Third Wedding Attendance Etiquette?

My brother has been dating a woman for 5 months (kids involved both sides). I just found out they are getting married in 1 month. Do I have to attend it? It is his and her 3rd wedding. The 1st 2 wives were awful. I am not saying this one is awful, I have never met her. What is the protocol? My husband thinks it's goofy to attend when it is the 3rd time around. Ideas? Suggestions please.


By Lisa R

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November 27, 20100 found this helpful

Unless you happen to live in the same city as your brother (which you probably don't because you mention you've not met future wife #3 yet) I agree with your husband that it would be a goofy idea to attend. If you think it will upset your brother if you don't attend simply let him know you love him, wish he and his new bride the best and hope they come to visit you soon. ;-) Don't forget to send a nice card and, in my humble opinion in this case, a small gift is optional.


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November 27, 20100 found this helpful

I agree with Deeli, however, there are some families that unless there is a really good reason to not attend, like illness, being housebound, etc., it could cause major problems in the family. I wouldn't approve of having a large, fancy wedding, after that many marriages, but for the sake of family harmony sometimes a person has to grin and bare it.

November 27, 20100 found this helpful

Why wouldn't you support your brother? Isn't that what Family is for? if I had a brother, no matter what the circumstance are, I would attend and so would my husband and my kids.

November 28, 20100 found this helpful

Hum, lots of things to consider in these circumstances. First of all, is it a hardship (health, travel distances, finances) to attend this wedding or merely a hassle? I would certainly understand the hassle aspect, but if that was all it was, a hassle, I'd "grin and bare it", too. ("redhatterb's" comment.)


Otherwise, send a nice card and as "Deeli" suggested, tell them you love them and invite them for a visit. Whether you attend or not (assuming you've already given a wedding gift or two to your brother) offer a modest, yet heartfelt gift to the new couple.

Even if your brother is okay with you not attending his third wedding, I would seriously consider how not doing so would affect your relationships with his children and your future sister-in-law. Just be sure to weigh that thought against the goofiness of attending a couple's third wedding. Hey, sometimes, third time is the charm! :-)

It's a delicate dance, one I'm certain most of the original etiquette authors didn't consider. My suggestion is to think of the long term consequences of attending or not and act accordingly. Good Luck!


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November 29, 20100 found this helpful

Is the wedding in town? Would you have to drive far? Even tho it's a third wedding. It's your brother after all. Maybe you could put your feelings aside for one day to be there for him. Are you two close? Will there be others there from your side of the family?


His first two marriages didn't work out but that doesn't mean this one won't. Why not just go and perhaps you'll even have a delightful time. Oh and I don't know if there's any protocol. I think you should do what your heart tells you to do.


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November 29, 20100 found this helpful

As one who has married for the third time, I think your brother's expectations should be low, and the guest list should be small. Or anyway, that's what we did. We had a minister, a few friends and our children. I made the cake and a friend decorated it. My husband made the wine. That was 29 years ago, and it just keeps getting better!

November 30, 20100 found this helpful

If you intend to have any kind of a relationship with your new sister-inlaw you should attend the wedding.
Eight years ago I attended my son's second wedding to a woman whose third marriage this was. This was the wedding that succeeded, they are both so happy. Maybe this will be true in your case. I hope so.

December 2, 20100 found this helpful

Absolutely attend [3rd wedding aside]! Unless you and he are estranged, and do not have contact, or you are physically or economically unable to attend, I see no other reasons to refrain from going. To not be in attendance, in my opinion, could or would be the start of bad feelings all around.


Remember foremost, he is your brother, and I am sure he wants his family around him to meet his bride, and for you to meet your new sister-in-law.


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December 6, 20100 found this helpful

I wanted to add something regarding posts about how if you don't attend it will cause family strife. Embarrassed to say I have been married three times but such is life. Anyway, my brother didn't attend any of my weddings because we didn't live near each other and he couldn't afford to go and I couldn't afford to pay for him to come.

He has also been married three times but I only attended his first wedding because I could afford to do so at the time. My brother and I are as close as any siblings could be even though we have lived long distances away from one another for nearly four decades.


If not attending a wedding of any family member is going to upset someone then there is not true love and understanding by the members it upsets. And everyone should keep in mind that besides the cost, traveling is stressful these days even in good heath and not everyone can risk losing their job by taking time off to travel. Just my humble two cents worth of thoughts and personal experiences.


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