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Problems deciding AHR date

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Hi fellow planning buddies, 


I have some serious stress going on right now. Forget the whole CA Bar Exam thing that I'm taking in two weeks. Figuring out an AHR date (and the AHR in general) is going to be the thing that puts me over the edge and just kills me. 


Let me start by saying while I call it an AHR, it's more like a really fancy luncheon. We're inviting around 30 people, including kids, and having a private event at a really nice restaurant. Hors d'Oeuvres, sit down luncheon, dessert, cake... but no big party/dancing. We're doing this for our parents. Neither FI's parents nor mine are coming to our DW. But, FI is the baby in his family and first to marry. I'm the third of four daughters (18 years between oldest and youngest siblings), but first to have a wedding. I have a sister who got knocked up and eloped.


Ideally, logistically, in a world of ease, FI and I would have our AHR on November 12, 2011. It just makes sense. Our DW is 11/1/11 and we're planning on leaving Cancun on Nov 8 or 9. The AHR is going to be in Texas, where my family lives. FI's parents are planning on flying out for it so everyone can meet. Well, we live in LA. As far as asking for time of work and travel arrangements are concerned, it is a lot easier to ask for one large chunk of time off than to ask for a week and a half off, then another half a week off later. For flights, if we don't have to fly back to LA, then make one more RT to Texas, than we'd be saving on two tickets to get from LA to TX. Plus, we'd be fresh from Cancun, totally still on top of the world, and feeling in the "wedding moment". 


Here's my problem. My oldest sister, who I'm very close to, is in prison. Yup. Prison. Nothing violent, don't worry. Anyhow, she might get out of prison in September, or December, or March, all depending on if there's room for her at the relocation/transition house. September seems full, so she would likely be released in December. No clue when in December though. At this point, we don't even have a clue when we'll know for sure when she'll be released. I would love for her to be at the AHR. Absolutely love it. Of all my sisters, I'm closest to her. But, I'm about to have an anxiety attack planning around her uncertainty. If we had the AHR in Dec, we'd have to have it around xmas, which FI feels presents some problems in itself for others. We can't do NYE bc FI always works NYE. We'd have to just plan for as close to the end of the month as possible bc to try to make it late enough in the month for my sister to be able to attend. It really puts a strain on us financially and logistically. Venues usually charge more for December events than other months because of all the holiday parties.


I should also mention that I absolutely despise one of my sisters. She is the most manipulative, conniving, evil, ill intentioned, lying, throw-our-own-mother-under-a-bus-to-save-her-ass, creature on Earth (and I used to work at a criminal defense firm). Well, I told my parents that out of love and respect for them, I will bite my tongue and pride and invite this evil wench and her family to my dinner. I made it very clear it was ONLY for them. Well, the idea of this piece of trash being there and my good sister not being there is really bugging me. 


FI has expressed his preference to have the AHR on Nov. 12. But he also says he wants me to be happy with the decision 30 years on and not have regrets. Personally, I'm so conflicted. I do want to have the AHR on the 12th, but I feel very guilty about not waiting till December. :( I don't care about most people or what they think, but I do care about her a lot. I know most people will say, "think about what's most important to you," well I don't have an answer for that. While I love my sister to bits, I also feel like as husband and wife, we need to figure out what will be best for both of us. 


We're not rich by any means, so having this event at all is already a very big stretch. Having to reach an even higher food/bev minimum to hold AHR in Dec will be even harder on us. 


Feeling very conflicted. :( Words of wisdom, anyone? Thanks in advance. 

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My suggestion would be either to go with Nov 12th or skip all the way to January.  With January, you have refreshed your vacation days for the year (and put more distance between you wedding trip and your AHR trip which might be better for work), you avoid the holiday higher prices, and you give your sister even more time to settle things.

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Ah ha! Ok... after lots of thinking and lots of talking it over with my little sister and mom, we decided to go ahead with a Nov 12 date. 


Both my mom and little sister said that we should do what's most convenient for us, that my sister would understand, and that it's out of our control that my sister is in prison and we don't know her release date. It made me feel better to have my mom and little sis say that. 


Another thing I hadn't thought of until Courtney mentioned a possible January date was that my sister is likely having a party to welcome her home. If she gets out in Dec, we'd prob have the party late Dec or Jan. I wouldn't want the AHR date to be too close to her party and take away any of the spotlight. She deserves a weekend to herself. :) And, it's easy for me to run away for a weekend and just celebrate. Much harder to find four or so days where both FI and I can get away and take care of the AHR. FI doesn't have real vacation days like a normal job. lol He works pretty much nonstop, and between FI and his business partner, one always has to be in town (which is another reason why finding dates was so hard). 


Thanks for the input, Courtney! I feel a lot better having that sorted out. 

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