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  • Courtesy The Fogarty sisters, from left, Kelly, Rachel, Brigette, Rose and Juliette. Kelly, Rachel and Juliette are getting married within six weeks, with each wedding only 20 days apart. Brigette, the eldest, got married last year.

Friday, May 19, 2017 1:00 am

3 sisters to wed over 6 weeks

For large Fort Wayne family, summer of nuptials no cause for major stress

Cody Thompson | The Journal Gazette

Planning for a wedding can be overwhelming for many brides. After all, there are so many details to take care of: the cake, a location, the flowers, photographer – not to mention the dress.

So it's understandable that people are surprised to hear that the Fogarty sisters are planning not just one wedding but three – all within six weeks, with only 20 days between each. Three of the family's five daughters will be married by July, with the first wedding Saturday.

“People ask about planning a lot,” said Juliette Fogarty, whose wedding, the last of the three, is scheduled July 1.

The scenario, which seems like a plot in a romantic comedy, may lead one to assume that the Fogarty sisters are stressed beyond belief, but they don't appear to be overwhelmed while sitting at their parents' home, calmly discussing the upcoming nuptials.

The weddings' happening so close together wasn't intentional, the family said. All the sisters, who range in age from mid-20s to early 30s, had wanted summer weddings, and they more or less just fell into place like this.

“It was God-ordained,” said mother Kathleen Fogarty.

The family are devout Catholics. The sisters, Kelly, Juliette and Rachel, will be married in cathedrals – Kelly and Rachel in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Fort Wayne and Juliette in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart at Notre Dame in South Bend. Kelly and Rachel live in Fort Wayne, while Juliette lives in Washington, D.C.

Their elder sister, Brigette, married last year. They have one younger sister who is yet to be married and three brothers as well. In all, there are eight in the Fogarty family.

At their house in a suburb on the northeast side of Fort Wayne, it's calm and quiet aside from the dog, Molly, barking from upstairs.

Juliette lounges in a chair wearing athletic clothes, while Kelly sits up straight in her business casual pants and shirt, having just returned from work. It's easy to tell they're sisters by their facial features and brown hair. Rachel is absent from the meeting because of wedding preparations.

The family doesn't see it as a big deal that the weddings are scheduled so close together.

All the sisters will be bridesmaids for each other. Rachel and Kelly, to make it easier on their family, have the same bridesmaids dresses for their weddings. However, mom Kathleen will be wearing a different dress to each wedding.

“We had a magnificent shopping excursion, Kelly and I,” she said about the dress-buying experience.

Kelly said people often express sympathy for her parents, as though they are being burdened by the proximity of the weddings. However, she said they are happy, a statement her mother echoed. She also complimented her daughters' skills with the preparations.

“These girls are very mature and did their planning,” Kathleen said. “It's actually going to be easier because it won't be drug out.”

And the weddings, which are not extravagant in terms of décor, are not being paid for by the parents. They will be mostly paid for by the sisters, their mother said.

Kelly, a teacher at Bishop Dwenger High School, has invited the most people, but when it comes to food and other elements, the weddings are pretty modest, they said.

The sisters said they have tried to stay grounded despite the attention their weddings have received. The most important part of it all is their ceremony and the sacrament of it, they say.

The sisters said there isn't any competition or jealousy about whose wedding is bigger or draws more guests. After, all they lived together in a house for a while and get along great, they said.

They think this is kind of fun.

“It's not about trying to outdo someone at a reception or whatever,” Dan said.

“As long as I outdo Juliette's,” added Kelly, followed by laughter from her parents and sister.

Juliette said her fiancé is excited about the weddings. He will be the DJ at Rachel's wedding on Saturday.

The grooms-to-be – Michael Jackson for Juliette, Chris Whelan for Kelly and Brent Bennett for Rachel – are well liked by Dan and Kathleen. Their mother said the men bring happiness around the house.

The sisters all had six- to eight-month engagements before their weddings, and their father, Dan, was approached separately by each of the men when they asked for his daughters' hands in marriage.

“It's just a good, good joyous feeling,” he said.

And if three weddings aren't enough, two cousins – one on Dan's side and one on Kathleen's – will be marrying within the same time period. So, really, it's five weddings in six weeks. But, again, the family is taking it all in stride.

For a while, Juliette and Kelly toyed with the idea of a double wedding before deciding against it. So each sister continues to plan her wedding, with help from the others, which has kept the family busy.

But it hasn't quenched their excitement or ideas about the sacramental nature of the event.

“It's how weddings should be done,” Juliette said.