Manners Matter: Wedding Blues

Dear Mary Pat,

I’ve been invited to seven weddings this year between family and friends. Since I own a business up here, it is really hard for me to get away in the season. Four of the seven are destination weddings and three are closer to home. These are all people that are close to me and I don’t realistically think I can attend all seven. I’m really nervous that I will cause offense by not going, especially if I attend some and not others. How do I decide which ones rank? Help!


Accept or Regret

Ephraim, Wis.


Dear Accept or Regret,

Weddings are very important celebrations and whenever possible, you should attend. It is typically very meaningful to the couple getting married and they probably worked very hard to get the guest list just right. Couples have to make some tough choices as to who makes the cut. Maybe all 29 first cousins can fit but if second cousins are added, there won’t be enough room. Maybe there will be room for work friends and maybe not. On the flip side, guests have to make tough choices sometimes on whether or not they can go. Between work schedules and people being scattered all over the country (or world), it is simply not possible to make every wedding. Good friends and family understand that and will hopefully graciously receive your RSVP card even if the “wrong” box is checked.

With so many save the date cards being sent out ahead of time, it is easier to plan your year out. You should sketch out a list using the following criteria:

  1. Budget: Can you afford all of these weddings based on location alone? If there are any that are out of the country or in really expensive areas, maybe the tourist season isn’t your only hurdle.
  2. Closeness to the Couple: Ask yourself if these people will still be a big part of your life in 10 years. How about 20? If they are forever friends or family, they should get higher priority.
  3. Calendar: Compare the dates of the wedding to the height of the tourist season. Do any of the dates fall on the fringe where maybe you could sneak away without things falling apart? The weekend after Memorial Day, for example.
  4. Staff: Do you have people you can trust to run your business while you are away? This one can change dramatically week to week. You might start the season with a full crew, but when it comes to employees, there are no guarantees. Maybe start a backup list of people you could have jump in last minute if necessary.

I normally don’t like to be so analytical, however, with this many weddings and a busy Door County season, it’s unavoidable. Hope this helps.

Good luck,

Mary Pat