My fiancée and I are getting married in fall next year. The location where we will marry has only two available dates and we have to pick one. One of the date is in mid-October where the weather is still not cold and the date numbers have a special meaning to my future wife and myself. The other date is much later in fall, when it's really cold and it's usually very likely that it will snow.

We really want to marry on the first date to avoid the possibility of snowing, to please both our families about not marrying "in winter", etc.

The problem is that the date for the nice weather and special number pattern is also the exact day where my SO's best friend will be 30.

We have spoken to my fiancée's best friend and we have told her that we have a choice and have asked if as of now she has anything already planned, if we could take the date. She's usually not the type of person to organize anything for her birthdays (she never did in the past). This being a sensitive subject, we carefully worded our question so that she doesn't understand it as a request for permission, but rather as an advice scanning. She acknowledged that it wasn't such a request for permission. As expected she said she had no plans and immediately asked her boyfriend who replied he has already something planned on that date for her. We usually are not of the judging type, but given the story of the couple, we have strong indication that the couple won't last until then. We might be wrong, though.

Now, pressed by the location owner, we have decided to take action and chose the date of my SO's best friend's 30th birthday.

How do we tell her (and her boyfriend) that we are going to marry that day without hurting her feelings, without angering her boyfriend and making it clear that they're welcome at our wedding?

Changing the wedding location is just not possible for various reasons (budget, advance payment already paid, size, proximity, type of location, we've been looking for one forever and finally settled on this one, etc.).

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    Just a wording suggestion: they are welcome at your wedding, not to your marriage. – Lawrence Sep 4 at 6:38
  • I don't think that the title fits: You do not only want to marry on her 30th birthday, you have decided to take action and chose the date [...]. Maybe just changing the "want to" to "will" would solve this. I suggested an edit. – SomeWindowsUser Sep 4 at 18:26
  • Hmm, in Canada people often celebrate their birthday a couple days early or late since it so rarely falls conveniently when people can attend. Is it really that strict in Europe? – Euchris Sep 4 at 23:08
up vote 13 down vote accepted

It's not really going to be possible to come out of this unscathed. You already asked, the boyfriend already said he has something planned. So now you've decided in full knowledge that your girlfriend's best friend likely won't be able to attend. This is virtually guaranteed to cause at least some ruffled feathers.

I'd advise you to tell them as soon as possible, so they can make arrangements and/or figure out alternate plans for the day of. It still has the chance of being recieved very badly, but that chance only goes up the longer you wait.

You want to start the conversation by explaining the difficulties that led you to choosing this date as you have here. Be as neutral as possible about this.

Absolutely do not bring up your hunch that their relationship won't last until then. That's going to come across as cruel at best and will not endear you to them in any way shape or form. Drop that line of thinking completly and focus on explaining to them why you had to choose that date and then live with their decision (which might be for her not to attend the wedding).

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    I'm pretty sure they weren't going to say something like "you'll probably break up before the wedding so we weren't worried about the conflict". So I think you can remove that last paragraph. – DaveG Sep 4 at 17:53
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    @DaveG I couldn't disagree more. This answer is advising to "drop that line of thinking completely and focus on ___" and I think this insight 100% has the merit to stay included. The question outlined it as one of the motivations and this answer addressed that, IPS is not always about whether or not you explicitly state something. – Jesse Sep 5 at 0:58
  • @Jesse You seriously think the OP is going to tell a good friend "hey, don't worry about your 30th birthday party your boyfriend talked about, your relationship will be toast by then"? – DaveG Sep 5 at 1:36
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    @DaveG no I do not think that at all... read my comment again, specifically "line of thinking", "one of the motivations" and "IPS is not always about whether or not you explicitly state something" – Jesse Sep 5 at 1:47

Just tell them like you did here, minus your opinion about their relationship. It seems that even without this you would have made the same choice, so just don't think about that anymore.

Since you asked about their plans first and still choose the day of her birthday, it will sting a bit more. Tell them that after careful consideration, the other date didn't work for reason XYZ and you booked the venue the day of her birthday. Tell them as soon as possible so that the boyfriend can change plans (if possible and if they want to, they might decide not to come to your wedding).

You don't have power over their reaction or them being hurt, but you can convey to them that this wasn't an easy decision to make, you didn't make it lightly and you really hope to still see them at the wedding but understand if they choose not to.

Small note : I hear you that it was hard to find a venue and once you did you only had two dates to choose from, but you still had a choice. You could have booked the other date, you could have postponed the wedding to next year... You made a choice, no one forced you. Don't tell them when you explain your decision that you "had no choice", because you did. You prioritized your wedding over her birthday and the possibility that she won't be there if the boyfriend's plans can't be moved. It's not a bad choice, there's no right or wrong here. Your goal here shouldn't be to convince them you did nothing wrong and so they have no reason to be hurt or angry, but to warn them, be apologetic and acknowledge this is an inconvenience for them, and that you still would love having them at your wedding.

You are making this more complicated than it has to be. Honestly, there was no point in asking around at all unless you were actually going to move the wedding data based on the answers. Were you really considering doing that? About the only reason I could think of to change from a date that worked well for us to one that did not might be to accommodate a family pregnancy.

You don't have any indication that this friend is so irrational that she will be offended by the date you chose. Your fiancee tells her "we ended up picking 6/12/19." That's it. No one in her right mind would think that picking her birthday means she is not expected at the wedding! Presumably this best friend will be a bridesmaid, right?

She will at some point tell the boyfriend, and he will figure out what to do with his plans for her birthday. Presumably, he's not so crazy that he will take your wedding plans as a personal slight. I'm not sure why you even consulted the boyfriend at all. He gave you pretty much exactly the worst answer you could get from him, and you are carrying on anyway.

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