(Closed) Best friend’s wedding and sister’s graduation on the same day.. what can I do???

posted 10 years ago in Emotional
Post # 32
792 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

Wedding > graduation. I would be more pissed at a best friend for missing my wedding than I would be had a sibling missed my graduation. Come to think of it, only my parents and grandparents came to my college and HS graduations (and I was salutatorian and gave a speech!), and I didn’t care. I actually don’t even want anyone to come to my grad school graduation, but I would be super upset if someone close to me missed my wedding. 

ETA – The more I think about it, I realize why I feel this way. It’s your friend’s day. The spotlight is on her and her Fiance 100%. At a graduation, your sister will be one of .. hundreds? It’s more for the class and the spotlight will only be on her for a second.

Post # 33
140 posts
Blushing bee

talk to your sister about it… graduation is a great accomplishment, but its usually pretty boring. you could always throw her a party to celebrate afterward or give her an extra present.



Post # 34
3230 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

You said the graduation & wedding are 2 hours away – so although not ideal, it is not impossible & you can go to both.

I know I would much rather my best friend come late to my wedding vs. not coming at all – same with my sibling, I would rather them be there for graduation then not at all. It will be a busy day, but it will mean so much to both your sister & BF if you make it work. Yes it stinks that you won’t be in the wedding & helping her the day of, but trust me, you being there after will mean just as much!!

Post # 35
4980 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

I can’t believe how many people are saying a friend comes before family. To me that is wrong.  Family first, yes graduations are boring but she is your sister.  Graduation is what I would chose

Post # 36
1 posts

I am so glad to see you say not going to your sister’s graduation is not an option.  The happy compromise is go to the graduation and then go to the wedding later.  It’s not perfect but it’s doable.  Even if your sister says it’s OK for you not to attend, deep down it probably isn’t.  Sometimes we say things to keep the peace even if we don’t mean it.  As a mother of two boys, I would be upset and disappointed if one decided to not attend his brother’s graduation to attend a friend’s wedding.  Hope it works out for you.


Post # 37
3968 posts
Honey bee

I think you should talk to your sister about it.  Tell her you feel torn and then make a decision.  In either case, someone will be sad you aren’t there.  Either you aren’t going to be there for your friend on her wedding day or you aren’t going to be there for your sister on her gradutation day.

If it were me graduating, I’d tell my sister to go be part of her friends wedding.  Having done both (graduating from college and getting married)  it’s far more important (IMO) to have your friends by your side at your wedding day.  College graduations, while important, are also filled with the friends you’ve made in college (peers, professors, etc), and while family and other friend support is appreciated and desired, there are a lot of people collectively celebrating at a graduation (which would dampen your missing out).

If you are going to regret not being there for this family event so much so that you feel it necessary to just be a guest at the wedding, then that’s what you need to do.

There’s no ‘wrong’ answer and you shouldn’t pressure your friend to change her wedding date.  Just let your friend know ASAP that you are trying to figure out what to do with the date conflict and there’s a chance that you will need to step down as a Bridesmaid or Best Man (if you can – figure out what you want to do before you tell your friend).

ETA:  from a bridal perspective, the time I most appreciate with my friends were all the pre-wedding events (the night before, the day of (geting ready), etc.  Post ceremony, it’s all a blurr of “I just got married” giddiness and connecting with guests.  Post ceremony for close Bridesmaid or Best Man type connections are not going to happen (as they would pre-ceremony).

Post # 38
234 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

@autumn865: I would go to your best friend’s wedding. Honestly, graduations are hards down the most boring events to attend, even for those graduating. If your sister is graduating from a large school, it could be even worse. My family sat through a three hour graduation ceremony, to almost miss me on stage, because the announcer misprounced my name and they were sooo far up in the stands.

Graduations are important and so is family, so maybe you can take your sister out to dinner the day before or after graduation? Also, if she’s having a party, you can also help out with that.

Your best friend’s wedding though? I’m sure she has dreamed about you being there to support her from the day you became best friends, I wouldn’t back out because of something that is not directly her fault in changing the date.

Post # 39
3282 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 1993

@Sassygrn: lol, for me it’s almost the opposite. So I don’t think it’s wrong at all. Only my parents came to my college graduation. It just wasn’t a big deal to my siblings – and I was truly ok with that. There was no secret resentment of them not being there.

Graduations just aren’t that big a deal, imo – and I was the first in my family (parents included) to get a 4-year degree. I would absolutely without hesitation tell my siblings to go to the wedding instead.

I would be much more upset if a close friend or a sibling couldn’t make my wedding. It’s much more of an ‘event’ imo – they are part of your day and stand up for you – my college graduation had 5000 students and probably 20,000+ in the audience. My family honestly could have skipped and I wouldn’t have had a clue, until it was all over and I met up with them afterwards.

OP, I think in your case, after reading your later comments, you should talk to your sister and your friend, and probably end up just going to the reception.

Post # 40
1837 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

You should talk to your best friend & let her know your delimma. Maybe the venue can offer her a different date? Or maybe she’d keep her date since she’d lose you. I mean, having my best friend at my wedding vs getting some fancy upgrades wouldn’t come close to comparing… I would choose my friend.

Plus, her other vendors (photographer, dj, videographer, etc) may be booked for the new date & she’d lose a lot of money there. She might have to find all new vendors. Losing vendor’s deposits might cost her a LOT more than the venue discount/upgrades.

Post # 41
1582 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

@hisgoosiegirl: +1

I guess I don’t see a graduation as quite as big as a wedding, especially since it’s just the act of taking the diploma and it takes 5 seconds or less per person and that’s it… and you graduate whether you attend the ceremony or not. I would have loved to have missed my OWN graduation, it was so boring, lol.

But if you’re dead set against missing your sister’s wedding, I think you should tell your best friend the situation. Having you at her wedding might mean more than all those discounts, and if she decides she needs the discounts, you’ll at least be able to go as a guest later.

Post # 42
1871 posts
Buzzing bee

Honestly, I don’t think attending a college graduation is that big of a deal. Your sister wont even see you when she walks up on the stage, and sure you’ll get to hug her after, but I’m sure you could celebrate her accomplishment another day. 

Post # 43
3292 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

Given everything you’ve told us, I think you should just mention to your friend that as much as it breaks your heart, if she changes the date you won’t be able to be in the wedding, because you’re attending your sister’s graduation that day. You’re not breaking a commitment to your friend by saying that, because the date you agreed to is being changed. Make it clear that you aren’t trying to sway her either way and completely understand if she does change the date. She should understand. I wouldn’t make any promises about attending the wedding as a guest, either–it sounds like it will be difficult to attend both events.



Post # 44
12 posts

I’d go with the wedding. I love my sister, but to move around plans for a wedding are  alot more difficult than for a graduation party.

Post # 45
547 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

Check out if her school is broadcasting the graduation ceremony.  Many universities broadcast them online so that family members that can’t attend can watch you.  Since most graduation ceremonies have limited seating anyway, this is a great option.

Don’t miss your friend’s wedding – graduation, although important, really isn’t all that interesting and there is a chance that you could still be part of it from out of town.

Post # 46
74 posts
Worker bee

I would def pick the wedding. I have 3 sisters and I have never gone to any of their h.s/college graduations nor have any of them gone to mine. To be honest I would be pretty pissed if my BEST friend skipped my wedding to go to her sisters graduation. I understand this is a tricky situation for you….I hope you get it sorted out without any hard feelings. Good luck!

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