Friday, February 16, 2007

toughening up and my second question

Well, I've polled several people whose opinions I respect and have received some thoughtful and supportive comments. As it turns out, all polled were anti-censorship and pro-honesty. One friend said, "How can I trust your advice if I think you're watering it down for the masses?" (I think "masses" might be exaggerating my readership, but point taken.) Another said that there will *always* be people who disagree, which means, of course, that I can't unpost every post that doesn't spark unanimous approval.

So, I'm going to apologize in advance to anyone I might upset in the course of writing this column. Most people who know me are already aware that I'm opinionated, so maybe, if you've put up with me for any length of time, y'all are more forgiving and less sensitive than I'm giving you credit for!

Dear Here's the thing...,
A good friend of mine recently got engaged. She is considering having the wedding over a holiday weekend (e.g., Labor Day or Columbus Day) because many people will have a three-day weekend, therefore making it easier for out-of-town guests to travel. She is also considering having the wedding on a non-holiday weekend. She feels very strongly that she's being considerate to her guests by having the wedding on a holiday weekend. I, on the other hand, think it's a bigger imposition to choose a holiday weekend because that it a time for personal travel/ relaxation -- not necessarily wedding hoop-la.
So, should I suggest that she choose the non-holiday weekend... or should I just butt out?

"anti-Miss Manners"
Durham, NC

Dear Anti,

I have never been married or even participated in the planning of a wedding, so to do your question justice I conducted a little research. It turns out that this holiday weekend question sparks quite the controversy in the circles of brides-to-be and their friends and family.

Not surprisingly, bride-related sites (e.g., are fairly enthusiastic about holiday weekend weddings. "Extend the fun!" "Plan an action-packed lineup!" Bride-related sites are enthusiastic about everything. They use lots of exclamation points.

On the other hand, some people quoted in a NYT article ( were downright cranky about the idea of giving up a precious holiday weekend to watch someone tie the knot.

I tend to fall in the latter camp. It's the rare wedding that lives up to its potential, at least for the guests, anyway. Oh sure, you're happy for the couple and all, but let's face it, these days the two have likely been paired up for a pretty long time. So it's not like the idea of them being united is exactly novel. But this argument isn't going to have much traction with the bride and groom. So if you're going to suggest an alternate weekend, you probably shouldn't use the "some weddings can be kind of boring and you've been shacked up for a year already" excuse.

But the question remains: should you, or should you not butt in? The answer hinges on whether your friend was actually asking for your opinion or merely musing aloud. If you think she is polling people to see what they'd prefer, by all means, advocate for a non-holiday weekend. Try to think of some reasons that don't include the word "imposition" in them...couples get testy over that sort of reference to their big day.

If your friend seemed firm on the holiday weekend idea, you're probably just going to have to suck it up and prepare for an "action-packed lineup" over Labor Day.

Good luck!



Anonymous said...

Ooooh, I agree with Anti! There are precious few long weekends, and I don't want someone else's plans to tell me how I have to spend them! Not to mention the traffic on holiday weekends, the premium hotel rates, etc.

Anonymous said...

On the flip side, it's a one-time thing, not an annual event for the rest of *your* life. (The happy couple likely won't ask you to celebrate their anniversary each year forward.) Ever helped someone move on a day you'd rather be reading the paper with a glass of wine and your feet up? If yes, the wedding is no different. If no, how good a friend are you that you've *never* made yourself temporarily uncomfortabel for the sake of a friend's wellbeing?