My sister has decided not to come to my wedding

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This topic contains 2 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  HappyG 2 years, 8 months ago.

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    I really just need to vent a bit. My fiancé and I just got engaged about two weeks ago. I am Irish and he is a Queenslander. We live in Sydney and want to have our wedding here as it is our home. My sister was the first person I called to tell about my engagement so it is pretty upsetting what has unfolded since then…
    The evening we got engaged I got text from my sister saying please let it be in the school holidays as her eldest daughter is starting high school and it very difficult to get time off school. So I am thinking ok, kids get a few breaks in the year- we should be able to work around that. Then a day or so later I get an email from her stating that 1st of July- 31st of August is the best time for her and the kids as every other break is just too short and would I be broken hearted to have a winter wedding?
    So I am trying to be rational about this I can understand where she is coming from, Australia is a very long way away and it is an expensive trip to make and you do want to get the most bang for your buck if you are going to fly over- but I can’t help but feel a bit peeved that I am already having my wedding date dictated to me before I have even had a chance to announce my engagement to all my friends.
    So I do my best as a good sister to investigate every option to work around their schedule. We discounted July and August as we really wanted a waterside wedding and all the venues we like were just not suitable for a winter wedding. All of the other guests who are travelling from overseas are not bound to their schedule and are planning on making a bit of a holiday out of it so it seems a bit crap to come to Sydney in winter for them
    We thought moving it forward to Easter 2015 (we had already mentioned to family that we had hoped to have a spring wedding in 2015) I thought that it may be easier as her daughter would not be in high school yet so it may be easier to take time off school, but every venue adds a 15% surcharge as it is a public holiday.
    We discussed Christmas 2015, due to my sisters school holiday requirements it would mean that it could only be held between Christmas day and New year which would mean that many of my fiancés guests from interstate would have to choose between our wedding and Christmas with their family not to mention that accommodation and flights would be ridiculously expensive and that it could be very steamy and hot at this time of year.  
    So we have ticked off all the possibilities and come back to spring 2015, all euro zone schools get a mid-term break in the first week in November and my brother has already said that he will be taking his girls out of school for an extra week so they can make a holiday out of it.
    So I wrote her a very nice and sensitive email explaining how much I wanted her and her family to be at the wedding and that I understood that it was very expensive and I explained how we have investigated every possibility. So she flick me one back saying that she understands and that she is sad but her and the kids will come visit me another time when it suits them…
    I am hurt, I know if the roles were reversed I would go on my own if needs be- I do know that she can afford to make the trip over by herself (our family came into quite a substantial inheritance recently), I honestly feel that she is just saying ‘fuck it, you didn’t work around my schedule so I am not even considering going’. I am annoyed that she tried to get me to work around her schedule before I even had an opportunity to discuss what I wanted. I am angry because any choice I make outside of those 8 weeks of the year that are convenient for her will be construed as choosing NOT to have her at my wedding, I feel emotionally blackmailed by her as all the emails and text she send are wrapped in a veneer of ‘poor put upon parent’ how I wish I could be at my little sister’s wedding. What is getting me though is that I can’t vent to anyone about this other than my fiancé. I really don’t want to drag my mum or any other members of my family into this as they may feel they need to choose sides. Most of my friends are overseas and I don’t want to bitch to them about my sister not coming as they may feel pressured to come, some of them have already said they will come but I don’t want them to feel like they have to come if I start whinging about my sister. I just never imagined that my sister would not be there for my wedding as we are a pretty tight family and we all get on really well.    
    What gets me the most is that I really didn’t think she would behave like this. I would have thought that being at my wedding would be an important event for her, family is very important to her and at her wedding (which she had where she live in Brussels) she had family from all over the world, our Aunties, Uncles and cousins flew in from, Ireland, UK, USA and Australia, some of her mates came back from places in Africa, everybody made a huge effort to be there- I would have thought that she would have a bit of a ‘pay it forward’ attitude but I guess I was wrong.  
    Sorry I know that was a ridiculously long rant but Ihad to get it off my chest… 


    Cas M

    Im so sorry to hear your sister is giving you so much trouble! have you thought about calling her as well? People can change their tune a bit when you actually speak to them and explain how you feel, its too easy now days to hide behind technology. Plus its still quite early in the planning for you, she might stop being difficult when she realizes everyone else is going and your sticking to your dates.
    Whether shes there or not though its YOUR special day and im sure it will be amazing. What matters is you’ll still have lots of wonderful people there (who are willling to make an effort) to celebrate with you and your hubby to be. I know how hard it is to keep from stressing who’ll be there though! im working out my guest list atm too (ahhhh!!). I just have to keep reminding myself though that its about me and my fiance before everyone else. If i have all my loved ones there it would be fantastic if not ill still have important people there and im still marrying the man of my dreams :)



    International guests are always a curve ball and bring with them loads of issues,  and kids can complicate things even further as a lot of 9arents can become pretty consumed (but we also need to remember that we as brides can get consumed with the idea of out wedding day being such a big and important moment as well). It is really important that you don’t take this situation as a personal attack, but as part of a negotiation;  there will be hiccups and setbacks but a compromise will be made.
    In the end, if your sister can’t make it you might be able to set up a sort of contingency plan where you do a little family ceremony with all your nearest and dearest at a later date; so keep your options open.
    My friend had a similar situation where her sister was getting married in Ireland andat the last minute they decided to elope and really wanted my friend there (she’s here in Australia and it was really down to the wire as her job made it harder to take time off). In the end it all worked out and it was a lovely little intimate ceremony in the tropics, but for a while there it was very stressful and tense for everyone involved. Both of them felt like the other was guilting them and putting their priorities first, and it was tough to see my friend so upset because she really did want to go but it wasn’t as easy as her sister made it out to be.
    I can tell you that everyone learnt a lesson, to see it from each other’s perspective and to understand that little things (like school holidays) can make a big difference in their life and have a bigger impact than you realise; so it is so important to see it from their perspective and to let them see it from yours.
    I totally agree with Cas, don’t just email,  talk on the phone (or even better, SKYPE) so that you can have a more authentic conversation.

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