. That’s not really fair to do to them just because your sister is being selfish. Frankly your sister is being a jerk by putting that much pressure on you, when she knows you’re already IN another wedding. And she hasn’t started her planning yet, so she can pick another MOH.

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    • avatar

      MMcG January 10, 2013, 11:37 am

      Seconded… there’s absolutely nothing wrong with sticking with important commitments that have been in place for over a year. If only more people would stick with things, scheduling might be easier all around!

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  • avatar

    GatorGirl January 10, 2013, 9:33 am

    You made a committment to serve as a bridesmaid for your friend. Your sister should have ran the date by you, since you are apparently one of her VIPs. You need to honor the commitment you made first, to your friend.

    I do find it strange that you say you aren’t very close with your sister but she wants to ask you to be her MOH. And I find it even stranger that your sister didn’t even check with you (her sister and chosen MOH) to see if the date was okay!

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    • Astronomer

      Astronomer January 10, 2013, 1:16 pm

      I think asking your sister to be a MOH is a tradition. My sister and I are not close at all. Like, if we didn’t share a mom who wanted to celebrate Christmas with both of us, we would probably never talk. We have very different personalities and had very different experiences growing up, so there’s not even any common ground to work with.

      My sister asked me to be her MOH when she got married, which seemed totally crazy to me. She has best friends who live in the same state, so it’s not like she was desperate. I think she just felt obligated. And…I did it, because I felt obligated to say yes. I was definitely the odd person out in that wedding party, ha.

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl January 10, 2013, 1:59 pm

        I understand what you’re saying but I think it’s dumb. Sorry but I do. I think it’s dumb you said yes out of obligation. You shouldn’t be obligated to do anything at your wedding (other than follow a few etiquette rules) and one shouldn’t be obligated to do anything for someone’s wedding (other than a little etiquette). Etiquette dictates nothing about who should be in your bridal party. But I’m the weird-o who isn’t having a bridal party at all so what do I know.

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      • theattack

        theattack January 10, 2013, 2:03 pm

        I completely agree with you. Some people in my area even think you’re supposed to ask your fiance(e)s’s brothers and sisters to be in your wedding party, which is completely insane.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest January 10, 2013, 2:08 pm

        That’s all I’ve ever seen. Any and all siblings in the wedding party.

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        honeybeenicki January 10, 2013, 5:29 pm

        I actually asked my sister to step down from my wedding (very long story, but mostly revolved around her mother making it impossible for her to do anything with the wedding even though she was 18). And didn’t include others. I only had 3 bridesmaids and only one was a sister. My MOH was my best friend and my other bridesmaid was another good friend.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest January 10, 2013, 2:11 pm

        Just one other thing. Wouldn’t your fiance ask them to be in the wedding party? Like, I’d ask my siblings and he’d ask his.

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      • theattack

        theattack January 10, 2013, 2:14 pm

        Not for people who want their wedding parties to be just one gender. The man’s sisters would go to the bride and the bride’s brothers would go to the groom. I personally think it’s ridiculous. My brother is an usher at our wedding, but he was not asked to be a groomsman. I was the MOH at my brother’s wedding even though I didn’t really know the bride very well, and it was just weird.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest January 10, 2013, 2:20 pm

        Really surprising to hear! I’ve only (as i said) seen it done that way, so never thought of it as weird. More like two families becoming one.

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      • theattack

        theattack January 10, 2013, 2:26 pm

        It’s great if it works for everyone that way. I just made my bridesmaids the people who are my support system. I wouldn’t want to choose a future in-law I’m not close to over my best friend. And I think it would be really difficult for a couple who had large families, or where only one person had a large family. A lot of people are perfectly happy doing that though.

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      • katie

        katie January 10, 2013, 4:29 pm

        easiest solution to that- you ask your siblings and he asks his, regardless of gender. such an easy fix.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest January 10, 2013, 4:37 pm

        Oh I know, I was replying to ta’s comment. It left me confused.
        I always assumed siblings just are a given in wedding parties.

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      • katie

        katie January 10, 2013, 4:42 pm

        the issues always come in when the bride has brothers and the groom has sisters… ive heard countless radio questions about it, read stuff on offbeatbride, and here i think, actually. people feel like they “have” to have these people they dont want in *their* party, but they are obligated because its the partners siblings…

        i would say that siblings in the wedding party are a given as well, but just keep them separate. bride picks hers, groom picks his, take all gender and number out of it, and everyone is happy… however, if i get married im not going to even have them, lol, its just such an easy solution, it irks me…

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      • avatar

        rachel January 10, 2013, 5:31 pm

        I think it’s really weird that people have to have all the men on one side and the women on another. The point of the bridal party is that it is the people that support the bride. Why should it have to be all women?

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      • avatar

        wendykh January 14, 2013, 3:47 pm

        my husband and I each had two attendants of either gender

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        lets_be_honest January 10, 2013, 5:42 pm

        I plan to have at least 2 men on my side, a brother and a friend.
        But I also would have my SO’s sister on my side, happily.
        I like your idea, seems stupid either way though. I mean, theyre all up front in a line, hopefully standing for both the bride and groom’s happiness.

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      • avatar

        Desiree January 10, 2013, 4:26 pm

        I did ask my fiance’s sisters (who are 16 and 18) to be in my bridal party. He is really close to them, and being bridesmaids has made them feel more involved in the wedding. I haven’t gotten to know them super well yet because of distance, but for me it was more of a “investment in the future” type thing. It worked for me, and all the future in-laws really appreciated it, but I could definitely imagine many scenarios where it wouldn’t make sense.

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      • avatar

        bethany January 10, 2013, 4:28 pm

        I also think it’s dumb when people have family members in their wedding party that they’re not close with.

        My husband and I had family members in our wedding party, but that’s because we are close with them- It was NOT because we felt like we should.

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  • avatar

    shanshantastic January 10, 2013, 9:44 am

    I’m going to just jump in here with everyone – WWS all the way.

    We had a somewhat similar issue when planning our wedding. We ran the date by our immediate families and my MoH, and it worked out because my husband’s sister and brother-in-law (both in the wedding) had a wedding planned the week before ours. Unfortunately for them, the other couple decided after we had been planning for months to change their wedding date to ours (not sure of the reason). They had a far easier decision than you have here, but ultimately it came down to where they were committed first.

    It’s a sad thought that you may have to miss your sister’s wedding, but even her statement (she “knows” she should have checked with you first) means she either realizes she’s effed up pretty badly, or as Wendy said, she deliberately didn’t because she assumed (or at least strongly suspected) that you would choose her wedding. I would talk to her before any more time goes by and let her know where you stand. Good luck!

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  • theattack

    theattack January 10, 2013, 9:49 am

    I completely agree with Wendy here. Your sister is right. She SHOULD have cleared the date with you first, especially this last minute. It would be pretty crappy to back out on your friend this late in the game, and I certainly wouldn’t do something that disrespectful to a friend just to accomodate someone else who wasn’t considerate enough to check with you first. If your sister is serious about wanting you in her wedding, she will change things around so that you can be in it. This isn’t a choice that you have to make. It’s a choice for your sister to make.

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    • theattack

      theattack January 10, 2013, 11:37 am

      Oh and btw, your friend might have already bought things specifically for you. I bought my bridesmaids a very personalized (monogrammed) gift for them, so if one of them dropped out now, I would be out money too, not just them. There are other things your friend could have done to personalize things toward you as well. Is your name on a program yet? A wedding website? Some sort of heirloom she’s having made? These are all relatively small things, but they add up.

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  • lynn

    Lynn January 10, 2013, 9:57 am

    Decline your sister’s invitation. Don’t be that person who flakes out after being so committed to something, even if it’s your sister’s wedding. You’ve been an integral part of this other couple’s wedding/why they even met — so don’t back out now. I guess you could ask your sister if her date can be changed, but if it’s set in stone, don’t feel bad telling her that you can’t. She should understand.

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    ebstarr January 10, 2013, 10:05 am

    I agree with Wendy, perhaps even more strongly, that you should keep your commitment to the wedding you already agreed to be in. I just think it’s wrong to commit to something and back out, unless there’s a much better reason than “different event of same nature that I’d prefer to go to.” Even though it’s family, which sucks for both you and your sister. I would take your sister at her word, though, that she didn’t want to make you choose. Otherwise, you’d have to go back on *your* word.

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    Lindsay January 10, 2013, 10:10 am

    You should go to the wedding you’ve already committed to. Like Wendy said, it’s a very basic part of wedding planning to run the date by the person you plan to choose as your maid of honor (as well as anyone else you feel must be there), and your sister didn’t. I’m sure it’s a disappointment to both of you, but your sister honestly can’t be surprised since she knew you had another wedding coming up. Anyway, they’re just weddings, you’ll have plenty of other opportunities to spend time with your sister.

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    lets_be_honest January 10, 2013, 10:13 am

    Haven’t read the comments, but I don’t think you can back out of the friend’s wedding at this point, barring an extreme emergency.

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      lets_be_honest January 10, 2013, 10:15 am

      Also, ftr, I’m extremely close to my sisters.

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    SGMcG January 10, 2013, 10:19 am

    So she’s doing a six month engagement period? I’m surprised she got a venue so soon in so short a time! Depending on how elaborate the wedding will be, most venues have a 9-12 month waiting period. It’s great if everyone you want there can attend a wedding on such short notice, but people have committments and other obligations. When I got married after a short engagement period (two months, give or take), I had cousins I wanted in attendance at our wedding who couldn’t becuase they had other obligations and it was such short notice. I know my family well enough that I know they would be there if possible – so even though they were missed, I know they wished me the best.

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    • KKZ

      KKZ January 10, 2013, 3:17 pm

      I find the waiting thing really depends where you live. Out here in the Midwest it doesn’t seem to be nearly as competitive as in, say, NYC. I’ve had several friends and family members get married in our area (southwest Ohio) in the past few years and don’t know of even one that was wait-listed on their first venue of choice. I think in big cities it’s common to need a LOT of lead time because these places book up, and because there are certain venues that everybody and their brother wants to use. But it’s definitely not a universal.

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      • Dear Wendy

        Wendy January 10, 2013, 3:26 pm

        Just FYI, I got married in the heart of Manhattan and I planned my wedding in less than five months and spent about 10 grand on it. Just because you live in a big city doesn’t mean your wedding has to be some huge affair requiring 18 months or longer to plan and tens of thousands of dollars to pay for. (This isn’t directed at you, KKZ; I just wanted to make this point and this was as good a place as any to do it). I mean, to each her own, but for me, I just could never in a million years imagine getting so stressed out for such a long length of time over a party that will last a few hours tops. I got engaged in February and married in July and even that seemed too long to be thinking about wedding plans and all the details I, quite frankly, didn’t care all that much about.

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      • Jess

        Jess January 11, 2013, 11:29 am

        Ditto this!!!

        I’m doing a 6 month engagement. It cracks me up, by the way, how everyone wants to know your date AS SOON as you are engaged but then everyone reacts with shock when you actually choose a date 3 weeks later because it’s “so quick.” **SIGH**

        My venue had no wait and I am 1000% in agreement about 6 months being LONG enough to be in wedding planning chaos/stress.

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        GatorGirl January 11, 2013, 11:45 am

        I’m having a 14 month engagement when it is all said and done and yes, 6 months is long enough. 14 months is unbearable!!

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    mf January 10, 2013, 10:24 am

    I totally agree with Wendy. I get that your sister maybe didn’t want to run the date by ALL her friends and family before she booked it, but she should have at least mentioned it to you if she planned on asking you to be the MOH.

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  • Kate B.

    Kate B. January 10, 2013, 10:36 am

    You are committed to your friend, not to mention heavily invested financially, so you need to decline your sister’s invitation. Also, sister is using shady tactics, here. “I don’t want you to have to choose between us, but I was going to ask you to be my Maid of Honor.” Passive aggressive, much? Don’t give in to emotional blackmail.

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      lets_be_honest January 10, 2013, 10:39 am

      Intended or not as a guilt trip, I totally agree.

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    • Fabelle

      Fabelle January 10, 2013, 10:47 am

      Yeah, I also got a passive-aggressive vibe from that. If she truly doesn’t want her to choose, then that’s the end of the story & she shouldn’t tack guilt-trippy information onto that statement.

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    SpaceySteph January 10, 2013, 10:42 am

    I am a bit more sympathetic to your sister. She’s trying to plan a wedding on a short lead time. There is a world of difference between trying to plan a wedding in 6 months and trying to plan a wedding in 2 years! (which, I think your friends’ engagement is absurdly long, but oh well)
    When I got engaged last March I really wanted to get married in November, but we also had other requirements (for example, we really wanted it to be a Saturday night because of how many people were traveling from out of town) and we couldn’t find a venue that was available at a time that worked for us so we fell back to February.
    So it is less likely that she was being inconsiderate, more likely that she saw how few options she had and grabbed the one that worked best for her. Unfortunately it doesn’t work for you.

    However, having said all that, I still agree that you should not back out of the wedding you already agreed to be in. Your sister, as she has the right to do, is choosing what fits her schedule. When you plan a wedding without enough advance notice you risk people already having plans. And you obviously care a great deal about the other couple, to whom you already made a commitment. Your sister, if she really cannot change the wedding date, will have to do it without you.

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    lucy January 10, 2013, 10:53 am

    Sorry guys – as crappy as it is that LW has to choose – FAMILY IS FAMILY!!!! your friends will move on, start a family of there own and a wedding will be a blip in what is hopefully a long road of happiness ahead for them. DO NOT MISS YOUR SISTER’S WEDDING. she didn’t ask you bec, quite frankly there is no option here. ya gotta go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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      MMcG January 10, 2013, 12:38 pm

      Disagree – Family is Family greatly depends on the family – and there are many people in this world for whom their chosen support group of friends is way more important or respectful of their choices than family! It’s assumptions like blood is blood and should trump everything that often result in more problems… not to mention enabling a lot of very shitty behavior that would never be accepted from a friend, neighbor or colleague.

      I could just as easily put forth that if it was so important for the bride to have her sister as her MOH, then she would have made an effort to ask a simple question in advance when she knew there was a potential conflict.

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        Trixy Minx January 10, 2013, 12:56 pm

        I cannot like this enough!!!

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        lucy January 10, 2013, 1:00 pm

        sorry – respectfully disagree. I think LW sis didn’t ask because since they make an effort with eachother and are SISTERS who, really seems to be close, she assumed (rightfully, in my opinion) that it’s a no brainer and she would go, come hell or high water/

        so yes, fine, I agree, a lot of people out there have family who are not supportive and I don’t mean to draw a line in the sand regardless, but this doesn’t seem like the case, and people -IT’S A WEDDING. you are NOT part of the marriage and guess what? the bride and groom don’t remember anyone else aside from eachother in the big scheme of things. GO TO YOUR SISTER’S WEDDING…especially since she’s acting like a sister to begin with!!!

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      • katie

        katie January 10, 2013, 1:03 pm

        couldnt you argue that this LW actually is a part of the marriage of her friend, though? she introduced them. she is kind of a huge part, the only reason they even know each other…

        and if the bride and groom dont remember anyone else from the wedding, why would you pick the sister over the friend? then it doesnt matter either way, right, because no one is going to remember you being there anyway…

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        SpaceySteph January 10, 2013, 1:05 pm

        Yeah but Family also has an obligation to attempt to make it possible for their Family to attend.

        Though I do sympathize with the sister’s lack of options, she is the one who initially broke the FAMILY responsibility first, by not asking her sister “Hey, when is that wedding you’re going to in June?” before booking the venue.

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        lets_be_honest January 10, 2013, 1:07 pm

        “We are not super close, but I do feel a sisterly bond with her, and she has never missed a birthday or holiday. I might see her about two or three times a year.”

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark January 10, 2013, 1:16 pm

        Sisters who give a rip about one another don’t carelessly put one another in impossible situations which is just what this rather self centered bride did. Sorry, it’s all VERY bridezilla to me. Especially since it all so easily could have been avoided. Sisters are great — but nobody in the world can cause MORE unnecessary drama than sisters…

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        Eagle Eye January 10, 2013, 1:27 pm

        hahahaha, SO.TRUE! I love my sister! I think that she’s the best person in the whole wide world and there is no one I love more than her! However, for two people who have such little drama in their relationships outside of that sisterly bond, man, we can get ourselves soooo worked up over nothing, and the fact that we’re in our twenties doesn’t seem to have changed much of anything! Somehow whenever we’re together we have tendency to revert back to 6 and 3 and its not always super pretty!

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        SpaceySteph January 10, 2013, 1:33 pm

        I don’t always agree with BGM, but this is spot on:
        “but nobody in the world can cause MORE unnecessary drama than sisters”

        A sister can be your best friend, worst enemy, and biggest competition. Sometimes she can be all 3 at once.

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        lets_be_honest January 10, 2013, 1:20 pm

        Someone else mentioned this. A lot of the time, its a given that your sister is MOH. Even if you aren’t close and have a best friend who you’re way closer with. I’ve seen this many times. So the sister may have just felt obligated.

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        FancyPants January 11, 2013, 11:19 am

        Yes, family is family, but these things go both ways. My husband’s only brother was in Korea and was extremely restricted as to when he could come back for our wedding. We wanted a wedding in early summer 2012, but we ended up choosing a date in the fall of that year that he would be able to travel for. We delayed our wedding by almost six months for him (because it was important to my husband that his brother be there) and my BIL spent a lot of money and traveled across the world for us (because he wanted to be there). It was a give-give situation. THAT’s what family does.

        I feel like the stunt the LW’s sister is pulling is like if we refused to postpone our wedding, but expected him to come when he had other commitments. If we weren’t willing to be flexible, why should he be flexible?

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    Addie Pray January 10, 2013, 10:56 am

    I agree with Wendy. And excuse me for a second while I project my own experiences a bit. LW, we are both kid sisters – by a milion years, it seems, which means I have authority to speak here. There’s something about that dynamic that can be really poopy for us. When siblings are that much older, they are more like parental figures (at least growing up). They are used to you just tagging along and/or not having any “important” issues of your own. You know, when you’re 8 and they are 18, their problems and relationships and whatnot are always going to be WAY MORE important or serious, you know? Well, when you’re 18 and they are 28, it’s still kind of the same – that mentality continues. …. And it’s on both sides. They still see you as the kid who will just tag along and drop everything for them, and you still see them as “more important” somehow, and that’s why you are feeling so much agony. To anyone else who is not used to being treated like the baby of the family, they don’t get it – to them it’s so obvious that you wouldn’t drop everything for your big sister’s wedding. But damnit, we gotta start thinking like them. What your sister just did — not even consult with you, take the risk that you were already committed that day, and then just assume/expect you to drop your plans for her — is EXACTLY what siblings 10 years older do (in my experience!). And the agony you’re feeling is EXACTLY what siblings 10 years younger feel – because you too see yourself as the kid sister who can’t let her big sister down on her special day. Well, you know what, baby sisters unit! It’s time that we declare to the world that we are adults with our own lives and we should be treated with respect! We are not just going to drop everything for you. It’s time they drop shit for us! This is bullshit. I gaurantee she would NOT do that to her older sister, no way. She would not do that to her parents or her best friends either, nooooooooo. But a baby sister? Sure, because baby sisters always do what you want. ….

    If you don’t go to your friend’s wedding, I’m going to be livid. Do it for baby sisters all over the world!

    (Yes, I’m projecting much but LW might know exactly what I’m talking about. Older siblings suck balls.)

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    • katie

      katie January 10, 2013, 10:57 am

      this is a great theory, actually.. i like it!

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    • JK

      JK January 10, 2013, 11:01 am

      Let´s not start with a “which sibling has it worse” debate again, we ALL know it´s the middle child. We have to please the oldest AND the youngest. And our parents. And everybody else.
      😛

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        Riefer January 10, 2013, 11:30 am

        That’s a debate no one can win. 🙂 No matter where you fall, there are crappy things. I was the oldest daughter, so I had to be the “responsible” one. Whereas the younger ones just get away with whatever they want.

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        Trixy Minx January 10, 2013, 12:58 pm

        I’m the middle child too!!

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      SpaceySteph January 10, 2013, 11:17 am

      I agree, fascinating armchair psychology there!

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      GatorGirl January 10, 2013, 11:24 am

      I’ve got to solidly disagree with this AP. My brother and sister are 8 and 10 years younger then me and I would never treat them the way you’re describing. I carefully compaired my siblings school schedules before planning any of my upcoming wedding events and have asked for their opinions on just about everything wedding related that they are involved with.

      And on a bigger scale, I would never just expect them to tag along or fall in line because I’m their big sister and I say so. That’s an incredibly selfish mindset. I may be more of a second parent to them, but they deserve to be treated with respect and as individual thinkers. Sorry for the rant but this struck a nerve with me.

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        Addie Pray January 10, 2013, 12:53 pm

        Gasp! Taking a bold stand there disagreeing with AP, who does that?!?! …. Ok, (typical spoiled baby of the family) ego over, haha

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      MMcG January 10, 2013, 11:41 am

      AWESOME!

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        MMcG January 10, 2013, 11:43 am

        Damn comment box – I wasn’t done yet!!!

        AS I WAS TRYING TO TYPE… This is awesome AP because it isn’t just sibling dynamics. I experience the same thing in my family as the youngest grandchild… decades later I’m still the last one checked because people assume I can just tag along. Um, well, no I can’t with my husband and job and everything!

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        mslunapuella January 10, 2013, 2:10 pm

        Ahaha, I have exactly the opposite problem as the oldest grandchild – my family always expects me to be on top of things and arrange things, and when they don’t happen (because, you know, I have a life and I’m busy), *I* get flak for it, despite the fact that my brother is only 2 years younger and has plenty of time because he’s mostly unemployed and spends his time gaming. 😛

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      acastil5 January 11, 2013, 1:36 pm

      Ahh i just went through this with my own sister! We are thirteen years apart but you’d never guess she was the oldest by the way she acts. She wanted me to babysit for her on a saturday night, well she asked me if i was available on that weekend and i said yes, she took that to mean i could do it whenever. wouldn’t you know i had plans saturday afternoon! i asked her if she could go some other time, since she was just planning to go to the movies. she texted back, “doh we already bought the tickets it starts at 630.” well of course she bought tickets to ipic, where you cant get refunds! we ended up getting in a huge fight, and arent speaking right now. she called me selfish, i told her she was ungrateful, she told me my temper is the reason im alone, i told her i would never say anything like that to her or ban her from my home (which she did)

      so i told my parents i basically wasnt gonna see her except for major holidays and events. they are behind this. Im 25 and this has been going on for years, i have the same complaint–everything is on their schedule, you never have anything going on so of course youll come! And then fits and tears if she doesn’t get her way. After a certain point you’ve had enough, and you gotta remove yourself from the drama and the situations that start it in the first place. They aren’t gonna change, and you just have to live your life and if they want to be in it then they can treat you like the adult you are–otherwise…

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      wendykh January 14, 2013, 3:58 pm

      I totally agree, and I’m the OLDEST of 5 spreading over 23 years!!! :-O I have to wotk hard to be considerate and it’s been weird to me to see them become Legit Adults with Lives.

      I think a lot of it has to do with jealousy. I don’t experience this as much, but my next closest in age brother does. I suspect because he was still under 18 and home when the youngest was born whereas I was gone before the last two were born. Well, almost. I moved out when the next to youngest was 2 months old. And my closest in age brother really sees it like they are so much luckier and so much more spoiled blah blah because my dad and stepmom had their shit WAY more together with those kids than with us. So my brother is still playing the typical middle child “so hard done by” and I’m just like whatever I have no time aren’t they cute? Plus the youngest two are almost the same age as my two eldest, so yeah, I tend to view them as kids… even tho one has been at military academy (as in air force) the last two years so uh, HE IS A GROWN UP. Bad me.

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  • Jess

    Jess January 10, 2013, 11:14 am

    I’m a lazy bride so I have to admit that I really didn’t run my date by people the way I should have. In my defense, I had planned to elope (fiancee talked me out of it) and I was prepared for people to decline our invitation. I did tell my immediate family before sending out Save the Dates or signing a contract.

    That said, I know my venue would allow me to switch dates without penalty. Perhaps your sister can too. It doesn’t sound like Save the Dates have gone out if you are getting a phone call. So there could be time.

    Barring that, are the weddings geographically close? Are they the same time of day? Any chance you can see your sister at some point during the day and at least get a few photos snapped? I’d try to strike some kind of compromise with your sister if you could. Since she’s early in the planning, the least she could do would be to arrange the day’s events so that you could be available for something.

    Good luck!

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      SpaceySteph January 10, 2013, 11:18 am

      Wow you have the best venue ever. My venue wouldn’t let me change the start time by more than 2 hours from the time I originally put in my contract, let alone swap days.

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      • Jess

        Jess January 10, 2013, 11:45 am

        Wow, really? My approach has been the path of least resistance (no stress!) but I guess I have been super lucky.

        Our venue is a registered historic site (gated property house, carriage house, and lawns) in the middle of a questionable city neighborhood. The hedges and gate around it shield it from view even though it’s on a busy street. You’d never know it was there. They’ve had 2 weddings there before and it’s not well known. We happened to visit the site on one of our first dates and when we found out we could marry there, it was a done deal. They pretty much give you the run of the place and the caterer has to do all the work (chairs, tables, etc). So it’s very hands off. I asked about dates in June and September and they had both months totally open. I paid a $125 non-refundable deposit. I suppose I could lose that if I switched dates but they have been so laid back that I doubt they would fuss over that.

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    Bossy Italian Wife January 10, 2013, 11:34 am

    It sounds a little manipulative on your sister’s part if you ask me…. like, “Oh, your friend’s wedding is that day?? Well, I was going to ask you to be my maid of honor!” Sheez.

    What I will say is this: when I got married to my husband we had been together for six and a half years. His sister called me six months into my planning and told me that she moving her wedding date–two weeks IN FRONT of my wedding. I was furious. When my husband and I told her that was way too close to our wedding (logistically this would force family members from far away to choose which wedding to attend) she moved it four weeks away. I was not happy with the set up, and ultimately some family members did not attend both weddings because of travel costs. But it was better than two weeks in front!

    This situation is different from yours, but in the end, if you don’t ask you don’t know what might have been. Ask your sister to move her wedding date. You might be surprised. Also, I am sure that if you tell you aren’t coming, that might shake it up a bit and force her to consider that–which, honestly, is what she should have done in the first place. My line about weddings is, “If you are mature enough to be a bride, you are mature enough to consider everyone’s needs.”

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    MMcG January 10, 2013, 11:36 am

    Haven’t read any comments but I think the LW’s sister was probably assuming that everything would be dropped for her wedding day… because when she knew there was another wedding that was already scheduled, and the LW had been really involved and was a member of the wedding party, it seems a wee bit shady or passive aggressive to say in response to the LW saying it was a scheduling conflict “well I was going to ask you to be my MOH, and it would be really weird not to have you there”… I mean why say it would be really weird not to have you there, and put that kind of guilt or pressure on the LW, when you did nothing in advance to make sure the LW could be included?

    Also, still 6 months post my own wedding… still in favor of elopement and simple courthouse ceremonies. Weddings cause some crazy cray 🙂

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      lets_be_honest January 10, 2013, 11:58 am

      I always hear things like this from brides (re your last part). Do you really mean that? If you could go back, you wouldn’t have had it?
      Just seems strange to me. Like, if it sucked so much (I assume the sucking part is the leading up to the wedding part), why would you even decide to go through with a big wedding? And why spend presumably a fortune on a wedding when in the end you say you wish you had eloped?
      (i hope this isn’t rude of me to ask, i’m just so confused by statements like that)

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        lemongrass January 10, 2013, 12:12 pm

        I thought I would love planning my wedding and I didn’t. It was so stressful and I was in over my head with stuff that I had no idea what I was doing- planning an event that huge is a learning experience and yet, it’s your wedding so you better not fuck it up! Not gonna lie, I was drinking a bottle of wine almost every night during that time!
        That said, I don’t regret it at all and it was so worth all the stress. The memories I have- my dad walking me down the aisle, my husband forgetting to repeat the words, our families getting to know each other, my friends well placed at the back getting rowdy and the kids playing behind the curtains. The hall had a stage that we blocked off with curtains and naturally there was all the kids back their playing. The pictures of our first dance have a little kid’s face peeking out in the background.

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        lets_be_honest January 10, 2013, 12:26 pm

        See, this is the kinda response I would hope to hear. That in the end, it was all worth it.

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      • theattack

        theattack January 10, 2013, 12:18 pm

        I think people don’t know what they’re getting into for one thing. My wedding planning is not nearly as stressful as what other people seem to be going through though. I honestly don’t understand where all of the stress comes from, but maybe I’m just going to stumble upon it all at the last minute and freak out. I also think people aren’t always serious when they make those comments.

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        lets_be_honest January 10, 2013, 12:33 pm

        I guess that could be the case. Good call. Seems like a great idea at first, I’m sure no brides start out thinking they will become obsessed with napkin colors.

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        lemongrass January 10, 2013, 12:40 pm

        It wasn’t napkin colours for me, I think I was pretty easy going. I let my mom decide all of the flowers, I just trusted her choice and we don’t usually have that kind of relationship. I think it was just too many details and I didn’t know if I was able to pull it all together. I had never planned an event before and spending large amounts of money freaks me out.

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        lets_be_honest January 10, 2013, 12:47 pm

        Would you say the cost was worth it? I’m afraid even if I have the Best Wedding Ever, I’ll still be kicking myself for years for not doing something else with that shitload of money.

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        lemongrass January 10, 2013, 12:58 pm

        Abso-freaking-loutley. We spent somewhere around 12,000-15,000 ish? We had only planned to spend 10,000 but you know how that goes. The most expensive part was flying my chef sister and brother-in-law + their 4 kids across the country in exchange for them catering it. That was 5,000 but they wouldn’t have been able to afford it and was money well spent in both mine and my husband’s opinion. They are the best cooks I know and food was our main thing at our wedding. We also overspent on our honeymoon- we planned 5,000 but spent 8,200 and didn’t regret it either.
        Money is temporary and can be made back up (as long as it doesn’t put you in the poor house) but the memories that were made will last forever.

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        lets_be_honest January 10, 2013, 1:08 pm

        Cool, glad to hear it!

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        bethany January 10, 2013, 12:19 pm

        I’m over a year out from getting married, and I still have days where I’m sooooo thankful it’s over!

        I was a very low key bride. I just wanted to get married, and have it be simple and easy, but it very rarely is. People have expectations- friends, family, whoever, and no matter what you do, someone’s going to be dissatisfied and there are a billion things that can go wrong (and with my wedding, it seems like they all happened to go wrong!)

        I ended up loving my wedding day, but if I could go back and do it all over again, I think I would have had a very small wedding of family only followed by a very nice dinner out at a fancy restaurant.

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        GatorGirl January 10, 2013, 12:23 pm

        Omg elope. Seriously. I would do it (elope) now if save the dates had not been sent and non-refundable deposits hasn’t been sent. I love wedding stuff and absolutely thought planning a wedding would be awesome. Turns out I hate it. I don’t care about napkin colors or favors or what the last song played is. But I do still love watching wedding shows and day dreaming about other people’s weddings. For some reason making decisions about “petty” things seems stupid compaired to the bigger goal of having a long standing, awesome marriage. You know what I mean? Plus wedding crap is so expensive ($3000 for flowers?? what??).

        We decided to have the “big” wedding from day one. It’s pretty much impossible for us to have a small wedding due to the size of our families (my family list is over 90 people who “have” to be invited)> We’re going pretty low cost overall. All together it will be under $20,000 with our parents paying for around 3/4 of things. (Huge thank you to our parents!!)

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        lets_be_honest January 10, 2013, 12:32 pm

        Ok, so if you realize you don’t care about so many of the things, why not just throw your hands up and say I’ll just have white napkins and not care about what song is played last, if there are favors, etc. You always hear the whole “its my day” thing, so if it is, then make it yours. Make it low key, something easy. Ask your groom to make the stupid minor decisions that you are struggling wth.
        The cost thing, I mean, its what you choose too. If you don’t want to spend a fortune, don’t get flowers. If flowers are so important, then ignore the cost.
        I understand the whole big family thing. If I had a traditional wedding, there’d be a minimum of 80 people without including his family! There is no way I would leave out aunts and uncles, which come with tons of kids, etc. But, I feel like it could just be easier. Why have a wedding that in the end will make you miserable and wish you’d eloped?

        ftr, I would really prefer not having a wedding, maybe just the 3 of us. So maybe I’m missing something.

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        MMcG January 10, 2013, 12:51 pm

        You are often not given the option of not having opinions… seriously. I also think I have some resentment from the assumptions that were made that because I was a bride that I WAS going to care… and when I didn’t it was treated like I was some sort of diva by not caring and making a big deal of it. Seriously. I also had a really rough time with my in-laws which still clouds my judgment.

        There are many aspects of my wedding that I loved and treasured, don’t get me wrong, but I could have had those moments with a simple ceremony and picnic too 😉

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        lets_be_honest January 10, 2013, 1:01 pm

        Haha, god its so ridiculous. Care too much? DIVA. Care too little? DIVA.
        I’m terrified of ending up resenting my family or his because of wedding planning. We all get along so well now and I really wouldn’t want to change that. I remember watching what went on during his sister’s wedding and it turned me off of weddings even more. (not engaged, btw). Her rehearsal dinner was a picnic on the lawn they were getting married on, outside a castle, where the reception was. Honestly, that was so much more my taste, low key, laid back. Everyone was tense the day of the wedding.

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        lemongrass January 10, 2013, 1:07 pm

        I think, as long as you are all reasonable, respectful people then you’ll be okay. My MIL literally begged me to have the wedding in my husband’s tiny hometown. The options there are very limited and there isn’t enough accommodations in the town for my family to stay and it’s really really out of the way. She just didn’t want to leave her home! She said “I’ll even pay for it all!” I really had to set my foot down on that one. But once she realized that I wasn’t going to do it there then she was fine.

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      • katie

        Katie January 10, 2013, 1:23 pm

        I’m also very worried about that- jakes mom was apparently a crazy person when his brother planned his wedding. I don’t want to go down that path.

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        SpaceySteph January 10, 2013, 1:10 pm

        I agree with this. You don’t really get the luxury of not having an opinion.
        This chair or that chair? SOMEONE has to choose, and even if you choose arbitrarily, everyone is looking to the bride to pick it. And you need chairs, so you have to pick.

        And that’s one of 9 billion things that, even if you don’t care, you still have to go about randomly selecting things. Just because you don’t care one whit about napkin colors doesn’t mean they don’t hand you a stack of 12 and you have to grab one from the pile. <aking decisions is exhausting.

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        GatorGirl January 10, 2013, 2:09 pm

        LBH, we’re doing everything at my parents house so I don’t really have the luxury of not chosing. I have to arrange for tables and chairs and napkins and bathrooms to show up there. I have to tell the chef what to make because we employ him- and there isn’t a menu to chose from. The DJ is a business associate who is doing the event as a favor so I can’t really ignor her requests. We did cut a lot of things because they were bafflingly overpriced (flowers being #1 to go). My fiance is HIGHLY involved in the wedding planning process and is the main contact for a few vendors but it’s still so so much. The actual ceremony and reception will be awesome, it’s just the mundane details leading up to the event that are driving me bonkers.

        My advice, if you have a big wedding is to go with an all inclusive place. One where you just show up in your outfit and it’s all there in one spot pre-decided for you.

        Also, I’m the idiot who decided to design all of my paper goods (invitations, menus, programs etc) and print all of them myself. That was dumb.

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        lets_be_honest January 10, 2013, 2:14 pm

        Oh wow. Ok, so you have to arrange to get everything, but in picking what those things are, couldn’t you just take a quick look and point to one quickly and call it a day? Food, each of you pick your favorites, tell the chef to add in whatever he normally does for weddings. At least your fiance is involved though. 🙂
        Yea, I would do the all inclusive. Just seems easier, and worth the added cost.

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        GatorGirl January 10, 2013, 2:38 pm

        At this point, less then 5 months out, we’re just making decisions as fast as possible and they are final. But I also over stress myself by deciding to hand sew, it not hand paint, our table runners. Yes, I’m nuts but if I’m going to have this big wedding I want it to be beautiful.

        My fiance’s sister got married last year and had a VERY traditional, very lavish and very beautiful wedding. So I feel some added pressure to make our event as awesome, especially since his family is traveling 100+ miles to come.

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        lemongrass January 10, 2013, 6:52 pm

        Can I just say- flowers don’t have to be expensive! We had orchids and because they are so stunning, you don’t need much! My bouquet was awesome but my bridesmaids just held 2 stems and each table had one stem submerged in water. Like these:

        We had 17 or 18 tables and altogether it only cost us $350 for flowers.

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      • theattack

        theattack January 10, 2013, 12:40 pm

        I’m just not making those decisions. That might sound weird. I’m giving our DJ a list of songs that do matter to us, and a list of the type of music we like so he can just fill in the rest. I’m using whatever napkins the caterer brings with her, and since we’re doing disposables, that will probably just be white paper ones. The money is ridiculous, and it’s the main thing that has slowed us down with planning, but I just haven’t run into a lot of stress yet. The only stressful factor right now is my mother who keeps coming up with really terrible ideas and then just trying to tell me that’s what we’re doing as if it won’t matter to me at all. And of course it sucks having to tell her that I hate her ideas. I’ve been having hour-long phone conversations with her every night where it’s basically her giving me all these terrible ideas about how to do things that I’ve already had planned out for months. She and I clash big time on events because she thinks she can just undo things that I’ve already done as if I’m a five year old with my shoes on the wrong feet. The only stressful thing for me right now is dealing with her and dreading the day before and the day of the wedding where I’m fully expecting to be in tears because of her trying to make last minute changes on things, and I’m scared she’s going to say negative things about marriage because hers sucks so much.

        Sorry I’m venting. Maybe I am stressed. Just thinking about wedding planning with her makes me want to cry.

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        lemongrass January 10, 2013, 12:45 pm

        See, to save money I didn’t have a DJ, I made an ipod list- that took forever and was a huge stressful part. I also had my sister (who is a chef) cater the wedding and so had to get all the rentals myself. I definitely think that the most stress came from people trying to help- I was constantly asked “what can I do?” in the days leading up to my wedding and I was trying to figure out what I was supposed to do!

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      • theattack

        theattack January 10, 2013, 12:51 pm

        Oh the iPod playlist… I’ve been making a playlist since before we got engaged, fully expecting to do what you did. I didn’t trust anyone to operate the sound equipment though, so I figured hiring someone would be the best bet. We just got a great deal on a very professional DJ (who actually does a national radio show apparently), and I’m happy to not have to worry about my dad rigging up some sort of wiring and having the sound completely unbalanced.

        And yeah, people wanting to help is nice, but honestly, I’d rather people stay out of the way for the most part. It helps me to have absolute control over everything. haha The one person I have asked to help with something has completely failed at doing that, and now I’m going to have to rush to do it myself, so I just don’t really trust people.

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        lemongrass January 10, 2013, 1:03 pm

        The sound system was already set up for it in the hall I booked, so that was easy. The problem was people touching it! It is the only thing that still gets me a little upset thinking about. I had set the music to go from slower to faster so that it would be good for dancing. Well, this ACDC song was at the beginning of the dance list, and then some not-so-hardcore songs and then it picked up from there. Well, some of my husband’s tipsy friends would think “this isn’t fast enough!” and would pick up the ipod, see ACDC and hit that song and it just repeated itself. So it never got too dance-y and I really wanted lots of dancing at my wedding. But everyone had fun and messy anyways so it’s not the end of the world. But if they just left it alone it would have been great. Oh well.

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        lets_be_honest January 10, 2013, 12:45 pm

        That SUCKS! I think you’ve written about your r/s with your mom on the forums.

        What are her ideas? I’m curious now!

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      • theattack

        theattack January 10, 2013, 1:04 pm

        Yes, I’m the one that had that long post about my mom treating me like a child and how to deal with financial issues with her.

        I can’t even think of that many specific things, but we’ve had a theme picked out since we started wedding planning, and she keeps coming up with new and “better” themes to do instead even though we’ve already bought stuff for this one. She threw a huge fit because she wants to have a huge display about my dead grandmother, which I have major issues with because I don’t want to cry over grief at my wedding, and I don’t want my grandfather to cry either, and it’s just not wedding the time or the place IMO. She rejects most of my plans and tells me why they’re bad ideas (ie: DJs are apparently tacky according to her (our wedding is only slightly above casual), and I should apparently have harp players scattered all over the venue (VOMIT!) instead of playing modern music; she keeps trying to tell the caterer new and improved ways to set up buffets which don’t make any sense; she thinks I need to hire a “professional parking director” (what the hell is that?) because the one at our venue is probably stupid, etc). I don’t know, there have been a ton of little things that are adding up, and they might be small things, but in the context of our relationship dynamics, I’m about to scream over them. It’s like everything I pick out from favors to how we’re doing our vows she can’t refrain from being critical over.

        And there’s so much pressure for this to be a fun and special bonding experience for the two of us, so she keeps trying to just be more and more involved instead of letting my fiance and I decide anything on our own. I really do want to have a good experience with my mom over it all, but it’s just not happening that way when everything I say is wrong.

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        lets_be_honest January 10, 2013, 1:11 pm

        oh jeez. I’d try to give you some advice, but I think you got most of it in the forum and she seems like she’ll never back off. Maybe just not tell her things?

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      • theattack

        theattack January 10, 2013, 1:19 pm

        Yeah, it will be a never ending battle with her. Grandkids will be fun… I am trying not to tell her things. That works sometimes, but other times she takes that to mean that I have nothing planned and takes it upon herself to decide exactly what we’re doing without my input, and then I have to go fix it. The most I’ve been able to do is to make her promise me not to hire anyone or buy anything big at all without consulting me. I feel like such a bitch to her right now.

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        lemongrass January 10, 2013, 1:32 pm

        How can she make decisions over your head? You’d have to sign all the contracts. Anything booked or bought by her wouldn’t be legally required for you to use. If she books something or buys something, tell her to cancel/return it. “I didn’t ask for that, return it.” Rinse and repeat as many times as necessary. Don’t get involved in the cancelling process, just let her deal with it. She’ll eventually realize it’s not worth the headache/wasted money.

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        wendykh January 14, 2013, 4:10 pm

        IME these kind of moms show up the day of the event and start playing Wedding Director and ordering people around and changing crap because she is Mother Of The Bride and therefore people just say “um, okay” and do it. Then bride comes out and flips and all hell breaks loose.

        For me, I’d elope if I did it all again because my fiance somehow had the idea *I* wanted a big huge wedding and I thought HE did and neither of us wanted it and he acted like a complete ass and to this day says he hated it and wishes we’d eloped. So every time I look at a picture of us I’m pissed. We’ve been married nearly 10 years now and I have exactly one pic from the day in our house and it’s barely visible and not at all prominent. I put it up not even a year ago finally because at least I don’t burst into tears now when looking at it. He says he didn’t want to ruin my big day but all he did was sit there and stew and make it miserable when if he had told me we’d have done something ENTIRELY different.

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        MMcG January 10, 2013, 3:45 pm

        My 2 cents, which may or may not be based on real experience 😉 — to the extent possible take control from the vendor’s side of things. My FMIL decided to go ahead and travel to where my wedding was taking place and take advantage of the wedding planner that I had personally paid for, without my knowledge. Which made it so much easier later on to justify why I telling MY vendors that they were to completely ignore her requests… the women tried to insist that her friends were going to give toasts at the reception after my father had thanked everyone, etc. — BY MARCHING BACK AND FORTH ACROSS THE DANCE FLOOR IN FRONT OF EVERYONE TO LOUDLY WHISPER DEMANDS IN HUSBAND’S EAR WHILE WE WERE TRYING TO EAT — guess who the DJ knew not to give the microphone to? That’s right… was never going to happen, I didn’t even have to say anything and just let my husband shake his head and then watch her fail when she approached the DJ booth.

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        MMcG January 10, 2013, 3:49 pm

        I should also note in case anyone reads this and is picking up on details that may reveal me… I actually do like my MIL. She’s not an awful woman or evil in anyway, just slightly narcissistic and very involved in her baby boy’s life. My husband did a crappy job negotiating the relationship between us from the beginning (and he is very late to the setting adult boundaries game) and was woefully unprepared for some of the crazy that came from wedding planning. All is fairly good now, now that I know what to expect and to keep some things at arms length.

        Just wanted to let people know that it is possible to recover from whatever the wedding planning madness brings you!!

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      • katie

        katie January 10, 2013, 12:51 pm

        have you thought of just completely shutting her out of the process? you can do that, you know.

        also, for the day of, have someone else (probably dad) just bring her directly to where she needs to be. dont *let* her be around the day before if all she is going to do is reduce you to tears. have her brought to the pictures, brought to the ceremony, brought to the reception. give her a handler- seriously. it might sound mean, but it will save you stress. jake’s SIL had to do this with her mother, but she has real, terrible mental illness, so it was even more pronounced- someone followed her around all night.

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      • theattack

        theattack January 10, 2013, 1:08 pm

        Well she’s paying for a lot of it, and I really do want to have a good time with her. We have to set up at the venue the day before, and a lot of it is DIY, so I don’t think there’s much I can do to avoid having her there. She’s not horrible constantly. It’s mostly that she says things without thinking and we butt heads a lot, and I just predict it’s going to blow up that day. It could potentially be fun, or it could be a disaster. I think I definitely will use that idea for the day of events though, because she probably won’t leave my side the entire day unless she has a designated place she’s supposed to be.

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        Vathena January 10, 2013, 12:47 pm

        I didn’t care AT ALL about flowers. The reception would have been pretty much un-decorated if it had been left up to me. My husband, a friend, and my SIL did the whole setup. Just some nice lilies in vases. Looked fine. Does anyone really remember what was on the tables? Unless it’s some monstrosity that blocks your view. I think one thing that really reduced wedding-planning stress was that we were able to pay for it ourselves, plus we are pretty decisive people. Things have the potential to get more crazy when someone else is both paying AND opinionated. (Props to the parents out there who don’t give their engaged children a hard time about everything!)

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      • katie

        katie January 10, 2013, 12:55 pm

        have you ever thought about cancelling your wedding? offbeatbride just showed an elopement that happened when the couple decided half way through planning a wedding that it sucked and they were going to do it anymore… has that crossed your mind?

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        GatorGirl January 10, 2013, 2:14 pm

        I wouldn’t cancel. I love love love weddings so much and I can’t wait to have all of the family and friends in one location and have a big dance party. I just don’t want to plan all of the stuff that happens before the dance party!

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        MMcG January 10, 2013, 12:47 pm

        @lbh, no worries! I always wanted a courthouse wedding, hate being a spectacle in front of others plus just wanted something intimate, I never wanted to go dress shopping, could have cared less about flowers, etc. etc. … and then on top of that I am a logistical OCD type A person, so once the ball started rolling there was no way for me to do it without driving myself a little nuts (because if I’m having a wedding – as an only child – then god dammit my parents are going to come off looking amazing).

        so, I wouldn’t have had the wedding I did if there weren’t pressures and expectations on both sides… especially considering that I had to plan the whole things by myself (fiance long-distance) … in the end, even though it was an awesome time during the weekend itself, I would have rather saved the $$$$$ and time and resentment that built up during the entire process. Courthouse followed by a separate party or BBQ for the win!

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        lets_be_honest January 10, 2013, 12:49 pm

        You sound like me! Except I’m not an only child. Maybe if my stupid siblings would just settle down already, I could pull off a courthouse wedding 🙂

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        MMcG January 10, 2013, 12:59 pm

        Yeah, the only child thing probably killed me more than anything… because I knew my dad would be crushed if he couldn’t have that moment (both my parents ended up walking me down the aisle actually) and I wanted him to have it. I just didn’t need him to have it after my in-laws put over 50 family members on our guest list, guilted me into the higher numbers because of “how important it would be to meet my future relatives” and then have them not show. And I mean even the few that managed to RSVP (30 invitations couldn’t be bothered to send in the stamped postcard) all backed out the week of. I was eliminating tables and rearranging the seating chart during the rehearsal…

        I’m clearly still in PTSD mode over this… let me know if you want me to start a forum thread on my MIL. It would include such gems as ignoring my requests to keep the guest list small, because I don’t like being in front of people, by telling me I should take some public speaking lessons to get comfortable because I’m so pretty.

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        lets_be_honest January 10, 2013, 1:03 pm

        Wow! People are rude as hell.
        Your MIL sounds like a piece of work.

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        MMcG January 10, 2013, 3:53 pm

        She’s not bad all the time, but the fact that DH thought that she could do nothing wrong created some problems… adult boundaries must be harder for boys to establish with their moms 🙂

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    SuzyQ January 10, 2013, 11:36 am

    I have to say that, barring any chance for a change in dates, I would attend the sister’s wedding if I were the LW. I know it’s not fair to the LW or her friend. But one thing I have learned in my many years on this earth is that the older you get, the more important family becomes. When the LW gets married and starts to have kids, her family will become more of a central feature of her life.

    I have been a bridesmaid in 7 weddings – and maid of honor in 3 of those. That was 15 years ago, and today I have kept in touch with most of those women, but am really closest to my sister. Some of the women (including twp for whom I was maid of honor!) I hardly know anymore.

    But with aging parents, nieces and nephews, cousins, and time constraints, we all tend to focus more and more on family as time goes on. I truly hope that the sister will reconsider her date and allow the LW to attend both weddings, but if not, I hope she’ll think 10, 20, 30 years down the road.

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      kerrycontrary January 10, 2013, 11:44 am

      I kind of agree with you…I mean I think what the sister did is totally crappy. But family is family. We had a cousin skip my brother’s wedding reception for a rehearsal dinner (and neither he nor his wife were in the actual wedding–which wasn’t until the next day). It was beyond rude and I’m still upset at them. I just think 10 years down the line you might not be friends with that girl, but you will still know and depend upon your sister.

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      • theattack

        theattack January 10, 2013, 11:47 am

        No offense, but that seems like a really unnecessary grudge to hold onto. People go to ceremonies and leave early from receptions all the time for various reasons. I would be thankful that they tried to accomodate both parties and that they were able to go to the ceremony.

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        kerrycontrary January 10, 2013, 12:03 pm

        It’s not like I go around thinking how angry I am at them, so I wouldn’t call it a grudge. But my brother spent hundreds of dollars flying to their wedding. No one else left early from his reception. I just think none of my siblings would ever behave that way when it comes to a family event, so in my mind its unacceptable behavior. Everyone else in the family disapproved of what they did as well.

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark January 10, 2013, 1:25 pm

        Eh, I dunno. I’d let that one go… They went to the wedding. Hey, it’s not like they skipped the ceremony and should up just for the free grub.

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        ebstarr January 10, 2013, 11:57 am

        I agree that sisters are more important to most people than their friends; both of you make really good points. But I think looking at it that way makes the dilemma about what’s best for the LW, rather than the more important question — what is the right thing to do. Which in this case (in my opinion) is perfectly clear; she gave her word and she should honor it. It’s unfortunate that she’s been put in this position, but that doesn’t give her the right to break her commitment.

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    • theattack

      theattack January 10, 2013, 11:45 am

      I definitely see your point and agree with you that family becomes more and more important in most cases. But will her attendance at the wedding really change anything about that? Will it somehow affect what her relationship with her sister is like twenty years from now? I certainly hope not. It might, however, ruin her friendship with this girl to back out at the last minute. I think it’s the sister’s responsibility to excuse her absence and not let it get in the way down the road. It’s all about responsibility. The LW has a responsibility to her friend through a commitment she already made, and the sister has to take responsibility for overlooking the LW’s plans.

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        kerrycontrary January 10, 2013, 12:04 pm

        I know, I think that this is a really odd and difficult situation for the LW. I hope that the sister can change the date and then this is all a non-issue.

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        Vathena January 10, 2013, 12:39 pm

        I agree completely with this. Yes, family is very important. Which is why the sister should have run her dates by her family to make sure they could be there, and not penalize them if they can’t make it on such short notice. Weddings in June are hardly uncommon, so it should not be a surprise when people have conflicts. The LW should go to the wedding to which she is already committed. If the sister is going to let that ruin their relationship for 10, 20, 30 years down the road, then perhaps this particular family connection isn’t so important after all.

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        SuzyQ January 10, 2013, 2:08 pm

        I think it’s about shared moments and memories. It’s nice to look back on my friends’ weddings – they were a big part of my life back then. But there is no comparison to which is more important to me now. I have spend hours describing my sister’s wedding to my nieces when they were little, and they loved hearing about the marriage. To them, it’s the basis of their little family. And I can still laugh with my sis about funny things that happened. I even think to my Aunt’s second wedding which was several months later – we’re not as close, but she’s in her 70s now, her son passed away last year and we can look at pics and reminisce about our family.

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    • katie

      katie January 10, 2013, 11:48 am

      couldnt you just turn that around to the sister, though, as well?

      is it really worth it to have your wedding on THAT DATE if your own sister cant attend? think 10, 20, 30 years down the line- you will be happy you moved the date.

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      • LadyinPurpleNotRed

        LadyinPurpleNotRed January 10, 2013, 12:20 pm

        I agree with Katie. The sister knew the lw had another wedding THAT SHE WAS IN and not just attending around the same time and if it was so important to her and the sister wanted the lw in the wedding she would have checked with her. The sister didn’t so i’ts on her, not the lw.

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      lets_be_honest January 10, 2013, 12:02 pm

      I agree with your reasoning, but I still think its just wrong to commit to a wedding the way the lw has and then back out of it. Regardless of the reasoning.

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      Lindsay January 10, 2013, 1:53 pm

      I think you can make family a priority in life without being a flake or inconveniencing other people. A wedding is one day, and certainly by going to a lot of weddings, you understand that most people don’t get a lot of time to spend with the bride or groom. The LW would do a lot more to forge a closer relationship with her sister to just spend a day with her, hanging out and whatever.

      Part of being an adult is following through with your commitments even if a better offer comes up. If it was really THAT important to the sister that the LW and various other people were there, she’d have made more of an effort to make sure they were. I don’t think the LW should “punish” her sister for that, but it is what it is.

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  • Lyra

    L January 10, 2013, 12:02 pm

    I agree with what has already been said, go to the friend’s wedding, respectfully decline your sister’s unless she can move the date. I had a very similar issue for a wedding last October on the very same day. I had two weddings I was asked to be a part of — one was one of my closest friends from my major in college who married her high school sweetheart and the other was a lesbian couple who had been my apartment-mates (and two of my closest friends) senior year of college. I ended up being in the first wedding simply because she asked me first. If my apartment-mates had asked me first I would have been in theirs. I actually asked them if there was any wiggle room because I really really really wanted to be in their wedding but they absolutely had to reserve their venue for that day due to scheduling conflicts.

    I think it would be really really crappy if you backed out of your friend’s wedding. It sounds from your letter as though she’s closer to you than your sister is. Don’t let your sister guilt you into being in her wedding. She decided to choose a date without checking with you first. That is poor planning on her part.

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  • avatar

    lemongrass January 10, 2013, 12:04 pm

    Wendy, you did too good of a job answering this letter. I have nothing to add!

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  • mandalee

    mandalee January 10, 2013, 12:23 pm

    As someone who had an a short “active” engagement (we were engaged for a few months and didn’t plan a thing but from booking to wedding was about 7 months), I can’t imagine your sister not calling you to check the date before booking. When we decided to get married way earlier than we intended because we thought waiting so long was silly, we each called up all our important family members and bridal party, asked for black out dates, then went on a venue hunt. If she was planning on asking you to be MOH and knew you were in a wedding, would a phone call really have put her out? No.

    So, I agree with Wendy on sticking with your friend’s wedding and letting your sister know that is the *one day* that doesn’t work for you, so if she really wants you to be a part of it, she should try to change her date if at all possible.

    I’m sorry you are in a crappy situation, but it’s definitely not your fault!

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  • avatar

    Trixy Minx January 10, 2013, 12:52 pm

    there are 365 days in a year and your sister happens to pick the one day you’re obligated to be at another wedding. sorry but I don’t believe in coincides.

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      wendykh January 14, 2013, 4:25 pm

      I agree. Call me a cynic but I think it was to ensure she could *not* come.

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  • bittergaymark

    bittergaymark January 10, 2013, 1:03 pm

    Unlike Wendy I fail to see much conflict. Look, you are ALREADY committed to the other wedding. You are not only the matchmaker of said couple, but also have already purchased and ordered a dress. (How handy — I so so hope you have the dated receipt if anybody gives you any grief about your decision.)

    I’m with Wendy in that — quite frankly — I don’t understand how one plans a wedding and doesn’t bother to check to see if everybody in the family and/or wedding party is available… Especially, when the wedding is so thrown together and last minute… Unfortunately, your sister REALLY messed up here. And in a big, big way. By failing Wedding Planning 101, she alone deserves to suffer your absence, since she alone could have so easily made sure you would be both available and there.

    Also, as others have wisely and already suggested in this thread. My oh my this does seem to be one hell of a coincidence. And the: “Oh dear. You have a conflict. Here I wanted you so much to be my maid of honor that I hadn’t even bothered to mention that yet either…” is definitely BEYOND passive aggressive.

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    • theattack

      theattack January 10, 2013, 1:25 pm

      Good point about the receipt. Honestly, I would be kind of afraid to be in the sister’s wedding. If she’s that inconsiderate and guilt-trippy this early on, just imagine what would happen later.

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    Kelbells January 10, 2013, 2:29 pm

    I just got married this past fall. My sister got married 4 months before me. My best friends got married one month before me. They were both my matron of honors. Not only that, but another friend got married 3 weeks before me. And my best friend was in a wedding (that I attended as a guest) the week before me. I moved my wedding date one week earlier than I would have liked so my best friend could attend her cousins wedding out of state. All of our showers and bachelorette parties overlapped BUT there were certain people I wanted to stand up there with me on the big day so we all communicated about our availability. If someone’s attendance is important to you, you will work with other people schedules. Ask your sister is she can change the date, if not, you committed to your friends first, you should attend hers. I would have been very upset if a good friend backed out of my wedding that they had been committed to for so long. I would never end a friendship over it, but it would have stung.

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  • KKZ

    KKZ January 10, 2013, 3:05 pm

    Ok, I didn’t read any other comments yet but wanted to reply to this:

    “I get that wedding planning is stressful and there are a ton of things to think about and it’s easy to forget things sometimes, but that’s why you make a to-do list and top of that list should be: Check potential dates with important family members and friends.”

    WHAT?? I didn’t run my date past anybody! We picked it at random during a road trip when we decided we liked the sound of 9-19-09.

    And now I hate to think that there might have been people saying shitty things about me for being so rude as to miss this part of, as Wendy calls it, Wedding 101. Well, guess what, there is no Wedding 101 class. Well, there might be such a thing, but unless it’s a mandatory part of growing up, I don’t get how any bride is expected to just KNOW that this is the proper thing to do.

    I could say that about a lot of adult things that I’ve been expected to just *know* how to do properly. The first time I paid for a meal in a restaurant with my own credit card, I was flummoxed when the check came – what exactly do I do? Here just take this and make it happen please….
    I also didn’t know there are different tipping standards for different services, and I used to be a terrible tipper because of it. And I remember standing in line at a bank once, one that didn’t have a “please leave enough space” sign, and being right up behind the person in front of me for a few minutes before it dawned on me that that wasn’t proper.

    Maybe I was an exceptionally ignorant or oblivious child to not pick up on stuff like that growing up. Maybe my parents and teachers failed me by not teaching me the Rules for Adult Life alongside traffic laws and grammar. But I sure hope I’m not the only one who has had to figure out things like this on the fly. I’m not the LW’s sister but I felt shamed by the tone of Wendy’s comment.

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      jlyfsh January 10, 2013, 3:21 pm

      I think in this case it’s more the fact that the sister knew that the LW had a previous engagment and thought that the LW would choose her. If you know someone you want to be a big part of your wedding has something going on around when you’re thinking of planning it, if you don’t ask before picking the day if it interferes, I don’t think you get to be put out when they decline the invitation.

      And I don’t think it’s necessarily Wedding 101, I think it’s just a fact of life. If you are going to plan a large event (wedding, birthday party, retirement, whatever) and there are very specific people you want there, you run the day by them first. If you don’t do that, then you run the risk of them not being available. Especially if you want them to play a function in that day. It would be kind of like saying to a friend, oh I thought you would be the unofficial photographer at my birthday party on x day, I’ve already set the date, I didn’t think to ask you if you were free, but I just assumed you’d pick me over any other event you had planned that day. Maybe the sister isn’t assuming the LW will pick her as much as it seems, but if she is, it’s just kind of rude to put her in that position.

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        MMcG January 10, 2013, 3:59 pm

        “If you are going to plan a large event (wedding, birthday party, retirement, whatever) and there are very specific people you want there, you run the day by them first. If you don’t do that, then you run the risk of them not being available.”

        It really is this simple!

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      • KKZ

        KKZ January 10, 2013, 4:02 pm

        I’m feeling really silly now about being so butthurt over this.

        I guess I’m unlike other brides in that I was pretty flexible about who I wanted/had to have there for my wedding. (We also planned a year in advance after being engaged for 3 years while I was in college so our wedding didn’t really come as a surprise to anyone.) I had people in mind for my wedding party, but if I’d called up my friend who lives several states away and asked her to be my MOH and she said she couldn’t make it because of timing/distance/expense…sure, I would have been sad, but then I would have called the next person on my list. I don’t think I put as much emotional stock in the choice of bridal party participants as others do.

        I remember that when the wedding date was announced to the family (we never sent Save the Dates, just relied on my Grandma the Ultimate Social Networker), my aunt who lives several states away said half-jokingly, couldn’t I have picked a date in August, before the school year started for my cousins? And my mom was actually offended by the suggestion that I should have base MY wedding date off THEIR school schedule.
        Different families, different priorities, I guess.

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      • KKZ

        KKZ January 10, 2013, 4:06 pm

        Oh, and my brother, who was a groomsman, DID almost have to duck out of the wedding on short notice. He started college the same September, was a freshman on a campus 2+ hours away without a car of his own, and was in the marching band. My wedding day was also a game day and for a few weeks very close to the wedding, he said he wasn’t sure if he’d be able to get an alternate to fill in for him for band, and if he couldn’t, that meant no wedding appearance. Yeah I was bummed at the notion, but even though my brother and I are close, it wouldn’t have ruined my day for him to not be there. He loves me and supports my marriage anyway, why do I *need* him to bear witness to the moment of Man and Wife?

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark January 10, 2013, 6:01 pm

        Well, that makes all the difference. A year out is much different than five or six months… My sister didn’t run the date by me either, but she DID tell me it over the phone a good sixteen months out….

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      GatorGirl January 10, 2013, 3:25 pm

      Did you “decide” on your date and then book a venue before telling anyone 6ish months before? Or did you decide 9-19-09 worked best for you and tell the VIPs and then book a venue? HUGE difference in my opinion.

      We picked our date, e-mailed our VIPs, then started booking things about a month later. If there were conflicts there was time for people to bring them to our attention. Like my soon to be sister-in-law has a wedding the first weekend in May (not our wedding date).

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      • KKZ

        KKZ January 10, 2013, 4:07 pm

        We live in a region where you don’t have to book things out way in advance to get them, and we weren’t super-picky about where we wanted to have the wedding anyway, so we picked our date long before any actual deposits had to be made.

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    • katie

      katie January 10, 2013, 3:40 pm

      its more of just common sense. if you are planning a big, expensive thing like a wedding (or family reunion, big birthday celebration, big baby shower, whatever) where it really matters that x, y, z people attend, you just dont throw a hard and fast date at them. you work *with* them to come up with a date. maybe you wont have any problems, maybe you will have to change it 8 times, but if it matters to you that certain people are there you make that happen.

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    SpaceySteph January 10, 2013, 3:22 pm

    OH, I can’t believe it just now dawned on me that I have a related story.

    In July 2011 I had a wedding to go to for a good friend from college. My boyfriend of a little over a year (at the time) had RSVP’d to go with me. Then about a month before the wedding, his brother’s bachelor party got scheduled for that same weekend and he went to that instead.

    I was so mad at him for sending me off to the wedding alone, but especially because I didn’t think that date should even have been on the table for possible bachelor party dates. He should have said “I can’t make it” and gone to the wedding we RSVP’d for, and I bet one million dollars the bachelor party would have gotten rescheduled if the best man couldn’t make it. But he was all FAAMILY. Well family fired the first shot by planning it during a weekend you were busy, and then expected you to drop anything. It’s not the way it should be.

    My opinion then and now is the same- they didn’t give you the courtesy of respecting your schedule, you don’t have to drop everything (especially when everything involves a wedding you already sunk money into attending) to be there for them. And yes, that’s true even if they’re family. When did we decide that being family meant being there at the drop of a hat but it didn’t mean treating each other with basic respect and considering that they have lives too?
    (Of course, our reality is that he didn’t care if he went to the wedding which for friends of mine he had met only a couple times, which is not the LWs case as she really wishes she could attend both.)

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    • bittergaymark

      bittergaymark January 10, 2013, 6:11 pm

      The BIG difference here is that that your boyfriend barely knew the people getting married and so his absence wasn’t exactly MISSED by the bride and groom all that much. It’s his brother for crying out loud versus your friends who he barely knows… Honestly, going to a wedding alone SO isn’t THAT big of a deal. Hell, if its old friends, I even prefer it…

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      acastil5 January 11, 2013, 2:08 pm

      Yeah i agree with bittergaymark…a bachelor party or an acquantances wedding? no hard choices there. there are worse things than going to a party alone. that is part of what scares me about marriage…your a set now? you can’t do anything alone?

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        wendykh January 14, 2013, 4:29 pm

        to be fair, if they RSVP’d as a COUPLE, it was damn rude for him to not even ASK the bachelor party be moved to another time.

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    Michelle January 12, 2013, 11:31 am

    Your sister doesn’t seem to care much if she is ruining your program. I don’t know how close you are, but if I were in your shoes, given the info you provided, I would go to the wedding of the friend.

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