Friday, September 04, 2009

Wedding Dates

Once upon a time, there was a couple planning to get married. They chose a date, they chose a location and they chose to make it a destination wedding. They told their family and friends and invited a small number of people. They told their extended family about their plans for the small wedding and a larger reception next year to which everyone would be invited. They found out about the dates other cousins in the extended family were getting married, and decided to plan around those dates for their at home reception.

The couple struggled to plan a date for their at home reception. They knew one of the cousins was planning a wedding for that month, and they didn't want to step on anyone's toes or make it difficult for the family, since two wedding receptions very close together are a bit of a strain both on time and finances. They tried to find out details about the cousin's reception - where it was, what type of reception it was, whether the whole family was invited - so they could plan accordingly and not create any family drama. The couple doesn't believe in drama if they can help it.

A little more than a month before their wedding date, the couple found out that the cousin that was to get married next year has decided to get married this year. In the same destination state. In the same month. The same weekend. And quite possibly the same date.

The couple recognizes that this isn't catastrophic because they don't really know the cousin well, and the cousin wasn't invited to the destination wedding, but the couple still feels annoyed. They had publicly discussed their plans to get married that weekend in that (small) destination state, and now another couple in the family is getting married at the same time and virtually the same place. Maybe, ten years from now, no one would even remember that this even happened, but somehow, it just felt less unique, less special, to have someone doing the exact same thing in the exact same family. No two weddings are the same, but did they really have to do this the same weekend? Maybe they have a really good reason for moving it up, but no one told the couple why they are now sharing their wedding date.

Is the couple crazy for feeling this way? Are they more annoyed by this because they went out of their way to get details about the cousin's wedding so that they wouldn't step on anyone's toes since it's not great etiquette to get married the same time as another family member? Is it crazy for them to feel like someone stole their thunder a little bit because they're doing the same thing? It's always said that everyone only gets a day, but what if, in your extended family, your day isn't even just your day anymore? The couple has read lots of posts online about people's reactions to hearing about friends or family getting married near their wedding dates, and thought about how they would feel, but never thought they would be in this situation themselves since they thought they had talked to everyone and knew everyone's wedding dates.

To add to the madness, the cousin is having her reception this year and the couple is having their at-home reception next year. So the couple with the original idea and the original plan is going second, and it's going to look like they copied the first couple's idea even though they did it first. Weddings always create so much unnecessary drama, and the couple wants to just let this go, but they feel annoyed. Many people share wedding dates, but do you really have to do that within the same family?

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