DEAR CAROLYN: My daughter was just officially engaged. She had a venue in mind and checked availability (a place that fills up quickly) to coincide with an annual family event. It was available, so she booked it and sent in the deposit.
She then asked her cousin, my niece, to be her maid of honor, and in fact her only attendant. My niece said yes and also said a friend of hers had asked her to be in her wedding next summer, too, but no date was mentioned.
Well, the date chosen by my niece’s friend is the same as my daughter’s. My niece’s friend thinks because she asked first that my niece should be in her wedding (one of a few bridesmaids). My daughter thinks her invitation with a definite date supersedes the other request.
Needless to say this is putting a lot of strain right now on what should be a happy time.
MOB in AZ
DEAR MOB: Both of these brides can choose to be gracious: “I completely understand that you committed to the other bride first.” “I completely understand that you committed to this date first.”
I hope someone in each of their camps who is a little more mature and a little less invested (ahem) will guide them accordingly. “Your cousin is in a terrible spot,” I hope you’ll advise your daughter. “Instead of pressuring her on top of that, a true friend will tell her that of course you want her at your side, but also understand she has to do what she thinks is right.”
Stepping back will make it easier for your niece to say no to your daughter, yes. Counsel patience, though; the high road might ruin the day but save the friendship.
If this column sees daylight after your niece has already chosen the other wedding, counsel grace, and model it yourself. It’s the path to zero regrets.
Email Carolyn at email@example.com.