Q: Dear Amy,
A close friend recently asked me to be a bridesmaid in her wedding, and I enthusiastically said “YES,” and I cannot wait to be a part of her and her fiancé’s day. She hasn’t set an official date yet, but she has told me which month they have chosen (the date will depend on venue availability). Problem is, my husband was also asked to be the best man in his best friend’s wedding, which is in the same month—and they’ve already set the date. I will attend my friend’s wedding as her bridesmaid regardless, and my husband will do the same for his friend, even if we have to go solo.
Since my friend hasn’t chosen her wedding date yet, should I mention our potential date conflict? My husband and I are both really fond of each couple, and we would be sad to miss celebrating the other respective wedding if my friend chose the same weekend. But she’s also a bride with people throwing all of their requests and opinions at her every day, and I don’t want to be one more selfish person making personal demands. Help!
—Wedding Date Dilemma
A: Dear Wedding Date Dilemma,
I particularly love this question as a counter-point to the last one I answered. Everyone is being so considerate and thoughtful and happy for each other!
I think you are absolutely thinking of this in the right way. Picking a wedding date is hard, so let’s run through some of the things that go into the decision, just so we are all on the same page.
First, you’ve got timing. How long do you want to be engaged? Two months? Two years? You can make it work any way you want, but many couples reasonably have some preference ranging from “OMG we must marry right now can’t wait another day” to “So excited to get married! Perhaps spring 2020?”
Then you’ve got time of year. Say you get engaged in February, because rumor has it The Most-Pressured, Least-Fun “Romantic” Day of the Year Is Coming. Ideally you’d like a yearlong engagement, but you also have a strong preference for no snow on your wedding day, so that’s bumping you up to at least fourteen months.
Then you’ve got family conflicts. I am firmly of the opinion that weddings last a day, not a season. But realistically if you’re thinking about scheduling your wedding the same month as a sibling, you’d better have a pretty good reason for that.
So you’ve now narrowed it down to one Saturday night in June? Lololololol.
That’s nice, but you also probably want to get married somewhere, and venues have a whole different calendar of availability. You can always completely ignore all this and just decide you’re having a wedding on this date and you’ll use whatever venue is available and that’s that, but realistically most people wind up having to flex around a lot of different factors on this.
And then you also have your friends! Of course you’d like to make sure that your very closest friends can come, but also the factors to consider are adding up, and you do have to get married sometime. I highly recommend only running your date by a very, very small number of people. I’m of the opinion that if you ask someone if they can make a date, and they say no, and you go with it anyway, that’s more hurtful than just picking a date and letting the chips fall where they may. Be really, really honest with yourself before opening this up for wider input.
That being said, if someone has decided to ask you to weigh in on the date, or if you are a member of the wedding party, I think it’s okay to share any conflicts you have. Do it thoughtfully and with the recognition that yes, it can very much feel like an impossible task to find a date that works for everyone. If, like in your case, Wedding Date Dilemma, your partner can’t make it, and you’ll go without them, but also, if possible, it would be really great if they could come—say that! But only say that if a) you have been directly asked to weigh in, or b) you’ve been invited to join the bridal party. Anyone else, sorry. I get that you really want to be there, but there is no indication this couple wants to plan around you so you’ll just have to cross your fingers.
I know this tends to be a busy time of year for scheduling weddings. Any other questions or dilemmas? Let’s try and solve them in the comments!
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