Author Topic: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date  (Read 17882 times)

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MariaE

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Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
« Reply #165 on: March 02, 2013, 01:02:27 AM »


I would take it a step over and say you get the day in the sun once, and it's privately yours forever.  Does this couple expect their whole family to celebrate their anniversary year after year? 

There's a difference between a first and and sixth.  The first anniversary, 25th and 50th are ones I would expect to be more important than just about anything else going on around a couple. 
  Many couples feel that their first anniversary would hold more weight than an engagement party - no matter who it was for. That coupled with the wedding being on the second anniversary would set a lot of folks on edge.
   There is really nothing about this that does not set my hinky meter on edge.

I've never met anybody in Denmark who considered their first that important. I agree with 25th and 50th (and will add 12.5 as we celebrate that too), but not 1st.

Not saying it doesn't happen - I've just never encountered it, so the thought honestly wouldn't cross my mind.

But most first anniversaries are "privately yours." They're not an event you have a party for, with the whole family celebrating.
(and this letter writer never says anything about that, nor does anybody else on this thread)

That may be why someone hasn't heard much about people fussing over their first anniversary--I think for most people it's sort of an intimate thing. That doesn't make it any less important.

I never said I expected them to have a party to show that it was important, I said I didn't know anybody who found it important full stop.
 
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Cheapie

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Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
« Reply #166 on: March 02, 2013, 07:58:46 PM »
Ok, my opinion only ... and maybe not totally based on accepted etiquette, but I don't care if the DH told his brother that "they definitely would be there" ... it was a conversation he was having with his brother and he didn't have the benefit of consulting with his wife at that moment, so it was just a conversation from my point of view.  When the invite for the engagement party arrives, they are fully within their rights to RSVP "no" if they have previous plans.  It does appear that they have previous plans ... celebrating their first anniversary alone, as is important to them.  As has been said, it's an invitation, not a summons.

As for the second anniversary, I would certainly hope they think about the importance of attending a family wedding, especially since it is his brother.  While I can see a first anniversary being pretty important to a good portion of the population, I would think that a second annivesary could be celebrated on another day for most of them. Besides, I think a huge party with a large portion of your family present would be a great way to celebrate your second anniversary ... and you don't even have to plan it! :D  But that's just my opinion.

For what it's worth, the only anniversary I remember every. single. year. is my older sister's as she got married on my 17th birthday.  DH and I tend to forget our own anniversary a good portion of the time as we got married in an unconventional way.  My DParents had a pretty tight income flow when I was a kid so we didn't do much in the way of celebrating anything other than with our choice of dinner, so I never got use to doing a lot of celebrations.  I even do my boys' birthdays in a haphazard manner.  It works for us though and I'm sure the LW would like to celebrate her first anniversary in a way that works for her and her DH.

Sharnita

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Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
« Reply #167 on: March 02, 2013, 08:05:54 PM »
Ok, my opinion only ... and maybe not totally based on accepted etiquette, but I don't care if the DH told his brother that "they definitely would be there" ... it was a conversation he was having with his brother and he didn't have the benefit of consulting with his wife at that moment, so it was just a conversation from my point of view.   When the invite for the engagement party arrives, they are fully within their rights to RSVP "no" if they have previous plans.  It does appear that they have previous plans ... celebrating their first anniversary alone, as is important to them.  As has been said, it's an invitation, not a summons.

As for the second anniversary, I would certainly hope they think about the importance of attending a family wedding, especially since it is his brother.  While I can see a first anniversary being pretty important to a good portion of the population, I would think that a second annivesary could be celebrated on another day for most of them. Besides, I think a huge party with a large portion of your family present would be a great way to celebrate your second anniversary ... and you don't even have to plan it! :D  But that's just my opinion.

For what it's worth, the only anniversary I remember every. single. year. is my older sister's as she got married on my 17th birthday.  DH and I tend to forget our own anniversary a good portion of the time as we got married in an unconventional way.  My DParents had a pretty tight income flow when I was a kid so we didn't do much in the way of celebrating anything other than with our choice of dinner, so I never got use to doing a lot of celebrations.  I even do my boys' birthdays in a haphazard manner.  It works for us though and I'm sure the LW would like to celebrate her first anniversary in a way that works for her and her DH.

The problem with that theory is that he emailted the groom to be, they weren't having a conversation. So he did have the chance, or at least the option, to consult with his wife first.

Cheapie

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Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
« Reply #168 on: March 02, 2013, 08:32:01 PM »
Yeah, my mistake! :)  This thread has gotten so long that I kind of forgot how the letter 'read'.  I just when back and read it ... thought that was a good idea.  Thanks for giving me the heads up!

Anyway, I still stand by my original post.  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.  I still think that someone askingemailing 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.

Aeris

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Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
« Reply #169 on: March 02, 2013, 09:02:28 PM »
<snip>I still think that someone askingemailing 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.

Now, if the invitation arrives, and pertinent details like the date have changed, you are no longer obligated. Because the pertinent details changed, not because anything is particularly magical about the physical invitation. You don't have to respond at all before the invitation arrives, but if you do you are bound by your voluntary response.

In this situation "I will make it work" could, arguably, be referring to the wedding and not the engagement party. But we don't get to start making up things. We don't get to pretend "I will make it work" isn't a statement of "I will be there". And we don't get to pretend that you can say you'll be somewhere and it just doesn't count until you get the physical piece of mail.

LifeOnPluto

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Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
« Reply #170 on: March 02, 2013, 09:54:03 PM »
<snip>I still think that someone askingemailing 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.

Now, if the invitation arrives, and pertinent details like the date have changed, you are no longer obligated. Because the pertinent details changed, not because anything is particularly magical about the physical invitation. You don't have to respond at all before the invitation arrives, but if you do you are bound by your voluntary response.

In this situation "I will make it work" could, arguably, be referring to the wedding and not the engagement party. But we don't get to start making up things. We don't get to pretend "I will make it work" isn't a statement of "I will be there". And we don't get to pretend that you can say you'll be somewhere and it just doesn't count until you get the physical piece of mail.

I agree with Aeris (and Sharnita).

Unfortunately, I think that the husband's response "We'll make it work" indicates that barring any huge emergency, he and the LW would be attending both events. Yes, it was wrong of him to commit to these events without checking with his wife, and the LW has every right to be annoyed at him. But I do think that they are now "on the hook" for attending, and it would be rude to RSVP "no" to both invitations.

TootsNYC

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Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
« Reply #171 on: March 02, 2013, 10:19:54 PM »
I agree, "we'll make it work" means "we'll be there."

But I also think that it could ALSO mean "we'll be there but we'll leave early in order to have time together to celebrate our anniversary."

And if the "we'll make it work" was in response to both dates, I might still hold that "making it work" means "showing up for the most important half of this two-date plan, which is the wedding, not the engagement party."

kudeebee

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Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
« Reply #172 on: March 02, 2013, 10:24:29 PM »
I think "make it work" as referenced to both events could be taken several ways.  Since dh responded without talking to his dw first, so I don't think that they are bound to attend both events.  One part of a social unit should not respond for the other without checking with them first. 

I still think couple is fine to skip the engagement party--send a nice card with a note, talk to the ILs ahead of time--and definitely should attend the wedding and related festivities.

Cheapie

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Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
« Reply #173 on: March 02, 2013, 11:31:00 PM »
<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?  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.  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. :) )

All we know from the LW is that the husband emailed "we would make it work" and that they are skipping the engagement party so their interpretation, and mine, of "we would make it work" are quite different from a number of posters on this thread.  I'm willing to agree to disagree, but I'm not willing to say that I am wrong and you are right ... we just have differing opinions on the semantics of the "we would make it work" portion of his email.

I do agree that the brother's wedding trumps a second anniversary though and they should attend that.  Heck, depending on what the invitation says about the engagement party, I think they should consider canceling their anniversary plans and attend that party.  I just don't agree that the email was an actual RSVP to both events and they are therefore not obligated to attend them at this point.  I to agree that an explanation for their absence should be considered since this is close family and it might help to smooth over any possible hurt feelings.

kareng57

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Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
« Reply #174 on: March 02, 2013, 11:42:16 PM »
<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?  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.  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. :) )

All we know from the LW is that the husband emailed "we would make it work" and that they are skipping the engagement party so their interpretation, and mine, of "we would make it work" are quite different from a number of posters on this thread.  I'm willing to agree to disagree, but I'm not willing to say that I am wrong and you are right ... we just have differing opinions on the semantics of the "we would make it work" portion of his email.

I do agree that the brother's wedding trumps a second anniversary though and they should attend that.  Heck, depending on what the invitation says about the engagement party, I think they should consider canceling their anniversary plans and attend that party.  I just don't agree that the email was an actual RSVP to both events and they are therefore not obligated to attend them at this point.  I to agree that an explanation for their absence should be considered since this is close family and it might help to smooth over any possible hurt feelings.


I disagree.  "We'll make it work" means exactly that, IMO.  Of course he should have consulted his wife - but he didn't.  That's not the fault of the newly-engaged couple.

Yes, of course they could renege on that later, it's not a crime.  But it could lead to hurt feelings, down the road.

Sharnita

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Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
« Reply #175 on: March 02, 2013, 11:45:44 PM »
I don't think there is evidence he didn't consult his wife - I thought it sounded like he had.  She was just displeased with the choice of the date in general, certain that regardless of her husband's response they wouldn't attend the engagement and apparently considering whether they should attend the wedding.

TurtleDove

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Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
« Reply #176 on: March 03, 2013, 12:17:38 AM »
The way I see it, an engagement party or wedding involves many many people. Celebrating an anniversary involves two people. I don't really understand why the LW cannot recognize that she can celebrate her anniversary with her husband whenever and wherever she and her husband agree to, but the HC cannot do the same because their celebration involves many many people. If it is more important to the LW to celebrate with her DH on the actual date of the anniversary, she can make that choice. But that choice has consequences, and some people (like me) won't understand or approve of her decision.

Aeris

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Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
« Reply #177 on: March 03, 2013, 01:46:39 AM »
<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.

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.

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.

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>

Cheapie

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Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
« Reply #178 on: March 03, 2013, 04:15:42 AM »
<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. 
Quote
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. 

Maggie

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Re: Dear Prudence: sibling "stealing" wedding date
« Reply #179 on: March 03, 2013, 11:05:33 AM »
I really think that it's only been 10 months since he was best man at his brother's wedding.  I am reasonably sure this means the future groom was at least dating this woman when his brother got married.  I think she knows exactly what day it is on and it doesn't matter to her.  Maybe weddings happen in other parts of the country on Sunday but that is very unusual for my part of the country.  Especially Mother's Day.  I'm not sure why anyone would really want to do that.  I am also very sure I would not be attending the engagement party.  If anyone asked why I would repeat ad nauseum "because it is my first anniversary".  I do not think they had to ask anyone about the date but I do think there is a definite reason they planned their engagement party and their wedding on that date.  If the fiance is like this about just the engagement party and the wedding, what will she be like as a bride?