Ask the Wedding Maven: Can I Get Married the Same Month as My Friend?

by Marta
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Hi.
I recently got engaged, about 2 weeks ago. For the past 10 years, after going to my first Christmas wedding, I have wanted to have a Christmas wedding. My fiance and I both love Christmas, and think it is such a special and joyous time of year that we felt it is a perfect time for us to get married.

I have already been in 2 weddings this year, and my fiancé one, plus we have had tons of wedding showers, 2 of our other close friends have gotten engaged, etc… so there has been a lot going on. My fiancé was originally planning on proposing earlier this year, but a shower, another friend’s engagement or wedding, has always come up, and he wanted to wait, and not steal away from anyone else’s time.

We tried to plan a wedding for this Christmas, but we were not able to get either of our churches, or our top two reception sites. We also have a large guest list and our parents thought it would be better for us to wait until next year.

One of my best friends is getting married on New Years Eve 2010/2011. I am a bridesmaid in her wedding, and she is in mine. Originally, when I mentioned having my wedding in December of 2011, my friend freaked out and said no. She said that she wants the whole month of December to be about her and her wedding.

Later, I heard from our mutual friends how she felt bad about that, and so I assumed that she was okay with it. But, again, after talking with her, she does not want us to get married next December. She feels that I am not considering her feelings by doing this.

My groom and I tried to think of other dates, like April or May, but he is in a wedding April 30th and May 14, so we felt like that would be too much, and we don’t want the traditional summer wedding, or to get married during football season. And actually talking about a December wedding made me get really excited! Having a Christmas wedding is my dream wedding, and a lot of friends have told me that since you only get married once, that you need to do what you want, and not try to please everyone.

We originally wanted December 17th, but because of my friend’s wedding agreed on December 3rd or 10th, depending on what is available, which would still be 3 to 4 weeks ahead of her wedding. I told her that she could pick all of her shower dates, parties, bachelorette parties, etc… first, and I will plan mine around that. I don’t care about that stuff, but that having a Christmas wedding is so important to me.

She still doesn’t understand, and I feel like I’m trying to be so understanding and compromising to her, but that she isn’t taking my feelings into consideration. Am I wrong? Thanks!

Signed
Christmas Bride

Dear Christmas Bride,

Your friend may very well want all of December 2011 to be about her, but she’s going to have to share it. There are several important holidays that month, and I for one will also be having my birthday then (the 19th if you'd like to send me a card).

Getting married does not entitle you to own a season, a month, or frankly, even a day. Although your wedding is the most important thing in your life, it is not the most important thing in anyone else’s. If more brides realized this simple truth, I’d be out of a job.

I think you and your fiance have tried to be a little too accommodating, and have in a way played into the whole “it’s my day, everyone has to do what I say” mentality. While it would certainly be rude to show up at someone else’s shower or wedding and announce your engagement, it isn’t rude to get engaged the same week or month as someone else!

In your original letter you said that you are 26. You’re at a time of your life when lots and lots of people will be getting engaged, getting married, and having babies. Obviously, some of those events are going to overlap.

Stop asking people’s permission, and set the wedding date that you want. Then, take your friend out to lunch or dinner, explain to her that you know she won’t be happy about this, but your wedding date is set. Let her know that you still stand by your offer to let her pick shower and other party dates first.

You need to be prepared for the possibility that this will in fact end your friendship. There are two types of people who insist on “my day”or “my month.”

One type tends to be insecure. They look forward to their weddings as a way of finally getting proof that other people love them and admire them. That’s why it’s so hard to please these people. You have to have faith in yourself before you can believe that others love you and admire you. Even if you’d given her the entire month of December, she may then have complained that your wedding in November stole some of her ideas.

If your friend is this type, then in her mind by not giving in to her demands, you’re proving that you don’t love her, and the friendship is over. This will be hard on you at first, but better in the long run. This way, you won’t have fights over stealing her baby’s name.

The second type of person is a fairly normal person who just gets a little caught up in the wedding hype. People are telling her just what your friends are telling you that it’s your day and you should do what you want, she’s just taking it all a little more seriously.

If this is who she is, then she’ll get over it eventually and you can both go back to being friends. I wouldn't hold my breath for an apology though, the sense of entitlement tends to linger for a while.

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