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Dear Coleen

I was over the moon when my partner of six years proposed a couple of weeks ago as we were on a romantic weekend.

I said yes straight away and, because we’ve been together a while, we decided that we should get married as soon as possible – this autumn – and have a fairly small, intimate wedding and reception.

We’d talked about marriage over the years, but life just got in the way – jobs, house moves, Covid and so on.

But the time feels right now and I couldn’t be happier.

My problem is my fiance’s sister is engaged and has set a wedding date for August next year. Now she’s mad with me for getting married before her and basically stealing her thunder.

She told me: “You’ve ruined things for me because we’ve been planning our wedding for the past year and now you’re doing it before us”.

I was pretty shocked by this reaction and quite angry to be honest, but now I’m feeling really hurt about it.

I don’t see why we can’t all be happy and celebrate each other’s good news?

I know she’s been bitching to other family members and friends, and now it’s taken the joy out of our engagement.

I’ve always got on OK with her, but she’s a bit of a princess and used to getting her own way with her family.

How do I deal with this?

Coleen says

It sounds like she’s made this into a competition over which of you has the best day, missing the whole point of why she’s getting married.

It’s not like you arranged your wedding for the weekend before hers or stole all her ideas, so I don’t know what her problem is.

Maybe she’s just upset that all the attention isn’t on her any more. She sounds a little spoiled.

So, my advice is, ignore it and get on with what you want to do.

Guests will still be up for her wedding next year and she’ll get plenty of attention on the day.

You certainly haven’t “ruined things” and I’m sure no one else thinks that either. If you feel you have to say something to her, why not say: “I’m sorry you feel like this, but our weddings are almost a year apart and ours won’t take anything away from yours. We’ve waited a long time to get married, so we wanted to do it soon”. And leave it at that.

Or maybe your fiance can help his sister see sense. If they fall out over it, it’s easier to come back from that than a blazing row with her.

Weddings usually cause angst of some sort, but sometimes it’s better to bite your tongue and rise above the madness. My son Shane got married recently and just before the big day, I found out my dress was the same colour as my sister Linda’s who’d bought hers first. So I just changed my dress.

Lead by example and be ­positive about her wedding – show her it’s possible to enjoy each other’s happiness.