wedding presents and wedding presence

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There’s something which is far more likely to result from a wedding than a lifetime of marital bliss: everlasting rifts with family and friends! Add a faraway wedding destination to the usual stresses, with associated expense and inconvenience, and forty years later Cousin Mabel will still be shredding the bride’s Christmas cards.

So have pity – and advice – for Rob from Bedford here:

We are a UK-based family. My sister is getting married next year and has decided to do it in Sri Lanka of all places, which means we are being asked to fly to Sri Lanka and spend a week there for the wedding.

My wife thinks that this is an unreasonable request and I’m fairly uncomfortable about it myself. I also have a small child to think about, who will be a few weeks short of two years old by then. Who knows, we might even be expecting a second.

I don’t think you can use hypothetical foetuses as an excuse not to go, but I understand your grievance. ‘Reasonable’ is not usually uppermost in a couple’s mind when planning a wedding, although even the most wedding-bonkers pair should be reconciled to the fact that many of their guests will not be able to make it if distance and cost are involved.

However. As a member of the immediate family, you really are obligated to make every attempt to attend, even if you have to go solo and leave your wife and child (and, alright, your potential child-to-be) at home.

Agreed, it’s pricey and annoying, if your sister or her fiance have no ties to Sri Lanka and have no reason to be holding the event there other than it’s nice. But your absence would be interpreted as a hostile gesture, not only by your sister but by other members of your family. If you think going to Sri Lanka for a week is inconveniencing you, just imagine all the tearful phonecalls and rows in the run-up, and the recriminations for an untold span of aftermath.

It’s an event that means an awful lot to your sister, so if she means anything to you, stop complaining and start researching flights. Better still, start thinking positively about the occasion: I hear Sri Lanka is very beautiful and child-friendly, and your sister has given you the excuse to take a family holiday there.

Jack in Leeds sounds more chipper about his faraway wedding problem:

My friend is getting married in November. We would love to attend but he has, rather selfishly, chosen to hold the wedding where he lives, Sydney in Australia.

Despite this, I still want to get them a nice gift, but would like something more imaginative than ordering flowers etc. So, answer me this: what would be a great wedding present that would fit in a card?

Readers, go to the comments and help Jack choose a present. As things which fit in a card tend to be vouchers, which are BORING, I have decided to extend the criteria to include non-floral items and/or services he could order for delivery in Australia. Go!

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4 Responses to “wedding presents and wedding presence”

  1. Engr. Men Says:

    I wish to get married next year, how do i go about it?

  2. James Lazenby Says:

    I went the opposite way… for my birthday my family got me a subscription to Australian Geographic so that once a month I get a beautifully photographed magazine which reminds me of home,

  3. Jack Says:

    Why doesn’t jack in leeds just order something from an australia based company, and have it delivered directly to his brother’s house? Then, it would need to fit in a card

  4. rob Says:

    My brother got married in Sweden a few years ago, at the IceHotel no less. Whilst an amazing setting, I refused to pay knowing that 1. His choice of location was a deliberate attempt to keep the family away, 2. it was bloody expensive and 3. The marriage wouldn’t last. He then asked me to be best man. I still refused to pay and my family ended up paying for me even though I did not want to go. I did a rubbish job of being a best man and spent the time messing about in the snow instead. Guess what, the marriage didn’t last but I got a free holiday! I know I’m sounding like a bit of a bastard here but if you insist on an expensive wedding location abroad then don’t expect anyone to come……unless you pay in which case I have my passport on me.

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