Etiquette

Pregnancy and Two Weddings

Hello!

I need some help with phrasing and potentially avoiding family conflict. The bride is my sister. 

She got engaged and found the right guy. I could not be any happier for her. So she started wedding planning and picking a date. She wanted me to be the matron of honor.... So here are when problems started:


1. She and her fiancé selected a wedding date in June. I am planning (and hoping) to have my first child around that time. I am a school teacher and do not get paid maternity leave, so having a summer birth is my only option to have a baby. I mentioned to her about my pregnancy plan and said that I will see what will happen when the date starts to get closer. She starts freaking out on me and tells me that I MUST try on a bridesmaid dress in September so that it can be ordered. My husband and I will be trying for a baby around then, so I won't even KNOW where to gauge my pregnancy by her wedding date to get the right measurements. She even goes forth as to say "I don't know if I can even have you in the wedding party then, but we'll see what happens." My mom even agrees with her and has spoken to me privately TWICE about how I maybe should drop out because of a pregnancy. Now my feelings are very hurt, especially with my mother interfering. I'm even more pressure to schedule my pregnancy based on what my family is telling me, which isn't right. 


2. My sister is having a dilemma on planning to have two weddings. Her fiance's family are apart of a Methodist church and want a wedding ceremony at THEIR church. My dad is very gung-ho Catholic... Says that unless the wedding is in a Catholic Church, it is not a real "marriage" to him. He has threatened not show up and walk my sister down the aisle if she does not have a Catholic ceremony (even I have called him out for being wrong and demanding, and that the ceremony is up to the bride and groom). My dad is a big time bully and has caused problems with my wedding plans two years ago.

On top of it, my grandmother's health is deteriorating... So now the plan is for my sister to have two weddings... A Catholic one in the Fall for immediate family only so that my grandmother could attend, and a big fancy Methodist "wedding" ceremony of renewed vows in the Summer. Here's the catch- my sister does not plan to tell her friends that will be invited to the Summer ceremony that she is already married.


This whole thing is a hot mess. I want to be happy for my sister, but it has been compromised. I'm not sure what I should do or say about it. Can I get some help?
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Re: Pregnancy and Two Weddings

  • CMGragainCMGragain
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    edited June 2017
    I am struck by your idea that you can only have a baby in the summer because you are a teacher.  Um, what?  I am a retired teacher.  I have known many, many teachers who had babies at all times of the year.  Why are you different?

    As for your sister's wedding plans, I am afraid that is not your decision.  You can talk to her privately, but ultimately, it is up to her.
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    STARMOON44InLoveInQueens

  • CMGragain said:

    I am struck by your idea that you can only have a baby in the summer because you are a teacher.  Um, what?  I am a retired teacher.  I have known many, many teachers who had babies at all times of the year.  Why are you different?

    As for your sister's wedding plans, I am afraid that is not your decision.


    If she's at a charter or not protected by tenure or a union she might not get paid leave. 
    JBee85sparklepants41ahoyweddingcupcait927
  • JBee85JBee85
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    edited June 2017



    CMGragain said:



    I am struck by your idea that you can only have a baby in the summer because you are a teacher.  Um, what?  I am a retired teacher.  I have known many, many teachers who had babies at all times of the year.  Why are you different?




    I already mentioned in my post that I do not receive pay while on maternity leave.
  • CMGragainCMGragain
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    edited June 2017
    Lots of women don't.  If you plan on having a baby, you need to budget for it, just like any other life plans.  I know many women who have raised loving, happy families on a tight budget.
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    MobKazDrillSergeantCatInLoveInQueens
  • ooh boy.

    Ok firstly you do not need to get fitted for a June wedding in September (even girls who aren't planning on babies could have huge weight changes in that amount of time!). Talk to the shop and ask the absolute latest you can order the dress. Ignore anything they say about dye lots. If they are hard on September find out the brand and see who else in town carries it. Other shops may be less cray cray.

    Also, is this a dress that would even look right if you were heavily pregnant? If it's an empire waist sort of thing, great. But if it's a little baby doll dress or some drop waisted mermaid thing... it may merit a conversation with your sister. Something like:
    "Sis, it would mean a lot to me to stand by your side on your wedding day. However if I were heavily pregnant would you be amenable to my wearing a different style dress in the same color and also waiting a few months to order regardless?"
    And see where it goes.
    If matching dresses is more important than her sister at her side then I say good riddance. Attend the [fake?] wedding as a guest


    As far as the rest... this all depends how open and frank you feel comfortable being with your sister and how deep into this shit show you want to get.

    On the religion angle:
    Is being in good standing in the Catholic church important to her? If it is, she and her fiance really need to have a discussion about what faith they are going to practice and raise any potential kids in. And whatever they choose is really the most obvious choice for their wedding ceremony.

    If she doesn't want to be Catholic and raise the kids Catholic I feel like she should just call Dad's bluff now. Because this kind of emotional blackmail is only going to continue if they decide to have kids. Will there be a fit if there's no Catholic Baptism? First Communion? Confirmation? Her children's wedding?
    It's her wedding and her faith and she shouldn't be making a major choice about a sacrament because Dad is throwing a hissy fit.

    Same thing the other way around. If they are going to be Catholic and raise the potential kids Catholic then fiance's family needs to get used to it. Throwing a big fake Methodist wedding is just going to set the family up for disappointment when they quickly discover they're actually Catholic.
    Also, anyone educated in Catholicism will know marrying outside the church is a big deal and causes poor standing. If they see her later participating in other Catholic events it might make them wonder how they got around the whole Methodist wedding thing being Catholic. Questions may be asked and they could be found out that they lied to their guests.

    And seriously... a come to Jesus conversation needs to be had about lying to their guests about the fake wedding. Aside from the fact that it's just wrong lying to the people you love about something so important, they are going to get caught.


    I know grandma's health is a tricky situation but I would hope that grandma would want them to have the wedding they dream of and wouldn't expect a whole todo just about her. I'd also hope she wouldn't condone lying to the rest of the family. If they decided to wait until June to get married I'm sure she'd understand and hope that she'd still be around to make it.

    ---

    I understand why all of this is frustrating. How you proceed really depends on how open and frank you can be with your sister.

    If you've always been able to be real with her then address these things.
    If you're tired of it all and want to avoid confrontation though, with the exception of the dress conversation (do not stand for ordering a dress in September for a June wedding) you can probably just sit back. Try not to pay this much thought. Just focus on your family. Wishing lots of babydust your way!
    SP29
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
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    JBee85 said:

    Hello!

    I need some help with phrasing and potentially avoiding family conflict. The bride is my sister. 

    She got engaged and found the right guy. I could not be any happier for her. So she started wedding planning and picking a date. She wanted me to be the matron of honor.... So here are when problems started:


    1. She and her fiancé selected a wedding date in June. I am planning (and hoping) to have my first child around that time. I am a school teacher and do not get paid maternity leave, so having a summer birth is my only option to have a baby. I mentioned to her about my pregnancy plan and said that I will see what will happen when the date starts to get closer. She starts freaking out on me and tells me that I MUST try on a bridesmaid dress in September so that it can be ordered. My husband and I will be trying for a baby around then, so I won't even KNOW where to gauge my pregnancy by her wedding date to get the right measurements. She even goes forth as to say "I don't know if I can even have you in the wedding party then, but we'll see what happens." My mom even agrees with her and has spoken to me privately TWICE about how I maybe should drop out because of a pregnancy. Now my feelings are very hurt, especially with my mother interfering. I'm even more pressure to schedule my pregnancy based on what my family is telling me, which isn't right. 


    2. My sister is having a dilemma on planning to have two weddings. Her fiance's family are apart of a Methodist church and want a wedding ceremony at THEIR church. My dad is very gung-ho Catholic... Says that unless the wedding is in a Catholic Church, it is not a real "marriage" to him. He has threatened not show up and walk my sister down the aisle if she does not have a Catholic ceremony (even I have called him out for being wrong and demanding, and that the ceremony is up to the bride and groom). My dad is a big time bully and has caused problems with my wedding plans two years ago.

    On top of it, my grandmother's health is deteriorating... So now the plan is for my sister to have two weddings... A Catholic one in the Fall for immediate family only so that my grandmother could attend, and a big fancy Methodist "wedding" ceremony of renewed vows in the Summer. Here's the catch- my sister does not plan to tell her friends that will be invited to the Summer ceremony that she is already married.


    This whole thing is a hot mess. I want to be happy for my sister, but it has been compromised. I'm not sure what I should do or say about it. Can I get some help?


    Sounds like you come from a family of jerks. I'm very sorry.

    Your father needs to back off. It's not up to him whether your sister has a Catholic wedding or not, and not "recognizing" as valid a marriage outside a Catholic church doesn't score him any points.

    But your mother and sister also need to stop trying to control your reproductive life. I agree that it's hurtful and mean to ask someone to step out of a wedding party because they're pregnant or might be. 

    SP29
  • CMGragainCMGragain
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    edited June 2017
    I am also a United Methodist.  It is one of the most open, flexible Christian denominations.  I was married in the UMC.  My daughter was married in the UMC.  That being said, we would have had the service in a Catholic church if one of the people being married was Catholic because there are consequences for a Catholic being married outside of the Catholic church!  Marriage is a Holy Sacrament in the Catholic church.  If the priest is aware that they are going to redo the marriage ceremony at another church, he may refuse to do the Catholic ceremony at all.

    My mother married a Catholic and they had a United Methodist minister and a Catholic priest co-officiating at their wedding in the Catholic church.  It was not a high mass.  Everyone was happy with the wedding.

    While, as I posted earlier, this is not your decision, you might mention this idea to your sister as an alternative.
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    MesmrEweSP29
  • levioosalevioosa Southern California
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    JBee85 said:


    Hello!

    I need some help with phrasing and potentially avoiding family conflict. The bride is my sister. 

    She got engaged and found the right guy. I could not be any happier for her. So she started wedding planning and picking a date. She wanted me to be the matron of honor.... So here are when problems started:


    1. She and her fiancé selected a wedding date in June. I am planning (and hoping) to have my first child around that time. I am a school teacher and do not get paid maternity leave, so having a summer birth is my only option to have a baby. I mentioned to her about my pregnancy plan and said that I will see what will happen when the date starts to get closer. She starts freaking out on me and tells me that I MUST try on a bridesmaid dress in September so that it can be ordered. My husband and I will be trying for a baby around then, so I won't even KNOW where to gauge my pregnancy by her wedding date to get the right measurements. She even goes forth as to say "I don't know if I can even have you in the wedding party then, but we'll see what happens." My mom even agrees with her and has spoken to me privately TWICE about how I maybe should drop out because of a pregnancy. Now my feelings are very hurt, especially with my mother interfering. I'm even more pressure to schedule my pregnancy based on what my family is telling me, which isn't right. 


    2. My sister is having a dilemma on planning to have two weddings. Her fiance's family are apart of a Methodist church and want a wedding ceremony at THEIR church. My dad is very gung-ho Catholic... Says that unless the wedding is in a Catholic Church, it is not a real "marriage" to him. He has threatened not show up and walk my sister down the aisle if she does not have a Catholic ceremony (even I have called him out for being wrong and demanding, and that the ceremony is up to the bride and groom). My dad is a big time bully and has caused problems with my wedding plans two years ago.

    On top of it, my grandmother's health is deteriorating... So now the plan is for my sister to have two weddings... A Catholic one in the Fall for immediate family only so that my grandmother could attend, and a big fancy Methodist "wedding" ceremony of renewed vows in the Summer. Here's the catch- my sister does not plan to tell her friends that will be invited to the Summer ceremony that she is already married.


    This whole thing is a hot mess. I want to be happy for my sister, but it has been compromised. I'm not sure what I should do or say about it. Can I get some help?




    1. Good luck with all of this. 

    Biological functions often don't work like clockwork on schedules of our choosing, so there's a possibility you aren't even going to be pregnant in June.  I wish you the best of luck n your endeavors, but I'm just trying to be realistic.

    You have a shitty family if they are prioritizing a wedding and pictures over your plans on starting a family.  There are many ways to compromise and still include you in the wedding, like by allowing the BMs to choose any dress of a specific fabric and length and foregoing the 1980's matchy matchy BM dresses all together. 

    And NO ONE needs to nor should be ordering dresses in September for a June wedding, regardless of who is planning on getting KU or not.  That's waaaaay too early for everyone.

    If your sister and mother refuse to listen to reason and insist on their irrational timeline, and insist on being petty and superficial, I suggest you do yourself a favor and decline to be MOH.  It sounds like your sister is going to be an EF-4 Bridezilla, so save yourself the heartache and aggravation and stay out of this mess.

    2. Your sister should absolutely, under no circumstances have 2 ceremonies and lie to religious officiants and family members about her marital status just to appease one set of parents or the other.

    I can't emphasize that enough.  She should not do that.

    She and her FI need to grow a backbone, decide on the one, single type of ceremony that is important to them, and plan their wedding around that ceremony.  Anyone who disagrees with their choice can frankly just GTFO, regardless of whether that is your father or her FI's parents.  They can choose to threaten not to attend, and they can even follow through with those threats, but your sister should not, under any circumstances appease manipulative bullies if that means faking a ceremony and lying to the 2nd officiant and those other guests.

    Not lying is a standard tenet of all Abrahamic religions, right?


    Yes to all of this. I wish you well in your pregnancy endeavors, but know that babies and life don't always happen as planned. As you are not currently pregnant (and may not even be pregnant in the fall), some of this is just worrying for the sake of worrying. 

    Your sister is being incredibly rude by lying and having a fake wedding. There is also no reason you need to order a BM dress so early.


    image
    JBee85PrettyGirlLost
  • agreed with @CMGragain that there are definitely more options here. Personally I'm Methodist and would never consider being married in a Catholic Church but I think that's really the point. She needs to decide what works for her and her fiancé, and there's not much you can do about it. 
    short+sassy
  • CMGragainCMGragain
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    edited June 2017
    About the pregnancy, I didn't mean to offend.  I am still dealing with news I received this weekend.  My cousin is pregnant with her fourth child.  It was unplanned.  One of their children is mentally challenged and needs special care.  They are supporting their family with her husband's wages as a waiter.  With four kids under the age of six, they cannot afford child care.  They have no family to help them at all.  (Parents are dead, ex-con brother is in rehab - again.)
    I am sending my cousin a card of congratulations about her new pregnancy.  Part of me worries, though.
    I guess the OP triggered a reaction from me.  I do know all about making do a with tight budget.
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  • CMGragainCMGragain
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    edited June 2017
    OP, I do have a good suggestion for you.  Tell your sister about us!  We will be happy to help her plan a wedding that will satisfy everyone.  It can be done.

    Additionally, I would point out that being married in a Catholic church, private ceremony or not, is not something that can be assumed will happen.  You sister and her FI will have to go through Pre-Cana classes and counseling with the priest before he can perform he ceremony.  Methodist ministers would also insist on some premarital counseling, and may not be willing to go along with the plan.  This whole situation just might resolve itself.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
    JBee85
  • If your sister and her FI want to plan their own folly, I wouldn't push so hard on that, that it could really damage your all's relationship.

    However, if it could be done without her getting upset, I would point that a LOT of people will be aware of when they really got married.  What?  Are they going to swear everyone to secrecy, lol?  Word WILL get out!  And when it does, people who were lied to and attended a fake event will be very upset.  Perhaps even friendship-ending mad.

    Like the old adage, "If two people know, it is no longer a secret."

    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    SP29
  • Honestly, I would just step down at this point. It will be easier for you to be a guest instead of having to play ignorant to the rude things your sister is doing and the rude things she is doing to guests. You won't have to wear a specific dress then, so it won't matter if your plan to get pregnant happens by then or not. (Also, a note, I am an only child, I don't really get sibling relationships as much as I think I would if I had one so if my response seems cold it is not my intent.)
    image
    JBee85MairePoppyPrettyGirlLostahoywedding
  • 1) Getting pregnant is not like going to the car lot and choosing what you take home when.  Some women are like Fertile Myrtle and others discover TTC isn't so easy.  Realities 101.  Let your sister plan her day how she wants and if you need an empire waist or maternity dress you deal with it when the time comes.  "Do not count your eggs before they're hatched"...  It frankly also comes across as you trying to "one up" when you bring things like this up in regard to their day.  

    2) If the Catholic gets married in the Methodist church, they will need to have a dispensation and blessing.  I highly recommend the couple meet with the Catholic's parish priest to go over the details such that they can make an informed decision as CMG pointed out there are consequences however it's pretty minimal in the grand scheme of things for what they need to do.  This is on them to do what is necessary to have everything covered, not you.  
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    short+sassyJBee85sparklepants41
  • Yes to all the posters who advised you step down now!!!  Your whole family sounds like they're going to make your sister's wedding over-the-top stressful, and your sister is right on track to being a Grade-A Bridezilla.  You'll be under enough stress/pressure with your TTC plans, no need to add stress from your family on as well.  Then if you get pregnant, great!  You can attend your sister's "renewal" with a baby bump, or miss it if you have to, but either way she won't be able to freak out at you about it.  Honestly, even if you weren't TTC, I'd back out of this mess in a hurry.  She sounds like the kind of person who will replace you anyway, so I doubt she'll even worry for more than a minute when you tell her you'd be happier attending as a guest.  Good luck to you with everything.
    MairePoppyshort+sassyPrettyGirlLost
  • I'm sorry your family is being so unreasonable. 

    I agree with all the posters telling you to get out...I'm imagining a situation where she's freaking out because you can't drink at the bachelorette party....or worse, voluntelling you to be DD when you're 7 months pregnant. 

    Good luck with it all. Watching from the pews sounds like the best possible role to have in that PPD. 
    PrettyGirlLost

  • missfrodo said:

    Yes to all the posters who advised you step down now!!!  Your whole family sounds like they're going to make your sister's wedding over-the-top stressful, and your sister is right on track to being a Grade-A Bridezilla.  You'll be under enough stress/pressure with your TTC plans, no need to add stress from your family on as well.  Then if you get pregnant, great!  You can attend your sister's "renewal" with a baby bump, or miss it if you have to, but either way she won't be able to freak out at you about it.  Honestly, even if you weren't TTC, I'd back out of this mess in a hurry.  She sounds like the kind of person who will replace you anyway, so I doubt she'll even worry for more than a minute when you tell her you'd be happier attending as a guest.  Good luck to you with everything.


    See I think the opposite. To me it's just manufacturing drama and attention seeking to be discussing what you'll do if you happen to be pregnant at someone's wedding when you're not pregnant now and not even trying to get pregnant yet. 
    charlotte989875lyndausviPrettyGirlLostahoywedding
  • JBee85JBee85
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    Thanks for the advice and feedback guys! I got what I needed here. I am definitely stepping down just to lower my stress levels.  
    MairePoppyclimbingwifeshort+sassySP29
  • holyguacamole79holyguacamole79 a taco truck in Houston
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    Just wanted to echo everything that @banana468 said.  

    I don't think you need to step down quite yet... just see how things work out.  I would not change your TTC plans in light of your sister's wedding, though.  Go have awesome sex and I hope you have a fantastically awesome baby!  :)  

    Regarding the Catholic / Methodist situation, I would encourage your sister to talk to the priest prior to making any plans.  The Catholic Church takes the Sacrament of Matrimony VERY seriously, and there needs to be an honest discussion between her and her fiance.  From there, it is her call.  Encourage her to be honest with your dad, and then let them handle the rest.  It will likely become a sticky situation, but remember that it is theirs.

    All the best to you as you TTC.  <3



    Anniversary
    charlotte989875




  • missfrodo said:


    Yes to all the posters who advised you step down now!!!  Your whole family sounds like they're going to make your sister's wedding over-the-top stressful, and your sister is right on track to being a Grade-A Bridezilla.  You'll be under enough stress/pressure with your TTC plans, no need to add stress from your family on as well.  Then if you get pregnant, great!  You can attend your sister's "renewal" with a baby bump, or miss it if you have to, but either way she won't be able to freak out at you about it.  Honestly, even if you weren't TTC, I'd back out of this mess in a hurry.  She sounds like the kind of person who will replace you anyway, so I doubt she'll even worry for more than a minute when you tell her you'd be happier attending as a guest.  Good luck to you with everything.




    See I think the opposite. To me it's just manufacturing drama and attention seeking to be discussing what you'll do if you happen to be pregnant at someone's wedding when you're not pregnant now and not even trying to get pregnant yet. 


    I see your point about the drama.  I just think that her sister is displaying behavior that will likely get more ridiculous as the wedding draws near, and even if she weren't TTC she'd be dodging a bullet by attending as a guest instead of being roped into all her sister thinks she needs to do as a BM.
    PrettyGirlLost
  • LondonLisaLondonLisa London, UK
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    I don't think you need to back out, but worrying about clashes with a potential pregnancy when youre not pregnant is like worrying about clashes with another wedding when you aren't engaged. 

    Also, I really do wish you all the best, but it takes most women at least 6 months to conceive. I think you need to come up with a plan B if you can't conceive during that window.

    Side note: Maternity care in America is just shocking. I can't believe women are expected to just get on with it with no help. I don't understand why this treatment is put up with.
    DrillSergeantCatHeffalumpshort+sassydrid
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