Author Topic: Need help preserving the family peace - Weddings and such  (Read 6641 times)

ncornilsen

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Need help preserving the family peace - Weddings and such
« on: May 29, 2015, 06:39:36 PM »
So, I'm in a bit of a pickle, perhaps a bit self induced. Long story short, my brother got engaged before I did, and opted for along engagement. I got engaged recently, and we didn't want a super long engagement, so we chose a date that happened to be sooner than my brothers. (For background, My fiance' and I are 28, and got engaged April of 2015. My bother is 26, and got engaged October of 2014.

I live a few hours from my parents, but my brother lives near them, so I don't see them often. When we last went back home to announce our engagement, my brother and his fiance were talking about getting married at her grandma's place, July 30th, 2016. My parents have a large ranch, with lots of picturesque oaks. We have mentioned to Mom and Dad getting married there... and they were on board. We had not mentioned this to my Brother and his fiance.

My Fiance and I debated what date for ours... wanting to having it the summer of 2016. It isn't practical to go much later than Labor day due to weather and school schedules, and it may mean that my fiance's brother can't even come. We also can't do earlier than June 18th, for similar reasons. We opted for June 18th, because it left the most time between weddings, and allowed for some of her family to travel and not run into the school year.

So, We went back home for Memorial day, and found out that my Brother and fiance have started talking about having the wedding at my parent's ranch... unfortunately that came up because we mentioned wanting to do that. She got upset about it. Perhaps reasonably so. 

We did look at another venue in the area, and will probably not be having it at my parent's house, but I don't think that will diffuse the tension.

I don't know what to do about it. I don't want to push my wedding out another year, I do want to be considerate of my Brother and his fiance...   What should I do here? Any advice?

galliver

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Re: Need help preserving the family peace - Weddings and such
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2015, 06:47:30 PM »
...what's wrong with having two weddings at the same place 6 weeks apart? o_O

MDM

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Re: Need help preserving the family peace - Weddings and such
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2015, 06:49:17 PM »
my brother and his fiance were talking about getting married ... July 30th, 2016.

We opted for June 18th, [2016]

Don't understand the problem, given the separation in time.  So what if it is in the same place?  Many people use the same church, courthouse, etc. 

What am I (and galliver) missing?

ncornilsen

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Re: Need help preserving the family peace - Weddings and such
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2015, 06:55:46 PM »
My brother's fiance thinks it steals some of her thunder to do it before them, in so many words. She also doesn't want to hear comments that "oh, you should have done zyx like your brother did." (I spoke with my brother about this today. I explained why we chose the date we did... I was hoping to get a feel for what his fiance' was thinking. He's not to worried about it, either.). As to the last thing... if it wasn't our wedding she heard that about, it would be another.

I, personally, don't have a problem with the amount of time separating the weddings. I also don't want to create animosity within my family. 

MDM

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Re: Need help preserving the family peace - Weddings and such
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2015, 07:12:14 PM »
...it steals some of her thunder...

Oh dear....  Oh my.... 

Not sure what to say if logical reasoning is not allowed...except, best wishes to all involved....

little_brown_dog

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Re: Need help preserving the family peace - Weddings and such
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2015, 07:25:06 PM »
I'm a new poster but figured I'd jump in -

We had a similar but less dramatic situation. We had about a 2.5 month gap between my brother in law's wedding and ours.  Maybe it was the the time gap between the weddings, or maybe it was the very different venues (they had a daytime casual brunch, we had a black tie late night event), but we never had any problems. I understand that this girl doesn't want you to steal her thunder, but she and her fiance made the decision to delay their wedding, and made the decision to change their mind about the venue. It is not your fault if she doesn't realize that just because she got engaged first, it doesn't mean that everyone else can't make their own life plans until she finalizes hers (particularly since her planning is a bit more drawn out).

I think it might be worth it to have a heart to heart perhaps via your brother - explain that you completely understand and you don't want to steal the spotlight, but that you had already planned to have the wedding in the summer as well.  If she is so worried about her thunder, this gives her the opportunity to change her timeline with plenty of time to spare.  If you aren't attached to the ranch, selecting another venue that you love could also smooth things out considerably (extra points if the "feel" is different - ex: one wedding black tie formal, and the other rustic casual).


surfhb

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Re: Need help preserving the family peace - Weddings and such
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2015, 07:25:46 PM »
Ahhh....women!    Love em to death

dcnats

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Re: Need help preserving the family peace - Weddings and such
« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2015, 07:35:49 PM »
Sorry you are in this situation. My sister and I were similar. She was engaged years ahead of me. I am two years older. We were married 2 months apart. She went first and I borrowed almost everything from her. Venue, menu, florist, everything but the dress and dj. I loved it because I could focus on the stuff that was important to me, and I knew she already priced stuff out so I couldn't do much better. 

If your sister in law thinks it's such a big deal maybe let her go first, but don't let that sway you from having the same venue. Especially in your case when it is family property!!

Good luck!!

smilla

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Re: Need help preserving the family peace - Weddings and such
« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2015, 07:45:25 PM »
I can understand why the other fiancee might feel some angst about a wedding being held in the same style (outdoor), in the same place (parents' ranch), with a lot of the same people (OP's family), 6 weeks before her own.

If OP is having his wedding somewhere else, then I don't think the date should matter, however making a reasonable effort to avoid animosity within the family is good.

I'm with dcnats & l_b_d, offer to switch dates if they want to go first.  If they are set on their date, assure them that you'll choose a theme(?) or decorating scheme that is distinctly different from theirs (but they will need to let you know their choice early and not change it). 

I think that is the extent of what I would call reasonable effort. 

smilla

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Re: Need help preserving the family peace - Weddings and such
« Reply #9 on: May 29, 2015, 08:02:29 PM »
If you aren't attached to the ranch, selecting another venue that you love could also smooth things out considerably (extra points if the "feel" is different - ex: one wedding black tie formal, and the other rustic casual).

If you are attached to the ranch, you could still do a wedding with a much different feel than hers:  formal, rustic casual/cowboy, garden party/old South, country fair, Celtic, Greek, German beer garden  :)  So many possibilities for a fun party!

Riff

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Re: Need help preserving the family peace - Weddings and such
« Reply #10 on: May 29, 2015, 08:09:00 PM »
It's the bride and groom that make a wedding unique, not the location.

asiljoy

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Re: Need help preserving the family peace - Weddings and such
« Reply #11 on: May 29, 2015, 08:23:33 PM »
uggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggh. wedding season. blah.

This is one of those situations where trying to placate is just going to create more stress for everyone. She doesn't get to call dibs on everything just because she got engaged first, and waiting for them to make decisions to make yours is just going to make you pull your hair out. Figure out what you want to do, what you're willing to bend on and what you're not, then meet them for dinner and just lay it on the line. There's no need to be combative; just approach it from the perspective that there has been some miscommunication that seems to be causing stress for everyone and you want to be sure not to step on her toes and visa versa. Hopefully this will clear the air, but if it doesn't, who cares? This situation will come to a head at some point, you might as well be out in front of it and able to control it.

6 weeks is plenty of time and both weddings will be unique because they'll reflect who you are as couples.

coffeehound

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Re: Need help preserving the family peace - Weddings and such
« Reply #12 on: May 29, 2015, 11:15:04 PM »
Ahhh....women!    Love em to death

This is not about "women."   This is about one immature person who's worried about someone upstaging her 'special day'.

OP: I suggest that you, as kindly as possible, don't cave in to your future sil's worries about you 'stealing her thunder', and stick with your plans. Treat this as a moment for negotiation, but don't change your plans to appease her, because doing so has the potential to set up an uncomfortable, unhealthy pattern going forward.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2015, 11:19:49 PM by coffeehound »

okits

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Re: Need help preserving the family peace - Weddings and such
« Reply #13 on: May 30, 2015, 12:04:44 AM »
Seriously and enthusiastically suggest the idea of a double wedding (leave it out there for a few days), then backtrack and drop it. Suddenly the idea of using the same venue six weeks later will seem entirely non-problematic to your future SIL.

Roses

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Re: Need help preserving the family peace - Weddings and such
« Reply #14 on: May 30, 2015, 03:05:30 AM »
Ahhh....women!    Love em to death

This is not about "women."   This is about one immature person who's worried about someone upstaging her 'special day'.


Yeah, that's kiiiinda sexist.  My sister and I had basically the exact same wedding in my parent's back yard - same florist, same catering and bakery, even dresses from the same store but different styles.  Nobody cared, much less us.  I went first and my sis was glad to skip all the research and take advantage of the good deals we'd secured for our wedding.  Granted, they were a year apart but most of the guests were the same and all were happy to come to another fun family event. 

Do not cave to this silliness.  Be gracious and offer to trade dates or whatever but in the end just explain that you have to do what works for you and you are not trying to upstage anyone.  If she gets this upset over it she's probably the type who freaks out over other things too.  And there's only so much you can do to appease people like that.

Hoberto

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Re: Need help preserving the family peace - Weddings and such
« Reply #15 on: May 30, 2015, 03:27:10 AM »
Seriously and enthusiastically suggest the idea of a double wedding (leave it out there for a few days), then backtrack and drop it. Suddenly the idea of using the same venue six weeks later will seem entirely non-problematic to your future SIL.

Yes!

I don't really get the issue, sorry OP. I'd be asking for no ceremony and random dinners or beers with people who are happy for us. 

Noodle

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Re: Need help preserving the family peace - Weddings and such
« Reply #16 on: May 30, 2015, 06:07:14 AM »
The biggest concern I would have over two weddings the same summer would be family members traveling...my brother and sister were engaged at the same time but held their weddings different summers because they both required everyone to travel (not destination weddings, just where they lived) and particularly our elderly grandmother couldn't do two trips in one summer.

I would offer to let them go first and otherwise not worry too much--do what you want to. Honestly you're better off going second...then Bride #1 can "problem-solve" all the issues.

Psychstache

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Re: Need help preserving the family peace - Weddings and such
« Reply #17 on: May 30, 2015, 08:18:40 AM »
We actually had this situation happen as well, only we were the other couple. We got were engaged for 14 months, married June 2013. My SIL got engaged after us and chose to have her wedding April 2013. She ended up using many of the same vendor we went with (flowers, cake people, photographer, DJ, etc) but they were at different venues. Where we have a split is that we didn't really care about having our thunder stolen. We were happy for SIL and had a great time and her wedding, and she had a great time at ours a few months later. There was the occasional snide remark in private from DW, but she is used to these kinds of actions by her sister, who frequently hates not being the center of attention.

Best of luck working through the family drama. Sorry you are going through this.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Need help preserving the family peace - Weddings and such
« Reply #18 on: May 30, 2015, 08:28:34 AM »
So my wedding is in one week. And I'll just say- family drama is guaranteed. Seriously. So on one hand, I say kinda embrace it and get it out of the way. Secondly, though, is making sure you still give a nod of respect- if her fear is hearing 'why didn't you do X like them', make the wedding radically different. You do midmorning (mimosas! Also the cheapest time to get married!), they do evening. You do a clean nature/woodland feel, they do a pinterest barn/burlap and lace feel. Make sure the ladies have different dresses, etc.

From a practical perspective, it makes a lot of sense to do both in the same place. All the work you put in (there will be a LOT, coming from someone using my parent's backyard for our wedding), you can share the burden and cost with them. All the work and time then goes into helping family.

Maybe present it as starting a beautiful tradition. Each of you can plant a tree on the property or something. Have a 'celebration grove' where family plants trees for weddings, major birthdays, graduations, etc. You can make it a loving community type thing, and thus really invite your brother's fiance into the family. That might help some of her fears. Then you're on the same team, rather than one-upsmanship.

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: Need help preserving the family peace - Weddings and such
« Reply #19 on: May 30, 2015, 09:23:23 AM »
I agree with the idea of either letting them go first or making your wedding very different--preferably in a way that a super-conventional wedding planner would find less "fancy."

And try to be sympathetic toward this person who is going to be in your family. Yes, she is being immature. Yes, this is a blind spot. Can you honestly say that you have never been immature or had a blind spot? I think actually a lot of people would feel annoyed in the situation you described--engaged later, getting married first in the same venue. People who have dreamed of their wedding day don't want it to feel like a rerun.

Yes, she could be a generally immature grasping little consumerist... but wanting a big fancy wedding that everyone pays attention to does not BY ITSELF prove that. Give her a chance to grow on you and try to find other things to like :-).

jeromedawg

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Re: Need help preserving the family peace - Weddings and such
« Reply #20 on: May 30, 2015, 09:48:16 AM »
So you're saying that your SIL (and brother too) are upset that, at a minimum, you're getting married before them despite them taking a longer engagement? Not your problem. And this isn't an uncommon thing either. Best thing to do is to just bring it up and explain to them *why* you are choosing the date you chose. If they can't be understanding of that, then that's their problem. As far as venue, that's all secondary anyway. Like others have said, you can make sure to do a different theme and even setup your actual locations differently so that both weddings won't be repeats of one another. Your parents' ranch sounds like it's pretty big and that there might be several options to do different things. Otherwise, yea your last resort of finding another venue is good too and it's being extra mindful and respectful of your brother and SIL. As far as the date though, that's nothing for them to get mad about... if you know they are and they've said it, don't allow things to go on passive aggressively though - bring it up and talk it out with them. I'm sure if you explain that you're not trying to 1-up them or steal her thunder, and that you're only doing this because of your timing and priorities, that will probably help address the issue.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2015, 09:56:25 AM by jplee3 »

ncornilsen

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Re: Need help preserving the family peace - Weddings and such
« Reply #21 on: May 30, 2015, 10:06:47 AM »
Thanks everyone. I, personally, don't see what the big deal is. The styles are going to be different - She will go the  rodeo queen style and we'll go more of a formalish Rustic style. We already decided to change venues before I knew this was an issue.

I realize caving on this would certainly setup a bad precedent, and it's not like there won't be other weddings that summer. But, I recognize I can be quite ignorant of how other people view things, like weddings, so I was seeking other, unbiased perspectives.

Thank you.
-Nick

iris lily

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Re: Need help preserving the family peace - Weddings and such
« Reply #22 on: May 30, 2015, 10:19:33 AM »
Ahhh....women!    Love em to death

This is not about "women."   This is about one immature person who's worried about someone upstaging her 'special day'.

OP: I suggest that you, as kindly as possible, don't cave in to your future sil's worries about you 'stealing her thunder', and stick with your plans. Treat this as a moment for negotiation, but don't change your plans to appease her, because doing so has the potential to set up an uncomfortable, unhealthy pattern going forward.

I read a LOT of posts on Wedding Bee and this is a common complaint, but I have never seen it posted by a man. When it is a concern, it is a concern of women.  Yep, my opinion, like it or not.

The only practical downside to this situation I can see is that if one is planning a big wedding where many out of town relatives are expected to come from long distances, it's unlikely that they will attend both weddings.

Goldielocks

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Re: Need help preserving the family peace - Weddings and such
« Reply #23 on: May 30, 2015, 11:01:57 AM »
Yep.  Suggest a double wedding, or double wedding weekend.  Especially for family travel and work at your parents place.

Then point out that she is likely to get a some doubled gifts ( from people who will be coming for you, not her).

Lol of course, even if it is true...  May show her the absurdity of getting over wrought, and bring back humour, or just may work well if she is one of those...




mskyle

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Re: Need help preserving the family peace - Weddings and such
« Reply #24 on: May 30, 2015, 11:22:42 AM »
It's tough on your guests, is all, to have to travel to the same place for a very similar party twice in two months.

Bicycle_B

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Re: Need help preserving the family peace - Weddings and such
« Reply #25 on: May 30, 2015, 03:38:18 PM »
The humorous approach:  "Oh, we can't steal her thunder.  Hers will be much more thunderous.  Ours will not be in the same league.  We are just the warmup act!"

Don't take my advice on this one...