Have you ever accepted an invitation and then turned it down because you’ve had a “better offer”?

I’ve only done that once. The first invitation was to a “special” birthday and the second was to a wedding. I took the view that a wedding is a sufficiently significant event to trump my rule of thumb about always honouring invitations in the order in which they are received, so dropped out of the birthday having explained the situation (and having had my explanation accepted).

One of Saturday’s headlines was about the clash between weddings and the World Cup Quarter Final match. What was surprising was the number of people who thought that couples should adjust their arrangements to accommodate the “needs” of football-mad guests. One commentator even suggested that guests should “stage a walk out” and head for the nearest pub.

Another asked if I’d ever been to a wedding, since I clearly didn’t realise that that it wasn’t all about the couple (silly me), that most guests resent the time spent at there, the inconvenience of being there in the first place and the cost of forking out for a gift.

For the record –

If your friends can’t be bothered to support you on your big day – or even turn up – because they’ve had a “better offer”, they’re probably not your friends.

If the couple are keen on the match and want to incorporate it into their day, that’s fine – but it’s their day and the guests are there to support them as they enter an important stage in their lives together.

There will be other birthdays and other matches, but there is unlikely to be another wedding.