Q: I’m two months into a five-and-a-half month engagement, and my cousin—let’s call her Mary—just got engaged. Only problem is, Mary and her fiancx are getting married six days before my wedding. I live in Nebraska. She’s in Idaho. We’re getting married in December and January, respectively. Her wedding date also happens to be my birthday.
I fear this timing in addition to the geographic distance (it’s a fifteen hour drive between her hometown and mine) will force family members to choose one wedding to attend. I already know that if it storms, the odds are good that important family members, like my grandparents, won’t make it to my wedding. I know my family members are adults and responsible for making their own decisions and will do what works for them. Unfortunately, family history suggests that most of the family will show up for Mary and not for me.
My cousin and her family live in the same town as my grandparents and another uncle. Mary’s mom has told my mom, point-blank, that we’re not worth having a relationship with because we’re only able to visit Idaho once a year. Her family also refuses to travel to visit family; we have to come to them. Mary’s mom told me last year that I wasn’t as good or as righteous as her daughter because I wasn’t serving a mission (we’re Mormon) and Mary was.
The past few visits to Idaho, I’ve noticed that aunts and uncles and cousins will talk to me, my parents, and siblings… so long as Mary’s family isn’t there. If they are, we’re ignored. My most recent trip to see family happened after my engagement. My aunts and uncles spent more time talking with Mary about her mission or the possibility of her getting engaged than with me about my recent trip to Rome or my very real fiancx, engagement, and impending wedding.
I’ve expressed my concerns about Mary’s wedding date to my mom. She reached out to my grandma, who doesn’t think this is a problem because Mary and her fiancx aren’t intending to slight me. I agree with my grandma on that. I do think, however, that intention doesn’t forgive the impact. I already feel like I don’t matter to my family if Mary is around. Getting married less than a week before me and making family choose which person’s wedding to attend only exacerbates that.
Mary and I are close, so this was an unexpected slap to the face. It’s a double whammy since I have a worse relationship with the other side of my family and I’m not expecting any of them to show up.
What do I do? Should I reach out to my cousin directly and ask if she could move her wedding, especially since my date has been common knowledge for a month? If so, what do I say that isn’t going to stir up more drama and hurt feelings? Do I only invite the family members I think will choose me over her or be willing to attend two weddings in one week? Do I say nothing and accept that most of my family won’t try to come?
Would you ask someone else to move their wedding date? Is picking and choosing family members going to make this family dynamic implode? Or would you stay silent and not say anything?