Q: Dear APW,
My fiancé and I are “couples friends” with a couple (let’s call them James and Heather) who my fiancé met through work. We see them around two to three times a month. James and Heather got engaged around the same time as my fiancé and I, and they attended our engagement party. We are getting married at the beginning of June (a destination wedding), and James and Heather are getting married at the end of June. They have already booked a room in the hotel block for our wedding, and we have booked our (refundable) room for their wedding (though theirs is local, we figured it would be fun as a staycation). Neither of us have sent out our official invitations yet, so there has been no “official” RSVPing. Both weddings are around two hundred people.
When we meet up, I spend a lot of time talking about wedding planning with Heather, as we are both going through it at the same time, though we don’t talk much separately outside of this. My fiancé is closer with James; they are both attending each other’s bachelor parties and talk at least once a week.
Our problem is this: we recently received a very generous offer from a friend of my fiancé’s parents. They have offered us to use their private yacht for an all-expenses paid week-long trip in southern Italy as our wedding gift. They hinted at the dates they offered not being particularly flexible as they spend most of the summer on the boat themselves. However, Heather and James’s wedding date falls in the middle of the week that they offered us to use the boat.
Can we skip Heather and James’s wedding to go on this trip? I feel guilty because they have been very enthusiastic about our own wedding planning, they were some of the first people to book in our hotel block to attend our (not cheap) destination wedding, and we have kind of been going through the wedding planning process together (we are all on the younger side, so we are the first of our peers to get married).
A: Dear Anonymous,
I’m sure your friends would totally understand that this is an opportunity you can’t refuse.
It doesn’t sound like your conversation with your parents’ friends was very direct (which I know, can be uncomfortable when someone is giving you something so generous). Before changing your RSVP to “decline,” I’d be more frank with them: “We have an important wedding that week. Is there any other time that wouldn’t inconvenience you?” If not, well, you tried! But till you actually do try, you can’t say you did. So get on it.