Friday, January 21, 2011

On "stealing thunder"

Dear ESB –

My boyfriend of seven years wants to get married. He has wanted this for a while. I’m on the fence mainly because I want to have a big party and right now we don’t have the time/money. He really wants to get married right now and would do it at city hall tomorrow. I’m thinking about proposing to him, which would be a huge surprise, and do a secret wedding on our anniversary on May 9th.

The problem… my cousin is getting married and having a big wedding in June. Would it be a dick move to get married before her? Would it steal her thunder? Thoughts??


Who gives a shit? DO IT.

(Image via Clara Spencer-Phillips via Wildfox Couture)


  1. definitely wouldn't steal thunder, i'm sure she'd be beyond psyched for you. she's got 5 months to re-gain momentum! and your proposal idea sounds awesome, take a couple days to find something to propose with, a killer dress for yourself, and city hall it asap on a random day. not a fan of dating-anniv weddings, plus that is kind of too close to her wedding for comfort

  2. Ugh. I hate the idea of stealing thunder. She's not Thor. She doesn't *have* thunder. ESB is right. As a side note, you sound like a thoughtful, considerate person, so fuck everyone else and their damn thunder.* rant over.

    Soooo many people we're concerned that family members, particularly of the pregnant variety, would steal my thunder at our wedding. Um, she's pregnant, not Prince.

  3. you will absolutely not steal her thunder. if you were doing it on the same week or maybe a week apart? then I'd say to prepare for family gossip, but a month is plenty of time. besides, if she's really pissed about you getting married before her, remind her technically by getting married first, you're giving her the right to "show you up" if she gets bent out of shape.

  4. My sister and brother in-law did this to my husband and I...

    We had been dating for 5 years when we got engaged. We planned for a year-long engagement (neither of our families are wealthy, and both of them wanted to contribute money, so we hoped that by having a full year engagement, it would give everyone- including us- a chance to save up and plan.)

    Then a month later, my husband's brother announced that he had proposed to his girlfriend, who he had been dating for about 6 months. We were thrilled because they seem like soul-mates and we love them both. And then they let us know that they wanted to get married asap, and asked us if we would be upset if they set their date 2 months before ours. We weren't thrilled about this...two weddings in one year was a financial burden for my husband's side of the family, to be sure, and certain relatives traveling from far away had to choose between coming to their wedding and coming to ours. We worried about being able to afford to get them a gift and buy our bridal party attire in addition to all the costs associated with our own the end of the day, they're our family and we didn't want to stand in the way of them getting hitched when they wanted to.

    They were really thankful of our approval, and I was grateful that they even asked us our opinion. Be considerate, and hopefully there won't be an issue. P.S. Your plan to propose to your man sounds awesome!!!

  5. Do it! I got engaged on the Brooklyn Bridge and secretly wish we had walked right into City Hall and done it then.

  6. CAN a secret wedding steal thunder? it seems to me like the "P.S., we got married a month ago" you'd be doing at your cousin's wedding couldn't be farther from what you fear. either way, engagements aren't airplane bathrooms; it's OK to share.

  7. Steal what thunder? You're going to get hitched at city hall a month before your your cousin's shin-dig. So what? If it's just because you get married first, that's her issue, not yours.

    If you were going to do a reception - even a small one - the courtesy of a heads up would be nice. But it doesn't sound like that's your plan, so I would just continue as planned.

  8. If you can wait, wait. My thunder was stolen by future family members and it sucks. You seem super nice to even think about stealing thunder!

  9. man...isaiah and i got engaged almost TWO years you know how many couples have STARTED dating, gotten engaged and gotten married in the meantime? It's bizarre...that's how many.

    people get married on a timeline that's right for them...if she needed enough time to plan and the like and you don't feel that you do, then don't wait...don't plan YOUR life around your family's and the considerate...but you can't change major life events because someone (who you're obviously not in one of those candid-type relationships where you could tell her this is what you're planning anyway) might be pissy.

    one last thing. might want to think about whether or not you've "stolen thunder" before....if it's something people might be like "she always does that!" kinda thing about you...because if that's the case and you want to wait and plan a big party, it's not worth hearing about for forever. literally. forever.

  10. "She's not Thor. She doesn't *have* thunder."

    I <3 Maddie.

  11. my husband's best friend and her man secretly eloped two weeks before our wedding and then told everyone about a week before our shindig.

    no thunder stolen! just excitement shared. because, hey: love is a fun adventure, right? until i read this post i hadn't even thought about whether that would have been a faux pas.

    i think it's a splendid idea!

  12. My best friend did this to me, and, in all honesty, yeah, my feelings were kinda hurt at first. But I never let on (to her) that my feelings were hurt, and I soon realized I was being childish and self-centered: She's my best friend! She's getting married! I should be happy for her! Our wedding days being so close together turned into a good thing: We shared ideas, resources, tips, great finds; it was nice to have someone in the wedding-planning trenches with me. We helped each other tremendously. Go for it! And good luck!

  13. I should probably chime in on this. I got engaged to my boyfriend of 7 years about 6 months ago. I am 25 years old. My little sister, who is 21, is getting really lovey dovey with her boyfriend of a year and I have this little sneaking feeling that he might pop the question soon too.

    We have, like I said, about 4 months left until the wedding. If my little sister were to get engaged, there could be one of two outcomes: 1) if they wanted to get married a year down the road like we did, great. We would be super happy for them, even though they are really young (we're still really young!) or 2) if they wanted to get married right away, say they elope or plan to marry in about 4 months, around time of our wedding... YEAH. Id be a little peeved. Not only because it would seem rushed and silly, and it would cost my parents 2 weddings at a time, but also because it gives off an air of "if you can do it, I can do it." Yeah, it makes it feel like they are getting married because we are getting married. I wouldnt be so much jealous because of any "thunder-stealing" but suspicious of her intentions - bride crazy?

    Does this help?

  14. Although, that does sound a little self centered. Hm.

  15. no, seriously, what alli said. I have to agree. Is this actually a secret city hall wedding where you just do a reveal later? Or are you saturating friends and family with letterpressed announcements? Or having several people at the "secret" who are key guests at your cousins' wedding? If either of the latter, you can chill a couple months.