It's wedding season! Sure, we all love the free cake and Champagne, but wedding invites can launch so many additional complications. This week, readers seek guidance:
Dear Wayne and Wanda,
I am a hard worker in my late 20s and I try to pay off existing debts (college loans and some credit cards) while saving. I only get a few weeks of vacation a year. That said, it suddenly feels like everyone I know is getting married. I was invited to three different out-of-state weddings this summer, plus two weddings here. I started adding up the plane tickets, hotel costs and the price of gifts, not to mention travel time, and there's just no way. How do I choose which ones to go to without going broke?
Wayne says: Welcome to adulthood, my friend. Oh, the tough decisions of early adulthood aren't about buying a car or home, settling into a career or starting your retirement fund. They're about deciding whether to travel for friends' weddings. Your decisions over the next 10 years will either lead you to bankruptcy or disappointing some of your closest friends. And then half of them will get divorced anyway. The only way to survive this is to make the best decision for you on a case-by-case basis, stick to your guns and come to peace with it. You will upset people, no doubt, but you'll also be able to spend your time and money the way you want to spend them, not out of guilt from someone else.
Wanda says: Wayne's right. Unless you're rolling in dough and free time, you simply can't make it to any wedding. Not only will you drain your cash stash, but you'll spend all your vacation hours celebrating others' futures instead of creating your own memories. With five wedding invites begging RSVPs, it's time to prioritize. There's probably no decent reason to skip those close to home. As for the out-of-state weddings, consider the timing and location and weigh your options. Are any of them in a place you've longed to explore? Could you tack on a side trip and visit your parents or other family or friends along the way? Perhaps you could attend one (or more) of them while finding a way to make the trip a little about you, too.
Dear Wayne and Wanda,
I'm invited to a wedding about an hour out of Anchorage. Everyone is staying overnight. I want to bring the girl I'm dating. The problem is that lots of coworkers -- including my boss -- will be there. If I show up with her, the gossip will start. I'm pretty private and this alone is enough to make me want to go solo. But this chick is awesome and I know we'd have a great time. Should I just live with the gossip and bring her?
-- Wanting My Wingwoman
Wanda says: Bring her! For the simple reason that you'll have more fun. Wouldn't you rather live life seizing opportunities than avoiding them in fear of other people's judgment? Plus, it's a wedding and all eyes will (hopefully) be on the bride and groom, rather than your date. Do let your lady know you'll be dialing back the PDA because of the coworker factor. Tell her you'll make it up to her once you're safe behind closed doors at the evening's end. Trust me, she'll forgive you.
Wayne says: Echoing Wanda: Take her, dummy! If you're into her, who cares what your coworkers or anyone else thinks? Plus, the only thing worse than having to attend a wedding is having to attend a wedding alone. Well, that and the open bar closing. That sucks, too. Take your girlfriend and have fun. Just make sure she doesn't catch the bride's bouquet -- then people will really start talking!
• Wanda is a wise person who has loved, lost and been to therapy. Wayne is a wise guy who has no use for therapy. Send them your questions and thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org.