Wedding Date: Too close for comfort

by EPI Staff on April 15, 2009

Q: My son recently announced his engagement and potential wedding dates. A month later his cousin announced her engagement. Of course as luck would have it, the available date for getting married at the venue he and his fiancée have chosen is the same day his cousin has selected to be married in her friend’s back yard. How do we deal with this? First come, first serve? Do we worry about guests attending two weddings so close together? Help! Please!

A: This is something the couples will have to work out between themselves. Technically (although it would be difficult for the guests in many ways) they could have it the same day, or even the same weekend. The two couples should get together and discuss the issue at hand with an attitude of “what would make this work for all”. It’s difficult and frustrating, however if they each budge a little, no one will feel like they’ve given up their entire dream and everyone will understand that efforts were made by both parties to make the best of the situation.

For more on wedding etiquette check out: Peggy Post’s Emily Post’s Weddings 5th Edition,

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Chrystean page April 5, 2011 at 5:17 am

I have a similar situation I need advice with. In February 2011 my fiance asked me to marry him in a very well thought out, well planned engagement, he even made sure that my family and his family could fly in for the celebration, and he planned a mini getaway for just the two of us. It was amazing.

Eight days later, his younger sister’s boyfriend proposed to her.

Since his sister came to us and said that they weren’t going to get married until next summer in 2012, we went ahead and put a deposit on a venue for this September 2011. Now that we are financially committed they have decided that they would like to get married in November of this year, two months after us. We are already hurt by how close the proposal was and fear that this is going to start causing permanent damage.
What would be the proper etiquette?


Alicia April 5, 2011 at 11:33 am

It is a month later. Yes it is not very thoughtful for all the realtives that will have to go to two weddings so close together and it may be expensive. However they are not getting married on your wedding date or even wedding month. Relax and stop feeling hurt about it.Actually I would try and view it as flattery that they are following your guys presumably more mature lead. But the best thing you can do to prevent permanent damage is to not let it hurt your feelings. Smile and make sure you send out save the dates so everyone knows when your wedding is. Proper ettiquette does not say that a brother and sister can not marry their spouses the same day, week,month or year. It is not an ettiquette issue in that respect.


Ann-Marie Fennema August 8, 2012 at 5:23 pm

My daughter announced and booked the venue for her small family wedding. Her cousin has just informed us that her very large wedding will be a wek before hers. Naturally my daughter is upset because she feels that her small wedding will now be overshadowed the week before by the large wedding in the same family just one wek prior. She has asked her cousin if there is anyway she can change her date as is being held at a family farm and my daughters has been already booked and a deposit paid for at a reception place. The cousin says the week before is the date that suits her best. Any advice? Daughter is so upset she is contemplating eloping. (sorry “week” not “wek”).


Elizabeth August 8, 2012 at 7:00 pm

I think your daughter is mis-reading the situation. Weddings are not competitive events. The guest lists for the two events will overlap, but will not be anywhere near identical. These are people who care about both daughter and cousin and want to celebrate with both. Just because they’re close in date doesn’t mean that people won’t come or be happy for both.

It was a faux-pas to ask the cousin to move it, but now that she has, she should drop it and concentrate on her own wedding. It’s not as if this was anything malicious on the part of the cousin or anybody else, things just happen. She should focus on her own celebration with her close friends and family – that’s what a wedding is about, not competing social events, not to impress people. Every bride and groom gets a day – not a weekend, not a week, not a month, etc. She would be best served if you told her gently and lovingly to get a grip. Why would she not want to share her day with the people she loves because of what they might be doing the week before?


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