Wedding Etiquette Forum

Little Sister Upset

My younger sister(20) and her fiancé (23) became engaged the end of January 2021. They decided that they were going to have a long engagement, and get married in July of 2022. My boyfriend (23)(who is friends with my sister's fiancé) proposed to me(24) in March 2021. We had discussed getting married for many months before and decided that we wouldn't want a very long engagement, so after he proposed, we discussed setting a date in the late fall or early winter.
When we announced our engagement to my sister and her fiancé, she was worried that we would have our wedding too close to hers (which is something we expected) so we told her that we were discussing this fall (Nov 2021) for our wedding - over 7 months before her wedding in 2022, but she still seems a bit upset that our date is before theirs. 
Since setting our wedding date for this November and beginning the plans, there have been a couple bumps...
I didn't initially ask my younger sister to be a bridesmaid. She has been in choir since she was young, and I thought she might prefer to sing (apparently she hates singing in front of others, but I didn't know this until later). I asked my older sister (and best friend) to by my MOH and 2 college friends that I am close with to be my bridesmaids. My younger sister called my MOH and cried to her that I did not ask her to be a bridesmaid, so I called her and gave her a choice of being a bridesmaid or singing at the ceremony. She chose bridesmaid. 
After I asked her to be a bridesmaid, I told her she might have to walk down with my fiancés cousin (her fiancé was being considered as the best man) and she said no, and that she would walk down with her fiancé and just stand in the second bridesmaid spot.
She also told my other BMs that they needed to wear sleeves to the wedding because showing your shoulders in a church is immodest. (I had told my BMs that I didn't care what they wore, as long as they had the same color- I just wanted them to be comfortable and happy with their dresses).
Every time I make a decision, she seems to be angry about it, but won't say anything to me. My mother said that she mentioned she was worried that her wedding would look too much like she was copying mine, because apparently the styles that I have been choosing are similar to what she was planning on having. 

Does anyone have any advise on how to handle this situation going forward? 
I want to keep the peace so that the planning and wedding aren't more stressful than they need to be, but I'm not sure how to placate my sister. 

Re: Little Sister Upset

  • MesmrEweMesmrEwe member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited April 6
    First - she needs to realize that you both could use 100% of the same Bridesmaid dresses, venue, caterer, florist, baker, officiant, etc. a week or less apart, and you would both have diabolically different weddings and 50% of the guest list is new anyway!  You aren't stealing her thunder by having your wedding first.  Before the horse gets out of the barn any further, it might be time to talk to your Mom and Sister that even if it seems "Similar" weddings have cake, bouquets, colors, flowers, churches, officiants, etc. and that the perception that you're choosing the same/similar is only in the context that weddings typically have those things and that you're going to have considerably different events in entirely different seasons of the year.  And yes, I think your Mom needs to be in on this so that kindling on these types of gaslighting discussions gets watered down sooner than later.

    As for who she walks in with, honestly, don't have those types of discussions at this point, and FWIW may be best to NOT talk wedding details around your younger Sister just because given what she's done thus far, she's going to poo-poo any idea you come up with, you'll change what you wanted because of it, and end of the day you'll look back on your wedding steamed because of not standing up for what YOU want, it's okay to stand up for what YOU want at this point.  Let your Sister plan her own day.  The goal behind giving them a color and choosing their own dress was to lessen the stress for you and for them in having a style they're comfortable in.  Yes, if you're having a church wedding, having the request of "no see-through level of sheer top or 2-piece with midriff showing BM dress" during mass is probably good, but sleeves or it's not modest enough for church, if your Sister wants her BM in sleeves, that's her business, but if you want to stick to your parameters, remind your BM of what those parameters are and that is the final word on BM dresses..  

    Good luck!  There's a book written by a former knottie and her Dad "Take back your wedding: Managing the people Stress of Wedding Planning" by Doherty & Thomas...  May be worth picking up...
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