DEAR MISS MANNERS: My husband and I are friendly with two younger couples from our neighborhood. Each of them planned to get married in the summer of 2020, but decided to delay their events until this summer in the hope that vaccinations would be common. We got to know each of these couples better during the pandemic through socially distanced patio visits, while their new puppies learned manners from our older dogs.
Neither of the couples knows the other. We have now received "save the date" announcements from both couples for the same date in August. Both weddings will be outdoors, and we'd definitely like to attend.
But one of the weddings will be in a town an hour southeast of us, and the other will be an hour and a half southwest. If we try to attend both, we'd be spending at least four hours on the road that day and would likely miss a good portion of each wedding.
We genuinely like both of the couples and would like to wish them well. Your suggestions on how we might handle this situation would be most appreciated.
GENTLE READER: There are many problems that Miss Manners can solve, but how to be in two places at once is not, alas, among them. Shortchanging both couples, by trying to please everyone, will create wear and tear on your friendships -- as well as your car.
Better to choose one wedding and regretfully decline the other. How to do so without giving offense is a problem Miss Manners can solve: Accept the invitation that arrives first. Assuming that the invitations arrive within days of one another, she promises not to check the postmark if you secretly choose the one that you prefer -- so long as you promise never to confess.