Wedding Etiquette Forum

Feel like I "upstaged" the bride - how do I make this right?

A few weeks back, my sister, a few years younger, announced her engagement and asked me to be the MOH in her wedding next fall in our (small) hometown.  I was/am over the moon happy for her, I love her fiance.

Myself, I had at the time, been dating my BF for almost a year, and we'd been discussing marriage as a "when" not an "if".  Since my sister's engagement, he and I had been debating, is it rude to get engaged before my sister's wedding, what if we waited until after the wedding to announce the engagement (we'd get married after my sister's wedding), etc.  After awhile of this, he and I agreed that when we all get together over the holiday weekend, my sister and I would have a heart to heart, and I'd find out her feelings on the subject. 

My sister is very easygoing, but her dad/g-ma (she is technically my half sister) not so much.  They've accused me most of our lives of upstaging my sister, etc.  our extended fam, family friends, etc, largely disagree with these claims.  I know my *sister* loves my BF and is one of those "be happy other people are happy types", but that she's also close to *her* fam.

The option to delay our marriage is off the table though - BF and I have just found out we are expecting our first child!  We are surprised though overjoyed - my first husband and I divorced several years ago when a few doctors told us I was unlikely to be able to conceive without medical assistance.  (Because we thought I was infertile, we didn't bother with birth control after our test results came back clean)  Our miracle baby is so far looking great, but for obvious reasons, we agreed that we're going to have to move our wedding date up until *before* my late-Jan due date.

My dilemma is - Not only did I definitely "upstage" my sister, I feel like I'll be launching both her and myself into a world of family drama when people figure out we're expecting/we announce our engagement. 

I'm also torn as to whether i owe her an apology - I feel horrible and think it's unfair to her that I stole her spotlight, but am not in the least bit sorry about our miracle baby, nor do I feel it's healthy/that I'm obligated to apologize for having a child. I also don't want all heck to break loose with my step-relatives, since the potential for all that negativity/anger is not good for a baby.

How do I make this situation right with her?  With my step-relatives?  It would break my heart, but her wedding is her day - should I offer to step down as MOH?

TIA.  I need to talk to her soon.
Mom to a beautiful boy and girl!

Re: Feel like I "upstaged" the bride - how do I make this right?

  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_feel-like-upstaged-bride-this-right?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:075f772f-8f76-4265-88ef-c05fa268d9d1Post:02bfc6da-85ed-4404-9393-bcf82d1c99bc">Feel like I "upstaged" the bride - how do I make this right?</a>:
    [QUOTE]A few weeks back, my sister, a few years younger, announced her engagement and asked me to be the MOH in her wedding next fall in our (small) hometown.  I was/am over the moon happy for her, I love her fiance. Myself, I had at the time, been dating my BF for almost a year, and we'd been discussing marriage as a "when" not an "if".  Since my sister's engagement, he and I had been debating, is it rude to get engaged before my sister's wedding, what if we waited until after the wedding to announce the engagement (we'd get married after my sister's wedding), etc.  After awhile of this, he and I agreed that when we all get together over the holiday weekend, my sister and I would have a heart to heart, and I'd find out her feelings on the subject.  My sister is very easygoing, but her dad/g-ma (she is technically my half sister) not so much.  They've accused me most of our lives of upstaging my sister, etc.  our extended fam, family friends, etc, largely disagree with these claims.  I know my *sister* loves my BF and is one of those "be happy other people are happy types", but that she's also close to *her* fam. The option to delay our marriage is off the table though - BF and I have just found out we are expecting our first child!  We are surprised though overjoyed - my first husband and I divorced several years ago when a few doctors told us I was unlikely to be able to conceive without medical assistance.  (Because we thought I was infertile, we didn't bother with birth control after our test results came back clean)  Our miracle baby is so far looking great, but for obvious reasons, we agreed that we're going to have to move our wedding date up until *before* my late-Jan due date. My dilemma is - Not only did I definitely "upstage" my sister, I feel like I'll be launching both her and myself into a world of family drama when people figure out we're expecting/we announce our engagement.  I'm also torn as to whether i owe her an apology - I feel horrible and think it's unfair to her that I stole her spotlight, but am not in the least bit sorry about our miracle baby, nor do I feel it's healthy/that I'm obligated to apologize for having a child. I also don't want all heck to break loose with my step-relatives, since the potential for all that negativity/anger is not good for a baby. How do I make this situation right with her?  With my step-relatives?  It would break my heart, but her wedding is her day - should I offer to step down as MOH? TIA.  I need to talk to her soon.
    Posted by PiscesFish[/QUOTE]

    personally, my feelings is that your sister gets her day, you can have yours. it is not fair for her relatives to ask you to put your life on hold while yall await her wedding. you're expecting, that's great! she needs to know that. and if you want to get engaged, again, great! it doesn't mean you are upstaging her.  have you thought about the fact that your sister may be truly happy for you, and to hell with her relatives?
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  • I think you should talk to your sister. let her be the first to know, and make sure the 2 of you are on the same page before you tell any of the rest of the family. That way you put up a united front regarding whatever decision you make together. I think its nice that you thought about your sister's feelings, BTW.
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  • Just talk to your sister and then go with your gut.  Your sister's family has no right to expect that you put your life on hold so that she gets to go first.  Perhaps suggest that she remind her grandmother that while you get to go first, she gets to go last, and leave the lasting impression.  (Not that I think either matter, but if her gma does, perhaps that can persuade her to be less pissed.)

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  • I think that you should set your date, enjoy planning your wedding and be excited that your expecting your baby! That's all WONDERFUL stuff and to hell with relatives who can't figure that outTongue out like PP's have said she get's ONE day... not the whole year.
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  • CellesCelles member
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    As long as you're not planning on getting married the same weekend as your sister, then I think you're fine.  SarahPlz's advice about talking to her before you announce it to your family is good -- it's the courteous thing to do, especially given how crazy some brides get over "their" day (week, month, season...)  -- but, really, you have no reason to feel guilty or to apologize for something that you obviously see as a blessing in your life. 

    Congrats!
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  • I am getting married this year and so are my close firends.  While the bride should be celebrated and showered with love and attention leading up to the wedding, it is important to keep things in persepective...you deserve your day and your sister deserves hers.  If the family doesn't like it they are entitled to their feelings but should respectfully keep them to themselves.

    I would sit down and have a talk with your sister about everything before discussing it with anyone else.  If she is supportive and comfortable with the situation then you two can come up with a plan of action for how you will handle everyone else. 

    People may react differently if they see the support and encouragement of your sister and you will feel more comfortable with your plans knowing that the most important persons in all of this is on your side.

  • Thanks ladies for the good wishes! :)

    I think my step-fam's issue is, well, that I'm "not (SF's) kid".  I know my sister and know she will be ecstatic for me, but feel horrible that I'm once AGAIN putting her through the ringer of "divided loyalties".  Also, small town gossip = I feel badly that my mom is likely to be the subject of "Pisces was jealous and did this on purpose"!

    Any tips on breaking the news to mom/SF and such, laying the boundary up front that I won't tolerate negativity?
    Mom to a beautiful boy and girl!
  • Always take the high road...if people start in with the questions and comments then simply state "we are so happy and excited to begin this new chapter in our lives and we would appreciate everyone's support".

    If they continue to be negative and hurtful just reply with "I'm sorry you feel that way" and move on with the satisfaction of knowing that in 5 years no one will even be thinking about the weddings and you will be too busy with your beautiful son or daughter to care.

  • CellesCelles member
    2500 Comments Combo Breaker

    You could go for shock value: "Actually, Pisces was knocked up.  Guess she won't be wearing white to the wedding!"  

    I tease, of course.  ;) 

    How close are you with your sister's family?  You said they were your step-family, so I'm assuming your step-father is her father and you share a mother?  If so, I can understand how things could get awkward if your step-family is as obsessively defensive of your sister as it seems they are.

    I would still follow SarahPlz's advice and talk to your sister.  Tell her the truth: you had every intention of waiting until after her wedding to announce your own engagement -- but now that you're pregnant, it's important to you and your fiance to be married before the baby comes.  If your little sis as awesome as you say she is, then she'll not only support you, but she'll also help defend the decision to the naysers in her extended family. 

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  • How do you tell them?  "Hey mom, I'm pregnant!  Oh, yeah...  BTW, we're getting married."

    Another thing you may want to consider before talking to your sister is the scope of your wedding.  If your sister is planning a big party, maybe (if it's something that you want,) you could plan a more intimate wedding with just close friends and family.  It will be easier for you to plan on short notice, will probably be a less stressful process, and cost a lot less.  Plus, you'll be married, but may avoid the "drama" of "upstaging" your sister.
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  • So you'll get married in August, and your sister will still have her big wedding with Saturday night dinner/dance blowout in November or December.

    Your two weddings will be different enough and separated enough that one person can't really claim they've been "upstaged."
  • Just talk to her and tell her. She must obviously know you thought you were infertile so she'll understand what a surprise and a blessing this is. I'd just plan for a few months before or after her. Just do what you can to make her feel special as her sister, just like you would if you weren't in the situation.

    As for your step-relatives, eff them. They're for her to deal with, not you. If they're so crass as to say something to you, they're the classless idiots, not you.
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  • I got engaged this May and set my wedding for June of 2011.  My younger sister called me this past Wednesday and told me that she had just gotten engaged.  I was upset at first because I thought she did it on purpose and she always wanted her wedding on May 21,2011 which would only be 2 weeks  before mine.  Mine being in Oklahoma and hers in Ohio.  I'm over it now though and happy for her.  She's changing her date to August so it's not as close.  I even bought her a "Bride to be" bag to take to her :-)  My advice is just not to make it too close to hers.  Have fun planning together
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  • Her wedding is NEXT FALL. From what I can tell, you'll be getting married this fall, correct?  Your baby will come well over six months before her wedding.  It's not like you're getting married the weekend before her and having your baby the month before.  People will not link the two events together because they will be months and months apart.  You'll be fine.  In addition, you don't owe her an apology because you created a human being.  That's ridiculous.  

    Also, out of curiosity, did you divorce your first husband because of the infertility?  Because the way you worded it sounded that way....
  • Hey double congrats!  I'm happy for you and I don't even know you. Laughing If you're sister is a good person she will be too.  Get married and celebrate with her.  Hopefully she wil understand.
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  • My sister got engaged two weeks after I did (even though we are 6 years apart, she's younger) and she got married last October.  Were my parents grumbling about contributing to two weddings at once?  Yep.  Are they going to contribute to this one?  Yep.  Do I like answering questions I ask myself?  Sure.  lol

    Really, though, there might be some jealousy at first, but worry about your relationship with her.  Don't worry about family members....just talk to her about your situation and work something out.  You can share ideas and vendors (if you have the same size wedding).  Remind her that this baby is going to be her niece or nephew.  Concentrate on the blessings you both have.
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