Miss Manners by Judith Martin, Nicholas Ivor Martin and Jacobina Martin

Muddy Boots Mucking Up Church Service

DEAR MISS MANNERS: My husband and I feel honored to have been invited to two weddings; however, they are scheduled to be held on the same date and time.

The venues are located only 15 minutes apart. The young people getting married are children of two couples who have been our close friends for more than 20 years. We truly want to attend both weddings and receptions.

What is the proper etiquette for such a situation? Would it be appropriate to attend the ceremony of one wedding and the reception of the other? Should my husband attend both the wedding ceremony and reception of one couple, and I attend these events for the other? Or is it more considerate for my husband and me to accept the invitation to only one wedding and somehow graciously decline the other?

GENTLE READER: Learn to dance quickly. Miss Manners is not only referring to what you do at the reception, but also to how you get there. Make both hosts aware of the predicament, and then divide yourselves and conquer, each of you attending one full wedding and reception.

Whoever is done first, hightail it over to the other reception -- all with the hosts’ permission, of course. Any true friends of 20 years will surely appreciate the predicament, and be accommodating. Adding a future invitation for the two couples to meet, where you can laugh about it all and favorably compare the two weddings, may prove to be further enticement.