Post # 1
My brother, sister, and I all got engaged within a very short period. My brother was engaged first (April 2009) and they decided to get married in July 2010. Then my little sister got engaged and she has decided to get married in spring of 2011. My fiance and I are the last to get engaged. Here’s the kicker–my sister wants me to wait until the summer of 2012–a three year engagement! I told her that we would be happy to plan on September of 2011 (we really want an outdoor wedding) but that is unacceptable to her. She is applying to graduate schools across the country and they don’t know where they will be living, or where the wedding will be, or what the exact date is.
Her argument: it would take the attention off her, we have relatives all over the country that would need to travel twice within 6 months, and she wouldn’t get as many presents (yes, she really said this). She was dating her fiance for 6 years before they got engaged, so she doesn’t see the problem. She and her fiance are planning to take a 2-month leave and travel the world, so by the time she gets back she thinks she won’t be able to take any more vacation time a few months later.
My argument: our grandparents are aging (his are in their 90’s, mine have medical problems) and even waiting 2 years makes me feel sad because I know some won’t be with us. We also don’t want to have a 3-year engagement. I think our close family will fly twice, and I’m fine telling those with financial constraints to go to hers instead.
What is the appropriate length of time for a wedding when the family is spread across the country? And if we are acting within the bounds of etiquette, how in the world do I calm her down?
Post # 3
I’m sure your sister thinks her reasons are valid, but I have to agree with you – expecting someone else to wait that long to have their wedding is asking a lot. My only suggestion would be to sit down with her and try to talk it out. Maybe you could involve a third party in the conversation (mom or dad, or another close relative?) to help keep everyone calm and come up with a solution that you and your sister feel comfortable with. It’s upsetting that she’s making what should be a happy time for both of you, into a stressful situation. Best of luck!
Post # 4
i would NOT wait 3yrs for someone else to get married just so i could "wait my turn" behind someone else
i understand where you sister is coming from but she should suck it up as its not just about her – its your life too
Post # 5
That’s ridiculous.. tell her you are not planning your life around her life. You have waited for this day your whole life and that you willl not upstage her but you are not waiting three years to start your life together so you can make her happy.
My opinion if she doesn’t have a date yet and only a vague idea of when, then it’s up for grabs. I have four sisters and none of them would ask this of me. I even suggested my sister and I have a joint wedding- split the cost!
What about September of 2010? Maybe your brother will not be so bent out of shape. Just a thought, perhaps as a little sister she is afraid of still being in your shadow.
Post # 6
Your sister is being very difficult. No two ways around it. You get a wedding DAY, not a wedding month or even year, as your sister is making it seem. It’s very unfair to put your plans on hold, when she doesn’t even have hers sorted yet!
I echo the sentiment of the previous poster-maybe you should try for a 9/10 wedding instead of a 9/11 wedding. You’d have over a year to plan it. We’ll have been engaged 1 year and six days when we get married, so it can be done!
Post # 7
First of all, congrats on your engagement!
I feel its unreasonable for your sister to ask this of you or even dream that its reasonable. She planned her wedding around HER schedule, you need to do so as well. I understand your concerns about your grandparents and that is much more pressing than anything else, I say get married when it best suits you. There’s no "line" to get married, you have to plan yours according to the timeline that works for you.
Post # 8
I agree with the other posters suggesting you ask your brother (and his fiancee) if they would mind you getting married in 2010. If they would, then you’re back to square one (and while I think that your sister’s concerns are valid…she is being a little inconsiderate).
Good luck. And just for the record, a 3-year engagement isn’t that bad…I know your concerns about grandparents being there, and understand them, but I just wanted you to know. =/
Post # 9
I think it’s ridiculous that she feels she can dictate when YOU will hold your wedding. She has a valid argument that guests may not be willing to travel two times w/in the time frame, however, you’re getting married AFTER her so it will affect you, not her. So if you are OK with that, she should be OK with it as well. I agree that a 3 year engagement isn’t that bad; ours lasted 6 years!!! But you have good reasons for wishing to be married ASAP and she should understand that; after all you’ve got the same grandparents. Just tell her as nicely as possible that you understand her concerns, but you have decided you want to get married soon, not wait until 2012.
Post # 10
I agree that you should discuss this with your brother. It sounds like your sister decided to have a two year engagement- which I think is a bit long to begin with. So to ask you to wait an entire year after that just seems ridiculous. Just because you got engaged last doesn’t mean you have to get married last, especially since it is her decision to wait so long. Don’t let her uncertainties about where her and her FI will be in a few years take over your entire wedding day. There is no way to perfectly plan everything so it works for everybody. Do what works for you and your future husband. My advice would be to be sure that the weddings are still a little bit spread out, but I don’t think you should have to wait a year. A few months will be plenty of time for everyone to recover.
As far as wanting your grandparents there with you, I completely understand this. My Grandpa was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in September and given one year to live. We got engaged in November and planned an August wedding. Unfortunately my Grandpa passed away in March, only 6 months after he was diagnosed. It breaks my heart that he will not be there with us physically but I know that I did everything that I could. There is no way to be certain that all of our loved ones can be there with us, but it is much more likely one year from now than three years from now. Have you discussed this with your sister? It seems like she would be the one person who would understand your feelings about wanting your grandparents there. If I were you I would really sit down with her and put all of this on the table. Good luck!
Post # 11
Oh boy, I went through the EXACT same conversation with my sister! Long story short, she wanted to get married in 2009, but didn’t think she could afford it, so set her date for 2010, meaning I would have to wait until 2011 to get married. My arguement to her – You get ONE DAY for your wedding. One day for everything to be all about you – NOT an entire year! She ended up talking with my Mom and going over her budget, and in the end, moved her wedding up to 2009, so that I could get married in 2010 (which is what I wanted).
My advice to you… set your date for whenever you want it to be. If she really has an issue with you getting married first, she’ll bump hers up.
As far as etiquitte with the family goes, I think a couple months apart is more than enough time.
You should not have to sacrafice your wedding day for her. I offered to do the same thing, give up all monies, gifts, attention to her – but in the end, it’s not worth it. Just go about your wedding planning however you please, and hopefully some day she’ll realize how selfish and ludicrous she’s being!!
Post # 12
What in the world is your sister thinking? I don’t understand what it is about weddings that give people such an outrageous sense of entitlement. Please, just go ahead and plan your wedding when you would like to have it. Maybe wait a few months after hers, but I don’t see the need to wait a whole year. Her wedding is ONE day, that doesn’t mean she gets the whole efing year… geez. It makes me mad!
Post # 13
I agree with the pps. Really you should tell her if she doesn’t like the idea of you having it three months after hers, then you’ll be having it three months before.
But it sounds like there are a couple of things going on.
1. That she’s concerned with you taking her spotlight.
2. She’s concerned about her other plans, that might keep her from being at your wedding. Or is she feeling your wedding will keep her from doing these plans?
I’m not sure if the second is really just an excuse to make her real concerns seem valid, or if she genuinely has concern.
Either way, I think you need to do what’s best for you.
Post # 14
I just want to send out a heartfelt thank you to everyone who posted. I really appreciate your feedback. I wish we could get married the fall of ’10, but we just won’t have enough saved up. My sister is young and her fiance is her only boyfriend ever. My personal theory is that because she’s never had her heart broken, she has a different sense of fairytale entitlement that isn’t exactly tempered by a selfless personality (is that tactful enough?). She has never worried about being in my shadow. She’s a great kid, and she sure has her generous moments, but she’s sometimes a handful.
I really wanted to know if we were out of line before we decided to tell her we’re picking a September date. Then it’s up to her to make it as far from ours as she wants, with plenty of opportunity to still be in spring/summer. Thanks so much for the replies…this isn’t exactly something I could ask other family members about! I’m sure she’ll calm down…and in the meantime, I’m holding my ground. Thanks for the encouragement!
Post # 15
Yup, hold your ground for sure! And just another suggestion, I wouldn’t tell her before everyone else. I would tell your parents and let them know this is wha tyou’ve decided, then fill her in. This way she won’t try to sway you again.
Also, Re: Your Grandparents, this to me is a VERY valid reason. I had my last grandparent pass away a year and half ago and my godfather/uncle pass away this past May. It breaks my heart that they can’t be part of my wedding. I am hoping that FI’s grandparents can keep on kicking for a little longer so they can be there!
Post # 16
My best friend and her sister got engaged about the same time. They ended up having their weddings 3-4 months apart and it was not a problem whatsoever. Everyone came to both and both received just the same amount of gifts. As a frame of reference, they each had a little less than 300 guests at their weddings. My best friend and her sister both wanted each other to be happy so maybe you can play that card.