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Wedding Stress with Siblings


Whether you love your siblings or lead different lives, weddings will bring up old emotions.


Whether you're even aware, there may be potential jealousy as parents pay or more less attention to you on your wedding than they are to your siblings. Your fiance(e) may be perceived as an unwanted new family member and acts negatively towards your beloved. Add in your sibling may have already have a strained relationship with your parents and your new love is THE perfect son or daughter and voila, recipe for major emotion.


In the best situation you are close to your siblings, they get along well with your beloved, and the wedding is a time to get even closer. In the worst situation extreme stress can occur as quesitons about who is in the wedding party stir the pot, parents are triangled into bitter rivalries between who got better treatment in their wedding or who is paying for what. Or if the sibling is not engaged but jealous, it may add to drama about all the attention going towards the big day.


It is important to get the lay of the land from your fiance(e). You know your siblings and it's your responsibility to set the stage so your partner isn't blindsided by potential drama or personality issues. If your sister has been extremely competitive and jealous of you your entire life, don't expect her to change just because it's "your big day." Same with your future sister-in-law.


The way these emotions may express themselves vary, but may include:


  • Being very unreasonable about wedding conversations or participating
  • Sibling sets out to create their own drama, whether that's bringing around a new relationship everyone disapproves of, decides to make some major life move just before the wedding, or any number of other very shocking and creative attention-getting actions
  • Sibling starts acting overly nice to a family member or your fiance and it's just plain weird
  • Sibling may start, or stop doing normal things with you. If you two talk every week, they may stop calling. Or if you aren't that close, you may start getting lots of emails or calls that are out of character for your relationship


Reasons siblings may go off kilter vary, but the follow are potential reasons. See if any make sense, knowing that you may never know and should not invest TOO much time and emotional energy. The wedding will come and go and your sibling may start acting normal again. Or may admit two years after the wedding that they were extremely jealous and apologize. Or your sibling may just have little insight into their own emotions and will never be able to tell you what's up.


  • Do siblings expect to be in the wedding party or not want to be but don't want to hurt your feelings?
  • Do siblings feel treated fairly by your parents as attention is geared towards you?
  • Are siblings given roles in alignment with what they're capable of (an extremely dramatic, jealous sibling should not be expected to act completely out of character just because it's your big day. She could still be made of honor but most responsibilities are given to a less hostile wedding party member.)
  • Are expectations clear on their role? If your future sister-in-law is in your wedding party but will have to travel far for wedding festivities, is this communicated well in advance to avoid shock and drama? If your groom knows his sister can't afford the events, have you planned ahead for alternative plans or to help defray her costs?
  • Has your entire family changed with your new fiance in the picture and it is making life harder on your sibling?