@penguinof3: I’m sorry to hear all of this. I would probably feel just the same way you do, frantic, upset, frustrated, estra sensitive to all these things given they have to do with such an important day!
That being said…as an outsider who is NOT going through this right now and thus not impacted by all the emotion…I want to say stop, breathe deep, and look at the BIG picture. You’re getting married to the love of your life! It’s set, it’s happening. You wouldnt be this close if you hadn’t already come over many, many hurdles that are discussed on this very site, every single day! Yay! Now, all of this is hard, but it’s time to go into problem solving mode. Taking action will distract you from the feelings, and it’s the only way to alleviate them anyway.
Ok breathe deep again. Now:
1. Do you NEED this usher? If No, who cares. If yes, who can replace? Maybe leverage your sister’s annoying request to solve this — find a way to fit sister’s son into the wedding if your sister or her husband agrees to act as the usher? Is the son old enough to BE the usher? If not, there will be someone else…Has there been anyone constant and particularly helpful and reliable throughout this process (your fi, a parent, a member of the wedding party) to whom you can delegate the task of finding a replacement to get it off your plate? You’re the bride — you don’t get to order people around, but you absolutely do get to ask for help when you need it. Play that card 🙂
2. The Groomsmen. Again, do you NEED this Groomsmen? I am a symmetry freak and even as much as not having the same number of groomsmen vs. bridesmaids would admittedly bug me, but again — big picture. does it really matter? I have seen uneven parties look gorgeous, even in pictures. That day your heart will be so bursting with joy you probably wont even be able to focus on counting them! I’m sure it kind of hurts he dropped out, but at least in terms of the wedding, maybe it’s something you should just work on letting go. If it is a big deal, then again, who can replace? Also again, delegate this task.
3. The Nephew. Either use the granting of your sister’s wish to remedy one of the above problems by proposing some sort of trae off…or give her a firm no…this is your wedding, and she can get over it. Enlist your fiance or a supportive parent to re-iterate the ‘no’ and to reinforce that you are the BRIDE, are struggling with several bigger issues and the caring thing to do right now would be to drop it. Offer to make it up to them in some special way after the wedding. If it’s a young kid, guarantee he’d much rather have an evening riding go-karts at the track with auntie and uncle than to stand still for an hour at a wedding, and your sister may enjoy the night to herself/with her husband.
4. The brother officiant. That REALLY sucks. I’d be livid at the company. However, sounds like it cant be changed. How long does it take to get ordained to perform the ceremony? (I apologize, I am not familiar). Is there anyone else close to you who could get it done in a rush and officiate for you? Maybe even a bridesmaid — that would even out the wedding party in light of the missing groomsmen. I know I have a girl in my party who would get a huge kick out of that, probably like it even better than being a BM! If not, are you one of those un-traditional/technologically advanced families who would be cool with and/or even enjoy your older brother officiating via skype or facetime!?! (If he can steal away for half an hour?) If not, get to the internets and search for officiants. Of course no where near as great as having your brother or someone close to you like you wanted, but again, big picture. WeddingWire and other sites have great reviews for officiants, and three weeks is enough time for both you and your fiance to meet with one (a few times if needed) to make sure they know you and can add personal touches to the ceremony.
You can do this. It’s going to be amazing. Now go! 🙂