Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Family and Children => Topic started by: kitchcat on February 28, 2013, 10:30:54 AM

Title: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: kitchcat on February 28, 2013, 10:30:54 AM
In today's Dear Prudence (http://"http://www.slate.com/articles/life/dear_prudence/2013/02/dear_prudence_my_brother_molested_me_should_i_help_him_fight_new_sex_abuse.2.html") there is a letter (the first one on the second page) that really made me wonder.

LW and her DH were recently married on May 11th. DH's brother has recently got engaged. They announce they'll be having their engagement party on May 11th this year and be married on May 11th the following year. LW is secretly upset that their having their party on their wedding anniversary.

Prudie's advice is basically to get over it and says it's "absurd" to skip the events because LW and her DH need to "exchange gifts in private."

I don't know about you, but I'd be upset too unless the date was of some significance to the family as a whole. What do you think?
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: ScubaGirl on February 28, 2013, 10:32:23 AM
I agreed with Prudence.  Maybe I'm just not as sentimental (?) as others. 
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: zyrs on February 28, 2013, 10:38:29 AM
While I am not very sentimental, I do notice that this means the LW and husband will need to make their second anniversary all about husband's brothers wedding.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: sparksals on February 28, 2013, 10:38:50 AM
I am on my phone and the link desn't work.  There are some additional characters in the link.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: Aeris on February 28, 2013, 10:39:31 AM
I think it's silly to be upset by it, and I think it's petty and unreasonable to skip out on your own sibling's wedding over something like this. It's not an etiquette violation, but I'd think it was a pretty selfish way to behave, personally.

Perhaps that date has even more significance for the brother and his fiancee than for the LW and her DH. Perhaps they had always been planning on getting married on that date, if they did decide to get married, and when the LW and her DH took the exact same date THEY were surprised. Or perhaps the venue of their dreams was only available on May 11 during the period they wanted to marry, so they decided to make a thing of it. (If you want to be married on a weekend in the spring, there's only so many of those.)

Sometimes important things happen in the lives of those around us on dates like our anniversaries, our birthdays, etc. If we care about those people, we'll be willing to celebrate our birthday/anniversary the day before, or heck even the weekend before, in order to participate in the special event. If we don't care about the people in question that much, then it doesn't really matter.

I tend to be of the belief that current events trump anniversaries of past events. If everyone's anniversary/date of death/birthday/etc were off limits for everyone in the social circle, there would quickly be no dates left to do new things on.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: Kaypeep on February 28, 2013, 10:39:49 AM
I think Prudie is right.  It's not a significant date to the whole family, it's only significant to the couple.  Should family plan their conceptions accordingly so that cousins don't have to share the spotlight on their birthdays, too? 


Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: audrey1962 on February 28, 2013, 10:41:25 AM
I wouldn't be upset by it.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: MorgnsGrl on February 28, 2013, 10:42:10 AM
I think it's unrealistic to think that one "owns" a date like a birthday or anniversary. You wouldn't expect no one to ever get married on your wedding anniversary, so why would you think you could prohibit a close relative from doing so?
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: FlyingBaconMouse on February 28, 2013, 10:43:12 AM
Ideally, this would be a setup for maybe some minor inconvenience around the wedding, followed by a settling-down period where it no longer matters. And it's possible that I'm biased by years of my anniversary being the only time I got to travel somewhere that wasn't my parents' or my ILs' house...

However, maybe I've been reading this forum too long, but I could easily imagine a future post about a BIL and SIL who have lots of anniversary parties but never acknowledge the LW and her husband's same-date anniversary.  :(  I guess I agree with Prudie that it doesn't have to be a big problem, but I'd be keeping a close eye on those two for a while after that.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: NyaChan on February 28, 2013, 10:44:46 AM
I don't think the Brother should have to keep their wedding anniversary in mind, but I also don't think that it is ridiculous of the couple to want to skip the engagement party - it is their first wedding anniversary and I think there are a lot of people who set store in that event and want to spend the evening together.  The second anniversary which lands on the wedding - though I understand their frustration, it isn't as big of a deal and they should go.

ETA:  Basically, I think Prudence was unnecessarily harsh to the LW and I disagree with her in part.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: MindsEye on February 28, 2013, 10:45:05 AM
I disagree with Prudence.

I would be upset.  I don't know about the wedding, but I would certainly skip the engagement party.

I also wonder what else there is to the backstory.  I admit that my knee-jerk reaction is to assume that there is a long history of the brother one-upping the husband and always having to be the center of attention.  Because, really... 365 days in the year and you just happened to pick the one that is your brother's wedding date?  And to plan a major all-about-you party on your brother's first anniversary?  Really?  It sets my hinky-meter off.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: Aeris on February 28, 2013, 10:45:30 AM
However, maybe I've been reading this forum too long, but I could easily imagine a future post about a BIL and SIL who have lots of anniversary parties but never acknowledge the LW and her husband's same-date anniversary.  :(  I guess I agree with Prudie that it doesn't have to be a big problem, but I'd be keeping a close eye on those two for a while after that.

I think this is taking it way too far down the road of 'what ifs'. There's no indication that the BIL and fiancee are terrible selfish people that want to make the universe all about them. It's possible, in the same way that *anything* is possible.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: Deetee on February 28, 2013, 10:46:09 AM
I am totally with Prudence.
Also there are a ridiculous number of factors that go into picking a date that works that an anniversary seems really minor. ( Also I don't know anyone else's anniversary date and I don't expect anyone to remember mine except my husband's parents as we married on his birthday)

 You get the day once, not forever.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: Judah on February 28, 2013, 10:46:26 AM
I think it's unrealistic to think that one "owns" a date like a birthday or anniversary. You wouldn't expect no one to ever get married on your wedding anniversary, so why would you think you could prohibit a close relative from doing so?

I agree. I think this is a silly thing to be upset about.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: WillyNilly on February 28, 2013, 10:46:35 AM
I understand the LW's stance to not attend the engagement party on their first anniversary.  Perhaps after years the date becomes less important, but the first is still special for many people. And its just my opinion but I think its tacky to have an engagement party months after announcing one's engagement.  Engagement parties IMHO should be small celebrations held very very soon after the actual engagement takes place, not large affairs months later.

As for the wedding date I do understand them being privately miffed.  But for me the bigger hassle would be a Sunday wedding (May 11 2014 is a Sunday) as unless its brunch reception or very small quick wedding, I find Sunday's to be an exhausting day for a big to-do.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: Betelnut on February 28, 2013, 10:48:42 AM
I'm with Prudie too.  Frankly, I don't even remember my sisters' anniversary dates except for a vague, "Oh, I think she was married in June...?" so I can see that being the case also.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: FlyingBaconMouse on February 28, 2013, 10:49:22 AM
However, maybe I've been reading this forum too long, but I could easily imagine a future post about a BIL and SIL who have lots of anniversary parties but never acknowledge the LW and her husband's same-date anniversary.  :(  I guess I agree with Prudie that it doesn't have to be a big problem, but I'd be keeping a close eye on those two for a while after that.

I think this is taking it way too far down the road of 'what ifs'. There's no indication that the BIL and fiancee are terrible selfish people that want to make the universe all about them. It's possible, in the same way that *anything* is possible.

You're probably right. It just seems like so many stories here start with something like this, and later it turns out to have been the first tiny pebbles of an avalanche of crazy.  :P
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: Hmmmmm on February 28, 2013, 10:49:25 AM
In reading the letter, the writer never indicated that her husband reminded his brother that May 11th was their anniversary.  She says that he should remember since he was the best man.  Remember their wedding was in May, probably. The actual date, probably not so much. When her DH sent his brother a note saying those were probably not the best dates he should have said honestly, "Bro, that's our first annivesary and we were already making plans. Can you guys switch to another Saturday for the engagement party?" 

I can see where the letter writer might be a little upset that her first and second wedding anniversary will be overshadowed by the wedding events. But I can not imagine deciding to skip a sibling's engagement party or wedding because of that type of conflict.

I'd make the most out of the engagement party.  Go out Friday night for a fantastic dinner, "sleep" in Saturday morning, go have a great late lunch and then head off for a spa day before dressing for the engagement party and have a fab time with friends and family that night. 

Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: Aeris on February 28, 2013, 10:50:31 AM
I disagree with Prudence.

I would be upset.  I don't know about the wedding, but I would certainly skip the engagement party.

I also wonder what else there is to the backstory.  I admit that my knee-jerk reaction is to assume that there is a long history of the brother one-upping the husband and always having to be the center of attention.  Because, really... 365 days in the year and you just happened to pick the one that is your brother's wedding date?  And to plan a major all-about-you party on your brother's first anniversary?  Really?  It sets my hinky-meter off.


But realistically, there are NOT 365 days on which one can reasonably plan a wedding. There aren't, and it's ridiculous to pretend that there are. Many people want to get married in a certain season for a whole host of valid and substantial reasons. Add to that the availability of a desired venue, conflicts on certain weekends with parents/children's events/vacations/school, etc, and you might end up very very quickly at only 2 or 3 possible weekends on which to hold your event. Or maybe just one.

Or maybe May 11 has some special significance to the BIL and his fiancee that makes it very important to them personally to be married on it, regardless of who else happened to get married that day in prior years.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: Sophie Jenkins on February 28, 2013, 11:00:55 AM
I probably would have skipped an engagement party on my first anniversary.

...but I also would have mentioned to my sibling that, "Hey, dude... as an fyi, I already have plans for that day, since it's my first anniversary. Can my husband and I take you and your lovely new fiancee out for dinner sometime soon to celebrate and get to know her better?"

And then I would go to the wedding the next year absolutely delighted for my brother, and have fond memories of my own wedding while dancing at my brother's reception.

I think Prudie is harsh regarding the engagement party, but the wedding- weddings are desperately hard to find dates for. I would never take that personally.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: ilrag on February 28, 2013, 11:04:02 AM
I think the letter writer is being beyond silly. In my family if the same situation came up the result would be a life time of teasing about how they were just copying our brilliant ideas and excellent marriage and who can blame them?

Also going to an engagement party doesn't mean you can't have your own private celebration - if it's a lunch party you two go out to a nice dinner. If it's a dinner party go to lunch or breakfast. It's not like there's only so much love/joy/what ever to go around on each day.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: lowspark on February 28, 2013, 11:08:57 AM
Maybe the special significance about the date *is* the fact that their sibling got married on that date.

I think the fact that they are upset says a lot about their rel@tionship. My first wedding was on my sister's birthday. We picked that date for several reasons, mostly time of year and availability of venue & clergy. The fact that it was also my sister's birthday made it even more special to me.

And my sister? Well, she thought it was great. She was my maid of honor and I had the pianist switch to a brief moment of "Happy Birthday to You" as she walked down the aisle.

I can see the first anniversary conflicting with the engagement party, but to be honest, I'd go to the party and do the anniversary celebration the night before. Is it really THAT important to celebrate on that specific night? My current (second marriage) anniversary is near a holiday and DH & I almost never go out on that exact night because there's always some kind of conflict. Doesn't diminish the fact that we're celebrating another year. We have just as nice an evening a week before or later as we would have on that day.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: SiotehCat on February 28, 2013, 11:15:02 AM
I don't remember siblings anniversary dates, but if I were planning something huge, I would want one of them to speak up.

In fact, I am wondering why LW's husband wouldn't just be able to speak to his brother. Not in the the "sit down we need to talk" kind of talk. More like "hey, there wasn't any other date in the entire year you could have picked?".

Maybe there really isn't another date they could have picked. Or maybe the brother really didn't know and will look into changing the date. Whatever the outcome, I think talking about it will take care of some of the hurt feelings.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: Miss March on February 28, 2013, 11:33:38 AM
I had almost the exact same thing happen. My husband and I spent our first anniversary at the wedding of one of his closest friends. We were delighted! It meant we got to dress up, enjoy a lovely meal, dance, share in a very festive day and quietly hold hands and watch another couple share their vows. It was probably the best anniversary we've ever shared together.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: Sharnita on February 28, 2013, 11:38:53 AM
It befuddles me that anyone would object.
 
First of all, while somebody might remember there relatives anniversary date there should be no assumption/expectation that they do or will.
 Second, you figure that in general most people want to wed on a Saturday.  It is obviously OK to choose a different date but to avoid work conflicst, allow travel time, etc. Saturday seems to be the only option that makes sense for a lot of couples.
Third, holidays seem to eliminate some of those weekends for a lot of people.  They might not want to get married the night before Easter for example, because it could create a onfolict for many guests.
Fourth, a lot of couples wouldn't mind at the shared dates at all.  I think my siblings and their spouses would probably see it as "Hey honey, we will be able to go out and have an evening out, go dancing, etc. on our anniversary - on somebody else's dime."
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: WillyNilly on February 28, 2013, 11:39:35 AM
I had almost the exact same thing happen. My husband and I spent our first anniversary at the wedding of one of his closest friends. We were delighted! It meant we got to dress up, enjoy a lovely meal, dance, share in a very festive day and quietly hold hands and watch another couple share their vows. It was probably the best anniversary we've ever shared together.

I think that's a bit different though. being a guest at a wedding isn't really the same thing as being a guest (possibly in the wedding party - after all the LW's DH had this brother as his best man, there's a possibility the request could come back) at a very close family member's wedding.  When its a friend's wedding you have less photo-errand running-family obligations then when its your siblings wedding.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: WillyNilly on February 28, 2013, 11:41:22 AM
Second, you figure that in general most people want to wed on a Saturday.  It is obviously OK to choose a different date but to avoid work conflicst, allow travel time, etc. Saturday seems to be the only option that makes sense for a lot of couples.


How does this play into anything?  The couple is planning on May 11 2014 - a Sunday.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: lowspark on February 28, 2013, 11:44:41 AM
Second, you figure that in general most people want to wed on a Saturday.  It is obviously OK to choose a different date but to avoid work conflicst, allow travel time, etc. Saturday seems to be the only option that makes sense for a lot of couples.


How does this play into anything?  The couple is planning on May 11 2014 - a Sunday.

... and May 11, 2012 was a Friday... Seems like neither couple actually felt like a Saturday wedding was a must.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: Sharnita on February 28, 2013, 11:47:11 AM
Sorry, no caledar in front of me.  My point was that 365 days is probably not realistic.  Actually, though, now thay you point it out it does seemt hat the date might be particularly significant to the 2nd couple.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: WillyNilly on February 28, 2013, 11:50:12 AM
My guess is the date is important to the second couple.  Total speculation here, but I bet the brother, all caught up in the excitement and romance of his brother's wedding, and them all dressed up and dancing, etc proposed to his girlfriend at his brother's wedding, and that's why the date is important (or it was their first "real" date, etc)... which should firmly put "oh that's my brother's anniversary!" in their minds.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: pierrotlunaire0 on February 28, 2013, 11:51:03 AM
I stood up in my sister's wedding, and although I remember the fact that it was sometime in spring/summer, I have no more memory of the date.

May 11 may mean a lot to the LW, but realistically, for her to expect any one else to even remember it, not to mention honor it, is IMO too much.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: Two Ravens on February 28, 2013, 11:52:11 AM
Or it could just be the only weekend day in May their venue was available. Or it is also entirely possible the LW changed the date for the letter.

I actually think it was pretty nervey of the couple to suggest the Brother change his wedding date. Isn't it the rule that you accept or decline an invitation but you don't make others change their plans for you?
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: lowspark on February 28, 2013, 11:57:16 AM
Or it could just be the only weekend day in May their venue was available. Or it is also entirely possible the LW changed the date for the letter.

I actually think it was pretty nervey of the couple to suggest the Brother change his wedding date. Isn't it the rule that you accept or decline an invitation but you don't make others change their plans for you?

Yeah, I thought about that (the bolded) too. But no matter what the date, the same date, three years in a row, is not always going to be a Saturday. At most one of them will be. So it does make you wonder if that date is significant enough to warrant the party and wedding on that day regardless of what day of the week it falls on.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: bah12 on February 28, 2013, 11:59:33 AM
I somewhat disagree with Prudie...but I also don't 100% agree with the LW. 

First, the LW's feelings, I think, are totally reasonable.  I too would be upset if I had to spend my first wedding anniversary at my BIL's engagement party and my second wedding anniversary at their wedding.  I don't really think it's too unreasonable for them to choose to skip the engagement party and spend their first anniversary celebrating together...on their actual anniversary.  If they aren't demanding the date be changed and remain all about them (and the LW does admit she doesn't own the date), then I think she's fine to feel how she feels and skip the engagement party.

What is a bit unreasonable is to think that just because the BIL stood up at their wedding, that he would remember the exact date or change the date if he was reminded.  I still don't remember when my sister's anniversary is, other than it's sometime in the fall.

As for Prudie's advice, it's too harsh IMO.  Sure, the LW doesn't own the wedding date.  She already recongnizes that.  And I'm with the advice that she shouldn't skip the wedding.  But to sound like she's somehow acting like a SS just because she's privately miffed and plans to skip the engagement party...too much.  Just because Prudie herself doesn't put much stock in the wedding anniversary, doesn't mean that no one else should.  DH and I feel our anniversary is very special to us.  Does that mean that we never do something else on that day when other family and friends have something going on? Of course not.  But I too would have felt perfectly fine declining an engagement party so that I could celebrate my very first anniversay with my DH on the actual day.  This engagement party doesn't trump anything else that's special about that day any more than the LW's anniversary does. 
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: fluffy on February 28, 2013, 12:01:54 PM
My husband and I got married on his sister's wedding anniversary. We didn't know it was their anniversary (they got married privately, so my husband wasn't invited and didn't attend). but she mentioned it in passing to him when he called to tell her the date. We said we were sorry for the conflict, but she said not to worry about it. We stopped by their hotel room the morning of our wedding to give them some flowers, champagne, and chocolates (my mind is a bit hazy about what we gave them, but I know there was some sort of special alcohol and chocolates) and wish them a happy anniversary.

She mentioned it in her toast, in a very gracious, loving, celebratory way. And now we call each other to wish each other happy anniversaries. And will plan on celebrating together one of these years.

You can get married on a sibling's anniversary and have it not create family drama. :D

I can kindof understand wanting to celebrate your 1st anniversary alone with your husband/wife. But I still probably wouldn't skip the engagement party, I'd try and do something special at another time that same day. And skipping the wedding is just silly.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: NyaChan on February 28, 2013, 12:02:46 PM
I somewhat disagree with Prudie...but I also don't 100% agree with the LW. 

First, the LW's feelings, I think, are totally reasonable.  I too would be upset if I had to spend my first wedding anniversary at my BIL's engagement party and my second wedding anniversary at their wedding.  I don't really think it's too unreasonable for them to choose to skip the engagement party and spend their first anniversary celebrating together...on their actual anniversary.  If they aren't demanding the date be changed and remain all about them (and the LW does admit she doesn't own the date), then I think she's fine to feel how she feels and skip the engagement party.

What is a bit unreasonable is to think that just because the BIL stood up at their wedding, that he would remember the exact date or change the date if he was reminded.  I still don't remember when my sister's anniversary is, other than it's sometime in the fall.

As for Prudie's advice, it's too harsh IMO.  Sure, the LW doesn't own the wedding date.  She already recongnizes that.  And I'm with the advice that she shouldn't skip the wedding.  But to sound like she's somehow acting like a SS just because she's privately miffed and plans to skip the engagement party...too much.  Just because Prudie herself doesn't put much stock in the wedding anniversary, doesn't mean that no one else should.  DH and I feel our anniversary is very special to us.  Does that mean that we never do something else on that day when other family and friends have something going on? Of course not.  But I too would have felt perfectly fine declining an engagement party so that I could celebrate my very first anniversay with my DH on the actual day.  This engagement party doesn't trump anything else that's special about that day any more than the LW's anniversary does.

I really agree with this.  It bothers me how easily Prudie dismissed the importance the LW held her anniversary in.  May not be a big deal to her, or apparently others, but it clearly means something to that woman and there is no reason why it shouldn't.  They were invited to an engagement party - it isn't a summons.  If she'd rather be with her husband on that day, she is in no way rude for declining that.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: Queen of Clubs on February 28, 2013, 12:05:39 PM
I somewhat disagree with Prudie...but I also don't 100% agree with the LW. 

First, the LW's feelings, I think, are totally reasonable.  I too would be upset if I had to spend my first wedding anniversary at my BIL's engagement party and my second wedding anniversary at their wedding.  I don't really think it's too unreasonable for them to choose to skip the engagement party and spend their first anniversary celebrating together...on their actual anniversary.  If they aren't demanding the date be changed and remain all about them (and the LW does admit she doesn't own the date), then I think she's fine to feel how she feels and skip the engagement party.

I agree with this.  I'm also wondering if there's some back story with rivalry between the two brothers.  I can understand the best man/future groom not remembering that his brother got married on a specific date, but then to plan not only his engagement party but also his wedding for that specific date seems a bit too much of a coincidence to me.

I don't blame the LW for being a bit taken aback over it, but there's nothing she can do about that date.  I think she and her husband should go ahead and skip the engagement party and celebrate their first wedding anniversary how they want.

It's a pity the LW or husband isn't on eHell so we could find out if there is more to the story!
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: fluffy on February 28, 2013, 12:11:33 PM
I'm also wondering if there's some back story with rivalry between the two brothers.  I can understand the best man/future groom not remembering that his brother got married on a specific date, but then to plan not only his engagement party but also his wedding for that specific date seems a bit too much of a coincidence to me.

I wonder if it's a date with some significance in the family. That would explain the threepete and the non-Saturday wedding dates.

My cousin got married on a Friday, partially because she wanted to get married on our grandparents' anniversary.

I could see the LW leaving that detail out because she knew it would hurt her cause. No one sibling should get the monopoly on a date that's important to the entire family.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: Queen of Clubs on February 28, 2013, 12:15:22 PM
I'm also wondering if there's some back story with rivalry between the two brothers.  I can understand the best man/future groom not remembering that his brother got married on a specific date, but then to plan not only his engagement party but also his wedding for that specific date seems a bit too much of a coincidence to me.

I wonder if it's a date with some significance in the family. That would explain the threepete and the non-Saturday wedding dates.

That's entirely possible as well.  I guess we'll never know. :(
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: Winterlight on February 28, 2013, 12:16:39 PM
I somewhat disagree with Prudie...but I also don't 100% agree with the LW. 

First, the LW's feelings, I think, are totally reasonable.  I too would be upset if I had to spend my first wedding anniversary at my BIL's engagement party and my second wedding anniversary at their wedding.  I don't really think it's too unreasonable for them to choose to skip the engagement party and spend their first anniversary celebrating together...on their actual anniversary.  If they aren't demanding the date be changed and remain all about them (and the LW does admit she doesn't own the date), then I think she's fine to feel how she feels and skip the engagement party.

What is a bit unreasonable is to think that just because the BIL stood up at their wedding, that he would remember the exact date or change the date if he was reminded.  I still don't remember when my sister's anniversary is, other than it's sometime in the fall.

As for Prudie's advice, it's too harsh IMO.  Sure, the LW doesn't own the wedding date.  She already recongnizes that.  And I'm with the advice that she shouldn't skip the wedding.  But to sound like she's somehow acting like a SS just because she's privately miffed and plans to skip the engagement party...too much.  Just because Prudie herself doesn't put much stock in the wedding anniversary, doesn't mean that no one else should.  DH and I feel our anniversary is very special to us.  Does that mean that we never do something else on that day when other family and friends have something going on? Of course not.  But I too would have felt perfectly fine declining an engagement party so that I could celebrate my very first anniversay with my DH on the actual day.  This engagement party doesn't trump anything else that's special about that day any more than the LW's anniversary does.

Agreed. I think they should decline the engagement party, go to the wedding and let the rest go. And Prudie doesn't need to be so hard on her.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: Garden Goblin on February 28, 2013, 12:16:44 PM
I think it's silly to be upset by it, and I think it's petty and unreasonable to skip out on your own sibling's wedding over something like this. It's not an etiquette violation, but I'd think it was a pretty selfish way to behave, personally.

Depends on the rest of the family dynamic, but all things considered, there are 364 other days in the year for the siblings to schedule their wedding.  Unless there is some kind of reason why the venue or something else is only available on that specific date, the sibling should not have scheduled it then.

So if there are other family issues, then no, I don't think it's at all petty or unreasonable.  I think it could easily be more 'last straw' type thing.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: Sharnita on February 28, 2013, 12:17:16 PM
As far as the engagement party, ould they attend but arrive late or leave early and explain ahead of time that they will be doing so in order to celebrate their anniversary? I haven't attended many engagement parties (they are not all that common around here) but the ones I have been to that would work just fine.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: snowdragon on February 28, 2013, 12:18:03 PM
     The LW needs to come clean and tell her BIL that she won't come to the engagement party and why. She has a right to feel a bit peeved at the prospect of spending her first and second anniversaries honoring her BIL's marriage rather than her own. I wouldn't want to either.
       The fact that the engagement party is so long after the actual engagement makes me wonder if the BIL is trying to overshadow the LW and her husband.  While reading this thread, I thought about all the wedding anniversaries I know and you, know my brother was married 30 years ago this June and I still know his anniversary date. My best friend was married 23 years ago - and I know her date too. For some people, their wedding anniversaries are really important to them and to ask someone to spend their first two anniversaries not celebrating their own marriage borders on cruel. I could see the BIL's marriage taking place on teh second, but taking the first away from newly weds? Sorry, I would not go, either
 
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: TootsNYC on February 28, 2013, 12:19:46 PM
I disagree with Prudence.

I would be upset.  I don't know about the wedding, but I would certainly skip the engagement party.

I also wonder what else there is to the backstory.  I admit that my knee-jerk reaction is to assume that there is a long history of the brother one-upping the husband and always having to be the center of attention.  Because, really... 365 days in the year and you just happened to pick the one that is your brother's wedding date?  And to plan a major all-about-you party on your brother's first anniversary?  Really?  It sets my hinky-meter off.

As someone said upstream: If you want to have a wedding on the weekend in the spring, you don't have 365 days. You have, what, 12 weeks x 2 weekend days = 24.

In 2013, May 11 is on a Saturday. In 2014, May 11 is a Sunday. (Last year, May 11 was a Friday.)

I was going to say I think it's weird to have an engagement party that far in the future; I think they should be planned for soon--but if their culture has big, splashy parties, then if they announced this in the most recent couple of weeks, it's less than 3 months ahead.

The thing that might hurt *my* feelings is that they clearly didn't care whether I was at the engagement party. And I would already have a pretty strong commitment to spend that evening/day w/ my spouse since it's *MY* first anniversary. And the reason they don't know that is *not* that they didn't remember my wedding date (I wouldn't expect them to)

The reason they don't know is that they didn't check with me to see if I could make it. And that would sort of hurt my feelings.

I know you can celebrate an anniversary on a different date, but I really enjoyed celebrating mine ON the date, on the REAL date. With just us. Later anniversaries, eh, who cares.

So I'd be a little hurt, but I don't think I'd truly consider it completely wrong, no qualifiers.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: Sharnita on February 28, 2013, 12:20:46 PM
I think it's silly to be upset by it, and I think it's petty and unreasonable to skip out on your own sibling's wedding over something like this. It's not an etiquette violation, but I'd think it was a pretty selfish way to behave, personally.
Depends on the rest of the family dynamic, but all things considered, there are 364 other days in the year for the siblings to schedule their wedding. Unless there is some kind of reason why the venue or something else is only available on that specific date, the sibling should not have scheduled it then. So if there are other family issues, then no, I don't think it's at all petty or unreasonable. I think it could easily be more 'last straw' type thing.
And yet if they switched from the original plan to Christmas. New Year, LW/DH's birthday I would guess that LW would not thank them for their choice of one of the other 364 days.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: TootsNYC on February 28, 2013, 12:28:40 PM
I think it's silly to be upset by it, and I think it's petty and unreasonable to skip out on your own sibling's wedding over something like this. It's not an etiquette violation, but I'd think it was a pretty selfish way to behave, personally.
Depends on the rest of the family dynamic, but all things considered, there are 364 other days in the year for the siblings to schedule their wedding. Unless there is some kind of reason why the venue or something else is only available on that specific date, the sibling should not have scheduled it then. So if there are other family issues, then no, I don't think it's at all petty or unreasonable. I think it could easily be more 'last straw' type thing.

 And yet if they switched from the original plan to Christmas. New Year, LW/DH's birthday I would guess that LW would not thank them for their choice of one of the other 364 days.



Ha, ha!

So, let's subtract:

365 - Christmas - Christmas Eve - New Year's Eve - New Year's Eve Day - Thanksgiving Eve - Thanksgiving - Black Friday - Easter - Good Friday - Holy Saturday - Maundy Thursday - LW's bday - LW DH's bday = 352

If the family is Jewish, then the Easter holidays might not be as bad a time, but you'd have stuff like Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur to work around.

(Though to be fair, the LW might be far less upset about the idea of a wedding on her b'day than she is about a wedding on her wedding anniversary day.)
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: snowdragon on February 28, 2013, 12:31:22 PM
I think it's silly to be upset by it, and I think it's petty and unreasonable to skip out on your own sibling's wedding over something like this. It's not an etiquette violation, but I'd think it was a pretty selfish way to behave, personally.
Depends on the rest of the family dynamic, but all things considered, there are 364 other days in the year for the siblings to schedule their wedding. Unless there is some kind of reason why the venue or something else is only available on that specific date, the sibling should not have scheduled it then. So if there are other family issues, then no, I don't think it's at all petty or unreasonable. I think it could easily be more 'last straw' type thing.
And yet if they switched from the original plan to Christmas. New Year, LW/DH's birthday I would guess that LW would not thank them for their choice of one of the other 364 days.

possibly no thank them but I'd bet she'd be a lot less upset than this.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: flowersintheattic on February 28, 2013, 12:32:47 PM
I somewhat disagree with Prudie...but I also don't 100% agree with the LW. 

First, the LW's feelings, I think, are totally reasonable.  I too would be upset if I had to spend my first wedding anniversary at my BIL's engagement party and my second wedding anniversary at their wedding.  I don't really think it's too unreasonable for them to choose to skip the engagement party and spend their first anniversary celebrating together...on their actual anniversary.  If they aren't demanding the date be changed and remain all about them (and the LW does admit she doesn't own the date), then I think she's fine to feel how she feels and skip the engagement party.

I agree with this.  I'm also wondering if there's some back story with rivalry between the two brothers.  I can understand the best man/future groom not remembering that his brother got married on a specific date, but then to plan not only his engagement party but also his wedding for that specific date seems a bit too much of a coincidence to me.

I don't blame the LW for being a bit taken aback over it, but there's nothing she can do about that date.  I think she and her husband should go ahead and skip the engagement party and celebrate their first wedding anniversary how they want.

It's a pity the LW or husband isn't on eHell so we could find out if there is more to the story!

The bolded is what's bothering me about this. I tend to remember dates pretty easily, so it's hard for me to believe that the brother doesn't remember the date of a wedding he was in nine months ago, but I'm sure it's possible. But to plan two events on someone's anniversary in the two years immediately following their wedding? It sets off my hinky meter. Whether it's the LW or the brother being shady, though, is unknown.

And, I agree with PPs who are a little miffed with Prudie's attitude on anniversaries. Just because it's not special to her doesn't mean it's not special to anyone else. I think the LW's husband should let his brother know that they won't be able to make the engagement party, since it's their anniversary, but I do think they should attend the wedding.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: Snooks on February 28, 2013, 12:45:10 PM
I don't expect my brother remembers my anniversary and he was one of our witnesses. I'm surprised that the parents haven't said anything. I think  LW is perfectly fine not to go to the party.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: Deetee on February 28, 2013, 12:55:08 PM
The other thing is that any wedding with a decent size guest list is going overlap with a special day for the guests. Let's say 150 guests gives
-150 birthdays
-450 birthdays of close friends and family (giving each guest 3 close friends/family)
-30 wedding anniversaries (I'll go with 60 married guests)
- 30 anniversaries of deaths/sad events (approximently)
-20 graduations (or graduations of direct relatives)
-100 plus days that one CANNOT miss from work

And I haven't even touched on the fact that most people celebrate these events on weekends, not on the day of and that weddings (with travel) often take up a few days and that wedding "season" bunches up some of these (almost all weddings I attend are in the summer).

Even if we limit it to the bride, groom, bridal party and parents/very close relatives there are likely 25 people who have schedules and preferences that are going to be accomadated.

The bride and groom can consider their options and pick their date  and location and everyone else can accept or decline as they see fit.

So no, I see no reason for the letter writer to complain that 2 years after her wedding, there will be another wedding.  [If she thinks her anniversary is more important, she is welcome to decline. If this was a friend of mine, I would hope she would decline (and maybe all future invites as well-that sounds like someone who needs different friends than me)]
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: Redneck Gravy on February 28, 2013, 12:57:09 PM
I somewhat disagree with Prudie...but I also don't 100% agree with the LW. 

First, the LW's feelings, I think, are totally reasonable.  I too would be upset if I had to spend my first wedding anniversary at my BIL's engagement party and my second wedding anniversary at their wedding.  I don't really think it's too unreasonable for them to choose to skip the engagement party and spend their first anniversary celebrating together...on their actual anniversary.  If they aren't demanding the date be changed and remain all about them (and the LW does admit she doesn't own the date), then I think she's fine to feel how she feels and skip the engagement party.

I agree with this.  I'm also wondering if there's some back story with rivalry between the two brothers.  I can understand the best man/future groom not remembering that his brother got married on a specific date, but then to plan not only his engagement party but also his wedding for that specific date seems a bit too much of a coincidence to me.

I don't blame the LW for being a bit taken aback over it, but there's nothing she can do about that date.  I think she and her husband should go ahead and skip the engagement party and celebrate their first wedding anniversary how they want.

It's a pity the LW or husband isn't on eHell so we could find out if there is more to the story!

The bolded is what's bothering me about this. I tend to remember dates pretty easily, so it's hard for me to believe that the brother doesn't remember the date of a wedding he was in nine months ago, but I'm sure it's possible. But to plan two events on someone's anniversary in the two years immediately following their wedding? It sets off my hinky meter. Whether it's the LW or the brother being shady, though, is unknown.

And, I agree with PPs who are a little miffed with Prudie's attitude on anniversaries. Just because it's not special to her doesn't mean it's not special to anyone else. I think the LW's husband should let his brother know that they won't be able to make the engagement party, since it's their anniversary, but I do think they should attend the wedding.

This !  me too
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: Eden on February 28, 2013, 01:01:16 PM
I think it's a little weird and crappy to use the exact same wedding date as a sibling. But I don't think it's worth making a fuss. Maybe it's because I've been with my husband 15+ years so some of the "newness" has worn off, but I don't understand why the letter writer can't celebrate their anniversary the day before or after and suck it up and go support the new couple. We rarely celebrate on our actual anniversary, but rather on the next convenient weekend.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: WillyNilly on February 28, 2013, 01:18:06 PM
The other thing is that any wedding with a decent size guest list is going overlap with a special day for the guests. Let's say 150 guests gives
-150 birthdays
-450 birthdays of close friends and family (giving each guest 3 close friends/family)
-30 wedding anniversaries (I'll go with 60 married guests)
- 30 anniversaries of deaths/sad events (approximently)
-20 graduations (or graduations of direct relatives)
-100 plus days that one CANNOT miss from work

And I haven't even touched on the fact that most people celebrate these events on weekends, not on the day of and that weddings (with travel) often take up a few days and that wedding "season" bunches up some of these (almost all weddings I attend are in the summer).

Even if we limit it to the bride, groom, bridal party and parents/very close relatives there are likely 25 people who have schedules and preferences that are going to be accomadated.

The bride and groom can consider their options and pick their date  and location and everyone else can accept or decline as they see fit.

So no, I see no reason for the letter writer to complain that 2 years after her wedding, there will be another wedding.  [If she thinks her anniversary is more important, she is welcome to decline. If this was a friend of mine, I would hope she would decline (and maybe all future invites as well-that sounds like someone who needs different friends than me)]

But do really not see the difference between a date that important to a sibling - one you are close enough to stand up for at their wedding - and your cousin you see 2x a year or a friend?

The average wedding guest shows up 5-15 minutes pre-ceremony, and has no major obligations at the reception.  However a close sibling, possibly in the wedding party generally has stuff going on the day of their sibling's wedding from the time they wake up, with more getting ready and showing up earlier, and photo obligations, heck probably even a rehearsal the night before, they might have a part in the ceremony, maybe they need to wear a specific outfit chosen by the couple, they might even sit at a separate table from their spouse for dinner and have to have their first dance of the evening with a person other then their spouse, etc.

I think its reasonable for the brother to not have remembered the exact date the LW got married... but really would it have been so difficult to look at a calendar or ask the LW's DH, or their parents?  I mean it hasn't even been a year since the wedding - its not like its trying to remember the exact date of something that happened decades ago!
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: Sharnita on February 28, 2013, 01:24:03 PM
So I have 3 siblings who all have anniversaries, let's say I married a a guy with at least a couple of siblings, then there are our parents and their anniversaries.  Then there are family birthdays and big holidays.  As somebody mentioned there might be at least a few weekends where work would make it impossible.  I think even if you cede dates to "close" family it  is far too limiting, and that is before you even know what days the venue, officiant, etc. are available.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: NyaChan on February 28, 2013, 01:27:34 PM
I know that it can be difficult to schedule around a lot of anniversaries and it would build up, but surely one sibling's first anniversary wouldn't be impossible.  For me the sticking point in saying that she can just celebrate another day is that it is often preceded by, well I've been married a while and I've never minded - This couple hasn't been married for a while, they are at less than a year, they are newlyweds.  It is still a big deal to them.  That is not to say that the brother should have to schedule around it, he doesn't.  But he should accept that the consequence of that is that his brother won't be there. 
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: oogyda on February 28, 2013, 01:42:19 PM
Honestly, I really wouldn't care.  It's just not that big of a deal as I do believe anniversaries are really only special to the couple. 

But, when other people make it a big deal, it can be very irksome.  My neice (sister's DD) planned her wedding for my anniversary.  Quite deliberately, expecting it to make some sort of special *thing* between us (which my mother encouraged ::)).  That was never going to happen. 

Neice and I were/are not close. 
I don't/didn't condone many of her life choices.
Her fiance had been around for years (living together...not one of the choices I disapproved of) and, frankly, he made my skin crawl.

Other issues were that it's a very inconvenient time of year.  It closely follows a major holiday that people travel for, making it expensive and difficult to get time off for.  They invited YDD (17) to be a bridesmaid.  No problem, but I suspect they thought that would ensure that we all came.  YDD had a huge event that we had to plan and execute the following weekend.  She was taking a leadership office in an international organization that required a ceremony and reception to plan.  We put YDD on a plane, let her be a bridesmaid (and celebrate her 17the birthday) , while I planned her event and celebrated my own anniversary. 

This was kind of a case of "I really don't care.  Quit expecting me to."
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: *inviteseller on February 28, 2013, 01:47:09 PM
I think the LW has every reason to be miffed.  If her wedding had been more than just last May 11, then maybe they forgot the date.  But this just seems so deliberate...engagement party one year and wedding the next.  But, I would put on my best face, go to the engagement party for awhile, then leave quietly as possible to go celebrate with hubby.  And I would go to the wedding and just smile, smile, smile, because eventually, all the family is going to catch on that the second couple keeps planning everything for the same day and will start to wonder about copy catting.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: Garden Goblin on February 28, 2013, 01:47:34 PM
Unless there is some kind of reason why the venue or something else is only available on that specific date, the sibling should not have scheduled it then. So if there are other family issues, then no, I don't think it's at all petty or unreasonable. I think it could easily be more 'last straw' type thing.
And yet if they switched from the original plan to Christmas. New Year, LW/DH's birthday I would guess that LW would not thank them for their choice of one of the other 364 days.
[/quote]

Okay, so there are only about 330 other days they can choose from.  Point still stands.  There are at 7 other weekend dates that month alone.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: Docslady21 on February 28, 2013, 01:57:49 PM
When you think about it, the number of days on which one can be married are actually quite limited. They are limited by the following:

Weekends vs. Weekdays--one is going to have more attendance
Sunday vs. Saturday vs. Friday
Weather--if it's outdoors, you need to plan for a mild season; if that is only 1 or 2 months, then you are actually looking at 6 possible weekends, maybe 8
Holidays--scheduling on one is going to limit attendance
Price--off season or pre-season gives better rates
Other Family--maybe the parents can only attend at a certain time, maybe someone is sick
Pregnancy
Career
Moving
Venue Availability
Savings
Bad Dates--anniversary of divorce, death of loved one, previous marriage anniversary, death of child ...

So, it's quite possible the couple looked at the calendar and decided it worked with no ill will whatsoever.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: Sharnita on February 28, 2013, 01:59:45 PM
ell, yes, there are 330 days if we believe they should be having their wedding on a Tuesday or Thursday before they tread on the sacred ground of using the same date as LW.  I am not sure a lot of people would agree with with that.

And we don't know that there are 7 weekend dates that month.  We don't know what other "special days" family members are celebrating that month.  We don't know when the venue was available.  We don't know a whole lot so assuming they could do it all these differerent days seems pretty presumptuous.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: Margo on February 28, 2013, 02:01:17 PM
I can very easily believe that the brother forgot the date of his brother's wedding. I was bridesmaid for my sister less than 6 months ago and if you asked me to tell you the date it took place I'd have to stop and think about it, and I am generally good with dates. The event and the individuals concerned were, and are, very important to me, but the specific date? Not so much.

Also, it sounds as though neither LW nor her husband have actually said anything to Brother about the clash, so they don't know whether or not he remembered, or whether he and his bride would be able to move the engagement party.

I think they'd be fine to decline attending the party and to explain that this was because they already had plans for celebrating their own 1st anniversary that day. But I also think that for something as important as a sibling's wedding (and apparently the brothers are close enough that H asked his brother to be best man), LW and her husband should be prepared to go to the wedding even if that means that celebrating their **2nd** anniversary takes a back seat.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: cutejellybeen on February 28, 2013, 02:12:59 PM
I got married last year. when it came to choosing dates in June for me there weren't many options, too early -I could still be cold, and the second weekend my cousin had gotten married the year before, so I ruled that out. that left June 16th and June 23rd. As I wanted the later part of the month I chose the 23rd. Before I booked anything I asked our parents, and our siblings if that date was okay for them or a conflict. Turns out it was my husbands parents anniversary. I asked if they minded "sharing" and they said okay. Had they had an issue I would have privately pouted, but I would have changed the date.  I guess even if the brother didnt remember the date a sibling got married, I would have thought he would have asked around to make sure dates worked for the family. Perhaps not for the engagement party, but certainly for a wedding!
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: snowdragon on February 28, 2013, 02:21:16 PM
even if we take just Saturday days and Sundays as the only possible days to hold a wedding there are 7 other days that month alone that this couple could have held their engagement party and wedding. If they wanted to. The significance of a distant family members anniversary should not be give the same weight as a brother's first anniversary because most people are not going to be too upset if an aunt or a cousin does not show up to an engagement party ( or even a wedding) but they will be if a sibling declines. Nor is anyone else going to feel the same weight of obligation to attend as a sibling.
   Also in 2014 the only holidays that border weekends are July 4th, Labor Day and Memorial Day ( and of Course Easter) each is either a Friday or a Monday  so that still leaves 6 other possible days that month alone and 98 other days that they could choose from.  My Hinkey alarm is really going off.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: Sharnita on February 28, 2013, 02:24:31 PM
even if we take just Saturday days and Sundays as the only possible days to hold a wedding there are 7 other days that month alone that this couple could have held their engagement party and wedding. If they wanted to. The significance of a distant family members anniversary should not be give the same weight as a brother's first anniversary because most people are not going to be too upset if an aunt or a cousin does not show up to an engagement party ( or even a wedding) but they will be if a sibling declines. Nor is anyone else going to feel the same weight of obligation to attend as a sibling.
   Also in 2014 the only holidays that border weekends are July 4th, Labor Day and Memorial Day ( and of Course Easter) each is either a Friday or a Monday  so that still leaves 6 other possible days that month alone and 98 other days that they could choose from.  My Hinkey alarm is really going off.

If they want to, if the venue was available, if the HC had no other commitments or obligations those evenings, if there were not other family members with important dates, if the officiant was available, if the venue was available
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: fountainof on February 28, 2013, 02:29:45 PM
My sister got married on the same weekend 4 years later from my wedding.  We don't have the exact same anniversary but they are only two days off, mine the 3rd, hers the 5th.  My Dh and I never had an issue spending our anniversary at a wedding in the next province, I never really thought about it much. 

In my area there really aren't 12 months to get married as no one marries from Nov-Apr, it is just too cold.  Okay maybe a couple people do get married but not many that is for sure.  So wedding season is just 6 months long.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: bah12 on February 28, 2013, 02:30:46 PM
To me, to have a wedding on the anniversary of an engagement party, I would assume that they are purposely picking that date for some reason.  Whether it's because they want to "steal" the date from the LW or because that date hold some special significance for them as a couple (like did they by chance meet on that date, start dating on that date, etc), we'll never know.  But it doesn't really matter.

For me, the LW is more than justified to miss the engagement party and celebrate her first wedding anniversay instead.  I think that she should definitely attend the wedding.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: lady_disdain on February 28, 2013, 02:31:52 PM
I can very easily believe that the brother forgot the date of his brother's wedding. I was bridesmaid for my sister less than 6 months ago and if you asked me to tell you the date it took place I'd have to stop and think about it, and I am generally good with dates. The event and the individuals concerned were, and are, very important to me, but the specific date? Not so much.

Count me in. My sister married last year and I was her witness. My cousin got married the following day (fun, fun weekend). But I really can't remember the date. I think it was the 17th or 19th of October but when I first thought about it, I was guessing September.

Unless there is a lot more backstory, I would go for "didn't even think about it" over petty revenge.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: snowdragon on February 28, 2013, 02:32:51 PM
even if we take just Saturday days and Sundays as the only possible days to hold a wedding there are 7 other days that month alone that this couple could have held their engagement party and wedding. If they wanted to. The significance of a distant family members anniversary should not be give the same weight as a brother's first anniversary because most people are not going to be too upset if an aunt or a cousin does not show up to an engagement party ( or even a wedding) but they will be if a sibling declines. Nor is anyone else going to feel the same weight of obligation to attend as a sibling.
   Also in 2014 the only holidays that border weekends are July 4th, Labor Day and Memorial Day ( and of Course Easter) each is either a Friday or a Monday  so that still leaves 6 other possible days that month alone and 98 other days that they could choose from.  My Hinkey alarm is really going off.

If they want to, if the venue was available, if the HC had no other commitments or obligations those evenings, if there were not other family members with important dates, if the officiant was available, if the venue was available

I'm sorry, I really think this BIL could have given more consideration to the obligations of his brother and SIL - his wedding to be and especially his engagement party are not more important than his brother's first and second anniversary.   The idea that this couple is blameless and the LW and her husband need to suck it up and deal is giving the LW the short shrift. Why are the feelings of the BIL and his girl friend so much more important than those of the LW and her husband? 
  I would not blame the LW and her hubby one bit if they boycotted both events.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: lady_disdain on February 28, 2013, 02:35:35 PM
Boycott? That is harsh! They may politely decline to go, if they wish, but boycotting is over top.

What most people are saying is that the couple had the right to choose that date. That doesn't mean the LW has to go to the wedding, though.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: Poppea on February 28, 2013, 02:57:08 PM
Second, you figure that in general most people want to wed on a Saturday.  It is obviously OK to choose a different date but to avoid work conflicst, allow travel time, etc. Saturday seems to be the only option that makes sense for a lot of couples.


How does this play into anything?  The couple is planning on May 11 2014 - a Sunday.

A would assume that the letter writer changed the date.  Otherwise anyone reading the column would know who wrote it.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: Poppea on February 28, 2013, 03:00:13 PM
even if we take just Saturday days and Sundays as the only possible days to hold a wedding there are 7 other days that month alone that this couple could have held their engagement party and wedding. If they wanted to. The significance of a distant family members anniversary should not be give the same weight as a brother's first anniversary because most people are not going to be too upset if an aunt or a cousin does not show up to an engagement party ( or even a wedding) but they will be if a sibling declines. Nor is anyone else going to feel the same weight of obligation to attend as a sibling.
   Also in 2014 the only holidays that border weekends are July 4th, Labor Day and Memorial Day ( and of Course Easter) each is either a Friday or a Monday  so that still leaves 6 other possible days that month alone and 98 other days that they could choose from.  My Hinkey alarm is really going off.

If they want to, if the venue was available, if the HC had no other commitments or obligations those evenings, if there were not other family members with important dates, if the officiant was available, if the venue was available

I'm sorry, I really think this BIL could have given more consideration to the obligations of his brother and SIL - his wedding to be and especially his engagement party are not more important than his brother's first and second anniversary.  The idea that this couple is blameless and the LW and her husband need to suck it up and deal is giving the LW the short shrift. Why are the feelings of the BIL and his girl friend so much more important than those of the LW and her husband? 
  I would not blame the LW and her hubby one bit if they boycotted both events.

Of course they are more important.  Duh.  Their wedding vs siblings anniversary.  Your own wedding always wins.  Its not like anyone is invited to celebrate the anniversary anyway.  So the sibling doesn't go to the engagement party?  So what.  Boycotting your sibling's wedding becasue its your wedding date?  A sibling close enough that he was your best man?  What a baby
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: Arrynne on February 28, 2013, 03:06:34 PM
I would probably feel the same way as the letter writer.  While the LW doesn't -own- the date, it's still a little odd that her in-law would choose the same date to be married just a few years later.  I would probably skip the engagement party as that would be the LW's first anniversary, and go to the wedding.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: Poppea on February 28, 2013, 03:12:27 PM
The LW will be send another note to Prudie in a few years.

Dear Prudence'

My SIL is expecting a baby in a few weeks.  They have chosen the name (fill in any name on top ten list).  I am besides myself.  We aren't planning to have children for a few more years, but I have always loved that name and have planned on naming my own child X.  Although I never told her this was my baby name, I think its unfair for her to use it.  Should I let her know that I am upset?  Or just boycott the christening?

Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: snowdragon on February 28, 2013, 03:18:25 PM
even if we take just Saturday days and Sundays as the only possible days to hold a wedding there are 7 other days that month alone that this couple could have held their engagement party and wedding. If they wanted to. The significance of a distant family members anniversary should not be give the same weight as a brother's first anniversary because most people are not going to be too upset if an aunt or a cousin does not show up to an engagement party ( or even a wedding) but they will be if a sibling declines. Nor is anyone else going to feel the same weight of obligation to attend as a sibling.
   Also in 2014 the only holidays that border weekends are July 4th, Labor Day and Memorial Day ( and of Course Easter) each is either a Friday or a Monday  so that still leaves 6 other possible days that month alone and 98 other days that they could choose from.  My Hinkey alarm is really going off.

If they want to, if the venue was available, if the HC had no other commitments or obligations those evenings, if there were not other family members with important dates, if the officiant was available, if the venue was available

I'm sorry, I really think this BIL could have given more consideration to the obligations of his brother and SIL - his wedding to be and especially his engagement party are not more important than his brother's first and second anniversary.  The idea that this couple is blameless and the LW and her husband need to suck it up and deal is giving the LW the short shrift. Why are the feelings of the BIL and his girl friend so much more important than those of the LW and her husband? 
  I would not blame the LW and her hubby one bit if they boycotted both events.

Of course they are more important.  Duh.  Their wedding vs siblings anniversary.  Your own wedding always wins.  Its not like anyone is invited to celebrate the anniversary anyway.  So the sibling doesn't go to the engagement party?  So what.  Boycotting your sibling's wedding becasue its your wedding date?  A sibling close enough that he was your best man?  What a baby

Interesting that you have make your point by calling names.....
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: fountainof on February 28, 2013, 03:22:27 PM
In my case, I don't recall if my sister ever consulted me about her wedding date choice.  Maybe I should ask her.  I certainly didn't care as it didn't steal any kind of thunder.

Would the date be okay if the BIL chose May 9th or 10th or is that whole week off limits indefinately?

Maybe, just maybe I would skip the engagment party (probably just because I don't feel engagement parties are necessary) but I would go to the wedding and quietly think of my own anniversary there.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: Poppea on February 28, 2013, 03:23:03 PM
even if we take just Saturday days and Sundays as the only possible days to hold a wedding there are 7 other days that month alone that this couple could have held their engagement party and wedding. If they wanted to. The significance of a distant family members anniversary should not be give the same weight as a brother's first anniversary because most people are not going to be too upset if an aunt or a cousin does not show up to an engagement party ( or even a wedding) but they will be if a sibling declines. Nor is anyone else going to feel the same weight of obligation to attend as a sibling.
   Also in 2014 the only holidays that border weekends are July 4th, Labor Day and Memorial Day ( and of Course Easter) each is either a Friday or a Monday  so that still leaves 6 other possible days that month alone and 98 other days that they could choose from.  My Hinkey alarm is really going off.

If they want to, if the venue was available, if the HC had no other commitments or obligations those evenings, if there were not other family members with important dates, if the officiant was available, if the venue was available

I'm sorry, I really think this BIL could have given more consideration to the obligations of his brother and SIL - his wedding to be and especially his engagement party are not more important than his brother's first and second anniversary.  The idea that this couple is blameless and the LW and her husband need to suck it up and deal is giving the LW the short shrift. Why are the feelings of the BIL and his girl friend so much more important than those of the LW and her husband? 
  I would not blame the LW and her hubby one bit if they boycotted both events.

Of course they are more important.  Duh.  Their wedding vs siblings anniversary.  Your own wedding always wins.  Its not like anyone is invited to celebrate the anniversary anyway.  So the sibling doesn't go to the engagement party?  So what.  Boycotting your sibling's wedding becasue its your wedding date?  A sibling close enough that he was your best man?  What a baby

Interesting that you have make your point by calling names.....

What name?
I didn't call anyone a name.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: WillyNilly on February 28, 2013, 03:23:52 PM
The LW will be send another note to Prudie in a few years.

Dear Prudence'

My SIL is expecting a baby in a few weeks.  They have chosen the name (fill in any name on top ten list).  I am besides myself.  We aren't planning to have children for a few more years, but I have always loved that name and have planned on naming my own child X.  Although I never told her this was my baby name, I think its unfair for her to use it.  Should I let her know that I am upset?  Or just boycott the christening?

Totally not comparable. The date isn't the LW's secret maybe someday dream date, its her less than a year ago already carved in stone anniversary.

Second, you figure that in general most people want to wed on a Saturday.  It is obviously OK to choose a different date but to avoid work conflicst, allow travel time, etc. Saturday seems to be the only option that makes sense for a lot of couples.


How does this play into anything?  The couple is planning on May 11 2014 - a Sunday.

A would assume that the letter writer changed the date.  Otherwise anyone reading the column would know who wrote it.

Regardless - pick any date - its never going to hit on a Saturday 3 years in a row.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: Poppea on February 28, 2013, 03:24:16 PM
Please check your definitions before you make accusations.

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/duh
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: SiotehCat on February 28, 2013, 03:24:56 PM
Please check your definitions before you make accusations.

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/duh

Im pretty sure that the poster is talking about the "what a baby" part of your post. Maybe I am wrong.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: Poppea on February 28, 2013, 03:27:13 PM
The LW will be send another note to Prudie in a few years.

Dear Prudence'

My SIL is expecting a baby in a few weeks.  They have chosen the name (fill in any name on top ten list).  I am besides myself.  We aren't planning to have children for a few more years, but I have always loved that name and have planned on naming my own child X.  Although I never told her this was my baby name, I think its unfair for her to use it.  Should I let her know that I am upset?  Or just boycott the christening?

Totally not comparable. The date isn't the LW's secret maybe someday dream date, its her less than a year ago already carved in stone anniversary.

Second, you figure that in general most people want to wed on a Saturday.  It is obviously OK to choose a different date but to avoid work conflicst, allow travel time, etc. Saturday seems to be the only option that makes sense for a lot of couples.


How does this play into anything?  The couple is planning on May 11 2014 - a Sunday.

A would assume that the letter writer changed the date.  Otherwise anyone reading the column would know who wrote it.

Regardless - pick any date - its never going to hit on a Saturday 3 years in a row.

My point about the baby name is that the LW seems to think its all about her.  The date for the engagement and wedding are probablyy very special to the bride/groom.  And just as you cannot claim a baby name you can't call dibs on a weddings date forever.  Sure it will always be special to you, but noone else will remember its your date or care.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: Poppea on February 28, 2013, 03:29:16 PM
Please check your definitions before you make accusations.

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/duh

Im pretty sure that the poster is talking about the "what a baby" part of your post. Maybe I am wrong.

Since I was referring to someone who boycotts a wedding because its on their second anniversary, I did not think Snowdragon would take that personally.  Snowdragon - I was calling anyone who boycotts the wedding for their best man/sibling because its on their second anniversary a baby.  Not you.

Thanks for the clarification.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: SiotehCat on February 28, 2013, 03:33:07 PM
Please check your definitions before you make accusations.

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/duh

Im pretty sure that the poster is talking about the "what a baby" part of your post. Maybe I am wrong.

Since I was referring to someone who boycotts a wedding because its on their second anniversary, I did not think Snowdragon would take that personally.

Well, its their anniversary. I can't blame them for wanting to celebrate their anniversary.

The brother and fiance can choose whatever day they want for their wedding and engagement party, but the LW does not have to attend. The LW and her husband can decline the invitation because they already have plans for those days.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: Sharnita on February 28, 2013, 03:38:13 PM
I don't think anyone blames them for wanting to celebrate their anniversary.  I do think there are some who think there are more than one way to celebrate so being at a party doesn't automatically mean you aren't celebrating the anniversary.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: Aeris on February 28, 2013, 03:40:12 PM
Please check your definitions before you make accusations.

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/duh

Im pretty sure that the poster is talking about the "what a baby" part of your post. Maybe I am wrong.

Since I was referring to someone who boycotts a wedding because its on their second anniversary, I did not think Snowdragon would take that personally.

Well, its their anniversary. I can't blame them for wanting to celebrate their anniversary.

The brother and fiance can choose whatever day they want for their wedding and engagement party, but the LW does not have to attend. The LW and her husband can decline the invitation because they already have plans for those days.

They could also decline because they don't like the main course the HC is serving, or because they find the centerpieces unattractive, but that would still be petty and selfish. It's not an etiquette violation, but it's still a relationship fail.

And before anyone flips their lid, no, I'm not saying these situations are perfectly identical in every way. I'm making the point that people can decline for any reason they like, but that doesn't protect them from other people deciding their reasons for declining are unreasonable.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: Poppea on February 28, 2013, 03:40:59 PM
Please check your definitions before you make accusations.

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/duh

Im pretty sure that the poster is talking about the "what a baby" part of your post. Maybe I am wrong.

Since I was referring to someone who boycotts a wedding because its on their second anniversary, I did not think Snowdragon would take that personally.

Well, its their anniversary. I can't blame them for wanting to celebrate their anniversary.

The brother and fiance can choose whatever day they want for their wedding and engagement party, but the LW does not have to attend. The LW and her husband can decline the invitation because they already have plans for those days.

I think it fine to decline.  Be prepared for whatever fallout there may be in the family.  But "boycott" is far harsher than "decline".  Boycott implies a protest and expressing disapproval.  Its a very negative action.  Far harsher than declining. 
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: SiotehCat on February 28, 2013, 03:41:07 PM
I don't think anyone blames them for wanting to celebrate their anniversary.  I do think there are some who think there are more than one way to celebrate so being at a party doesn't automatically mean you aren't celebrating the anniversary.

Oh, I agree.

My comment was more about the "boycotting" response.

My point was more that, if they didn't want to attend so that they could celebrate their own anniversary, they didn't have to. It would still be viewed as boycotting the wedding, but they would technically be fine to do that.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: Eeep! on February 28, 2013, 03:56:29 PM
Many moons ago my DH and I celebrated our 1st anniversary by staying a the same place we spent the first night of our honeymoon.  It was really special for us and important that is was on the date.  Subsequent anniversaries haven't been as important.  Heck, this year we had a 7 month old and a 3 year old and had take-out Thai after they went to bed. :)  But, the first? Yeah, I wouldn't want to spend it at someone else's engagement party.  So I can understand the write'rs point with that.

As to expecting someone to remember the date? I am terrible with dates. I sometimes get our anniversary mixed up with the previous weekend that we were also considereing. heh. So I don't know that I would necessarily expect the brother to remember the exact date. However, I would think that he would remember the month and that it might occur to him to look up when his brother's wedding was. But I can't necessarily fault him for not doing that.

So I think the LW's husband would be fine telling his brother "Hey, sorry about your engagement party but we already have plans as it is our anniversary."  If there isn't some sort of rivalry between the brothers, I would hope that would be understood.

Although the cynical side of me wonders how the brother would feel if the situation was reversed. The date is clearly important to him. Would he be willing to spend his first and second anniversaries celebrating someone else's marriage?  Who knows...
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: Poppea on February 28, 2013, 03:56:45 PM
The trouble with "boycotting" anything is that it can come back to bite you.  You will have poisoned the relationship.  They have every right to not attend.  And the HC has every right to not invite them to any further celebrations and events in their life.  Or attend their events in their events in the future.  It can start a cascade of ill will. 

If my SIL had "boycotted" my wedding because of her second anniversary, I certainly wouldn't have been in any hurry to attend any christenings graduations or holidays for her family. 

If there isn't an etiquette rule about making an extra effort to attend the weddings of those who have been in your wedding party, there certainly should be.  Its really common decency that if someone has put themselves out timewise and financially that you should at least try to reciprocate
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: Poppea on February 28, 2013, 03:58:35 PM
Many moons ago my DH and I celebrated our 1st anniversary by staying a the same place we spent the first night of our honeymoon.  It was really special for us and important that is was on the date.  Subsequent anniversaries haven't been as important.  Heck, this year we had a 7 month old and a 3 year old and had take-out Thai after they went to bed. :)  But, the first? Yeah, I wouldn't want to spend it at someone else's engagement party.  So I can understand the write'rs point with that.

As to expecting someone to remember the date? I am terrible with dates. I sometimes get our anniversary mixed up with the previous weekend that we were also considereing. heh. So I don't know that I would necessarily expect the brother to remember the exact date. However, I would think that he would remember the month and that it might occur to him to look up when his brother's wedding was. But I can't necessarily fault him for not doing that.

So I think the LW's husband would be fine telling his brother "Hey, sorry about your engagement party but we already have plans as it is our anniversary."  If there isn't some sort of rivalry between the brothers, I would hope that would be understood.

Although the cynical side of me wonders how the brother would feel if the situation was reversed. The date is clearly important to him. Would he be willing to spend his first and second anniversaries celebrating someone else's marriage?  Who knows...

If the date is really important to him, then he already spent it celebrating his brother's marriage last year.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: SiotehCat on February 28, 2013, 03:59:34 PM
The trouble with "boycotting" anything is that it can come back to bite you.  You will have poisoned the relationship.  They have every right to not attend.  And the HC has every right to not invite them to any further celebrations and events in their life.  Or attend their events in their events in the future.  It can start a cascade of ill will. 

True, but that could also be the trouble with picking the same wedding date as your brother.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: RingTailedLemur on February 28, 2013, 04:02:42 PM
I'm not sure how "upset" I would be, but I would certainly be very weirded out.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: Shortylicious on February 28, 2013, 04:03:02 PM
Personally I wouldn't get too worked up about this. I did plan a special date for my one year anniversary so if someone in my family planned a party that day, I'd decline and not feel guilty about it at all. I would go to the wedding though. Family weddings are a big deal to me. Two year anniversary wouldn't be enough to keep me from going.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: Poppea on February 28, 2013, 04:20:30 PM
The trouble with "boycotting" anything is that it can come back to bite you.  You will have poisoned the relationship.  They have every right to not attend.  And the HC has every right to not invite them to any further celebrations and events in their life.  Or attend their events in their events in the future.  It can start a cascade of ill will. 

True, but that could also be the trouble with picking the same wedding date as your brother.

Agreed.  But I think there is some stuff you have to just deal with.  Engagement party vs First Anniversary.  I think its fine to decline.  Sibling Wedding vs Second Anniversary?  I think its not just the sibling that is affected.  If I heard about anyone boycotting a sibling wedding becasue it their anniversary, I would really wonder about their maturity. 
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: TootsNYC on February 28, 2013, 04:34:53 PM
To me, to have a wedding on the anniversary of an engagement party, I would assume that they are purposely picking that date for some reason.  Whether it's because they want to "steal" the date from the LW or because that date hold some special significance for them as a couple (like did they by chance meet on that date, start dating on that date, etc), we'll never know.  But it doesn't really matter.

For me, the LW is more than justified to miss the engagement party and celebrate her first wedding anniversay instead.  I think that she should definitely attend the wedding.

I agree.

If only because the 2nd wedding anniversary wasn't nearly as important to me. But the first one was.

And I also hope everyone has gone to read the original letter. The letter write is not actually that unreasonable.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: *inviteseller on February 28, 2013, 04:36:54 PM
I think this poor letter writer is getting flack for wanting to celebrate her anniversary with her husband.  Some people do not care about their anniversaries or are ok celebrating whenever they get a chance.  The LW wants to celebrate her first anniversary with her husband, not at a party for BIL.   I don't think her feelings are wrong.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: Two Ravens on February 28, 2013, 04:39:31 PM
Presumably, she'd be with her husband at the engagement party...

She wants to be alone with her husband to celebrate their anniversary? That's great, she can do it before or after the party (she could even leave early or come late.) She seems to want the whole day to be just for them though.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: Sharnita on February 28, 2013, 04:43:59 PM
I do agree that that seems like a reasonable option but also the reality is she isn't writing that her concern is really the 1st anniversary and that she wouldn't mind attending the wedding so much.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: Two Ravens on February 28, 2013, 04:46:39 PM
From the letter it sounds like she has already decided to skip the party.

Quote
We know an engagement party can be skipped, and we will skip it because it's our first wedding anniversary.


But it seems she is seriously considering skipping the wedding as well.

Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: Judah on February 28, 2013, 04:48:41 PM
I think this poor letter writer is getting flack for wanting to celebrate her anniversary with her husband.  Some people do not care about their anniversaries or are ok celebrating whenever they get a chance.  The LW wants to celebrate her first anniversary with her husband, not at a party for BIL.   I don't think her feelings are wrong.

The vibe I got from the letter was that she wanted the date to be hers and her husbands in perpetuity. I think that's unreasonable. I understand wanting to celebrate her first anniversary with her husband and skipping the party. I can't understand skipping the wedding to celebrate the second anniversary. Nor can I understand dates being off limits for people to have their wedding on. I don't understand that at all. And I don't understand what she wants the BIL to do. Should he change the proposed date of his wedding to suit the LW? I don't think that's reasonable.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: Redneck Gravy on February 28, 2013, 04:52:31 PM
I would like to make a lot of assumptions here...

Assume BIL asks his fiancee to marry him, she says yes and would love a May wedding.  She picks May 11th (for whatever reason she has)  BIL knows his brother got married last May but truly doesn't remember the date so he agrees (after all the first thing you want to agree on with your future mate is the date of your wedding right?)

BIL & Fiancee assume it's a good date.  We don't know how much time has passed between this announcement and the letter to Prudence.  Could have been yesterday or months ago...I understand LW's annoyance (and she is the first one to say I don't own that date) but truthfully other than the engagement party what's the problem?  LW and hubby can celebrate their first anniversary earlier than the engagement party (same day) and attend the engagement party or celebrate their anniversary on a different day or they can skip the engagement party.  I see no excuse for missing BIL's wedding.  Surely BIL will understand skipping the engagement party since he is now heading into matrimony himself.     

AFter BIL wedding, in future years both HC's can celebrate their anniversaries together or separately.  LW is going to learn through the years that no couple can celebrate their anniversary on the exact date EVERY year (if that means going out to do something special - obviously they could do something special together at home).   

Ideally, BIL would have remembered that his brothers wedding was May 11th the previous year and discouraged financee from that date but what else could he have done? And unless someone immediately said hey that's your brother's anniversary, you might want to rethink that date, BIL is kinda stuck KWIM?
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: Poppea on February 28, 2013, 04:56:03 PM
I think this poor letter writer is getting flack for wanting to celebrate her anniversary with her husband.  Some people do not care about their anniversaries or are ok celebrating whenever they get a chance.  The LW wants to celebrate her first anniversary with her husband, not at a party for BIL.   I don't think her feelings are wrong.

i don't think anyone is criticizing her about the first anniversary vs the engagement party.  Its boycotting the wedding because of the anniversary.  Why not just celebrate at lunchtime?  Or the day before.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: Bluenomi on February 28, 2013, 05:01:36 PM
My step mum's youngest brother got married on SM and Dad's 20something wedding anniversay. She thought it was awesome! Dad for the CM and told a lovely story about how brother was page boy at their wedding x years ago and it nice it was to be here years later watching him get married.

They didn't realise it was SM and Dad's anniversary when they picked it, they wanted a May wedding and that was the only weekend that worked for the venue, bride, groom and their parents.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: twiggy on February 28, 2013, 05:02:02 PM
Wow, Prudie really raked her over the coals. I thought the comment about no one caring about LW's anniversary until Congress makes it an official holiday was especially mean-spirited.

Even if it was a thoughtless oversight on the part of the newly engaged couple, with no malicious intent, I still don't think there's a problem with LW and her DH skipping the engagement party.

Different things are important to different people. I like celebrating my anniversary. I don't usually remember my birthday, but I make sure that we do something for the kids. For my anniversary though, I'd like to get out of town, or get a sitter and a hotel room. Something special for just me and DH. Things get crazy, and we don't get whole days to spend just the two of us very often. Um, actually almost never. LW may not have the child care issues that DH and I do, but they may very well want to go out of town, or spend the day where they had their honeymoon. A friend of mine has spent 3 of her 6 anniversary weekends at the cabins they honeymooned at, 3 hours away. You can't do that and make it to a wedding the same weekend. And in one fell swoop, LW sees her first two anniversaries 'dibsed' for BIL's wedding. If it were me, I would worry about it being a sign of exactly where I stood in my new family
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: Poppea on February 28, 2013, 05:02:22 PM
Okay, I just reread the original letter the LW explicitly states:

"My husband sent him an email back that it probably wasn't the best date but we would make it work if nothing else could be considered. There is no indication my brother-in-law is looking to change the dates. "

They have already told the BIL they weren't thrilled by the date  but would be there.  And now that they aren't changing the date she doesn't want to go?  Not going at this point would make them both look very childish.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: Arrynne on February 28, 2013, 05:02:30 PM
My guess is the date is important to the second couple.  Total speculation here, but I bet the brother, all caught up in the excitement and romance of his brother's wedding, and them all dressed up and dancing, etc proposed to his girlfriend at his brother's wedding, and that's why the date is important (or it was their first "real" date, etc)... which should firmly put "oh that's my brother's anniversary!" in their minds.

I think you might be on to something here.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: Hmmmmm on February 28, 2013, 05:11:32 PM
I think this poor letter writer is getting flack for wanting to celebrate her anniversary with her husband.  Some people do not care about their anniversaries or are ok celebrating whenever they get a chance.  The LW wants to celebrate her first anniversary with her husband, not at a party for BIL.   I don't think her feelings are wrong.

I don't think anyone is giving her flack for wanting to celebrate her wedding anniversary, or at least I haven't found the post that does.

I think we all just having varying opinions on whether you can still celebrate your wedding anniversary if you are also attending an engagement party.  I personally would think it extremely romantic to end my weekend anniversary celebration by toasting the upcoming wedding of a sibling.

Obviously the groom to be was sending out emails to family members as a heads up. The only thing I'm giving them flack about is not being more direct in saying "that's our anniversary and we already had plans."
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: JacklynHyde on February 28, 2013, 05:23:07 PM
Shared dates can be made special.  My youngest cousin and his wife set their wedding date on my brother and SIL's fifth anniversary.  At the reception, after the father / daughter dance, the HC invited my brother and SIL to a special anniversary dance to celebrate them.  Their young daughter joined them on the floor, making it a moving, lovely moment for the extended family.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: bah12 on February 28, 2013, 06:52:00 PM
I think this poor letter writer is getting flack for wanting to celebrate her anniversary with her husband.  Some people do not care about their anniversaries or are ok celebrating whenever they get a chance.  The LW wants to celebrate her first anniversary with her husband, not at a party for BIL.   I don't think her feelings are wrong.

The vibe I got from the letter was that she wanted the date to be hers and her husbands in perpetuity. I think that's unreasonable. I understand wanting to celebrate her first anniversary with her husband and skipping the party. I can't understand skipping the wedding to celebrate the second anniversary. Nor can I understand dates being off limits for people to have their wedding on. I don't understand that at all. And I don't understand what she wants the BIL to do. Should he change the proposed date of his wedding to suit the LW? I don't think that's reasonable.

And see, I didn't get that all.  I didn't get the sense that she was saying that no one could pick her anniversary to do anything on, but that she's thinking that she's going to spend every anniversary with her husband celebrating and won't be willing to do anything else.

The difference between saying "How do I get them to change the date?" vs what she really said which was "How do I tell them I'm not coming to the wedding."

I do think she should go to the wedding...but I don't think she's out of line to skip the engagement party.  Especially considering that it's her very first anniversary. 
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: Rohanna on February 28, 2013, 07:58:02 PM
My sister and I have wedding anniversaries 2 days apart, and children with birthdays a single day apart and neither of these bother me. However, this does make me a bit suspicious of the engaged brothers motivations as it takes up that date not once, but twice. It seems very strange to hold two parties a year apart on the same day. I personally would skip the engagement party if it interfered with my plans, and attend the wedding. I have very fond memories of my first anniversary out with my husband (he surprised me by getting the hotel to "re-do" our wedding meal and a mini-cake, as we had little time to enjoy the meal and the cake was all eaten before we got back to it after cake cutting! It was very sweet and still makes me smile...)  However, I spent my 4th anniversary as a bridesmaid and it didn't bother us as much, not being the first or a milestone date. The bride was very gracious and sat me with my husband rather than at a "head" table so we could spend some time together.

Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: TootsNYC on February 28, 2013, 08:01:36 PM
I think this poor letter writer is getting flack for wanting to celebrate her anniversary with her husband.  Some people do not care about their anniversaries or are ok celebrating whenever they get a chance.  The LW wants to celebrate her first anniversary with her husband, not at a party for BIL.   I don't think her feelings are wrong.

The vibe I got from the letter was that she wanted the date to be hers and her husbands in perpetuity. I think that's unreasonable. I understand wanting to celebrate her first anniversary with her husband and skipping the party. I can't understand skipping the wedding to celebrate the second anniversary. Nor can I understand dates being off limits for people to have their wedding on. I don't understand that at all. And I don't understand what she wants the BIL to do. Should he change the proposed date of his wedding to suit the LW? I don't think that's reasonable.

And see, I didn't get that all. I didn't get the sense that she was saying that no one could pick her anniversary to do anything on, but that she's thinking that she's going to spend every anniversary with her husband celebrating and won't be willing to do anything else.

The difference between saying "How do I get them to change the date?" vs what she really said which was "How do I tell them I'm not coming to the wedding."

I do think she should go to the wedding...but I don't think she's out of line to skip the engagement party.  Especially considering that it's her very first anniversary.

I also didn't think she came across that selfish at all.

And I didn't get the impression that she was definitely going to boycott the wedding. Just that she was wishing she coudl decide not to attend and hadn't decided what to do.

(I do NOT celebrate my anniversary at lunch. I just don't. I celebrate my anniversary with a romantic evening. Period. It strikes me as really weird to celebrate my anniversary at lunch and then go to someone else's party. I don't anymore insist on my anniversary being celebrate "on the day," but I do vastly prefer it. It's more important to me to be "on the day" w/ this than it is with Christmas, my birthday, Thanksgiving, anything.)
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: LifeOnPluto on February 28, 2013, 08:23:56 PM
Add me to the camp of people whose Hinkey Meters are going off.

I can understand a sibling having their wedding on the same date as yours. As PPs have stated, wedding "dates" are limited, and that particular date might have been the only one that worked for them. But to plan an engagement party - normally a far more casual, smaller event - for the exact same date, one year before the wedding? To me, that's quite odd. It definitely makes me think it's deliberate.

I really think it comes down to the relationship between the siblings. If it's otherwise been friendly, it could be the BIL's and his fiancee's misguided way of honouring that date? However, if the sibling relationship has been toxic, I'd suspect the BIL was deliberately trying to upstage the LW and her husband.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: kudeebee on February 28, 2013, 08:30:58 PM
I have not read the whole thread, but here is my 2 cents worth.

i would guess that bil and fiance did not remember/know the date of the lw's anniversary, even if it was his brother's wedding.  Not everyone remembers dates of others anniversaries.  I would also guess that this date worked for them in terms of the time period they wanted to get married, when the venues were available, etc.  Also, to them it may not be a big deal that their anniversary is the same as the lw's.

It would be interesting to know if the ILs said anything to bil when he anounced the date, if they remembered the date of their son's wedding the year before and mentioned it, if they think it isn't a big deal, if they think it is cool that both sons are married on the same date.

LW and her husband should go ahead and celebrate their 1st anniversary, which is special, as they want to celebrate it, whether that is dinner out or a weekend trip.  If it works to go to the engagement party, fine; if not, that is okay.  I can't imagine anyone getting mad that they are celebrating their first anniversary.  Now, they do need to go to the wedding and participate in pre-wedding events that they are able to.  They can celebrate the 2nd anniversary another time, as many of us do--we don't all celebrate on the exact date.  However, I do think the first anniversary is a little more special and if it is important for them to celebrate that day, they should do so.

I sincerely hope that this isn't a plot by bil to hurt his brother in any way by having his wedding on the same day and then taking that day as hostage--celebrate our day, celebrate us--for the rest of their lives.  That could make things very uncomfortable down the line.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: violinp on February 28, 2013, 08:41:43 PM
I understand that other people don't always remember wedding anniversary dates (or birthdays, etc.), but, for me, it's stretching credulity to believe that BiL didn't remember that his own brother got married on May 11, and chose that date at random to have the engagement party and the wedding. I remember the wedding anniversaries of my grandparents, parents, and my two uncles, and I was only alive for the last two. Presumably, the BiL went to his brother's wedding, and the memory is still fresh in his mind, considering that it's been less than a year since it happened.

I don't know whether the brother and his intended chose the date for a nice or malicious reason, but it's certainly odd to choose that date without any reason related to family.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: LadyR on February 28, 2013, 08:52:31 PM
What I find odd is that it means one of these dates is a non-weekend unless OP got married on a Friday, the engagement party will be on a Saturday and the wedding on a Sunday. It seems like aawful lot of work and fuss for one date.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: doodlemor on February 28, 2013, 09:15:28 PM
What I find odd is that it means one of these dates is a non-weekend unless OP got married on a Friday, the engagement party will be on a Saturday and the wedding on a Sunday. It seems like aawful lot of work and fuss for one date.

I looked the dates up - it is a Friday - Saturday - Sunday configuration.

My hinky meter is going off, too.  I don't necessarily think that this is BIL's doing, though,  It could very well be that FSIL is going to be one of **those** SIL's that we read about on ehell.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: Aeris on February 28, 2013, 09:21:25 PM
What I find odd is that it means one of these dates is a non-weekend unless OP got married on a Friday, the engagement party will be on a Saturday and the wedding on a Sunday. It seems like aawful lot of work and fuss for one date.

See that's what actually leads me toward believing that the date must have special, personal significance to the BIL and FSIL. Who knows, maybe it's her parents wedding anniversary, and she and BIL met that day or something. It could be anything, but yes, the date does seem to be particularly important.

It's just impossible to know whether it's important because they want to deliberately upstage the LW or because they have some independent reason for being attached to the date.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: ChiGirl on February 28, 2013, 09:42:17 PM
Ok, I just reread the letter, and it seems the writer has 2 issues with the date:

1) they want to celebrate their own anniversary and
2) they are "taken aback" that the brother picked "their" wedding date.

I'm not impressed with either of her reasons.

As to 1), the "logistics of celebration" issue -- I don't understand why, if the anniversary MUST be celebrated on that date, the engagement party, or even the wedding, completely precludes their private celebration.  They are both invited to these events; it's not as though the party/wedding requires them to be apart on that date.

As to 2), the writer and her husband do not own that date.  It is not "their" wedding date anymore; their wedding is over, and so is any expectation that others will acknowledge that date as "theirs."  It is now their anniversary date, and they are the only people who will celebrate it.  Frankly, their emphasis on "owning" that date comes across as thinking that they are the only people to whom attention should be paid on May 11. 

From the letter, it seems that the LW is actually considering skipping the wedding because she just doesn't want to to go.    The LW should think long and hard about the consequences; I can tell you that if one of my siblings skipped my wedding because they wanted to have a 2d anniversary dinner --- well, that's quite the message to send.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: delabela on February 28, 2013, 10:12:42 PM
My first thought is that it would be awesome to be able to go to a party you didn't have to pay for on your anniversary!  But me and my guy are fairly low key about the anniversary - as long as we could sneak off and have a toast to ourselves, we'd be happy.

I could totally see the BIL and fiancee thinking that it would be fun to have the engagement party and wedding exactly a year apart, and then figuring out the season, and picking a month, and then the weekend, and there you go - same date. 

I could also totally see them thinking, hey, wasn't my brother's wedding fun, and what a good time of year to have a wedding, and wouldn't it be kind of cool to be on the same date, and there you go - same date.

Basically, I have a hard time seeing anything nefarious, and, in my heart of hearts, I would think the LW petty if they skipped either event.  But I get that others disagree. 

Maybe the special significance about the date *is* the fact that their sibling got married on that date.

I think the fact that they are upset says a lot about their rel@tionship. My first wedding was on my sister's birthday. We picked that date for several reasons, mostly time of year and availability of venue & clergy. The fact that it was also my sister's birthday made it even more special to me.

And my sister? Well, she thought it was great. She was my maid of honor and I had the pianist switch to a brief moment of "Happy Birthday to You" as she walked down the aisle.

I can see the first anniversary conflicting with the engagement party, but to be honest, I'd go to the party and do the anniversary celebration the night before. Is it really THAT important to celebrate on that specific night? My current (second marriage) anniversary is near a holiday and DH & I almost never go out on that exact night because there's always some kind of conflict. Doesn't diminish the fact that we're celebrating another year. We have just as nice an evening a week before or later as we would have on that day.

I wanted to say this is super sweet and made me smile  :)
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: Specky on February 28, 2013, 10:19:31 PM
I can see making an effort to attend the wedding, but I think that it is perfectly reasonable and sensible to skip an engagement party to celebrate a first anniversary.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: WillyNilly on February 28, 2013, 10:19:45 PM
To me part of the LW's position is... she got married on a Friday.  And now in essence they have been asked to spend their first anniversary - a Saturday night - at the engagement party.  And then the next year the wedding is on a Sunday... well its pretty standard for there to be a rehearsal dinner the night before a wedding and the groom's brother (and his wife) would usually be expected to attend.

So even if the couple wants to celebrate on a night that's not their exact anniversary, but rather the Saturday closest to it, that date is essentially pre-spoken for.  Lets face it, often in the case of a wedding drawn out to the point of a months-in-planning engagement party and over a year of engagement, the wedding takes up more then just 6 hours on the day of for the immediate family of the bride & groom; this doesn't sound like its going to be a small modest wedding.

The LW might not have a right to her anniversary, or even the Saturday night closest to it, but the BIL and FSIL are inconsiderate at best: They failed to consider the impact of their decision.

I think its also worth mentioning that the LW is reacting now, less then a year after her own wedding, and to a double announcement.  Sure maybe by 2014 she will be ok with the idea of 'observing' her anniversary on another weekend, but she's not writing to Prudie in 2014, she's writing now, and for now I think her initial reaction is absolutely justified. Its nice when family gives lots of notice on their planned wedding date, but 14 months in advance when the last wedding on that date was only 10 months ago? That really seems like it was either astounding inconsideration, or very deliberate. If they had waited until after the first anniversary/engagement party to announce their date, it might have been received better, lessen the blow and all.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: violinp on February 28, 2013, 10:32:38 PM
To me part of the LW's position is... she got married on a Friday.  And now in essence they have been asked to spend their first anniversary - a Saturday night - at the engagement party.  And then the next year the wedding is on a Sunday... well its pretty standard for there to be a rehearsal dinner the night before a wedding and the groom's brother (and his wife) would usually be expected to attend.

So even if the couple wants to celebrate on a night that's not their exact anniversary, but rather the Saturday closest to it, that date is essentially pre-spoken for.  Lets face it, often in the case of a wedding drawn out to the point of a months-in-planning engagement party and over a year of engagement, the wedding takes up more then just 6 hours on the day of for the immediate family of the bride & groom; this doesn't sound like its going to be a small modest wedding.

The LW might not have a right to her anniversary, or even the Saturday night closest to it, but the BIL and FSIL are inconsiderate at best: They failed to consider the impact of their decision.

I think its also worth mentioning that the LW is reacting now, less then a year after her own wedding, and to a double announcement.  Sure maybe by 2014 she will be ok with the idea of 'observing' her anniversary on another weekend, but she's not writing to Prudie in 2014, she's writing now, and for now I think her initial reaction is absolutely justified. Its nice when family gives lots of notice on their planned wedding date, but 14 months in advance when the last wedding on that date was only 10 months ago? That really seems like it was either astounding inconsideration, or very deliberate. If they had waited until after the first anniversary/engagement party to announce their date, it might have been received better, lessen the blow and all.

Exactly! That was what was puzzling to me. I know there are people who even forget their own birthday, but surely you (general) wouldn't forget an event you'd been to less than a year ago.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: Dindrane on February 28, 2013, 11:13:54 PM
My second wedding anniversary was two days ago. We celebrated by going to the dentist on Monday, going to work on Tuesday and then eating dinner out at a chain restaurant, and we'll have our "real" celebration on Saturday.

But for our first anniversary, we went away for the weekend. It was really, really important to us to do that, because we both thought that it would set a precedent for how we celebrated all future anniversaries. Even if we couldn't take a trip together for every one of them, we felt that it was important to set the bar high (knowing that there would be years, like this one, where it just wouldn't be realistic to do more than go out to dinner).

For me, my anniversary is not just a significant date. It's an annual reminder to me that I need to spend some time focusing on just my husband, to the exclusion of everyone else. It's important for the health of our relationship to do that every once in awhile, and it can be easy to forget to in the normal course of day-to-day life. But because that's the viewpoint I hold, I am not able to celebrate my anniversary unless my husband and I are alone. I wouldn't really be celebrating it if I ended up attending someone else's wedding--I'd have to do my actual celebrating on another occasion (and lunch the day before an evening event probably wouldn't count, because our focus would be elsewhere). From this point forward, under most circumstances, I'd be fine doing that, but I wouldn't have been on my first anniversary.

Given all of that, I think it's unfair to chastise the LW for not attending the engagement party, and I agree with what Toots said much earlier in the thread that I'd be a little hurt that nobody checked with me before setting the date to make sure I could actually be there. I think that the LW might be feeling hurt about the wedding in part because it and the engagement party are both on her anniversary. It might have been less of a thing for her if the engagement party had been planned for a different date.

Personally, I can't really fathom not even remembering the month a sibling got married in less than a year after the event. I'd have to really think to remember my brother's wedding anniversary, and I don't always remember exactly how long he's been married, but I know what month it was.

I also think it can be a lot easier to share a significant date if the person planning a new event both remembers and acknowledges that something else happened on that date, too. Even if the date is pretty much set, I think the approach makes a difference. Having a sibling announce a wedding date as a done deal without having talked about it with you first can be very hurtful. If the date itself is also significant to you (and their wedding changes how you would mark it), that would only add to the sting.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: MariaE on February 28, 2013, 11:42:21 PM
I started out thinking that the sibling had "stolen" the exact same date.... year included. Then I could understand being upset. This? Wouldn't even register.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: GSNW on March 01, 2013, 12:43:51 AM
I am totally with Prudence.
Also there are a ridiculous number of factors that go into picking a date that works that an anniversary seems really minor. ( Also I don't know anyone else's anniversary date and I don't expect anyone to remember mine except my husband's parents as we married on his birthday)

 You get the day once, not forever.

I would take it a step over and say you get the day in the sun once, and it's privately yours forever.  Does this couple expect their whole family to celebrate their anniversary year after year?  My DH's best friend set his wedding date to fall on our sixth anniversary.  When he called to tell DH we all laughed a bit.  The wedding of some of our dearest friends was a fab way to spend that anniversary, and we've taken trips twice with that couple to celebrate our joint happiness.  Seriously, it's wonderful.  It seems very SS and entitled to demand that those close not consider a date that "belongs" to you.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: snowdragon on March 01, 2013, 01:53:00 AM
I am totally with Prudence.
Also there are a ridiculous number of factors that go into picking a date that works that an anniversary seems really minor. ( Also I don't know anyone else's anniversary date and I don't expect anyone to remember mine except my husband's parents as we married on his birthday)

 You get the day once, not forever.

I would take it a step over and say you get the day in the sun once, and it's privately yours forever.  Does this couple expect their whole family to celebrate their anniversary year after year?  My DH's best friend set his wedding date to fall on our sixth anniversary.  When he called to tell DH we all laughed a bit.  The wedding of some of our dearest friends was a fab way to spend that anniversary, and we've taken trips twice with that couple to celebrate our joint happiness.  Seriously, it's wonderful.  It seems very SS and entitled to demand that those close not consider a date that "belongs" to you.

There's a difference between a first and and sixth.  The first anniversary, 25th and 50th are ones I would expect to be more important than just about anything else going on around a couple. 
  Many couples feel that their first anniversary would hold more weight than an engagement party - no matter who it was for. That coupled with the wedding being on the second anniversary would set a lot of folks on edge.
   There is really nothing about this that does not set my hinky meter on edge.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: MariaE on March 01, 2013, 03:52:24 AM
I am totally with Prudence.
Also there are a ridiculous number of factors that go into picking a date that works that an anniversary seems really minor. ( Also I don't know anyone else's anniversary date and I don't expect anyone to remember mine except my husband's parents as we married on his birthday)

 You get the day once, not forever.

I would take it a step over and say you get the day in the sun once, and it's privately yours forever.  Does this couple expect their whole family to celebrate their anniversary year after year?  My DH's best friend set his wedding date to fall on our sixth anniversary.  When he called to tell DH we all laughed a bit.  The wedding of some of our dearest friends was a fab way to spend that anniversary, and we've taken trips twice with that couple to celebrate our joint happiness.  Seriously, it's wonderful.  It seems very SS and entitled to demand that those close not consider a date that "belongs" to you.

There's a difference between a first and and sixth.  The first anniversary, 25th and 50th are ones I would expect to be more important than just about anything else going on around a couple. 
  Many couples feel that their first anniversary would hold more weight than an engagement party - no matter who it was for. That coupled with the wedding being on the second anniversary would set a lot of folks on edge.
   There is really nothing about this that does not set my hinky meter on edge.

I've never met anybody in Denmark who considered their first that important. I agree with 25th and 50th (and will add 12.5 as we celebrate that too), but not 1st.

Not saying it doesn't happen - I've just never encountered it, so the thought honestly wouldn't cross my mind.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: Miss Unleaded on March 01, 2013, 05:56:48 AM
For some reason the link doesn't work for me, so I am just basing my response on what other people have written.

I can't fault the brother for not remembering the LW's wedding date.  I don't remember that of my own brother's.  But I think they should have checked with their closest family members before scheduling the date.   

I'm not particularly sentimental by nature, however, I wouldn't have attended an engagement party on my first wedding anniversary for anyone, and I'd be pretty nonplussed to be told that not only an engagement party but a wedding had been planned for my first two anniversaries.  I do think it's inconsiderate an I would really be wondering if it was deliberate.  Why does it have to be the same date, two years in a row, and that particular date?

Also, what Willy-Nilly said.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: Dindrane on March 01, 2013, 08:34:08 AM
I also think there's a difference between expecting other people in your family to celebrate your anniversary, and expecting people in your family to make it possible for you to celebrate. While not everyone celebrates their anniversary on the actual day, many people do. Especially for a first anniversary, and especially when an anniversary falls on a weekend. I would not expect my parents or siblings to celebrate my anniversary (or even remember the specific date), but I would expect them to do their best to refrain from making plans that make it impossible for me to celebrate it with my husband.

When I thought about this further, I realized that the thing that would bug me the most about this whole situation was not the dates chosen or the fact that they conflicted with the LW's anniversary or that the brother seems not to remember when they actually got married. It's that he doesn't appear to have actually talked about his plans before they were final.

Even though I think the husband should have said something about the date being their anniversary when he responded to his brother (because it is entirely possible for even a close sibling to completely forget the date his brother got married), I also think it's kind of awkward no matter what he says. Plans have been made (presumably), and dates have been set, so it's a lot harder to bring it up. It would have been easier for the LW's husband to bring up if the brother had told his family what he and his fiancee were thinking about doing before they actually went and did it.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: lady_disdain on March 01, 2013, 08:44:35 AM
Exactly! That was what was puzzling to me. I know there are people who even forget their own birthday, but surely you (general) wouldn't forget an event you'd been to less than a year ago.

Several posters have said that they don't remember the wedding date of a close family member a year after the event (I don't remember my sister's and I was her maid of honor and helped with planning).
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: KarenK on March 01, 2013, 08:49:51 AM
The link didn't work for me either, so I'm basing my opinion on what I would do in the LW's shoes.

First of all, I agree with any PP who thinks this situation is hinky. I think that the BIL and/or future SIL is attempting to stir up drama for some reason. What that reason is, we will never know, because the LW is not available to give more details. It's just too convenient - same date for the engagement party, then the wedding a year later, also on the same date.

I actually had this conversation with my DH:

Me: Hey, it's out anniversary!

DH: I thought we got married in March.

Me: No, it was April.

DH: Are you sure?

Me: Do you want me to pull out the license to prove it?

So, you can see I'm not the most romantic person in the world and neither is DH. But, there are a lot of romantic people in the world who do care about such things, and it sounds like the LW and her DH are two of them.

LW's DH should thank his brother for the invitation to the engagement party, but state that he and his wife would not be coming because it is their anniversary and they have plans.

Now, that being said, I think there is no question they should go to the wedding. I think that the potential for consequences to family relationships is too great.

I think that anniversaries are only important to the two people involved. But I do think that others need to respect how the couple wants to celebrate and be understanding if they miss a family event because of it.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: Poppea on March 01, 2013, 08:51:51 AM

Even though I think the husband should have said something about the date being their anniversary when he responded to his brother (because it is entirely possible for even a close sibling to completely forget the date his brother got married), I also think it's kind of awkward no matter what he says. Plans have been made (presumably), and dates have been set, so it's a lot harder to bring it up. It would have been easier for the LW's husband to bring up if the brother had told his family what he and his fiancee were thinking about doing before they actually went and did it.

When I planned my wedding it never would have occurred to me to consult any of our siblings to see how they felt about our wedding day.  We talked to the priest, got the date the church/priest were available, talked to my parents and then his parents.  Confirmed the club was available for the reception, and VOILA - we had a wedding date.   I would never have tried to do that by committee.  Maybe if a sibling was in graduate school or overseas we would have asked about their schedule.  But otherwise?  Never.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: TootsNYC on March 01, 2013, 09:44:24 AM


I would take it a step over and say you get the day in the sun once, and it's privately yours forever.  Does this couple expect their whole family to celebrate their anniversary year after year? 

There's a difference between a first and and sixth.  The first anniversary, 25th and 50th are ones I would expect to be more important than just about anything else going on around a couple. 
  Many couples feel that their first anniversary would hold more weight than an engagement party - no matter who it was for. That coupled with the wedding being on the second anniversary would set a lot of folks on edge.
   There is really nothing about this that does not set my hinky meter on edge.

I've never met anybody in Denmark who considered their first that important. I agree with 25th and 50th (and will add 12.5 as we celebrate that too), but not 1st.

Not saying it doesn't happen - I've just never encountered it, so the thought honestly wouldn't cross my mind.

But most first anniversaries are "privately yours." They're not an event you have a party for, with the whole family celebrating.
(and this letter writer never says anything about that, nor does anybody else on this thread)

That may be why someone hasn't heard much about people fussing over their first anniversary--I think for most people it's sort of an intimate thing. That doesn't make it any less important.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: Miss Tickle on March 01, 2013, 09:59:10 AM
While I believe imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, I wonder how many engagement parties are planned more than two months in advance. I'd rather think my new SIL was so enamoured of our wedding that they wanted the same thing.  I'd be much more irritated if she planned a short engagement and wedding to coincide with a baby's birth. Maybe the LW can arrange that.

In this case, I don't see anything wrong with saying, congratulations on the engagement, we'll take you and fiancee out/have you in to celebrate, but we've got plans for our first anniversary. It would be petty to skip the wedding. Do I remember what we did for our second anniversary? No, but I bet I would if I skipped my sister's wedding for it, and I don't think that would be a memory I'd cherish.

I had to move my carefully chosen wedding date because my BIL was going to be out of town.  I was pretty irritated when I found out that he didn't want to reschedule or skip one of his many, many trips to Vegas that year. That was about the time it became clear that as far as my MIL was concerned, BIL was #1SON and our wedding really needed to be all about him.

Mind you, I'm also hoping my GF has her baby today so he has the same Birthday and his Grandpa, Uncle and Cousin. So I'd love to have a family member with the same wedding anniversary.  It would make for some great celebrations if they all get along.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: WillyNilly on March 01, 2013, 10:03:08 AM

Even though I think the husband should have said something about the date being their anniversary when he responded to his brother (because it is entirely possible for even a close sibling to completely forget the date his brother got married), I also think it's kind of awkward no matter what he says. Plans have been made (presumably), and dates have been set, so it's a lot harder to bring it up. It would have been easier for the LW's husband to bring up if the brother had told his family what he and his fiancee were thinking about doing before they actually went and did it.

When I planned my wedding it never would have occurred to me to consult any of our siblings to see how they felt about our wedding day.  We talked to the priest, got the date the church/priest were available, talked to my parents and then his parents.  Confirmed the club was available for the reception, and VOILA - we had a wedding date.   I would never have tried to do that by committee.  Maybe if a sibling was in graduate school or overseas we would have asked about their schedule.  But otherwise?  Never.

I have never heard of a couple not mentioning at least "we're thinking of May" or "sometime in the spring" to their close family in advance of setting their date when there's going to be big party and church, etc.  And if the BIL and FSIL had done that, surely his brother or parents would have reminded him of his own brother's anniversary... because that's how conversations generally flow. Sure a couple might not mention any exact dates - they might not be able to until they find out what is available and the costs involved. But the general time of year conversation is extraordinarily common and normal, if for no other reason IME one of the first questions after finding out a couple is engaged is "so when are you thinking of having the wedding?"
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: lowspark on March 01, 2013, 10:08:58 AM
Looks like the original link is broken but this should work:
http://www.slate.com/articles/life/dear_prudence/2013/02/dear_prudence_my_brother_molested_me_should_i_help_him_fight_new_sex_abuse.2.html (http://www.slate.com/articles/life/dear_prudence/2013/02/dear_prudence_my_brother_molested_me_should_i_help_him_fight_new_sex_abuse.2.html)

Here's something that's been bothering me. The LW says:
My husband sent him an email back that it probably wasn't the best date but we would make it work if nothing else could be considered.

Did the husband really say "it's probably not the best date" or did the husband say, "hey dude, did you realize that's my first and second wedding anniversary?"

I mean, "that's not the best date but we can work it out" doesn't at all sound to me like an urgent request to change the date so I'm not surprised that the brother didn't see any real need to.

Regarding whether you can or can't remember your sibling's anniversary, I'm willing to bet money that my younger son forgot my older son's wedding date within a month. He's just not built to remember stuff like that. He doesn't forget  because he doesn't care, it's just the way he is. He probably inherited it from me somewhat. I do remember specific dates important to my own immediate family but beyond that, I honestly don't remember friends' birthdays, etc.

I don't think that not remembering his brother's wedding date is that big a deal. And if the husband didn't explain it fully, well then, I don't see the brother as being in the wrong.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: fountainof on March 01, 2013, 10:11:18 AM
I think it is fine to decline the engagement party for a 1st anniversary.  I do think an anniversary trumps and engagement party, even if it were a second anniversary.  I think if family makes a big deal about it then just don't react.  Say, sorry we had already booked a vacation for that weekend and move on.  The wedding is different though as it the major event.  I am personally not a fan of engagement parties though so that colours my view, just get engaged and have a wedding already and stay married rather than have 10 different pre-wedding events.  Come to me after you have been married 10 years and brag about your marriage not before it even happens.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: Sharnita on March 01, 2013, 10:12:34 AM
I can't imagine anybody in my family mentioning their anniversary as a potential conflict.  Pending surgery, a trip they have booked, a work obligation - those are things that might be mentioned.  Even then, there would be the understanding that the schedules and needs of the HC would the the driving factor,  If the 11th is really what works for them and somebody else will be out of town - HC will toast them and remember them fondly.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: Sophie Jenkins on March 01, 2013, 11:01:40 AM
I'm honestly a little taken aback by the number of people seeming to say wrt the engagement part: "just go, celebrate your anniversary a different time."

For the wedding, absolutely. A wedding is a big deal, socially and with familial consequences for choosing to not attend because of a second anniversary. The thing to do is go and be happy for your family, and hope that in a few years it will be a sweet family joke.

But for a first anniversary? My husband and I booked a week-long trip over our first anniversary in lieu of the honeymoon we'd never had. A huge portion of the people I know scheduled private romantic weekends over their first anniversaries (whether away or at home).

I don't understand at all why the LW's husband wouldn't tell his brother that they'd have to skip the engagement party because of their anniversary, but I don't see anything wrong with letting the BIL and his fiancee know why they'll be skipping the engagement party. And it would be really nice to do something special with both couples to celebrate the engagement, anyway.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: Sharnita on March 01, 2013, 11:05:36 AM
I'm honestly a little taken aback by the number of people seeming to say wrt the engagement part: "just go, celebrate your anniversary a different time."

For the wedding, absolutely. A wedding is a big deal, socially and with familial consequences for choosing to not attend because of a second anniversary. The thing to do is go and be happy for your family, and hope that in a few years it will be a sweet family joke.

But for a first anniversary? My husband and I booked a week-long trip over our first anniversary in lieu of the honeymoon we'd never had. A huge portion of the people I know scheduled private romantic weekends over their first anniversaries (whether away or at home).

I don't understand at all why the LW's husband wouldn't tell his brother that they'd have to skip the engagement party because of their anniversary, but I don't see anything wrong with letting the BIL and his fiancee know why they'll be skipping the engagement party. And it would be really nice to do something special with both couples to celebrate the engagement, anyway.

What is that number?  I actually think it is pretty small.  Some people have said, "Maybe you can go for part of the party and then go off on your own to celebrate your 1st Anniversary." (I was one of them).  A lot of people said that the LW could miss the engagement party but should attend the wedding.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: bopper on March 01, 2013, 11:07:28 AM
The Letter writer could also think: Yeah, I get to share my anniversary with my sibling/inlaw.  Also, I will be dressed up and go dancing (at the reception) and have a nice dinner on my anniversary (at the wedding). 
My 25th Anniversary was the same weekend as a wedding we went to and we used the opportunity for a night out!
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: bah12 on March 01, 2013, 11:08:59 AM
I'm honestly a little taken aback by the number of people seeming to say wrt the engagement part: "just go, celebrate your anniversary a different time."

For the wedding, absolutely. A wedding is a big deal, socially and with familial consequences for choosing to not attend because of a second anniversary. The thing to do is go and be happy for your family, and hope that in a few years it will be a sweet family joke.

But for a first anniversary? My husband and I booked a week-long trip over our first anniversary in lieu of the honeymoon we'd never had. A huge portion of the people I know scheduled private romantic weekends over their first anniversaries (whether away or at home).

I don't understand at all why the LW's husband wouldn't tell his brother that they'd have to skip the engagement party because of their anniversary, but I don't see anything wrong with letting the BIL and his fiancee know why they'll be skipping the engagement party. And it would be really nice to do something special with both couples to celebrate the engagement, anyway.

Yeah, and we should also remember that the LW is a newlywed.  My first anniversary was a very big deal to me...because it was the first one I've ever had.  And when I was a newlywed, I assumed that I'd feel that every anniversary would be just as big of a deal.  15 years later, I don't feel that exact way (two years later, I didn't feel that way), but the first year, let's just say, I wouldn't have chosen an engagement party over celebrating my anniversary. 

And I don't think that the LW (or anyone for that matter) is required to attend every single event the HC feels is necessary to celebrate their big day.  Engagement parties are nice...I don't mind them.  But I don't see them as something that I absolutely must attend...similar to showers.  If I can't go, I can't go.  A wedding is totally different and I do think the LW needs to go...regardless of it being her anniversary.  But certainly not the engagement party.  I don't think that she should make a big show of it being her anniversary.  She cand send her regrets "Sorry to miss this, but we'll be celebrating our anniversary that weekend.  Congratulations and looking forward to the wedding!"
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: Two Ravens on March 01, 2013, 11:17:51 AM
I'm honestly a little taken aback by the number of people seeming to say wrt the engagement part: "just go, celebrate your anniversary a different time."

For the wedding, absolutely. A wedding is a big deal, socially and with familial consequences for choosing to not attend because of a second anniversary. The thing to do is go and be happy for your family, and hope that in a few years it will be a sweet family joke.

But for a first anniversary? My husband and I booked a week-long trip over our first anniversary in lieu of the honeymoon we'd never had. A huge portion of the people I know scheduled private romantic weekends over their first anniversaries (whether away or at home).

I don't understand at all why the LW's husband wouldn't tell his brother that they'd have to skip the engagement party because of their anniversary, but I don't see anything wrong with letting the BIL and his fiancee know why they'll be skipping the engagement party. And it would be really nice to do something special with both couples to celebrate the engagement, anyway.

Booking a week-long trip, or a weekend away, or even having dinner reservations falls under the definition of "already having plans." Which is a perfectly valid reason to decline going to an engagement party.

Quote
We know an engagement party can be skipped, and we will skip it because it's our first wedding anniversary. But skipping a wedding is a different story. What would you do?

Sounds like they are already set on skipping the engagement party, despite the husband telling his brother "they would make it work," which makes it sound like there were no set plans.

Plus, the LW specifically asked what to do about the wedding, which is, at this point, over a year away.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: Susiqzer on March 01, 2013, 11:50:14 AM
I would love to know if there's any back-story here! Is May 11th a special day for the entire family, is the brother clueless, or is something else going on?

In my family, any of us would be honored to share an anniversary date... I nearly got married on my brother's (6th) wedding anniversary, but friends of ours chose that date before we did.

The difference is that I knew it was his anniversary, and spoke with him and my SIL about it first while we were checking dates with our immediate families. They were THRILLED at the possibility.


But now let me tell you how my MIL ruined my first anniversary...

She made a point of asking about our plans weeks ahead of time -- dinner at the romantic restaurant where we had our first date. A few days before the date, she announced that she was holding a 50th anniversary party on that same day for DH's grandparents... except their anniversary wasn't for 2 months.

Still, since that was a lunch event and we were planning to go to dinner,  we thought we could do both. We gathered at noon, and waited for food to be served. And waited, and waited. We finally ate at 4 PM. By then we were starving, but knew that if we ate we'd ruin our dinner out.

MIL forced food upon us (it's really hard to not eat around her, particularly when starving!), DH caved, and that was that.

It was absolutely deliberate -- the rest of the family was equally confused about the rush to hold a party for the grandparents -- and ruined what could have been a special day for us.

My MIL is the kind of person who delights in creating this type of situation to exert control over her children, and it took years of spine-strengthening before we became immune!
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: TurtleDove on March 01, 2013, 12:03:15 PM
It would never occur to me to even make this an issue.  I am surprised how many posters are so adamant that a birthday or anniversary must be celebrated on the actual date.  To me that places more emphasis on the date than on the celebration of the event! I would want to celebrate both events - my anniversay and my siblings engagement party and wedding - and I don't see any reason why the actual dates being the same would prevent this, and I cannot imagine bringing potential familial disharmony because of this.

The way I see it, of course the LW can decide not to attend the engagement party or the wedding and not be "rude."  But as Aeris said, "It's not an etiquette violation, but it's still a relationship fail."
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: Poppea on March 01, 2013, 12:14:52 PM
I think it is fine to decline the engagement party for a 1st anniversary.  I do think an anniversary trumps and engagement party, even if it were a second anniversary.  I think if family makes a big deal about it then just don't react.  Say, sorry we had already booked a vacation for that weekend and move on.  The wedding is different though as it the major event.  I am personally not a fan of engagement parties though so that colours my view, just get engaged and have a wedding already and stay married rather than have 10 different pre-wedding events.  Come to me after you have been married 10 years and brag about your marriage not before it even happens.

Wow thats harsh!  So an engagement party is bragging about your forthcoming wedding?  I thought it was a celebration of the forthcoming marriage.  You can decline to go if you don't like them.  As with all wedding and nonwedding events.  I am not fond of multiple gift giving events, but engagement parties, cocktail parties, bridesmaid luncheons, rehearsal dinners and post nuptial brunches are not gift giving occasions.

I very seriously doubt there is any correlation or causation between pre-wedding events and divorce.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: Hmmmmm on March 01, 2013, 12:57:11 PM
I understand that other people don't always remember wedding anniversary dates (or birthdays, etc.), but, for me, it's stretching credulity to believe that BiL didn't remember that his own brother got married on May 11, and chose that date at random to have the engagement party and the wedding. I remember the wedding anniversaries of my grandparents, parents, and my two uncles, and I was only alive for the last two. Presumably, the BiL went to his brother's wedding, and the memory is still fresh in his mind, considering that it's been less than a year since it happened.

I don't know whether the brother and his intended chose the date for a nice or malicious reason, but it's certainly odd to choose that date without any reason related to family.

I don't find it odd at all.  My sister's and I always get into a disagreement on the date of our parent's anniversary, I know my oldest sister was married the end of July, not not the date, and next sister was married in April but can't remember the date, and 3rd sister was either married Nov 2 or 4th but can never remember which one. (Both dates stick out to me because 1 is her anniversary and the other was our GF's birthday, but I always have to ask.)  My niece was just married in February but I can't tell you the actual date even though I was at the wedding.  Some of us just aren't "dates" people.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: stitchygreyanonymouse on March 01, 2013, 12:59:18 PM
As Lowspark mentioned, Iím hung up on the LWís description of her husbandís response.

On one hand, I completely agree that chances could be that the BIL doesnít realize that the LWís anniversary is the 11th, and that he and his fiance are choosing a date that is special to them (explaining the 2 events), and thereís nothing wrong with choosing the same date as a family member (*in different years), considering how all the chips may fall when scheduling.

On the other, there really must be some backstory if the LWís husband responded as she claimed instead of something like "Bro, Iím so happy for you, but you remember that LW and I got married on May 11th last year, right, seeing as you stood up for me? We already have plans this year, so we canít make it to an engagement party on that date."

I would also guess itís not significant to the DH and BILís family since DH could have also said something like that in his response.

(I understand some people are great with datesóin fact, I am for certain things, but I was also a bridesmaid for my sister, and canít remember what day of July that was. Itís really not that hard to believe that the BIL could forget, even a year later.)
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: bah12 on March 01, 2013, 01:36:24 PM
As Lowspark mentioned, Iím hung up on the LWís description of her husbandís response.

On one hand, I completely agree that chances could be that the BIL doesnít realize that the LWís anniversary is the 11th, and that he and his fiance are choosing a date that is special to them (explaining the 2 events), and thereís nothing wrong with choosing the same date as a family member (*in different years), considering how all the chips may fall when scheduling.

On the other, there really must be some backstory if the LWís husband responded as she claimed instead of something like "Bro, Iím so happy for you, but you remember that LW and I got married on May 11th last year, right, seeing as you stood up for me? We already have plans this year, so we canít make it to an engagement party on that date."

I would also guess itís not significant to the DH and BILís family since DH could have also said something like that in his response.

(I understand some people are great with datesóin fact, I am for certain things, but I was also a bridesmaid for my sister, and canít remember what day of July that was. Itís really not that hard to believe that the BIL could forget, even a year later.)

I assumed that they didn't make an issue of it when he told them the dates because they really aren't planning on asking him to change it just because it happens to be their anniverary.  She's upset, but privately so...and her question is "what do we do about the wedding?"
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: Sharnita on March 01, 2013, 01:39:20 PM
The problem is DH publicly said they would work with the date even though it wasn't the best.  Privately upset or not I would say that there really is no question - they do what DH said they would do.  Now I am unclear if his comment also included the engagement party but it sounds like they have decided not to attend that regardless of whether his comment initially meant they would attend.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: magicdomino on March 01, 2013, 01:51:56 PM
Has anybody else noticed that May 11, 2014 is Mother's Day?  Of course, they may not be using the real date.

For what it is worth, I can't remember anyone's actual anniversary.  My best friend got married (and widowed) in August, and my sister's second marriage was in December, because I wore a poinsettia red bridesmaid dress.  I think a nephew married in a warm month, because the photographer commented on how all of the related women wore bright colors.  That's it.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: bah12 on March 01, 2013, 01:52:28 PM
The problem is DH publicly said they would work with the date even though it wasn't the best.  Privately upset or not I would say that there really is no question - they do what DH said they would do.  Now I am unclear if his comment also included the engagement party but it sounds like they have decided not to attend that regardless of whether his comment initially meant they would attend.

I think that "working with the date" would still allow them to miss the engagement party and go to the wedding.  I don't think that "It's not the best, but I'll work with it and see what I can do" necessarily equates to "Yes, absolutely, I'll be available for all things at all times."  A heads up phone call on dates for future events is not the same as RSVPing to the actual invitation (which I'm assuming the engagement party will have as well).  And as much I think it would be SS of someone to insist that other family members not get married on their wedding anniversary, I would think it's equally as SS to insist that someone spend their first wedding anniversary at their engagement party.  Hopefully, this could all go down without any fuss.  The couple misses the engagement party and celebrates their first anniversary in the way they choose and then attend the wedding the following year without any flack from the HC.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: lowspark on March 01, 2013, 01:53:56 PM
Considering the wife's woe about this whole situation, the husband's response is starting to sound PA to me.
Sort of like, well, ok, we'll be the martyrs and show up. And now they're unhappy that the brother took them at their word and didn't change the date. And now they are "confused" as to what to do?

Really, regardless of whether I agree with the LW about how she feels about her wedding date/anniversary being picked, I think they should have come right out and said how they felt instead of expecting the brother to guess. I would not assume that the brother remembers the actual date. "he did not even mention that it had been our wedding date" -- probably because he didn't remember!

And I would not agree that you have to get approval from your whole family when you pick your wedding date. (I would bet LW didn't check with brother when they picked their wedding date originally.)
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: lowspark on March 01, 2013, 01:57:22 PM
The problem is DH publicly said they would work with the date even though it wasn't the best.  Privately upset or not I would say that there really is no question - they do what DH said they would do.  Now I am unclear if his comment also included the engagement party but it sounds like they have decided not to attend that regardless of whether his comment initially meant they would attend.

I think that "working with the date" would still allow them to miss the engagement party and go to the wedding.  I don't think that "It's not the best, but I'll work with it and see what I can do" necessarily equates to "Yes, absolutely, I'll be available for all things at all times."  A heads up phone call on dates for future events is not the same as RSVPing to the actual invitation (which I'm assuming the engagement party will have as well).  And as much I think it would be SS of someone to insist that other family members not get married on their wedding anniversary, I would think it's equally as SS to insist that someone spend their first wedding anniversary at their engagement party.  Hopefully, this could all go down without any fuss.  The couple misses the engagement party and celebrates their first anniversary in the way they choose and then attend the wedding the following year without any flack from the HC.

But the quote from the letter isn't "work with it". It's "...we would make it work...". To me that means they will be there. I'm not sure if they are referring to the wedding or the engagement party but for whatever they are referring to, I'd say that's an acceptance.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: cass2591 on March 01, 2013, 03:23:44 PM
Poppea, you've been rather argumentative and confrontational in this thread and there's really no need for it.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: VorFemme on March 01, 2013, 04:11:02 PM
I can see telling everyone that there are already plans for the night/weekend of the engagement party and "we just aren't able to reschedule".  Doesn't matter if the plans are for a special meal at home with wedding cake from the freezer for dessert; dinner out; or a weekend at the same place that they had their honeymoon (or at least wedding night).  They have already made plans for the night of the engagement party and they can not, will not, and are not going to change them.

Wedding the next year (and the rehersal lunch or dinner) is two years after the LW's wedding.  They might want to hold off making other plans for that weekend (or set up plans for the weekend before or after, if they have to make reservations early) because a wedding is kind of a trump card.

I was not happy when our niece's wedding was planned for DD's (her cousin's) party with her bridesmaids, her own brother's 20th birthday, and the day after Uncle VorGuy got home for his first weekend after two weeks at summer camps back to back (short on sleep & long on work due to his duties at the camp).  He overslept and we missed it.  I sent our regrets, but I had also sent in a conditional RSVP due to the camp having been scheduled the year before with some twenty schools (changes not possible), with a comment that the parents of the bride might understand, as they have summer camps for their teaching subjects, as well.  (I assume that their camp schedules were considered in setting up the wedding date.)

Her brother celebrated his 21st birthday on her first anniversary and for the rest of their lives, his "big" birthdays (say, multiples of five or ten) will coincide with her "big" anniversaries (also multiples of five or ten). 

I have no idea if the date was picked due to scheduling issues with the wedding site; an important date to the happy couple; or what - but it did end up making it practically impossible for us to be there.   
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: TurtleDove on March 01, 2013, 04:22:39 PM
I was not happy when our niece's wedding was planned for DD's (her cousin's) party with her bridesmaids, her own brother's 20th birthday, and the day after Uncle VorGuy got home for his first weekend after two weeks at summer camps back to back (short on sleep & long on work due to his duties at the camp). 

I get that the date was not convenient for you, but what I don't understand is why you think the niece and her husband should have taken any of these "conflicts" into consideration when planning their wedding.  I really don't understand what the brother's birthday would have to do with anything, and I just cannot fathom that the niece would be worrying about your DH's camp schedule or her cousin's party?

In all of this, unless there is solid proof that a HC is trying to exclude someone, I assume they did the best they could to pick the best date possible for their wedding, all things considered.  What the HC "considered" might not be what anyone else is concerned with, but it is the HC's choice.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: bah12 on March 01, 2013, 04:28:04 PM
The problem is DH publicly said they would work with the date even though it wasn't the best.  Privately upset or not I would say that there really is no question - they do what DH said they would do.  Now I am unclear if his comment also included the engagement party but it sounds like they have decided not to attend that regardless of whether his comment initially meant they would attend.

I think that "working with the date" would still allow them to miss the engagement party and go to the wedding.  I don't think that "It's not the best, but I'll work with it and see what I can do" necessarily equates to "Yes, absolutely, I'll be available for all things at all times."  A heads up phone call on dates for future events is not the same as RSVPing to the actual invitation (which I'm assuming the engagement party will have as well).  And as much I think it would be SS of someone to insist that other family members not get married on their wedding anniversary, I would think it's equally as SS to insist that someone spend their first wedding anniversary at their engagement party.  Hopefully, this could all go down without any fuss.  The couple misses the engagement party and celebrates their first anniversary in the way they choose and then attend the wedding the following year without any flack from the HC.

But the quote from the letter isn't "work with it". It's "...we would make it work...". To me that means they will be there. I'm not sure if they are referring to the wedding or the engagement party but for whatever they are referring to, I'd say that's an acceptance.

Ok, and I  could see where the BIL might take that and think they will be at the engagement party and the wedding. 

But, just because the husband said they would make it work, I still don't think that means they are obligated to go to the engagement party (though I agree that was an unfortunate use of words).  As long as they don't wait until the last minute to state the conflict, they are ok to say "That's our first anniversary and we have plans that weekend and won't be able to attend, but will definitely be at the wedding."  I'm also assuming the BIL isn't making any special accommodations and plan for the LW and his brother now, because he thinks they're coming later. 

Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: LadyR on March 01, 2013, 05:31:35 PM
I may not remember everyone's anniversary indefinitely, but I remember the dates of all the weddings I've been to in the last year. The LW's wedding was 8 months ago, I'm assuming the date was picked a few months ago, so yeah I think its a bit 'off'. If it was their eighth anniversary, well then, obviously it wouldn't be an issue and I wouldn't expect the BIL to remember, but since its their first, I can sort of see where the LW is coming from.

I don't think you own a date. My BIL got married on my DH's 18th birthday, he was fine with it. My cousin got married on my mom's birthday, she was fine with it. My other cousin was going to get married on my parents' anniversary and her mother (my aunt) made her change it, saying it wasn't insensitive to my mother (this was a couple years after my dad died).
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: VorFemme on March 01, 2013, 05:53:52 PM
I was not happy when our niece's wedding was planned for DD's (her cousin's) party with her bridesmaids, her own brother's 20th birthday, and the day after Uncle VorGuy got home for his first weekend after two weeks at summer camps back to back (short on sleep & long on work due to his duties at the camp). 

I get that the date was not convenient for you, but what I don't understand is why you think the niece and her husband should have taken any of these "conflicts" into consideration when planning their wedding.  I really don't understand what the brother's birthday would have to do with anything, and I just cannot fathom that the niece would be worrying about your DH's camp schedule or her cousin's party?

In all of this, unless there is solid proof that a HC is trying to exclude someone, I assume they did the best they could to pick the best date possible for their wedding, all things considered.  What the HC "considered" might not be what anyone else is concerned with, but it is the HC's choice.

When planning her wedding - she did ask our DD if our DD had anything going on in a six week period when she was apparently setting up the wedding date) - DD mentioned the already planned "hen night", as it had been planned out well in advance due to school, work, and family events with her brides' maids.  Her own parents have summer camps for their school schedule, so she would have been at least slightly aware of the potential for a teacher to be exhausted after two weeks of summer camp at *camp site* (not day camp at the school campus). 

As to her own brother's birthday - I came to the conclusion that I would "assume" the best, that it was the best time to get the venue that they chose for everything to work out.  But it still stinks for her brother....
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: Sharnita on March 01, 2013, 06:02:13 PM
Did her brother indicate displeasure?  It would only stink for her brother if it bothered her brother.  Obviously there are people who would be bothered and people who wouldn't.  Unless he made it clear somehow that he was upset I wouldn't assume it stank for him.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: TootsNYC on March 01, 2013, 06:06:10 PM
I guess I'm not sure why it stinks for her brother.

His 25th b'day will be on her 5th wedding anniversary--are either of them going to have a party?

I wouldn't think so--it's sure not done in my family. He and his sis may have dinner together for his birthday, but by 25, you've given up on the idea that it has to be celebrated ON your birthday.

Maybe the family would get together for her 5th wedding anniversary, but neither of my families would do that. (Well, maybe that's not fair--my MIL might have wanted us over for dinner to celebrate, but I sort of let her know at some point that I do not celebrate my ordinary wedding anniversaries with anyone other than my spouse.)

By the time she has her 25th (which might be a party), he'll be 45. That's not "a big party" age, usually.
When he turns 50, she'll be at 30--again, 50 is "big party time," but 30 years of marriage isn't, usually.

And even if it is--there are only a few anniversaries or b'days that you really celebrate ON the day. The 21st b'day and the 1st anniversary are among them, and theirs coincided--but I sure wouldn't invite my older sister out on my 21st bday; I'd be going w/ my friends. And I wouldn't expect my newly married sister and BIL to invite us to share  the 1st-anniv. celebration with them.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: VorFemme on March 01, 2013, 06:26:42 PM
I guess knowing who the "golden child" is in that family is why it stunk to me - but her brother may not be bothered.  We rarely saw much of them after going back into the military some twenty years ago (we had been living in the same town), as they spent all holidays visiting her parents & siblings and would get back "home" after we had to leave for our much longer drive home (six hour drive home for them, twenty hour plus drive for us for us - depending on weather, we might end up spending the night about the halfway point).  Due both families having kids in school, sticking around until they got back would have caused ours to miss school after a two day drive home.

I did ask VorGuy what he thought about this situation and he wondered why the parents of the two brothers didn't say anything to the new bridegroom about his brother's wedding having been on that date just a few months back.  Because even if the brother wasn't the kind of guy to notice it, his mother probably isn't the kind to ignore it totally.....

Unless the LW's BIL is the "golden child" in his family *or* possibly his fiancee and her family are the ones setting things up without a lot of input from the groom's family.  There are families that don't sauce a goose the same as a gander......
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: AylaM on March 01, 2013, 06:37:30 PM
I think that if the LW and husband skip the wedding they'd come off as churlish.  I think that even if the wedding was on their first anniversary that they couldn't skip it without problems relationship-wise.  I'd probably be upset by it, but wouldn't miss a sibling's wedding for it. 

With regards to making it work:
I think if the husband said they'd "make it work" he isn't really saying that they will come to both events.  In the end the "make it work" might obligate them for the wedding.  In all actuality I can't see that as being a blanket statement affirming that they'll be there for both events.

Another perspective on the date:
Could easily be an honest mistake and even if LW had protested the couple isn't being unreasonable for having the wedding then and wanting the LW to be there.  Engagement party is different though.  In the end my take on the date was that maybe the brother and SIL chose a wedding date based on the venue and other wedding stuff.  And then the engagement party date was chosen because "how cool, it is exactly a year before the wedding!" (which I could see myself doing).  So part honest mistake and part deliberate.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: Tilt Fairy on March 01, 2013, 07:44:05 PM
Apologies if another poster has mentioned it but perhaps we have all forgotten that it is not just the groom (the brother in this case) that has planned the wedding and engagement party on that date but also (and maybe even likely more so) his fiancť. She has also picked that date. LW even says that her and her husband barely know the fiancť. Therefore the date LW and husband got married will have even less significance to her brothers bride-to be than her brother. As they barely know her, maybe she didn't even attend their wedding in the first place or if she did, I doubt the date would have stuck in her mind. There might be 1001 reasons the couple as a couple (or maybe even just the bride!) picked this particular date for their wedding and engagement. At least 50% (assume for simplicity) of the decision making for the date will have come from the bride and the date might have been picked for reasons on the brides side that we have no clue about. There are two lots of family considerations and guest conflicts to consider. Even if the brother did remember, it might not (understandably)be important enough to his bride to pick a different date. She barely knows these people and they are not close to her.

I'm with the people that do not understand why a certain even has to be celebrated on a specific exact date. Surely it is about the sentiment, the gesture, the milestone rather than the specific date or exact time itself? I actually doubt the majority of adults and children celebrate their birthdays, valentines day, anniversaries with a "celebratory event" on the exact day as there are more weekdays than weekend days. I think most people celebrate to the nearest Friday or Saturday night either side. In fact, you can "celebrate" actual day itself by perhaps exchanging presents then and having an extra passionate kiss, but leave the "celebration event" e.g. dinner and dancing, for the day before or after. If anything, it prolongs the romance!

Whatever the LW feels, she should be sincere and polite with her BIL. If they really really want to celebrate their first anniversary on that exact date and decide that it would not be as special celebrating it the day before or after then they should politely decline the engagement party. If I was the LW I would be sincere with my BIL and tell him that I was very sorry I had to decline but that the first anniversary date was very significant to me. If I was the BIL, I'd rather have this than a guest show up reluctantly who wouldn't enjoy the night or celebrate fully because they clearly preferred to be somewhere else.

However with regards to the Second Anniversary vs The Wedding, it would be extremely hurtful, immature, churlish, consequential etc.. etc.. not to attend. I think they would also end up regretting it down the line. I don't think there's anything wrong with celebrating a second anniversary if it's important to them, but to celebrate in lieu of BILs wedding would be a very bad idea.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: kareng57 on March 01, 2013, 09:41:14 PM
I was not happy when our niece's wedding was planned for DD's (her cousin's) party with her bridesmaids, her own brother's 20th birthday, and the day after Uncle VorGuy got home for his first weekend after two weeks at summer camps back to back (short on sleep & long on work due to his duties at the camp). 

I get that the date was not convenient for you, but what I don't understand is why you think the niece and her husband should have taken any of these "conflicts" into consideration when planning their wedding.  I really don't understand what the brother's birthday would have to do with anything, and I just cannot fathom that the niece would be worrying about your DH's camp schedule or her cousin's party?

In all of this, unless there is solid proof that a HC is trying to exclude someone, I assume they did the best they could to pick the best date possible for their wedding, all things considered.  What the HC "considered" might not be what anyone else is concerned with, but it is the HC's choice.


I don't understand this, either.  Unless the guest-list is very small (perhaps under 20) I truly don't see the need to screen the guest-list re other commitments they might have at that time.  If they can attend, then great.  If they can't, they can't.  If both the bride and groom have several siblings, it could be unavoidable to have a conflict with a sibling's birthday.

Some time ago on this board, there was a post from a more-distant relative (aunt or cousin, I think) complaining about a HC that had picked the same wedding date that they had, 20+ years ago.  How dare they!
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: MariaE on March 02, 2013, 12:02:27 AM


I would take it a step over and say you get the day in the sun once, and it's privately yours forever.  Does this couple expect their whole family to celebrate their anniversary year after year? 

There's a difference between a first and and sixth.  The first anniversary, 25th and 50th are ones I would expect to be more important than just about anything else going on around a couple. 
  Many couples feel that their first anniversary would hold more weight than an engagement party - no matter who it was for. That coupled with the wedding being on the second anniversary would set a lot of folks on edge.
   There is really nothing about this that does not set my hinky meter on edge.

I've never met anybody in Denmark who considered their first that important. I agree with 25th and 50th (and will add 12.5 as we celebrate that too), but not 1st.

Not saying it doesn't happen - I've just never encountered it, so the thought honestly wouldn't cross my mind.

But most first anniversaries are "privately yours." They're not an event you have a party for, with the whole family celebrating.
(and this letter writer never says anything about that, nor does anybody else on this thread)

That may be why someone hasn't heard much about people fussing over their first anniversary--I think for most people it's sort of an intimate thing. That doesn't make it any less important.

I never said I expected them to have a party to show that it was important, I said I didn't know anybody who found it important full stop.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: Cheapie on March 02, 2013, 06:58:46 PM
Ok, my opinion only ... and maybe not totally based on accepted etiquette, but I don't care if the DH told his brother that "they definitely would be there" ... it was a conversation he was having with his brother and he didn't have the benefit of consulting with his wife at that moment, so it was just a conversation from my point of view.  When the invite for the engagement party arrives, they are fully within their rights to RSVP "no" if they have previous plans.  It does appear that they have previous plans ... celebrating their first anniversary alone, as is important to them.  As has been said, it's an invitation, not a summons.

As for the second anniversary, I would certainly hope they think about the importance of attending a family wedding, especially since it is his brother.  While I can see a first anniversary being pretty important to a good portion of the population, I would think that a second annivesary could be celebrated on another day for most of them. Besides, I think a huge party with a large portion of your family present would be a great way to celebrate your second anniversary ... and you don't even have to plan it! :D  But that's just my opinion.

For what it's worth, the only anniversary I remember every. single. year. is my older sister's as she got married on my 17th birthday.  DH and I tend to forget our own anniversary a good portion of the time as we got married in an unconventional way.  My DParents had a pretty tight income flow when I was a kid so we didn't do much in the way of celebrating anything other than with our choice of dinner, so I never got use to doing a lot of celebrations.  I even do my boys' birthdays in a haphazard manner.  It works for us though and I'm sure the LW would like to celebrate her first anniversary in a way that works for her and her DH.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: Sharnita on March 02, 2013, 07:05:54 PM
Ok, my opinion only ... and maybe not totally based on accepted etiquette, but I don't care if the DH told his brother that "they definitely would be there" ... it was a conversation he was having with his brother and he didn't have the benefit of consulting with his wife at that moment, so it was just a conversation from my point of view.   When the invite for the engagement party arrives, they are fully within their rights to RSVP "no" if they have previous plans.  It does appear that they have previous plans ... celebrating their first anniversary alone, as is important to them.  As has been said, it's an invitation, not a summons.

As for the second anniversary, I would certainly hope they think about the importance of attending a family wedding, especially since it is his brother.  While I can see a first anniversary being pretty important to a good portion of the population, I would think that a second annivesary could be celebrated on another day for most of them. Besides, I think a huge party with a large portion of your family present would be a great way to celebrate your second anniversary ... and you don't even have to plan it! :D  But that's just my opinion.

For what it's worth, the only anniversary I remember every. single. year. is my older sister's as she got married on my 17th birthday.  DH and I tend to forget our own anniversary a good portion of the time as we got married in an unconventional way.  My DParents had a pretty tight income flow when I was a kid so we didn't do much in the way of celebrating anything other than with our choice of dinner, so I never got use to doing a lot of celebrations.  I even do my boys' birthdays in a haphazard manner.  It works for us though and I'm sure the LW would like to celebrate her first anniversary in a way that works for her and her DH.

The problem with that theory is that he emailted the groom to be, they weren't having a conversation. So he did have the chance, or at least the option, to consult with his wife first.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: Cheapie on March 02, 2013, 07:32:01 PM
Yeah, my mistake! :)  This thread has gotten so long that I kind of forgot how the letter 'read'.  I just when back and read it ... thought that was a good idea.  Thanks for giving me the heads up!

Anyway, I still stand by my original post.  The DH could have meant "make it work" in reference to the wedding not the engagement party.  Only he and possibly his wife know exactly what he meant pertaining to every word in his email ... I can only guess.  I still think that someone askingemailing you about a possible party date four months before it is to possibly happen, and you responding that you will 'make it work' does not commit you to attending.  RSVPing 'yes' to an invitation does.  The invitation may arrive with a totally different date ... things do happen.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: Aeris on March 02, 2013, 08:02:28 PM
<snip>I still think that someone askingemailing you about a possible party date four months before it is to possibly happen, and you responding that you will 'make it work' does not commit you to attending.  RSVPing 'yes' to an invitation does.  The invitation may arrive with a totally different date ... things do happen.

I'm sorry, I've seen this expressed a few times, and I just cannot for the life of me rationalize it. The bolded is wrong. When someone asks you if you will be somewhere, and you say that you will, you have given them your word. Your are absolutely obligated. It does not matter that it is not a formal RSVP, you said that you would be there.

"I will make it work" means "I will be there". That's what it means.

Now, if the invitation arrives, and pertinent details like the date have changed, you are no longer obligated. Because the pertinent details changed, not because anything is particularly magical about the physical invitation. You don't have to respond at all before the invitation arrives, but if you do you are bound by your voluntary response.

In this situation "I will make it work" could, arguably, be referring to the wedding and not the engagement party. But we don't get to start making up things. We don't get to pretend "I will make it work" isn't a statement of "I will be there". And we don't get to pretend that you can say you'll be somewhere and it just doesn't count until you get the physical piece of mail.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: LifeOnPluto on March 02, 2013, 08:54:03 PM
<snip>I still think that someone askingemailing you about a possible party date four months before it is to possibly happen, and you responding that you will 'make it work' does not commit you to attending.  RSVPing 'yes' to an invitation does.  The invitation may arrive with a totally different date ... things do happen.

I'm sorry, I've seen this expressed a few times, and I just cannot for the life of me rationalize it. The bolded is wrong. When someone asks you if you will be somewhere, and you say that you will, you have given them your word. Your are absolutely obligated. It does not matter that it is not a formal RSVP, you said that you would be there.

"I will make it work" means "I will be there". That's what it means.

Now, if the invitation arrives, and pertinent details like the date have changed, you are no longer obligated. Because the pertinent details changed, not because anything is particularly magical about the physical invitation. You don't have to respond at all before the invitation arrives, but if you do you are bound by your voluntary response.

In this situation "I will make it work" could, arguably, be referring to the wedding and not the engagement party. But we don't get to start making up things. We don't get to pretend "I will make it work" isn't a statement of "I will be there". And we don't get to pretend that you can say you'll be somewhere and it just doesn't count until you get the physical piece of mail.

I agree with Aeris (and Sharnita).

Unfortunately, I think that the husband's response "We'll make it work" indicates that barring any huge emergency, he and the LW would be attending both events. Yes, it was wrong of him to commit to these events without checking with his wife, and the LW has every right to be annoyed at him. But I do think that they are now "on the hook" for attending, and it would be rude to RSVP "no" to both invitations.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: TootsNYC on March 02, 2013, 09:19:54 PM
I agree, "we'll make it work" means "we'll be there."

But I also think that it could ALSO mean "we'll be there but we'll leave early in order to have time together to celebrate our anniversary."

And if the "we'll make it work" was in response to both dates, I might still hold that "making it work" means "showing up for the most important half of this two-date plan, which is the wedding, not the engagement party."
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: kudeebee on March 02, 2013, 09:24:29 PM
I think "make it work" as referenced to both events could be taken several ways.  Since dh responded without talking to his dw first, so I don't think that they are bound to attend both events.  One part of a social unit should not respond for the other without checking with them first. 

I still think couple is fine to skip the engagement party--send a nice card with a note, talk to the ILs ahead of time--and definitely should attend the wedding and related festivities.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: Cheapie on March 02, 2013, 10:31:00 PM
<snip>I still think that someone asking/emailing you about a possible party date four months before it is to possibly happen, and you responding that you will 'make it work' does not commit you to attending.  RSVPing 'yes' to an invitation does.  The invitation may arrive with a totally different date ... things do happen.

I'm sorry, I've seen this expressed a few times, and I just cannot for the life of me rationalize it. The bolded is wrong. When someone asks you if you will be somewhere, and you say that you will, you have given them your word. Your are absolutely obligated. It does not matter that it is not a formal RSVP, you said that you would be there.

"I will make it work" means "I will be there". That's what it means.

So the words "we'll make it work" mean that this couple has to hold the whole day open for the engagement party and cannot make any plans for their own first anniversary?  Since weddings are held at different times during a day, I am guessing that the same can be done for engagement parties.  Considering that there was no mention of a party time, I'm am guessing that is exactly what they have to do until they receive an actual invitation.  That doesn't seem quite fair.  So no, I don't agree that "we'll make it work" means "we'll be there" otherwise I think the husband would have emailed "we will be there".  I think it means they'll figure out someway to make this work s best as possible for everyone involved in regards to both events.  And since the LW and her DH are planning on celebrating their first anniversary and are asking what to do about the wedding, it appears that they don't consider the husband's response of "we'll make it work" to be an RSVP to the engagement party either.

The husband did not write "they would be there", he wrote "we would make it work".  Maybe this couple's intent is to send a negative RSVP and offer to pay for the beverage service at the engagement party.  Maybe they are going to offer to pay for the band/DJ at the party as their present ... that might be their way of "making it work".  (Sorry, but I've never been to an engagement party and really don't know what all they entail. :) )

All we know from the LW is that the husband emailed "we would make it work" and that they are skipping the engagement party so their interpretation, and mine, of "we would make it work" are quite different from a number of posters on this thread.  I'm willing to agree to disagree, but I'm not willing to say that I am wrong and you are right ... we just have differing opinions on the semantics of the "we would make it work" portion of his email.

I do agree that the brother's wedding trumps a second anniversary though and they should attend that.  Heck, depending on what the invitation says about the engagement party, I think they should consider canceling their anniversary plans and attend that party.  I just don't agree that the email was an actual RSVP to both events and they are therefore not obligated to attend them at this point.  I to agree that an explanation for their absence should be considered since this is close family and it might help to smooth over any possible hurt feelings.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: kareng57 on March 02, 2013, 10:42:16 PM
<snip>I still think that someone asking/emailing you about a possible party date four months before it is to possibly happen, and you responding that you will 'make it work' does not commit you to attending.  RSVPing 'yes' to an invitation does.  The invitation may arrive with a totally different date ... things do happen.

I'm sorry, I've seen this expressed a few times, and I just cannot for the life of me rationalize it. The bolded is wrong. When someone asks you if you will be somewhere, and you say that you will, you have given them your word. Your are absolutely obligated. It does not matter that it is not a formal RSVP, you said that you would be there.

"I will make it work" means "I will be there". That's what it means.

So the words "we'll make it work" mean that this couple has to hold the whole day open for the engagement party and cannot make any plans for their own first anniversary?  Since weddings are held at different times during a day, I am guessing that the same can be done for engagement parties.  Considering that there was no mention of a party time, I'm am guessing that is exactly what they have to do until they receive an actual invitation.  That doesn't seem quite fair.  So no, I don't agree that "we'll make it work" means "we'll be there" otherwise I think the husband would have emailed "we will be there".  I think it means they'll figure out someway to make this work s best as possible for everyone involved in regards to both events.  And since the LW and her DH are planning on celebrating their first anniversary and are asking what to do about the wedding, it appears that they don't consider the husband's response of "we'll make it work" to be an RSVP to the engagement party either.

The husband did not write "they would be there", he wrote "we would make it work".  Maybe this couple's intent is to send a negative RSVP and offer to pay for the beverage service at the engagement party.  Maybe they are going to offer to pay for the band/DJ at the party as their present ... that might be their way of "making it work".  (Sorry, but I've never been to an engagement party and really don't know what all they entail. :) )

All we know from the LW is that the husband emailed "we would make it work" and that they are skipping the engagement party so their interpretation, and mine, of "we would make it work" are quite different from a number of posters on this thread.  I'm willing to agree to disagree, but I'm not willing to say that I am wrong and you are right ... we just have differing opinions on the semantics of the "we would make it work" portion of his email.

I do agree that the brother's wedding trumps a second anniversary though and they should attend that.  Heck, depending on what the invitation says about the engagement party, I think they should consider canceling their anniversary plans and attend that party.  I just don't agree that the email was an actual RSVP to both events and they are therefore not obligated to attend them at this point.  I to agree that an explanation for their absence should be considered since this is close family and it might help to smooth over any possible hurt feelings.


I disagree.  "We'll make it work" means exactly that, IMO.  Of course he should have consulted his wife - but he didn't.  That's not the fault of the newly-engaged couple.

Yes, of course they could renege on that later, it's not a crime.  But it could lead to hurt feelings, down the road.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: Sharnita on March 02, 2013, 10:45:44 PM
I don't think there is evidence he didn't consult his wife - I thought it sounded like he had.  She was just displeased with the choice of the date in general, certain that regardless of her husband's response they wouldn't attend the engagement and apparently considering whether they should attend the wedding.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: TurtleDove on March 02, 2013, 11:17:38 PM
The way I see it, an engagement party or wedding involves many many people. Celebrating an anniversary involves two people. I don't really understand why the LW cannot recognize that she can celebrate her anniversary with her husband whenever and wherever she and her husband agree to, but the HC cannot do the same because their celebration involves many many people. If it is more important to the LW to celebrate with her DH on the actual date of the anniversary, she can make that choice. But that choice has consequences, and some people (like me) won't understand or approve of her decision.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: Aeris on March 03, 2013, 12:46:39 AM
<snip>I still think that someone asking/emailing you about a possible party date four months before it is to possibly happen, and you responding that you will 'make it work' does not commit you to attending.  RSVPing 'yes' to an invitation does.  The invitation may arrive with a totally different date ... things do happen.

I'm sorry, I've seen this expressed a few times, and I just cannot for the life of me rationalize it. The bolded is wrong. When someone asks you if you will be somewhere, and you say that you will, you have given them your word. Your are absolutely obligated. It does not matter that it is not a formal RSVP, you said that you would be there.

"I will make it work" means "I will be there". That's what it means.

So the words "we'll make it work" mean that this couple has to hold the whole day open for the engagement party and cannot make any plans for their own first anniversary? 

No. Fortunately for me, that's not what I said. At all.

Since weddings are held at different times during a day, I am guessing that the same can be done for engagement parties.  Considering that there was no mention of a party time, I'm am guessing that is exactly what they have to do until they receive an actual invitation.  That doesn't seem quite fair. 

Because it couldn't possibly be true that the people in question discussed the time of the event and didn't include that detail in the Dear Prudence letter? Or if they didn't discuss it, I suppose they are barred from picking up the phone and asking "Hey, is this an evening party or a midday party?"

You respond as though there is no possible way for them to either already have, or quickly obtain this timing information. Which is patently absurd.

So no, I don't agree that "we'll make it work" means "we'll be there" otherwise I think the husband would have emailed "we will be there".  I think it means they'll figure out someway to make this work s best as possible for everyone involved in regards to both events.  And since the LW and her DH are planning on celebrating their first anniversary and are asking what to do about the wedding, it appears that they don't consider the husband's response of "we'll make it work" to be an RSVP to the engagement party either.

The husband did not write "they would be there", he wrote "we would make it work".  Maybe this couple's intent is to send a negative RSVP and offer to pay for the beverage service at the engagement party.  Maybe they are going to offer to pay for the band/DJ at the party as their present ... that might be their way of "making it work". (Sorry, but I've never been to an engagement party and really don't know what all they entail. :) )

That's not 'making it work'. It just isn't. It stretches and misuses the English language to a degree where words no longer mean anything consistent. In this magical wonderland you've created, no one can be trusted to mean the words they say, since words would no longer mean the same things to people.

And just because this couple don't consider the DH's statement of 'we'll make it work' to be a positive commitment for AT LEAST one of the events doesn't mean they are remotely correct. It's possible to argue that it's not a commitment for *both* events, but it is not possible to reasonably argue that it doesn't commit you to at least one.


<rest of quote snipped>
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: Cheapie on March 03, 2013, 03:15:42 AM
<snip>I still think that someone asking/emailing you about a possible party date four months before it is to possibly happen, and you responding that you will 'make it work' does not commit you to attending.  RSVPing 'yes' to an invitation does.  The invitation may arrive with a totally different date ... things do happen.

I'm sorry, I've seen this expressed a few times, and I just cannot for the life of me rationalize it. The bolded is wrong. When someone asks you if you will be somewhere, and you say that you will, you have given them your word. Your are absolutely obligated. It does not matter that it is not a formal RSVP, you said that you would be there.

"I will make it work" means "I will be there". That's what it means.

So the words "we'll make it work" mean that this couple has to hold the whole day open for the engagement party and cannot make any plans for their own first anniversary? 

No. Fortunately for me, that's not what I said. At all.

I didn't say that you said it.  I was questioning if that was what they had to do since they don't appear to know the time of the party, as I noted in later sentences.

Since weddings are held at different times during a day, I am guessing that the same can be done for engagement parties.  Considering that there was no mention of a party time, I'm am guessing that is exactly what they have to do until they receive an actual invitation.  That doesn't seem quite fair. 

Because it couldn't possibly be true that the people in question discussed the time of the event and didn't include that detail in the Dear Prudence letter? Or if they didn't discuss it, I suppose they are barred from picking up the phone and asking "Hey, is this an evening party or a midday party?"

You respond as though there is no possible way for them to either already have, or quickly obtain this timing information. Which is patently absurd.

I was basing my answer/opinion on what was written in the letter.  If this was a casual 'save the date' email, the HC may not even have an exact time set.  So no, I don't think the LW and her DH can plan or make reservations until they get an actual invitation.  The HC might be able to let them know the exact time a bit previous to making out invitations when they have the time all set though.

However, if there is the possibility that they discussed the time and the LW didn't include it in her letter, I guess there could also be the possibility that she paraphrased her letter and didn't include the exact wording of her DH's email to his brother.  She did not put quotes around the phrase "it probably wasn't the best date but we would make it work if nothing else could be considered" (those are my quotes, not hers), so the wording in the email could have been a bit different ... since we are discussing possibilities.

So no, I don't agree that "we'll make it work" means "we'll be there" otherwise I think the husband would have emailed "we will be there".  I think it means they'll figure out someway to make this work s best as possible for everyone involved in regards to both events.  And since the LW and her DH are planning on celebrating their first anniversary and are asking what to do about the wedding, it appears that they don't consider the husband's response of "we'll make it work" to be an RSVP to the engagement party either.

The husband did not write "they would be there", he wrote "we would make it work".  Maybe this couple's intent is to send a negative RSVP and offer to pay for the beverage service at the engagement party.  Maybe they are going to offer to pay for the band/DJ at the party as their present ... that might be their way of "making it work". (Sorry, but I've never been to an engagement party and really don't know what all they entail. :) )

That's not 'making it work'. It just isn't. It stretches and misuses the English language to a degree where words no longer mean anything consistent. In this magical wonderland you've created, no one can be trusted to mean the words they say, since words would no longer mean the same things to people.


I did all that with two simple sentences?  First, I don't think "all words mean the same things to people".  If they did, I don't think this website would be in existence.  Second, just because it is not your way of 'making it work' doesn't mean other people don't use compromises such as I listed to make their rlationships work to the best of their abilities.  Third, I find the begining of your second sentence to be a bit insulting.  I don't think that is necessary.

And just because this couple don't consider the DH's statement of 'we'll make it work' to be a positive commitment for AT LEAST one of the events doesn't mean they are remotely correct. It's possible to argue that it's not a commitment for *both* events, but it is not possible to reasonably argue that it doesn't commit you to at least one.


<rest of quote snipped>
I did post that there was the possibility that that is what the DH meant by 'making it work'. It was in my second post, reply #169 in this thread. 
Quote
The DH could have meant "make it work" in reference to the wedding not the engagement party.  Only he and possibly his wife know exactly what he meant pertaining to every word in his email ... I can only guess.
It didn't seem like they were but since they wrote in to ask advice on the matter of attending the wedding, I gave them the benefit of the doubt.  I am kind of guessing that they were hoping Prudence would side with them and tell them that they didn't have to attend the wedding though.

I've tried to base my answers on what was in the letter to Prudence, but as you stated up above, they may have discussed the time of the wedding and not included that detail in the letter.  By that token, the LW may have left out quite a bit from her letter or even paraphrased what her DH emailed, which could influence many of the posted answers on this thread, including my own. 
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: Maggie on March 03, 2013, 10:05:33 AM
I really think that it's only been 10 months since he was best man at his brother's wedding.  I am reasonably sure this means the future groom was at least dating this woman when his brother got married.  I think she knows exactly what day it is on and it doesn't matter to her.  Maybe weddings happen in other parts of the country on Sunday but that is very unusual for my part of the country.  Especially Mother's Day.  I'm not sure why anyone would really want to do that.  I am also very sure I would not be attending the engagement party.  If anyone asked why I would repeat ad nauseum "because it is my first anniversary".  I do not think they had to ask anyone about the date but I do think there is a definite reason they planned their engagement party and their wedding on that date.  If the fiance is like this about just the engagement party and the wedding, what will she be like as a bride?
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: WillyNilly on March 03, 2013, 10:45:00 AM
I totally disagree that "we'll make it work" is a verbal RSVP in the positive.  Talk about stretching the English language until it no longer has no meaning, that's it right there.  "Make it work" does not under any guise of normal conversation translate to "we well absolutely attend both your events" especially when its paired with "the date doesn't really work for us" as it was.  "Make it work" could easily mean we'll attend one event but not the other, or we'll take you out to dinner some other time, or we'll send a written toast to be read to you. To me "make it work" = "we'll work something out" and the solution is not going to be the original request (which in this case was attend both events), its the offering of a compromise, not an affirmative RSVP.

Especially since we don't know the full conversation.  Maybe BIL and FSIL live out of town and are coming back 'home' for this party, the original email/conversations could have been something like "we'll be in town for an engagement party the weekend of Saturday May 11 and then our wedding will be the following year on Sunday May 11..." and the LW and her DH had plans to go away for the weekend, so the "make it work" comment easily could have meant "we'll put off leaving until Saturday morning and travel on our anniversary so we can see you Friday night when you get to town".

Without knowing exactly what the DH was responding to, we cannot make absolute conclusions on what his response was exactly referencing.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: snowdragon on March 03, 2013, 12:51:28 PM
Every time that I read this thread, I wonder if LW and her DH face consequences for missing these events - why do BIL and his DF not face consequences for their scheduling conflicts.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: citadelle on March 03, 2013, 01:05:17 PM
Every time that I read this thread, I wonder if LW and her DH face consequences for missing these events - why do BIL and his DF not face consequences for their scheduling conflicts.
I think they don't because they can plan their wedding for a date that is convenient for them. It is impractical to take everyone's schedule into account to the point where you are considering relatives' anniversaries, birthdays, and camp schedules.

If someone chooses not to attend, the reason is going to be weighed as reasonable or unreasonable by others.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: snowdragon on March 03, 2013, 01:13:49 PM
Every time that I read this thread, I wonder if LW and her DH face consequences for missing these events - why do BIL and his DF not face consequences for their scheduling conflicts.
I think they don't because they can plan their wedding for a date that is convenient for them. It is impractical to take everyone's schedule into account to the point where you are considering relatives' anniversaries, birthdays, etc.

They can do that - but that does not mean they don't have consequences either in the fact that those dates might not be convenient to everyone invited - including close relatives or that their might not be relationship consequences for making LW and DIL  for go their own celebration to attend these events.  The LW and her DH might well resent their first anniversary being co-opted for an engagement party, forcing them to choose between pissing off someone ( by non attendence) or forgoing their own celebration and the lifelong memories that go along with it.
  I know of no one who did not do something for their first anniversary and who did not cherish those memories for ever. It seems to me that if you are going to deny someone the opportunity to celebrate their own event on the day it happened, you get to deal with the consequence of their resentment  - possibly enough of it to affect the relationship forever.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: fountainof on March 03, 2013, 01:21:50 PM
I don't think "we'll make itt work" is a 100% commitment but it does seem it is.  I do think that the brother needs to address it asap if they don't plan to attend.  Just say "sorry, I was just informed wife made plans".  Maybe play it off like he was surprised by his wife.  Sure it is dishonest but it would be hard to say to someone's face that you don't want to go to the event on principal that it the same as your wedding date.

For the wedding I would just go just because the absence of the brother and SIL would probably be talked about.

For the record, engagement parties in my area are gift giving events.  I only dislike them because I am tired of the way weddings are going with more and more events.  It also has become the need to gift at most of these events, the engagement party, the social, the shower, the stag/stagette, the wedding, it seems too much. 
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: Sharnita on March 03, 2013, 01:32:17 PM
Every time that I read this thread, I wonder if LW and her DH face consequences for missing these events - why do BIL and his DF not face consequences for their scheduling conflicts.

Well, LW is alteady miffed and is complaining to Prudence (maybe others?), it sounds like the won't have LW or DH at their engagement party and even attending the wedding is not certain. So there seem to be some pretty steep consequences already for the  act of choosing the wedding date they wanted and/or that seemed to work best overall.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: snowdragon on March 03, 2013, 01:41:16 PM
Every time that I read this thread, I wonder if LW and her DH face consequences for missing these events - why do BIL and his DF not face consequences for their scheduling conflicts.

Well, LW is alteady miffed and is complaining to Prudence (maybe others?), it sounds like the won't have LW or DH at their engagement party and even attending the wedding is not certain. So there seem to be some pretty steep consequences already for the  act of choosing the wedding date they wanted and/or that seemed to work best overall.

And most people seem to be siding with the BIL, not understanding that the LW has a right to be miffed.   She no longer has the right to even feel miffed with out being told that she needs to suck up and get over it.  If they do what they want for their own even ---that works best for them---- they are in the wrong, but the BIL and his DF come out smelling like roses.  It seems to me that BIL and DF need to be as understanding as they are asking LW to be and suck it up if LW and DH do "what works best for them". after all the BIL and DF don't "own the date" either. 
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: Sharnita on March 03, 2013, 01:49:51 PM
But the difference is that we don't know yhat they will be miffed.LW plans to do her thing on her fist anniversary and she is still miffed. That I don't get at all. She doezn't report flack from the HC - don't know if they know or if they are being gracious abput other people making tjeir own decisions. It might be a bit different if she wrote in that they wouldn't be attending bit she was happy for them and hoped they enjoyed their party but she doesn't. She wants to do what she wants but resents when they do what they want. So yeah, I thinl there is a stinky attitude coming off of her.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: snowdragon on March 03, 2013, 01:59:32 PM
But to me the difference is that most of the people reading the letter refuse to acknowledge that LW should have any feelings at all about this, or that the BIL and Df should experience anything but exactly what they want on "their" days - not one but two consecutive years of celebrating on this other couple's anniversary.  And the one being vilified is the one who had the plans first.  Since the LW was married on that day first, they had plans for at least their first anniversary first.  Not the BIL and DF.

 BIL and DF can do what they want but the don't get to escape relationship consequences either. 

And if we don't know if the BIL and DF will be, miffed - we also don't know that they won't.  And it's been pointed out several times that if they skip things in favour of their own events that they will be talked about behind their backs for doing so.  Personally if I am going to extend the understand that BIL and DF are "doing what works best for them" then I wil equally grant that understanding to LW and DH.  Just because BIL and DF can do something, does not mean it's going to work for everyone around them, even their immediate family.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: citadelle on March 03, 2013, 02:02:22 PM
I just can't get past the idea that it would be impossible, or even an imposition, to attend my brother's wedding on my second wedding anniversary. It just isn't a god enough reason, in my opinion.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: snowdragon on March 03, 2013, 02:20:18 PM
I just can't get past the idea that it would be impossible, or even an imposition, to attend my brother's wedding on my second wedding anniversary. It just isn't a god enough reason, in my opinion.

It wouldn't be if they had not also scheduled an event that it seems the LW must attend on the LW's first anniversary.  It's the combination that really sets my hinky meter off.   And that makes me really feel for the LW.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: MariaE on March 03, 2013, 02:22:01 PM
I just can't get past the idea that it would be impossible, or even an imposition, to attend my brother's wedding on my second wedding anniversary. It just isn't a god enough reason, in my opinion.

Assuming there's no other backstory between the two families, I completely agree.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: Sharnita on March 03, 2013, 03:35:22 PM
I just can't get past the idea that it would be impossible, or even an imposition, to attend my brother's wedding on my second wedding anniversary. It just isn't a god enough reason, in my opinion.

It wouldn't be if they had not also scheduled an event that it seems the LW must attend on the LW's first anniversary.  It's the combination that really sets my hinky meter off.   And that makes me really feel for the LW.

See, I don't see how you say they come off smelling like roses when they are apparently suspect by liking a date that was perfectly acceptable for LW/DH to like.  If the firs couple chose it then maybe the second couple had an equally good reason for choosing it.  Instead, they are suspicious for doing so. 
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: snowdragon on March 03, 2013, 03:55:27 PM
I just can't get past the idea that it would be impossible, or even an imposition, to attend my brother's wedding on my second wedding anniversary. It just isn't a god enough reason, in my opinion.

It wouldn't be if they had not also scheduled an event that it seems the LW must attend on the LW's first anniversary.  It's the combination that really sets my hinky meter off.   And that makes me really feel for the LW.
 

   To me the second couple by way claiming it for the year before their wedding and the year of... give up any leeway they could have had from me.  People here are saying that the first couple can only expect to have that day once. But the second couple is taking it twice and that is honky dory - and the first date is not even their wedding date. So if the second couple is ok to take the date twice, the first couple certainly
See, I don't see how you say they come off smelling like roses when they are apparently suspect by liking a date that was perfectly acceptable for LW/DH to like.  If the firs couple chose it then maybe the second couple had an equally good reason for choosing it.  Instead, they are suspicious for doing so.

  People have said that the first couple only gets the day once - but the second couple is taking it twice, one year before their wedding even occurs and the first couple is expected to put aside their plans for their day, suck it up and attend the second couple's party in lieu of their own celebration. If the first couple gets the day only once, why then it it ok for the second couple to expect it for two years? 
  THe second couple may well have an attachment to that date, but that does not over ride that someone else may be celebrating their own events that day, too. And that those other people may well have feelings about being told that they are expected to put aside their celebration ( planned first because their wedding has already taken place so the plan for the first anniversary was there if not formalized) and attend the second couple's. Consequences go both ways.
  If the first couple is risking something by not attending the second couple's events, it needs to be realized that the resentment that is felt by being pressured to go to avoid the consequences from the family, and the second couple, may well poison the relationship from the first couple's perspective.
   
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: GSNW on March 03, 2013, 04:22:05 PM
If the first couple gets the day only once, why then it it ok for the second couple to expect it for two years? 

I think this is a fair question.  I still don't think LW has any right to be in a snit about the whole thing.  They are fine to say, "We already have plans for the day/weekend of your engagement party, sorry!  Yeah... we made them well in advance since it's our first anniversary.  We'll be thinking fondly of you guys!"

As for the wedding, geez, just go.  The whole "Well... we'll make it work if this is the only thing possible" seems really PA to me.  Either say you can't go and don't apologize, or go without becoming the anniversary-missing-martyrs.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: TurtleDove on March 03, 2013, 04:34:45 PM
snowdragon, I don't think the LW has no right to be upset - clearly she is upset.  I don't think it is reasonable for her to be upset. In my opinion and experience, adults can and do celebrate anniversaries meaningfully without the event happening on the exact anniversary date. 
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: Sharnita on March 03, 2013, 05:01:02 PM
Also, the first couple could have had their engagement party exactly a year before they married. Hevk, maybe they did. Or maybe they had it on another day which gives them 2 special dates. And LW has made it clear that she still intends to skip the engagement party to celebrate her annivrrsay so I don't see how she gets only 1 day or why on earth she would still be miffed.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: WillyNilly on March 03, 2013, 05:21:19 PM
I just can't get past the idea that it would be impossible, or even an imposition, to attend my brother's wedding on my second wedding anniversary. It just isn't a god enough reason, in my opinion.

I bet if it was just the wedding on the second anniversary, and it as announced to the LW and her DH after their own first anniversary, it wouldn't have been as big a deal or as upsetting, maybe not at all upsetting.

I think the problem isn't so much the wedding on the second anniversary its the big blow shock of being told. Its both days told upfront and no acknowledgement its a special day. In so many words they were told "hey bro I totally didn't think of you and your less then a year ago wedding that I stood up in and went ahead and co-oped your first two anniversary's with my own wedding stuff!"

I bet if the conversation was closer to "hey we're having an engagement party in May, we so hope you can be there, and then we were planning on May 11 next year for our wedding.  We know that's your anniversary and we are excited to share the  date with you" the reaction would be different. 

Its probably not so much the wedding on their second anniversary, its the two parties on 2 anniversaries and the total ignoring of the anniversarys.  Just one event, 2 years later probably wouldn't be a big deal - its not the one bit that upsetting, its the whole package that's upsetting. I think its silly to expect the LW to separate the two events when they essentially were mentioned as one big thing.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: LifeOnPluto on March 03, 2013, 08:29:39 PM
I just can't get past the idea that it would be impossible, or even an imposition, to attend my brother's wedding on my second wedding anniversary. It just isn't a god enough reason, in my opinion.

I bet if it was just the wedding on the second anniversary, and it as announced to the LW and her DH after their own first anniversary, it wouldn't have been as big a deal or as upsetting, maybe not at all upsetting.

I think the problem isn't so much the wedding on the second anniversary its the big blow shock of being told. Its both days told upfront and no acknowledgement its a special day. In so many words they were told "hey bro I totally didn't think of you and your less then a year ago wedding that I stood up in and went ahead and co-oped your first two anniversary's with my own wedding stuff!"

I bet if the conversation was closer to "hey we're having an engagement party in May, we so hope you can be there, and then we were planning on May 11 next year for our wedding.  We know that's your anniversary and we are excited to share the  date with you" the reaction would be different. 

Its probably not so much the wedding on their second anniversary, its the two parties on 2 anniversaries and the total ignoring of the anniversarys.  Just one event, 2 years later probably wouldn't be a big deal - its not the one bit that upsetting, its the whole package that's upsetting. I think its silly to expect the LW to separate the two events when they essentially were mentioned as one big thing.

POD to WillyNilly.

The wedding is one thing. But the engagement party on the exact same date is a different ball game.

However, as I said in my previous post, I do think the LW and her DH are committed to attending both. To me "We'll make it work" means "We can rearrange our own plans to suit yours, if necessary".
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: cass2591 on March 03, 2013, 08:57:46 PM
Quote
Maybe weddings happen in other parts of the country on Sunday but that is very unusual for my part of the country.  Especially Mother's Day.

I can't speak for Mother's Day, but Sunday weddings are very common among Jews. Obviously I don't have a clue as to what religion the people in question are, but the assumption (at least in the US of A) that Sunday weddings are rare is just not true.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: Tilt Fairy on March 03, 2013, 09:31:45 PM
Also, Sunday Weddings are starting to become more common as couples know that the majority of people will not be at work (just like Saturday also) but the wedding venue they have chosen might actually be cheaper on the Sunday instead of the Saturday. Just making it one day later into the weekend can be cheaper and sometimes if the couple aren't fussed on a reception running late into the night and everyone drinking and partying, it might not be too much of an issue that it's Monday the next day.

I'm in the UK and I've attended a couple of weddings on Sunday - smaller, intimate weddings that were scheduled for a Sunday to incorporate or complement quaint English Sunday pastimes like a Sunday Roast at the pub for the reception or the groomsman playing golf on a Sunday morning before the wedding watching the Sunday football afterwards. In England in the spring (March-June), we have two or three national bank holidays that fall on the Monday so sometimes a Sunday Wedding isn't such a bad idea as people have the Monday off anyway.

*Also. As others have mentioned, I think it's quite likely the LW disguised the date for the letter. So we might not even be talking about a Sunday at all.
Title: Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
Post by: kareng57 on March 03, 2013, 10:30:13 PM
Also, Sunday Weddings are starting to become more common as couples know that the majority of people will not be at work (just like Saturday also) but the wedding venue they have chosen might actually be cheaper on the Sunday instead of the Saturday. Just making it one day later into the weekend can be cheaper and sometimes if the couple aren't fussed on a reception running late into the night and everyone drinking and partying, it might not be too much of an issue that it's Monday the next day.

I'm in the UK and I've attended a couple of weddings on Sunday - smaller, intimate weddings that were scheduled for a Sunday to incorporate or complement quaint English Sunday pastimes like a Sunday Roast at the pub for the reception or the groomsman playing golf on a Sunday morning before the wedding watching the Sunday football afterwards. In England in the spring (March-June), we have two or three national bank holidays that fall on the Monday so sometimes a Sunday Wedding isn't such a bad idea as people have the Monday off anyway.

*Also. As others have mentioned, I think it's quite likely the LW disguised the date for the letter. So we might not even be talking about a Sunday at all.


I agree that we're likely not talking about a Sunday "real" wedding - but they're not that uncommon here.

The first one I ever attended was at a non-denominational heritage church owned by the city, and any officiant could do weddings there.  The particular minister was a hospital chaplain, who of course did not have the usual Sunday duties that a minister attached to a church would have had.