Discover the break down of how to deal with two weddings in one family – whether two sisters, two brothers, or a brother and sister getting married close together!
After months – or possibly years – of waiting, it finally happened. You got the proposal you have been daydreaming about. It’s time to call your family to share the good news! And that’s when you discover that you’re not the only one spreading cheer; your sister just got engaged as well. Okay, maybe same-day proposals between two sisters or siblings are rare, but two proposals in the same year? That’s more common than you might think, and it can lead to some tricky scheduling.
With varying lengths of engagements, proposals that are nine months apart could lead to weddings only a week apart, which is something most families would probably prefer to avoid – especially in the case of a destination wedding for one of the events. In some cultures, it’s actually considered bad luck for two sisters to get married in the same calendar year and called "sukob" – meaning the superstition that advises against siblings getting married in the same year. However, if that’s not your experience or the case for you, read on to discover the break down of how to deal with two weddings in one family.
Photo by Elisabeth Millay Photography; Entertainment by EastCoast Entertainment
There is no set etiquette on how far apart siblings – whether a brother and sister, two sisters, or two brothers – can get married, and people can’t be expected to put their lives on hold to accommodate someone else’s wedding. However, it’s still important to be considerate of your family and your fiancé(e) in this scenario.
If there is going to be a large overlap of guests attending each wedding – or even part of the wedding party, it would be kind to make sure the two wedding events are at least two to three months apart. Keep in mind that people going to each ceremony and reception have to consider the spending implications for buying each wedding gift, as well as travel and taking time off work for the out-of-town guests. Be careful not to assume anything regarding the financial situation of everyone you will be inviting. However, if most of those who would attend both weddings are local to each celebration, this particular detail is less of an issue.
If you or your fiancé’s parents are paying for – or contributing – to both weddings, ask them their opinion before you and the other couple book your dates and other wedding planning information. Be respectful of what the parents say! If paying for two summer wedding dates isn’t feasible, perhaps a compromise with one late spring and one early fall celebration of love will help ease any financial stress.
Don’t forget, your wedding and the wedding of your brother or sister being too close together can also be stressful for you! Being the bride and likely being in the bridal party as a sibling means you’re unlikely to get a break from wedding planning. It’s not just the weddings that would be close together; you will also have to balance all of the pre-wedding celebrations like engagement parties, bridal showers, and bachelor or bachelorette parties. Keep this in mind for your friends, future sister-in-law or brother-in-law, and anyone who may be a bridesmaid or groomsman – no one wants to have half of the enthusiasm surrounding their love just because the weddings are so close together.
After being considerate to the wedding guests, the parents, and yourself, it’s important to keep the feelings of the other engaged couple in mind. After all, they got engaged too and they're excited to plan their special day! If you were the second couple to set your wedding date, be careful about offending them and check every step along the way. If you were the first to set the date, there may be times where you feel irked by your sibling’s plans.
There are of course more aspects of the wedding than the date to keep in mind – a seemingly simple thing like planning a wedding in the same season, with a similar theme, or even at a wedding venue they couldn't secure can cause more than enough problems and the etiquette on the subject isn't incredibly clear.
Our best advice is to try to take the high road when you can, and remember: as important as your wedding day is, it’s probably not worth ruining familial relationships because your brother-in-law wants to book the same band that you did. If you're especially close, make sure you have honest conversations with the other bride – have good family etiquette, wedding or not! Only you know the best way to deal with a familial situation, so stay calm, be understanding, and talk it through to make sure you can both have the time of your lives on the best day of your life! Also, to ensure your guests will be able to attend both events in one year, be sure to send a save the date well ahead of the celebration!