<snip>I still think that someone asking/emailing you about a possible party date four months before it is to possibly happen, and you responding that you will 'make it work' does not commit you to attending. RSVPing 'yes' to an invitation does. The invitation may arrive with a totally different date ... things do happen.
I'm sorry, I've seen this expressed a few times, and I just cannot for the life of me rationalize it. The bolded is wrong. When someone asks you if you will be somewhere, and you say that you will, you have given them your word. Your are absolutely obligated. It does not matter that it is not a formal RSVP, you said that you would be there.
"I will make it work" means "I will be there". That's what it means.
So the words "we'll make it work" mean that this couple has to hold the whole day open for the engagement party and cannot make any plans for their own first anniversary?
No. Fortunately for me, that's not what I said. At all.
I didn't say that you said it. I was questioning if that was what they had to do since they don't appear to know the time of the party, as I noted in later sentences.
Since weddings are held at different times during a day, I am guessing that the same can be done for engagement parties. Considering that there was no mention of a party time, I'm am guessing that is exactly what they have to do until they receive an actual invitation. That doesn't seem quite fair.
Because it couldn't possibly be true that the people in question discussed the time of the event and didn't include that detail in the Dear Prudence letter? Or if they didn't discuss it, I suppose they are barred from picking up the phone and asking "Hey, is this an evening party or a midday party?"
You respond as though there is no possible way for them to either already have, or quickly obtain this timing information. Which is patently absurd.
I was basing my answer/opinion on what was written in the letter. If this was a casual 'save the date' email, the HC may not even have an exact time set. So no, I don't think the LW and her DH can plan or make reservations until they get an actual invitation. The HC might be able to let them know the exact time a bit previous to making out invitations when they have the time all set though.
However, if there is the possibility that they discussed the time and the LW didn't include it in her letter, I guess there could also be the possibility that she paraphrased her letter and didn't include the exact wording of her DH's email to his brother. She did not put quotes around the phrase "it probably wasn't the best date but we would make it work if nothing else could be considered" (those are my quotes, not hers), so the wording in the email could have been a bit different ... since we are discussing possibilities.
So no, I don't agree that "we'll make it work" means "we'll be there" otherwise I think the husband would have emailed "we will be there". I think it means they'll figure out someway to make this work s best as possible for everyone involved in regards to both events. And since the LW and her DH are planning on celebrating their first anniversary and are asking what to do about the wedding, it appears that they don't consider the husband's response of "we'll make it work" to be an RSVP to the engagement party either.
The husband did not write "they would be there", he wrote "we would make it work". Maybe this couple's intent is to send a negative RSVP and offer to pay for the beverage service at the engagement party. Maybe they are going to offer to pay for the band/DJ at the party as their present ... that might be their way of "making it work". (Sorry, but I've never been to an engagement party and really don't know what all they entail. )
That's not 'making it work'. It just isn't. It stretches and misuses the English language to a degree where words no longer mean anything consistent. In this magical wonderland you've created, no one can be trusted to mean the words they say, since words would no longer mean the same things to people.
I did all that with two simple sentences? First, I don't think "all words mean the same things to people". If they did, I don't think this website would be in existence. Second, just because it is not your way of 'making it work' doesn't mean other people don't use compromises such as I listed to make their rlationships work to the best of their abilities. Third, I find the begining of your second sentence to be a bit insulting. I don't think that is necessary.
And just because this couple don't consider the DH's statement of 'we'll make it work' to be a positive commitment for AT LEAST one of the events doesn't mean they are remotely correct. It's possible to argue that it's not a commitment for *both* events, but it is not possible to reasonably argue that it doesn't commit you to at least one.
<rest of quote snipped>
I did post that there was the possibility that that is what the DH meant by 'making it work'. It was in my second post, reply #169 in this thread.
The DH could have meant "make it work" in reference to the wedding not the engagement party. Only he and possibly his wife know exactly what he meant pertaining to every word in his email ... I can only guess.
It didn't seem like they were but since they wrote in to ask advice on the matter of attending the wedding, I gave them the benefit of the doubt. I am kind of guessing that they were hoping Prudence would side with them and tell them that they didn't have to attend the wedding though.
I've tried to base my answers on what was in the letter to Prudence, but as you stated up above, they may have discussed the time of the wedding and not included that detail in the letter. By that token, the LW may have left out quite a bit from her letter or even paraphrased what her DH emailed, which could influence many of the posted answers on this thread, including my own.