How to Be Engaged at the Same Time As Your Best Friend

Getting engaged at the same time as your best friend can be exciting—and tricky. Here's how to manage expectations and be there for your friend as you plan your own wedding.

By Deanna deBara

friends engaged at the same time
Photo by Asya Cusima

There are few things in life more exciting than when your best friend gets engaged. The exception, of course, being when you, yourself, get engaged and start wedding planning. As for Getting engaged around the same time as a close friend—well, things can be as complicated as they are exciting.

Being engaged and wedding planning at the same time can be an especially fun experience. You have each-other to lean on and know exactly what the other is going through. That said, challenges can come up with simultaneous engagements. While those challenges are totally manageable, it’s good to have an idea of what they are ahead of time so that you can better navigate—and you both arrive at your big days with your relationship intact, if not better than ever. Read on to aptly prepare and get in the right mindset.

INLINE LensesAndLaughterPhotography 1080x720 Jess&Brian Photo Credit // Lenses and Laughter Photography

Potential Issues When Being Engaged at the Same Time

Without a doubt, you’re over the moon that your best friend is engaged. However, you and your BFF may be faced with a few challenges if their engagement overlaps with yours.

Some of the potential challenges of getting engaged at the same time as your best friend can include:

  • Scheduling conflicts. Dress shopping. Bridal showers. Bachelor and/or bachelorette parties. Honeymoons. There are a variety of celebratory events that go along with getting married—and if you and your best friend get engaged at the same time, it’s possible that you’ll come across some scheduling conflicts (especially if you share friends or family members).

  • Balancing your wedding and being a part of their wedding. There’s a certain level of responsibility that goes along with being in a wedding party. If you and your best friend want to be in each-other’s wedding parties, it can be challenging to balance those responsibilities with planning your own wedding.

  • Sharing the spotlight. Getting engaged is a moment in life where you expect yourself and your partner to be something of the center of attention. However, when your best friend gets engaged at the same time, that means sharing the spotlight—which, for some, can be challenging.

  • Financial stress. Relationships of all kinds can become strained when money comes into play—and planning a wedding, as well as being in a wedding party, can be expensive. For example, having to turn down going on a bach weekend due to not being able to afford it may be one thing, while turning it down so that you can afford X, Y, or Z at your own wedding can get a little messy.

  • General Stress. It isn’t news that weddings can be stressful, whether it’s yours or a good friend’s. That said, balancing both at the same time potentially opens the door for more tension. If you and/or your friend are overwhelmed, you may end up taking it out on each-other.

How To Balance Both

First thing’s first: Don’t let these possibilities scare you from enjoying this time together. Any potential issues that come up when you and your best friend get engaged at the same time are entirely manageable. With a little bit of effort from both sides, you can enjoy planning your wedding and celebrating their upcoming nuptials.

Here are a few need-to-know tips when it comes to navigating the tandem planning process:

1. Talk about dates ASAP.

The biggest challenge you‘re likely to face while being engaged at the same time is scheduling all of the celebratory events that lead up to your wedding day (e.g. an engagement party or bridal shower). The last thing you want to do is forgo communicating from the beginning and have to miss out on one-another’s important gatherings.

As soon as possible, sit down with your best friend and share the dates you’re considering for your major wedding events—including your engagement party, wedding shower, bachelorette/bachelor/bach party, and your actual wedding date. If there’s any overlap, discuss why those dates are important to you (for example, it’s the only weekend your grandparents can make the trip out) and see if either of you has any wiggle room.

2. Set expectations.

If you’re in your best friend’s wedding party, you want to be as involved as possible. However, you’re also going to be in the midst of planning one your own wedding. So, it’s important to set expectations from the get-go.

When your best friend asks you to be in their wedding (and vice versa), have an honest conversation about how available you can be during the process. For example, do you have the capacity to plan the bachelorette weekend—or would it be better to let your best friend’s sister or Maid of Honor/Best Man take over? If your best friend is having a destination wedding, are you going to have the cash to fly out for the event—or is all of your budget going to be put towards your own wedding?

Be cognizant of their dilemmas, as well. Fortunately, you’ll be well aware of the scheduling and financial conflicts from your own perspective. So, be gentle if they can’t make one of your events, too. Setting expectations upfront will help prevent hurt feelings as the wedding gets closer.

INLINE EicharPhotography 1080x720 Monica&Emir (1) Photo Credit // Eichar Photography

3. Let your best friend have the spotlight at their events.

Getting engaged is beyond exciting and, chances are, you want to talk to your loved ones about your engagement and upcoming wedding. However, if you’re attending a wedding-related event for your best friend (more specifically, one that involves mutual friends or family members), it’s important that you let the event be about them.

If you’re in this situation and someone asks you about your engagement or wedding planning, feel free to share a few details, but don’t spend significant time talking about it. Let your best friend be the center of attention—it is their celebratory event, after all. Hopefully, they’ll show you the same respect when it comes to your own wedding events.

4. Talk about your feelings—and cut each other some slack.

Planning a wedding can be an emotionally charged time. With emotions running high, it can be easier for feelings to get hurt, even if you and your best friend have a more solid relationship than most. For this reason, it’s important that you always maintain transparency when it comes to your feelings. If your friend upsets you—for example, by being so wrapped up in their wedding that they don’t ask about yours—express that to them. Ignoring it or pushing it down is only going to lead to resentment and, potentially, a big blowout.

That said, it’s also paramount that you cut each-other some slack. Showing some empathy and compassion for your best friend will go a long way. So, if you’re upset that they’re considering very similar colors for their bridal party attire or themes for their engagement photos, ask yourself, “in the grand scheme of things, does this really matter?” If the answer is no, move on.

3 Tips to Protect Your Friendship While Being a Bride

Preserving your relationship with your best friend should be a priority throughout this experience. While this might come across as obvious, it can be more difficult than expected.

With that in mind, here are three paramount pieces of advice for maintaining your friendship whilst both going through this exciting time together.

  • Remember that it isn’t a competition. Ultimately, your wedding is a celebration of you and your partner taking a significant step in your life together—marriage! The same goes for your best friend and their significant other. While comparing notes, ideas, and inspiration can be fun, don’t allow things to get into competitive territory (à la Anne Hathaway and Kate Hudson in Bride Wars). Your friendship should take priority over one person’s wedding being “better” than the other’s—which is impossible, by the way, with both being entirely unique to you. If you sense these feelings coming on, we recommend taking a break from wedding-talk with one-another.

  • Be informative and prepared to compromise. Because wedding planning has so many components, it’s wise that you and your friend be in the know about each-other’s bigger planning details and progress. For example, those important (and tricky) wedding event dates. Be transparent and prepared to compromise in one area or another—but not too much—which will greatly benefit your relationship.

  • Allow yourselves to lean on each-other. There’s nothing like experiencing wedding planning with someone so close to you (outside of your partner, of course). That said, this process can be extremely stressful and, at times, overwhelming. Know that you’re both going through similar things and lean on one-another throughout. Ask how your best friend is doing and offer moral, if not logistical support—because who better to ask for fellow planning advice?

Getting engaged is extremely exciting. More so when you have your best friend to celebrate with and confide in throughout simultaneous wedding planning. When conflicts arise, remember that most anything is manageable—and how important this relationship is to you. With that in mind, you’ll both end up walking down the aisle happy. Cheers to you both!

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