Planning a Wedding… In Your Sisters Shadow

It is always tricky when two sisters get engaged in a short space of time. I have had two brides this week tell me that they are living in their sisters wedding shadow. Unfortunately, I have to say this is not the first I have heard statements like:

“My sister had a huge wedding last year, so I have to keep mine low-key”

“My family are fed up with weddings after planning my sisters”

“I can’t even talk about my wedding plans until my sister gets married in a few months”

“My Mom has asked me not to spoil my sisters wedding by planning mine at the same time”Sisters wedding shadow-3

It is awful, but unfortunately it isn’t uncommon. Families with sisters, especially ones close in age can find it difficult to deal with multiple weddings within a close time frame. Weather it is the expense, a sense of sibling rivalry or (sorry to say) family favouritism it can be hard if you are not the sister in the spotlight.

Well let this blog be your shoulder to lean on. I am going to tell you that no matter who is getting married whether it be your sister, mother, neighbour, best friend or arch enemy, YOUR wedding is 100% the most important thing happening in your life right now. You have found the person you want to spend the rest of your life with, you want to commit to them for ever and ever in a way that is right for you. Don’t let anyone stand in the way of that!

I am not saying become an evil bridezilla or disown your family, what I am saying is that you need to do what makes you and your fiancé happy. You are a bride-to-be, this is your special day, don’t let your happiness be brought down by anyone.

If you have always wanted a big wedding, but your sister is having one this year too, of course you will have to make sacrifices. You may not be able to get as much financial support from your parents, if you share friends your bridesmaids may not be able to commit to being in two weddings in the same year or if you both want a destination wedding your guests might not be able to take 2-weeks of holiday just for your family.

Here are some top tips if you are planning a wedding at the same year as your sister:

Be open with your sister
Don’t bottle things up! This is the worst thing you can do because when things get bottled up, they eventually tend to explode, and that is no good for anyone. Talk with your sister about her plans, what she wants and what you want, work together and compromise so that everyone is happy.

Jealousy is not a good look
Jealousy is a very big issue when it comes to planning any wedding. And it becomes an even bigger issue if there is a loved one involved. I know it will be hard, and if you are going to do this you have to be strong, but try and focus on you and your wedding, not what your sister is doing. Your weddings are equally important don’t loose sight of that.

Know what your want and stick to it!
No matter how you look at it you are dealing with a sticky situation. You want to keep your family & friends happy, you want your guests to come to and enjoy both weddings, and you want to plan the wedding of your dreams.

So here is the magic formula:

Step 1: Sit down with your fiancé and decide exactly what you want. Set your budget, create your guest list, choose your wedding style (for more detail read this blog: 3 Things You Must Do Before You Spend a Penny on Your Wedding). Usually I would say just do these 3 things then get on with your other planning as you go, but in your delicate situation you have to go a few steps further.
You have to also:
-Set your date
-Decide on your wedding location, maybe even a venue if you have your heart set on one
-Decide on your bridesmaids
-Go thorough your list of priorities (see the tips in my budget guide) and decide which items you are willing to compromise on and which ones you are not. Say for example if you have always wanted a beach themed wedding, note this down as one of your top, non-nagotiable items.

Step 2: Share this information with your sister and her fiancé
Tell them that you want to invite them for dinner to discuss your wedding plans. Be open with what you are doing, we don’t want this to be a wedding ambush or it might start things off with negativity. Maybe even send them a link to this blog, so they can do this exercise too! When the time is right, pull out your uber-organized list of wedding wishes and share all the details with them. This way they will know exactly what you want for your wedding and it will give you a baseline for compromise. Sharing this information will ensure that you don’t step on each others toes or end up planning two identical weddings (oh the horror!) The goal here is to create two complimenting events. Two events in the same year that are as unique as you and that all your guests will enjoy!

Step 3: Compromise
Like I said above the goal here should be to plan two complimenting events that will make you both happy. Work together, be open and support each other. You are sisters, you love each other and are both getting married! Lets celebrate!

Step 4: Plan according to your plan
You have mapped it all out, you know what you want, and so does your sister. It is time to start planning! The trick here is to stick to the plan. You can not, i repeat CAN NOT change any plans without discussing it with your sister first. This is where the problems will occur. If you told your sister you are having pink bridesmaid dresses, then all of a sudden change to purple, then she has chosen purple dresses well… watch out! You will only have yourself to blame when things kick off! And she has every right! You have, have, have to keep the lines of communication open at all times, this is the sacrifice you have to make if you want to plan a wedding now, at the same time as your sister.

Good luck! Be strong & have fun!


Have questions? Want some sibling wedding planning advice for your individual situation? Comment below, I will be happy to help!

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