Q: Dear Jareesa,
My (future) sister-in-law got engaged to her boyfriend six months after I got engaged. I talked to her a bit about my wedding plans before she got engaged—colors, centerpieces, etc. Her fiancx bought her the exact same ring that my fiancx bought for me. I tried to be supportive and talked to her about her plans, and they sounded nothing like mine, so I was fine with it. They jumped their wedding ahead of ours, under the excuse that they “want to start a family as soon as possible.” My fiancx and I turned up at their wedding (already hard enough, given that we have some nasty history—I didn’t want to go but her mother begged us) and it was Exactly. My. Wedding.
I’m torn now, because my wedding is in a few months and half of our guests were also at her wedding. They’re going to think that I copied her wedding, even though I planned mine almost a year before hers. I don’t want to give up my dream wedding, but I can’t stand the thought of people thinking I copied her. Her family is making excuses, defending her, and telling my fiancx and I that we should be happy for her. Given everything we’ve gone through with my fiancx’s family before, it’s almost at the point where I would prefer them not to come to my wedding or be in my life at all. I’m also frustrated with my fiancx because he won’t say anything to them about it. I feel so betrayed and so angry.
What do I do? Should I change my wedding plans?
A: Dear anonymous,
I feel like I wanna call you Cher Horowitz: you totally have an Amber situation happening. Remember in the movie Clueless, when Amber copied everything that Cher wore, and Cher called her “ensembly challenged”? Ahhh, the good old days of ’90s rom-coms where we pretended people in their twenties could be in high school.
Ok, now seriously. Are you for real considering changing your wedding plans? Really girl? As my toddler says, “No no no no no.”
I get being pissed and annoyed that your future SIL has stolen every single one of your wedding plans. I mean, who does that? She does apparently! You’ve spent countless hours planning your perfect wedding, and she swoops in and steals it all for her own wedding. But here’s the thing—I highly doubt that your mutual guests are going to even notice the similarities. We all like to think we’re the most original brides ever, but ask your guests what they want, and I doubt “originality” will show up on their list. Think of it this way: she just gave you a free dress rehearsal, so you know how everything is going to look, and now you have a source for decor!
Yeah, it was lazy of your BIL and SIL to copy your entire wedding, right down to your engagement ring, but is this just the straw that broke the camel’s back for your relationship? And is it worth completely throwing it away? Your fiancx doesn’t want to talk to them about it—is it because he doesn’t see it as a big deal, or he’s just conflict-averse? His reasoning can help you figure out if you’re making a mountain out of a molehill, so to speak.
This is prime group-chat fodder though, so whenever you get annoyed, pull out your phone and snark to your besties about this. You’ve only got a few months to go, so use that time to focus on your own wedding and how much more awesome it will be than hers. I mean, obviously, weddings are not competitions. But given that she copied yours, I think you can secretly enjoy making yours better. I won’t tell a soul.
—Jareesa Tucker McClure
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