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 families 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. In some cultures, it’s actually considered bad luck for two sisters to get married in the same calendar year. If that’s not the case for you, read on to discover the break down of how to deal with two weddings in one family.
There is no set etiquette on how far apart siblings 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 in this scenario. If there is going to be a large overlap of guests attending each wedding, it would be kind to make sure the two celebrations are at least two to three months apart. Keep in mind that everyone going to both nuptials has to consider the spending implications for buying each gift, as well as travel and taking time off work for the out-of-town guests. Be careful not to assume anything regarding people’s financial situations. However, if most of those who would attend both weddings are local to each celebration, it 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 be respectful of what the parents say. If paying for two summer weddings isn’t feasible, perhaps a compromise with one late spring and one early fall celebration will help ease any financial stress. Don’t forget, the nuptials being close together can be stressful for you, too! Being the bride and being in the bridal party means you’re unlikely to get a break from planning. It’s not just the weddings that would be close together; you also have to balance all of the pre-wedding events.
After being considerate to the guests, the parents, and yourself, it’s important to keep the feelings of the other engaged couple in mind. If you were the second couple to set your 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. Try to take the high road when you can and remember, as important as your wedding is, it’s probably not worth ruining familial relationships because your brother-in-law wants to book the same band that you did.
Opening photo by Elisabeth Millay Photography