Saturday, April 1, 2023
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My (23F) sister (27F) always brings up the wedding she never had now that I’m getting married

My sister was going to have her wedding around May of 2020. With the pandemic, that didn’t end up happening. Instead, her and her then fiancé had a very beautiful and intimate ceremony at a lake near our home. It was gorgeous.

Fast forward to now. I am engaged and about to get married here in a few weeks. When I first started planning and talking about my wedding, my sister would make an occasional comment about me having the wedding she never had. I comforted her, but nothing else happened. What else is there to say? Slowly as the months passed, she would always bring that up. More and more. It got so bad that I’ve begged my fiancé to not talk about our planning around her because of her comments.

I totally understand that she is sad that she didn’t get to have the wedding she initial wanted. I felt so bad for her, but I don’t understand why that means that now she has to ruin my planning by making it about her. I’ve comforted her so much. I’ve held off talking about details to my family because I don’t want her to be upset. Still. Still she will bring it up on her own. I’m frustrated and upset. I’ve tried talking to her about it before, but she just got defensive. I just want her to be excited for me! I just want to do normal sister things when it comes to planning a wedding!!

Does anyone have any insight into what I could do? My wedding is soon and I’m so exhausted of this problem. At this point, I’m not even excited for my wedding anymore, because I don’t know how she’ll act the day of.

TLDR – Sister won’t stop bringing up the wedding she never had now that I’m getting married and it is ruining my excited.

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  1. Stop tip toeing around her – it validates her jealousy and enables her behaviour.

    You are not the reason her wedding was less than what she hoped for. You didn’t force her to get married during the pandemic, she could have waited and got what she wanted.

    If she expects you to pander and sacrifice your own dream wedding in solidarity, she’s incredibly selfish and shouldn’t be entertained.

    If she’s not intentionally making you feel bad, she would be horrified to find out that you’re going out of your way to avoid offending her.

    Either way, it’s best if you carry on planning and celebrating your upcoming wedding as if she wasn’t moping around. She’ll either get the hint and shut up, or she’ll blow up and embarrass herself acting like a spoiled child.

    If she brings it up, just tell her how grateful you are that lockdowns are finally over, and ask her why she didn’t wait until things opened up. She can still throw elaborate anniversary parties, or even renew her vows so that she can include the people who couldn’t come to the wedding. She has options, but making you feel like shit for having the audacity to have a wedding is not one. Unless you caused the pandemic or somehow forced or pressured her to have the wedding she did, this ain’t your problem.

  2. She sounds a bit jealous but honestly I’m very blunt. I have a sister 10 years older than me and she is jealous of my marriage among other things. She stopped that behavior with me after I directly address it

    I would plainly say, this wedding isnt bout her lack of one, this is your wedding, but if she are so hurt by it she is more than welcomed to not attend.

    I have a very thin threshold for that kind of behavior and I voice it directly. She sounds like she is having a pity party. I would plainly say you don’t want to hear it anymore

  3. I’d sit down 1-on-1 and tell her you are sorry that her wedding wasn’t what she had dreamed of – lots of people had their lives go to shit because of covid (Hi), but at the end of the day she was able to marry the love of her life, and that’s surely the most important. Tell her that when she talks about her wedding that wasn’t, it brings you down and makes you feel guilty for enjoying what is supposed to be the happiest day of your life so far. Ask her if she can try to be happy for you instead of being sad for herself.

  4. Maybe suggest she plan a big party (something like a reception) for an anniversary for all the things she feels she missed out on. She can even wear her dress again. I know a lot of people who got married in 2020 and have since had or are currently planning a bigger reception now that things are opened up again. Giving her something positive to consider may lift her spirits and give her something of her own to look forward to.

  5. You are not making it awkward, or being mean to her, or anything other than being excited about what is happening in your life.

    Your sister is the one being a jerk. She is making the whole thing awkward by making it about herself. And someone should have taken her up on this already – her husband preferably, or mom if he won’t. So now it is falling to you to either shut her narcissistic tendencies down, or have her spoil your wedding.

  6. I had to tell my mom “I understand why you don’t like all of the decisions I’ve made about my wedding day, but I need you to pretend to be someone who likes weddings for the next few weeks until it’s done”. Maybe something similar?

  7. Some people are self-centered and will make anything be about them. Don’t let her steal your day and planning. I agree with what you are doing in planning without her present and if she continues to bother you after telling her that you are sorry she didn’t get to have her dream wedding but her wedding was still beautiful and she needs to stop complaining about it, then get someone else involved to tell her to stop.

  8. “I’m sorry you didn’t get the wedding you originally wanted and planned for. But it is not fair of you to project your disappointment onto my wedding. Please stop being so negative and try to be happy for me. You’re making it difficult for me to enjoy the experience of **my** wedding. I love you and I want this to be a happy day for everyone.”

  9. > I’ve tried talking to her about it
    before, but she just got defensive. I just want her to be excited for
    me! I just want to do normal sister things when it comes to planning a

    For the first part, how did you talk to her about it? It’s reasonable to tell her “I’m talking about my wedding, if you want to talk through your feelings about your wedding and the pandemic, please do it another time.” and “When you bring up your wedding when I talk about mine, I feel like the topic <flowers/whatever> is getting lost because the subject has changed. I want to talk about <flowers/whatever>. Can you do that or should we discuss something else entirely?” But it seems like nothing will derail her desire to complain about her own life.

    It does not look like she is a safe person to talk about your wedding with. I get you want your sister to care about you and your needs, it’s clear she’s not emotionally capable of that sort of empathy. Do NOT stop talking to the rest of your family about the wedding!

    You are rightfully concerned about the day of your wedding, so you need to get in front of that and talk to her. Use “I statements” and don’t start with “You are being selfish” much as I suspect you are feeling that.

    “Sister I want my wedding day to be about me and my future husband. When I have talked about the wedding planning with you before, it seemed like you have not processed your feelings about having a wedding during the pandemic. I ask that you not carry that issue into my wedding. Will you be able to focus on me and future husband?”

  10. But she had a wedding, an intimate one. You need to be direct and ask her why she keeps bringing up her wedding and what it will take to make her stop. You don’t need to comfort her or make it about her. Just stop giving her any energy.

    You have nothing to feel bad about, you didn’t cause the pandemic, you aren’t stopping her from having a huge anniversary party or vow renewal. Don’t let her steal your joy.

  11. She’s deliberately trying to tit for tat ruin yours, when you didn’t ruin hers. She just doesn’t think you both shouldn’t have a crappy experience just because she did.

    It’s unfortunate that she looks back on what you said was a lovely day given it’s constraints as a negative.

    She wants you to feel bad, it’s the closest she can come to, aside from red wine on your wedding dress the day of. She WILL try to hamper the day, just be warned. Tell her bluntly to knock it off and tell her you DONT feel bad. If you tell her it’s marring your experience she will be glad, and get worse.

    Let her know it’s not working, but you know she’s TRYING, and she sucks because of it.

  12. I don’t know about your sister but you are complicit in stressing over her concerns. The wedding, any wedding is not the thing, the marriage is the thing. The happily everafter is the thing. Both of you have made the wedding the thing!

    I’m not sure why you would need to have family involvement to such a degree that you have to talk about it and can’t because of her. Send a text to those who need whatever updated info, not because of your sister but because there is life outside of the wedding.

  13. I honestly feel bad for your sister. It has to be tough watching you plan the wedding she wanted. I’d say have an honest talk about it with her, and do let her know that her negativity is ruining things, that you’d like to be happy about planning your wedding and not stressed. Try to include her in the planning as much as possible, let her know her input is valuable. Wish you all the best!

  14. Sigh she sounds jealous and in some sense I get the feeling she knows what she’s doing. She’s killing your vibe knowingly towards your wedding! It’s just best to not plan anything wedding related to her. keep a healthy distance! It’s necessary at this point..

  15. You are over-reacting. Your sister is not trying to ruin your wedding. She still has regrets — and that is her problem.

    You do not have to comfort her. You do not have to order your fiance not to discuss the wedding. You do not have to do anything but plan your wedding.

    If she mentions hers, you can say ..”.that’s too bad …or that’s so sad… at least you are married” and go on celebrating your wedding planning process. No one told you to react the way you have been.

  16. Sis, I know you didn’t get to have your dream wedding. You have to admit your ceremony was absolutely dreamy. I’d appreciate it if you could not bring up the fact you didn’t get your dream wedding whenever I talk about mine.

    I think we can however plan for a big do for you on your 5th anniversary.

    Or something like that.

  17. Don’t invite her.

    If the planning is already bitter for you and you still don’t understand it, inviting her will only ruin your wife’s special moment.

  18. “ I feel _____ when _____. I know missing your wedding was really unfair and tough. Can we’re try to separate the two so I don’t feel bad about being happy? What do you think we can do so we can both be happy?”

  19. To be blunt, your sister needs to get over it.

    If she wanted a wedding she could have gotten married in a courthouse and had her big wedding once restrictions were lifted. She made the decision not to do that so she needs to shut up about it. You shouldn’t be made to feel bad because of her. She’s ruining this experience for you and you should tell her as much.

  20. 23 is still very young and that’s a pretty intense thing to go through at such a young age. it sounds like you’re already being very sweet and compassionate, and it’s clear you really love your sister.

    it might be nice to give her a responsibility in the wedding to keep her busy and make her feel important. and thank her in your wedding speech so she gets her little moment to shine.

    if that doesn’t work, it might be worth talking to your parents and see if they can gently speak to her about it. that way it’s not coming from you and it won’t cause any animosity.

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