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I was watching a BBC sitcom. The scene is set in a wedding ceremony. In the opening of the speech of the father of the bride, he tends to be humorous, and thus he says:

"Welcome to the wedding of Laura and Paul, whether you're friends, family or freeloaders, loved ones or loathed ones, people we like or people we had to invite, and whether you're here for a free meal or a free drink, people who wouldn't have missed this special day for the world or people who had nothing better to do. You are all welcome."

I am baffled by his using "wouldn't have missed." According to the context, I reckon what he means is more or less "people who wouldn't like to miss this special day for the world." But if he means exactly like that, why does he use the perplexing "wouldn't have missed?" Alright, he might be trying to be witty, implying "people who thought if they came to the wedding, they wouldn't have missed this special day after the wedding." Is my interpretation right?
Even the the implication is like that, I was still wondering how it sounds like in a native speaker's ears? For me, a non-native speaker, all I received was only full of confusion. Not humorous at all. If I were in that wedding, I would get lost and stuck in this "wouldn't have missed" and miss out a bunch of the rest of the speech.

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wouldn't have missed this special day of the world

That sounds odd to me. Are you sure that of wasn't a for? The expression I wouldn't have [not done X] for the world is a standard idiom in English, meaning that X is important to me, and that given a choice between [not doing X] and a gift of the entire world, I would still choose X.

  • You are right. It's "for" instead of "of." I've corrected it. Thank you. – JJcat Dec 13 '13 at 15:02
  • Ronnie Milsap: I Wouldn't Have Missed It For The World youtube.com/watch?v=mO0-n7Ot0_o – TecBrat Dec 13 '13 at 15:03
  • Thank you both, TRiG and TecBrat. It seems like a very common idiom, isn't it? Sorry for my being ignorant. A bit embarrassed, to be honest... :) – JJcat Dec 13 '13 at 15:15
  • Can I have one further question? Since "wouldn't have [done X] for the world" is an idiom, it's got nothing to do with the tense, has it? For example, should one say "I wouldn't have dropped tomorrow's test for the world." instead of "I wouldn't drop tomorrow's test for the world." ? – JJcat Dec 13 '13 at 15:48
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    Either works, yes, @JJcat. For the future, I wouldn't drop tomorrow's test for the world is accurate; for the present conditional, I wouldn't have dropped this test [I'm currently doing right now this minute] for the world is the correct phrasing. – TRiG Dec 13 '13 at 16:15

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