Wedding scheduling ettiqute question

I’m not sure if this is a problem or not. My fiancee and I are baffled nonetheless, so, hey, when you’ve got problems, turn to the Dope…

My fiancee and I were engaged last April. It’s been public knowledge for some time that we have a May 29, 2004 wedding scheduleded, and in the event that there’s any confusion, we e-mailed “Save the date” notices to our friends a few weeks ago. (I realize that hand-written notices would be better, but these went to my classmates who have graduated from law school last year, so I don’t have their new addresses. E-mail was the only way to go.)

One of our mutual friends (and also one of my graduating law school classmates) just got engaged this weekend…and to a Professor, oddly enough. This friend is particularly important since she inadvertently helped my fiancee and I get together as a couple. We’ve already asked her to do one of the readings during the ceremony, although she wasn’t certain at the time if she’d be able to attend. (No biggie in and of itself.)

Where things get hairy is that our friend has just scheduled her wedding for May 22, 2004…one week before ours. I suspect this is because it’s approximately the one year anniversary of her first date with her fiance. And good for her–we’re happy, really. However, this creates a number of conflicts between our two weddings:

  1. We’re both likely inviting the same mutual law school friends. Since these people are recent graduates, we expect them to be short of cash and likely unable to attend both weddings.

  2. She almost definitely won’t be attending our wedding, since her honeymoon and/or moving in with her new husband. Obviously, priorities have to be set, but we’re nonetheless sad that she probably won’t be reading at our ceremony.

  3. Our friend’s wedding is likely going to be fancier than ours. We’re aware that she’s already reserved a fancy country club, which far surpasses the humble little hall we’ve rented. Personally, I wouldn’t care. However, I understand this is a touchier subject for women, and my fiancee is understandably upset about being outdone a week before her own wedding.

What to do here? I largely suspect that the short answer is “you’ve got no place to be upset, be happy for your friend.” How should we feel? Was it inconsiderate of her to schedule her wedding that close to ours? Are we allowed to express it? Where’s Ann Landers when I need her?


You have a perfect right to feel any way you take a notion to, no question. Whether what you feel is reasonable…well, that’s a whole other issue entirely. That really depends entirely on your perspective on weddings.

1.) It sucks that your friends will probably have to choose between attending the weddings. Let’s face it, though, they probably couldn’t really strictly afford to attend both weddings unless the dates were a couple of months apart. It might be reasonable to want someone to put off their wedding a week or two for the convenience of your guests, but a couple of months? And if you’re going to have a scheduling conflict regardless, she might as well go for the date she really wants, right?

What’s most likely to happen is that those mutual friends will attend the wedding of whoever they’re closer to. If they’re equally close to both of you, they’ll most likely go with whoever notified them of a set date first.

  1. If she already told you she would do the reading, assume that she’s coming untill she tells you otherwise. Frankly, I’d find the automatic assumption that I’d completely bail on my friends after promising them something to be really, really insulting. If she hasn’t agreed to do it yet, you already knew she might not be able to come, so this doesn’t actually change anything, does it?

  2. So what if she’s having a fancier wedding than you are? Does your fiancee honestly think that people are going to sit around comparing the weddings and finding yours lacking? I hate to break it to you, but people who do that sort of shit are a) not your real friends and b) going to do that whether the weddings are a week or a decade apart. People who truly care about you will be too busy enjoying the day for what it is–a celebration of the joy and union of two people they care about–to know or give a damn about the differences in your weddings.

Long story short, I think this is getting blown a bit out of proportion. No, you are not allowed to grumble about this, either to the other bride’s face or behind her back, unless she directly asks you for your opinion on the subject. Running your mouth about someone when nobody has asked what you think is just rude. If someone asks, you say it sucks that some people won’t be able to attend both, and LET IT DROP.

(1) Just as before, some guests will be able to attend, and others won’t. Fact of life.

(2) What CrazyCatLady said.

(3) Is your wedding about putting on a show, or about starting your new life together?

An anecdote: Two of my college friends threw weddings within a month of each other, and the same group of us attended both. One was on a shoestring, held in a community hall and catered by the grocery deli. The other was held in a fancy hotel; we all dressed very formally and lost count of the number of wait staff.

Both weddings were wonderful and we all remember them both fondly, because they were very happy events for people we love. Enough said.

None of this will matter in ten years, or even five, or two. Let it go.

I agree that you should let it drop. At this point there’s nothing but bad feelings to be had, none of the scheduling is going to change.

She’s probably been planning it for a while, otherwise how could she have reserved a spot at Country Club X so quickly? You’ve only sent out your notice a few weeks ago, she could very well have had this date picked by then. Did I read your OP right on these points?

I’d bet she ‘wasn’t certain’ because she knew her schedule, but didn’t want to spill the engagement beans yet.

I agree - a lot of good places require reservation dates long in advance. My husband and I reserved a nice, large cabin in a park, and the place was booked nearly a year in advance, even in October. My guess is that she probably had set it up for this anniversary date a while back.

Do you know for sure that she won’t be attending? Not everyone goes on a honeymoon immediately after the wedding, after all. A friend of mine got married recently, went to two other weddings on consecutive weekends to it (stood up in one), and postponed her honeymoon until after the series of weddings. My husband and I postponed ours for months so we could take a nice off-season trip.

Maybe her “wasn’t certain” response was because she’d set her date previously for the same as yours, and she called the country club asking to move it to avoid a conflict? (Not entirely likely, perhaps, but not impossible.)

The OP stated very clearly that the girl in question “just got engaged this weekend,” and “just scheduled her wedding.” I very much doubt that these were arrangments that she made prior to finding out the OP’s wedding date, seeing as it’s been “public knowledge for some time.”

And I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that yeah, I’d be pretty annoyed. This happened to my best friend, who got married last year; all of a sudden, her cousin announced that she was getting married the week prior to my friend…four months after my friend had already set the date.

And if you’re inviting the same people to your wedding, as she did, a lot of whom will be coming in from out of town, you’re forcing them to either choose which wedding is “more important,” or make 'em stay a week and go to both.

I don’t think it’s a Big Huge Deal, but I do think I’d be irritated at the lack of consideration from a friend since you’re both inviting a lot of the same people…not to mention that yes, weddings can be expensive to attend and you might be putting a strain on certain guests.

There’s no nice way to express your irritation, and no reason to; it isn’t that big a deal, and by the time your wedding rolls around, you’ll realize, like my friend did, that it wasn’t really worth worrying about. Things will work out fine.

But yeah, I’d reserve the right to be really annoyed for a day or two. :smiley:

I completely understand how you feel. My husband and I had been engaged a year, and the date had been set for probably 8 months, when some of our friends got engaged. Not only did they set their date for the weekend before ours, their wedding had the same theme as ours. I felt like my friend had thoroughly stolen my thunder. I’m sure I blew it out of proportion, and that no one cared 1/4 as much as I did, but I cared a lot – I had put a lot of time into my wedding plans, and I wanted my wedding to be somewhat unique. Then my friend came along and I felt it the uniqueness of my wedding go out the window.

There isn’t really anything you can do, even though it was very inconsiderate of them to do that to you. If your fiancee and the other bride are close enough friends, your fiancee might feel comfortable enough to let the friend know how much it’s upsetting her. The other bride may not really realize what she’s done.

I know that, in the grand scheme of things, it’s petty and stupid, but I was really upset; she knew what our plans were and did the same theme anyway, one week before we did.

And, she’s skinnier than me. Bitch. :wink: