How to Correctly Uninvite a Guest to Your Wedding

A future bride tells an old friend he is not invited to her wedding

It’s a nightmare waiting to happen. Having to uninvite a guest goes against all rules of wedding etiquette, but sometimes it just has to be done. It sounds like something that never happens, but brides all over the world have stories to tell about when they had to uninvite a wedding guest. If it has to happen, there are ways to break the ice and tell them they are no longer welcome at the wedding.

Stand Up and Be Tough

Your wedding is your own dream come to life. It’s truly up to you to decide who you will invite. Sometimes a certain guest gets invited, and you end up wondering how they ever got an invite in the first place. Maybe you will get lucky and realize the potential mistake before the invites are sent out.

A couple looks at a laptop together

You can tell the cut guests the truth to ease the pain when the invite never comes. They may know deep down they are being cut, but you still have to tell them. You don’t want them wondering and waiting for the invite. Or worse, showing up at the wedding because they think they are still invited. You don’t want anyone causing a scene at your dream wedding, so you’ll have to talk to all uninvited guests about why it’s best for them not to attend the event.

Do it in Person

Sometimes unforeseen circumstances cause you to cut the guest list after you send out the invites. Uninviting a guest should be done in person. It can be very difficult to have to tell someone they are no longer welcome at one of the biggest events in your life. You probably would rather walk on broken glass, but sometimes it has to be done. You cannot do it in a casual way via text message, e-mail, or social media. That’s something that can be seen as mean and disrespectful.

The truth is they probably know it’s coming if they’re not on the best terms with you. The tough times are caused because of your budget restraints or because you ran out of room at the event space, and you have to explain why they didn’t make the cut. It might cause some hard feelings, so be gentle and respectful.

Circumstances out of Everyone’s Control

If a guest is being taken off the list due to things like budget restraints or lack of room, you must tread lightly. The guest is going to wonder what they did wrong if they didn’t make the cut. Were they not close enough to you? Were they not a good enough co-worker? It’s up to you to explain to them that it’s nothing personal, but you had to put family and closest friends at the top of the guest list because of planning issues. They will know if they aren’t your closest friends or family members.

We’ve all received a wedding invitation and wondered how we made the list. It happens to everyone, so those people will probably understand when you have to rescind the invitation. You will still have this person in your life, so it’s best to be honest and gracious as you tell the person the reason for taking off the guest list.

Circumstances Because of the Guest

If a guest is being taken off the list due to fear of confrontation or past wrongdoing, it’s a little easier to break the news. In all reality they were probably never going to attend if they felt guilty about something they did. It might ease their minds to know they don’t need to worry about it anymore. You may be angry at the person and not even want to tell them face-to-face. Before you write an angry e-mail or mean text message, stop yourself. One day this may be water under the bridge, so be kind and direct. Explain why you aren’t happy with their actions and you are choosing not to have them at your wedding.

A wedding guest falls while carrying the wedding cake

Be Ready for the Fallout

Odds are that a cut guest is no longer going to be a happy friend. You may get lucky and people that were cut out of the list may be very understanding of the situation. You may be the future bride that had to cut numerous co-workers that got invited pretty much out of obligation. Uninviting friends and family is another story. There may be some bad blood. They may feel since they aren’t good enough for your wedding, they aren’t good enough for your life.

It will only make them even angrier to watch the event unfold on social media or hear others talk about the upcoming wedding, when they know their invite was retracted. Be ready to respect their response and move forward. You may lose that friend, so you need to decide if it is worth it to uninvite them. Some people take wedding invites personally, so respect their feelings when it come to making cuts on your guest list.

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