Author Topic: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date  (Read 19119 times)

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violinp

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Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
« Reply #120 on: February 28, 2013, 11:32:38 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.
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Dindrane

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Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
« Reply #121 on: March 01, 2013, 12:13:54 AM »
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.


MariaE

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Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
« Reply #122 on: March 01, 2013, 12:42:21 AM »
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.
 
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GSNW

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Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
« Reply #123 on: March 01, 2013, 01:43:51 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.

snowdragon

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Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
« Reply #124 on: March 01, 2013, 02:53:00 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.

MariaE

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Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
« Reply #125 on: March 01, 2013, 04:52:24 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.
 
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Miss Unleaded

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Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
« Reply #126 on: March 01, 2013, 06:56:48 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.

Dindrane

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Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
« Reply #127 on: March 01, 2013, 09:34:08 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.


lady_disdain

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Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
« Reply #128 on: March 01, 2013, 09:44:35 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).

KarenK

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Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
« Reply #129 on: March 01, 2013, 09:49:51 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.

Poppea

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Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
« Reply #130 on: March 01, 2013, 09:51:51 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.

TootsNYC

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Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
« Reply #131 on: March 01, 2013, 10:44:24 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.

Miss Tickle

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Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
« Reply #132 on: March 01, 2013, 10:59:10 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.

WillyNilly

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Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
« Reply #133 on: March 01, 2013, 11:03:08 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?"

lowspark

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Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
« Reply #134 on: March 01, 2013, 11:08:58 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

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.