How do you acknowledge other special occasions that fall around your wedding day?

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I had a question inspired by Jessica and Josiah's space-themed breakfast-for-dinner wedding. Jessica's niece's sixth birthday was the day after their wedding, so she got a special doughnut and a happy birthday song at the wedding.

My wedding is on my mom's birthday. I struggled with how to acknowledge her birthday and make her feel special (as she should!) on a day that was supposed to be “all about the couple.”

Chances are good that a lot of readers have people celebrating special occasions right around their wedding day. How are other Offbeat Brides handling things like anniversaries, birthdays, etc.? -Cassie

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Comments on How do you acknowledge other special occasions that fall around your wedding day?

  1. We had a similar situation. Our wedding was on my best friend’s birthday, but within the week before or after, it was also: my mother in law’s birthday, my sister’s birthday, a groomsman’s birthday, both of my brother in law’s birthdays. I think there were like 8 or 9 important birthdays in total.

    We had cupcakes instead of cake at the wedding. So I recruited some people – mostly bridal party – to be responsible for coming and retrieving a cupcake, getting a candle and lighting it, and we all sang happy birthday, right after we cut the cake. It worked out really well. I had also picked up presents for those people and handed them out at the rehearsal dinner, so they knew we hadn’t forgotten their special days.

  2. Both my brother and my newly made brother-in-laws birthday was on our wedding day. So we had big cupcakes made just for them and we sang Happy Birthday. They loved being “called out” and getting a few moments in the spotlight.

  3. I worked at a wedding once where it was also an uncle’s (or grandpa’s?) birthday. In addition to their wedding cake, they got him a small round cake that he could keep. Before the toast/cake cutting we brought the cake out to him and everyone sang happy birthday.

  4. We have 2 anniversaries on our wedding day — one of them being my fiance’s grandparents. We’re going to have the DJ make an annoucement about both and before the last dance we’re giving my bouquet to his grandmother.

    • Our situation is pretty similar. I have an aunt and uncle who’s anniversary is on our wedding day, my fiance’s grandparent’s 69th anniversary is the day before and his parent’s anniversary are the day after. We actually partly chose the date because of his family’s anniversaries and we thought it was kind of cool. We’re doing the dance with the “competition” for couple who’s been married the longest and I think we’ll just the DJ acknowledge them during that.

      I also have an aunt whose birthday is on our wedding day. Maybe we’ll get a candle for her cupcake? Not sure.

  5. Our wedding will be on FH’s aunt’s (who we’re very close to) 50th birthday. We plan to make a toast to her and get her a special cupcake or mini cake with a candle. We may also include a few friends who have bdays that week (4, I think), plus our friends whose 1 year anniversary is the next day, in the toast.

  6. We found out well after we’d booked our date that it falls on my cousin’s birthday. He lives out of state, and I could probably count on two hands the number of times I’ve seen him. I know my dad’s family is a little miffed that we didn’t plan around his birthday. I’m not sure having the whole reception sing to him is the way to go, but having a birthday cupcake might be a good idea.

    • At a friend’s wedding I was seated at a table with the bride’s former roommates (all friends of mine/my fiance’s), one of whom had a birthday that day. Since not everyone in the room knew the woman whose birthday it was, but she is a close friend of the bride’s, the bride brought over a mini cake and our table/group of friends sang happy birthday after dinner. It was a really nice moment that didn’t require the groom’s extended family to sing for a person they don’t know.

  7. My wedding will be on my aunt and uncle’s anniversary, and the following day is my sister’s birthday. I don’t know if I’ll do anything for my aunt and uncle because, to be frank, I never have done anything for their anniversary before! If anything, I may bake them a cupcake or put a card at their place settings wishing them a happy anniversary.

    For my sister, though, I definitely plan on grabbing the microphone from the DJ and making everyone in the reception sing “Happy Birthday” to her. I may also bake her a cupcake or at least give her a card as well. 🙂

  8. Our wedding will be the day after my parents’ anniversary, and a week or so before his parents’ anniversary. Does anyone have any ideas or suggestions for honoring the parents in particular? We’re thinking at least some sort of special toast at the wedding might be nice, but wondering if there are better ideas!

    • My in-law’s 40th anniversary happened to be the week we got married. So at the rehearsal dinner we surprised them with a special cake and my husband made a sweet speech congratulating them on their anniversary:

  9. Well I feel like a terrible fiancée! My fh and I are getting married on his birthday, 4/19. I thought we would just go out the weekend before and celebrate. It didn’t occur to me to acknowledge it in the reception. I think singing to him would be a great idea. It’s one of the few days the entire family will ever be together.

    • Our wedding is also on my fiancé s birthday, his 40th! Some people think its great, others think it’s dumb. He thinks he will get away with everyone forgetting he’s turning 40, there is no way that will be happening haha

  10. My cousin got married on my 16th birthday and they announced it and had the band play “Happy Birthday” while him and I danced.

  11. We had two birthdays and two anniversaries land on our wedding day. There were a lot more that were near it, but we kept the acknowledgements to day-of (because otherwise at what point do you stop! :P) and gave a shout out and applause to them during our speech.

  12. There were a number of birthdays throughout the week of our wedding, including my own. The day after the wedding my new in laws hosted a BBQ for all of the out of town guests. We took the leftover wedding cake and smooshed all of the flavors together with candles and sang Happy Birthday. It was the best birthday cake ever. Everyone just kind of hovered with forks taking bites of their favorite flavor.

  13. For my first marriage, the wedding was on my mom’s birthday. We had a separate chocolate cake with candles and everyone sang happy birthday to her. The best memory was when the flower girl helped her blow out her candles!

  14. We had several birthdays fall within a week or so of our wedding, including his mother, sister, and both of my sisters. We hadn’t really thought to do anything special, just private acknowledgements with family and personal phone calls.

    That is, at least, until my sister decided that her 18th birthday (the day after the wedding) was a BIGFRAKKINGDEAL and warranted cake, serenading, and additional “special jobs” at both the ceremony and reception. Well, we put the kibosh on that and even told the DJ specifically that that was not to happen under any circumstances. It may sound harsh, but we didn’t want her diva moment to seem like, well, a diva moment and it would be rude to acknowledge only her special day when so many other close family birthdays wouldn’t have the same pomp & circumstance.

    We did sing to her the next day at brunch (on her actual birthday, natch) and stuck a candle in her crepe. She didn’t make a huge fuss out of it at the wedding, probably because when, at the rehearsal dinner, she brought up the “but it’s my birthday and I’m turning EIGHTEEEEN” complaint, my 80-year old grandmother quipped that “Mallory & Tyler will only get married once. You have a birthday every year. Stop complaining or you won’t make it to 19.”

  15. The day before our wedding a cousin (read more like a very close nephew) turned 5(!) and the day of our wedding was a close cousin-in law’s birthday.

    We were married at a campground where most all of our guests stayed the entire weekend, so we had birthday decorations, a pinata, and birthday cupcakes out for dinner the night before our wedding. It was like a huge birthday dinner with 75 of our closest family and friends where we all celebrating seeing each other in one place, our upcoming wedding, and a birthday! So much fun.

    Five-year-old cousin had only one request for his birthday, and that was a dance party. Funny how things work out that we were having a wedding the next day and could give him the greatest dance party he could have ever imagined. At the wedding reception, the band led everyone is singing “Happy Birthday” to both my cousin and cousin-in-law and helped the new five-year-old lead every single attendee in a locomotion train. Most of my absolute favorite moments of the whole weekend/marrying thing involved my cousin’s face lighting up when he saw the dance floor, the fact he was leading a line of 85 dancing people, hearing everyone in the room sing just to him, etc.

    I think you just need to go with what feels right. How do we NOT get excited over a five-year-old’s birthday? In all, none of these birthday activities overshadowed the fact that everyone was there to celebrate our wedding. If anything, they showed what a fun and loving group of people that surround us because of the outpouring of excitement they showed for my cousin (who most of the attendees had just met).

  16. Not so long ago, weddings and birthdays were celebrated at the local town festival. So you’d have a lot of parents of the couples who were celebrating anniversaries, and a lot of people’s birthdays were three months ago. But it all got celebrated together.

    I’m not planning on having a big family festival to celebrate everyone, but I do like the acknowledgement that we live in a Village, say for example the ones it took to raise us. And no matter what there is going to be someone’s birthday or anniversary around yours, so it’s nice to recognize that, but I think I’d prefer to do so by privately acknowledging the individuals, and publicly thanking “all the people who have interrupted their other life celebrations to be with us.”

  17. It is my niece’s 18th birthday the day before our wedding, and my future husband’s birthday two days AFTER our wedding! I know Manny wouldn’t want me to do anything for his birthday during our wedding, but I would definitely like to do something for my niece. She was rather put out that we are hijacking a portion of her 18th birthday weekend! We are having cupcakes so I love the idea of having a candle at the ready and singing Happy Birthday to her after the cake cutting. Thanks for the idea!

  18. I’m the bride and I’m actually the one celebrating a birthday (almost) on my wedding. I’ll be turning the big 3-0 two days after. So we’re doing a small top tier wedding cake, and then a big birthday cake for me (versus a big wedding cake). We’ll also be singing to my SO’s grandmother and one of my bridesmaids, who have birthdays just a day after mine.

  19. When we invited my parents to our wedding, I first made sure they hadn’t made any plans for my mom’s birthday. I would have been hurt if they’d skipped our wedding, but I also wanted to respect that they may have already bought tickets for something or committed to a party somewhere.

    I left a birthday present and card in my mom’s hotel room for her to find, and at breakfast that morning (well before wedding stuff), I had everyone tell her happy birthday. I didn’t want to share “my special time” with anyone else, so I thought that was a good compromise.

  20. I just want to say that you’re all amazing for thinking about those people and acknowledging it. I went to a friend’s bday last year that was ON my birthday. To give a bit of context, my birthday often falls on Easter weekend, so people are never around to acknowledge it, and if often gets missed in the chaos. When my friend said the date they were thinking of, I was like “Noooo, that’s my bday!!!”, but they decided on that date anyway. I mean, that’s all good, whatever works for them, that’s fine. So I went to the wedding, flew down half the country to attend, my FH wasn’t invited so I went by myself, knew hardly anyone and the bride never said a word (I know she probably had other stuff on her mind though). But yeah, it felt pretty lonely and stink to have no one acknowledge it.

    I think a birthday cupcake is beautiful.

    • This!

      I went to a wedding a while back where the wedding date was on the bridesmaids birthday. The bride forgot about it when she booked her day (it happens), gave kind of a half apology when bridesmaid mentioned it, but didn’t really seem to care. The day of the wedding, the bride and groom gave a birthday shout out to the brides UNCLE, whose birthday was the next day- but completely forgot about mentioning the bridesmaid, whose birthday was that day. There were some hard feelings after the wedding.

  21. When we scheduled our date, we didn’t realize that it fell on FH’s aunt and uncle’s anniversary. Of course when we shared the news, we found out! The whole family is pretty close, and his aunt and uncle are also giving us financial support for the wedding. We thought we should do something nice for them considering all this, so we decided they should have their own dance at the wedding. The DJ is going to make an announcement and they want to dance to “Color My World” by Chicago. We thought it would be a nice way to honor them and long-lasting marriages in general.

  22. At my sister’s wedding, all the nearby birthdays and anniversaries were announced by the DJ during the reception. It was very sweet to hear my and my mom’s birthdays announced (which were later in the month), as well as my parents’ anniversary (which was about a week prior).

    I would love to get married on Mari’s and my dating anniversary, but it’s the day after that same sister’s birthday, and I wouldn’t want to steal her thunder. XD We placed our current date safely away from anyone else’s special occasions, afaik…

  23. We specifically chose our wedding date to be on my parents anniversary. It is our way of saying that we hope the good luck of day will rub off on our marriage as well it did on theirs.
    To surprise them, we are going to have a small cake for them to cut (I’ve found their wedding cake topper to place on top) and we plan to have their wedding song played for them as well.
    My mom offered to have our names engraved on the reverse side of their cake cutting knife that has their names and date on it. I think it is going to be awesome. I cannot wait!

  24. My wedding falls on my bridesmaid’s birthday, and my father’s one year sobriety anniversary. My siblings and I will be gifting my dad with a watch inscribed with, “For this year and all the years to come. We are so proud of you.” We’re not doing this publicly as it would probably just embarrass him, but we want to acknowledge what an accomplishment this past year has been. Later in the year we’re taking him on a week long fishing trip for a more lengthy celebration. And for my bridesmaid- our ceremony doesn’t start until 3:00 PM so I’m hosting a breakfast for my bridal party, at which I will present my bridesmaid with a special cupcake and her birthday present.

  25. We’re actually getting married on our sixth (dating) anniversary–any ideas on how to incorporate an acknowledgement of that?? I was thinking of asking the priest to mention it in his homily, or maybe have my sister (my MOH) say something in her toast…but I don’t want to seem like we’re shoving it in people’s faces and being narcissistic. At the same time, it means a lot to me and I’d like to have some recognition of it…

    • Congratulations!! I think all too often people do not place enough significance on the years of “togetherness” before couples marry – we will also have been together for just over six years on our wedding day, and I will have my officiant acknowledge that during our ceremony. Maybe say something like “today is a celebration of _____ and _____ building on the six years that they have been together”.

    • Our wedding day will be our 9 year anniversary of dating to the dot! And our wedding is actually happening where we first became “boyfriend and girlfriend” (at the age of 15/16 respectively), which is my fiance’s parents house. I think it’s SUPER important to acknowledge all that time we spent becoming not only a fantastic couple, but the time we put into becoming “grown ups” at the same time! That time before the wedding is what led to the day itself; you should acknowledge the hell out of it!

      I think you could have someone say something like, “we are here today celebrating 6 years of relationship that has culminated in this very special day of marriage”. Simple and not narcissistic at all!

  26. Like Cindy R above, we got married on my parents’ 33rd anniversary. We felt it was a really special way to honor them, and it happened to fall on 9/10/2011. We had our officiant mention both my parents anniversary and my husband’s parents many happy years of marriage during the ceremony. We also said a few words of recognition during our speech at the reception that both sets of parents had taught us so much about love and marriage. It worked for us, and its totally fun now to call my parents on our collective anniversary and all wish each other happiness.

  27. Our date was the birthday of my mother and the frenchie’s brother. We chose the date as a way to bridge our two families in yet another way, and made them our officiants. It worked out really well m, especially with the language issue, and we liked any chance to turn the glaring wedding spotlight off us for even a moment.

    At the reception, we dedicated our creme puff tower cake thing to them, and the lot of us sang happy birthday in whatever language. We had a lot of comments about how much people enjoyed “2 birthdays and a wedding”

  28. One of our groomsmen will be at our wedding on his birthday. SO, the only actual cake present will be his birthday cake, with 2 ? candles. The rest of the desserts are other things (cheesecake, pie, cookies). And he’s an excuse to have ice cream too. 😀

  29. We are planning to acknowledge FH’s cousin’s wife – we are growing closer to her all the time and I want to wish a happy birthday on her birthday. We are doing the cupcake and candle thing and will sing to her once all the necessary reception stuff is out of the way. Also, she and FH’s cousin eloped last year when they were not getting much support from family to have a big wedding, so we are going to toast them at the rehearsal dinner – something simple so as not to offend the family that supported us but not them, but something nice so they know how glad we are that they got married.

  30. You know, I haven’t even considered that my wedding day could also be my birthday party! My birthday is 20 days after the wedding, but it is on the 4th of July so the intention is each year we get to celebrate our anniversary with all of our loved ones at a fun holiday party, then have a private moment a few weeks later for my birthday. I think I’ll blow out some candles when we cut the cake! Happy 25th to me, haha!

  31. The only day we were able to book the hall we wanted for our wedding unfortunately falls the day before my brother’s birthday and two days before the 4th anniversary of my mom’s death from lung cancer…my brother joked that he wants our wedding cake to say “Happy Birthday Joe” on it, which I kind of think would be funny (my fiance doesn’t agree!). However, I am trying to think of a way to acknowledge his birthday–a separate cupcake with a candle is a good idea. We will probably also sing happy birthday to him and my fiance’s brother (whose birthday is the week before). As for honoring my mom, I’m thinking of making a donation to the American Lung Association instead of buying favors, and putting some candy on each table along with a card that lets the guests know about the donation. Maybe have a picture of my mom printed on the cards…still have to think about it.

  32. My husband and I got married the day before Mother’s Day. We had our DJ give a special shout out and thanks to all of the mothers at our wedding and we got special roses to hand out to each one.

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