Ask Natalie by Natalie Bencivenga

Wedding Dilemma

DEAR NATALIE: My husband and I have been invited to a casual friend's wedding. The problem is, the wedding is on a Friday afternoon. We would both have to miss half a day's work. My husband and I both have very recently started new jobs. We do not get paid if we don't work, and we also don't want to make a bad impression on our new employers. What should we do? We are leaning toward skipping the wedding and getting to the reception after work when we can. Help! -- 2 MEN AND A DILEMMA

DEAR 2 MEN AND A DILEMMA: Call your friend who is getting married and simply explain the situation. Having a wedding on a Friday afternoon will probably make it tough for some guests to attend the whole event because of their work schedules (and I'm sure you and your hubby aren't the only ones debating what to do). Just tell your friend exactly what you told me and let them know that as soon as you can be there, you will. Even if this means that you come late to the reception, they will know to save a place for you both. Giving them a heads up shows that you are considerate of their feelings and that you have every intention of celebrating with them as soon as you are able. (And don't forget to bring a gift!)

Natalie's networking tip of the week: Is there a guest list that you can look at ahead of time to see who will be at the event? If so, check it out and familiarize yourself with some of the people that you want to meet. Whether they are speakers or organizers, they may give you great insights and lead you to other connections you want to make to maximize your time.

Please send your relationship and lifestyle questions to or tweet them to @NBSeen. You can also send postal letters to Natalie Bencivenga, 358 North Shore Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15212

(This column was originally published by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.)