Her wedding vs. our vacation

When dates collide, a friendship or a marriage may be at risk.

Read on for our elder’s advice on how to keep both BFF and hubby happy.

Dear EWC:

My husband and I have been saving up to take a once in a lifetime trip to Greece before we start trying to have a baby. We had to reschedule our trip this fall due to COVID. Before we could pick new dates, one of my best friends picked a wedding date right in the middle of the most convenient weeks to go (we want to use a certain tour company so dates are not flexible). My husband wants to add a 3rd week to our trip and visit Croatia as well.

It is possible to schedule the trip to be back before the wedding but not after. It is very inconvenient timing for his work schedule and traveling closer to summer months means he will most likely be hot and uncomfortable on the trip. He Is very frustrated with me and says it is crazy to schedule a 3 week trip around 1 day and that I need to prioritize us over my friend. I don’t want to miss my friend’s big day as she has always been there for me and is the sweetest person ever, plus I think she might ask me to be a bridesmaid. I also don’t want to risk having a less wonderful trip and risk having my husband be grumpy and stressed during our travels.

Another option is to only go to Greece and skip Croatia but it may be our only chance to go and I’d feel terrible telling him we can’t go to the destination he is so excited for as I was the one who picked Greece originally. I feel very conflicted and would appreciate any advice.

Folk replies:

If you had already booked your vacation and stood to lose your deposit if you changed dates, the decision about what to do would be a no brainer. Rather than have you lose a substantial amount of money, I would advise you to tell your friend that you are truly sorry but you are going to have to miss her wedding and that you will make it up to her. Luckily for you though, this is not the case.

You haven’t booked your trip yet, so you don’t have to choose between your dream vacation and being there for one of your best friends on her special day. You can do both! One option you mention is to schedule your trip in order to be back in time for the wedding. If this option is not convenient for your husband’s work, one alternative you might want to consider is customizing your trip by booking it independently (instead of through the tour company). My husband and I have traveled the world extensively and because we value the freedom to do things on our own schedule, this is the way we do it. If you book the trip yourselves, you need not be restricted by the tour company’s inflexible choice of dates. You and your husband can enjoy your dream vacation at the time that it is most convenient for the two of you, and you can still serve as a bridesmaid at your best friends’ wedding.

If you prefer to use the tour company, a third option is for you to bypass Croatia on this particular trip. I know you think that since you are planning to get pregnant soon, this might be the ONLY chance you will ever have to visit Croatia, but I promise you it won’t be. You and your husband are young and there will be plenty of opportunities in the future for you to travel – with and without your baby. My husband and I raised eight children and still managed to visit every continent. We even took all our children to Amsterdam one year for a very memorable New Year’s Eve.

If this were just a co-worker’s or acquaintance’s wedding we were talking about, I’d advise you to go ahead with your vacation as planned and not to sweat it. But because it’s your best friend’s wedding and she has ALWAYS been there for you, I urge you to likewise be there for her on her very special day. Your friend gave you a heads-up on her wedding date BEFORE you booked anything. If the situation had been reversed, you would have had a valid reason for missing her big day. As it is though, if you miss out on celebrating with her just because it’s not convenient, she may be very hurt. In the end, how much you enjoy your trip will not be determined by its length or the particular dates you choose, but by you and your husband sharing the excitement of your adventure together. Go, enjoy. Have a wonderful trip, make beautiful memories, be a bridesmaid at your best friend’s wedding, and make a beautiful baby. You can have it all.


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