->''"Never shall the younger be wed before the older ones!"''
-->-- So the '''WickedStepmother''' of Literature/VasilissaTheBeautiful decrees

A couple or several couples are ready to get married, but they're not allowed to (probably because someone's [[ParentalMarriageVeto parents won't allow]]) because someone else's nuptials (usually an older sister's) have to take place first. This can cause delightful complication if a lesser priority couple needs to AltarTheSpeed. SettleForSibling is often the result of this.

Compare UnableToSupportAWife.

[[AC:Fairy Tales]]
* In "Literature/VasilissaTheBeautiful", the WickedStepmother justifies rejecting all of Vasilissa's suitors on the grounds that her stepsisters are older than she is.

* One of ''TheBradyBunch'' movies has the parents reluctant to officially approve Jan's marriage plans because Marcia is single. Marcia explains this problem to a random male stranger she meets...resulting in a [[FourthDateMarriage Fourth Date Double Marriage]] with Jan and her beau.
* Cristabel, the "hottie" in ''Film/TheHottieAndTheNottie'', self-imposes this trope: She won't even think about having a relationship until her best friend, the [[TheGrotesque hideously ugly]] June Phigg, has a boyfriend.
* In the climax of ''Film/ThePirateMovie'', the female lead gets hit with this, so she starts randomly pairing her older sisters with the various pirates and police officers who had been fighting only minutes before.

[[AC: {{Literature}}]]
* Found frequently throughout the works of Creator/JaneAusten. Though it is not required, it is considered highly improper if the daughters do not marry in order of their birth - the only time it's acceptable is if the older sister slips into the category of "Old Maid" [[ChristmasCake around age twenty-three]]. Furthermore, it's considered unusual (as in ''PrideAndPrejudice'') to have the youngest daughter (of five) "out" (accepted as grown-up and eligible for marriage) before the eldest is married.
* Features in ''Literature/LikeWaterForChocolate'': Tita is not allowed to marry because the youngest must look after her mother.
* A variation in ''Literature/ABrothersPrice''. This is a world where men are so rare that they marry every sister in a family, sisters who themselves are descended from several different women. After the disastrous marriage to [[HotGuysAreBastards Keifer]], the Queens tell their eldest surviving daughter, who is very much in love, that the princesses can only marry the boy if ''all'' of her living of-age sisters agree to marry him. Since one has been missing for months and another is [[DoesNotLikeMen too put off by Keifer to consider it]], Ren has a hard time of it.
* In ''Literature/ThornInMyHeart'', Logan initially opposes Jamie's desire to marry Logan's daughter Rose, asserting that Leona, as the elder sister, should be married first.

* The UrExample is Jacob's story in Literature/TheBible, which play with this trope in that while Jacob wants younger daughter Rachel, Laban wants to marry off older daughter Leah off first, [[{{Polyamory}} so tricks Jacob into marrying both of them in succession]], [[ManipulativeBastard securing seven more years of Jacob's labor for Rachel]].

* In ''Theatre/TheTamingOfTheShrew'', Baptista will not give his younger daughter Bianca's hand in marriage before he finds a husband for Katherina, his shrewish older daughter.
** See also ''Film/TenThingsIHateAboutYou'', the '90s SettingUpdate.
* In ''OnceUponAMattress'', a law forbids anyone in the kingdom from marrying before Prince Dauntless does.

* As a matter of basic thoughtfulness, if you and your fiance get engaged around the same time as close mutual friends or relatives, someone will almost certainly have to wait, unless they agree to go for a double wedding option. This is not only to avoid Claire and Dan upstaging AliceAndBob, but also because of the expense the mutual friends and family would have regarding wedding gifts, bridesmaid dresses, etc.