How to Deal with a No-Show Wedding Guest

Etiquette
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Photo: Condé Nast Digital Studio

We asked The Official Preppy Handbook's Lisa Birnbach to field your bridal dilemmas. Listen up, ladies. Her tips will help you keep your sanity—and friendships—in tact.

What should I do with a guest who cancels the day before or just doesn't show up, and then gives a weak excuse? —Clarita H. of St. Louis, via e-mail

Dear Clarita,

I am constantly amazed by the rudeness of seemingly nice people. A wedding isn't a book-club meeting. There's sure to be one disappointment that day: a friend whose babysitter cancels or a relative who has a travel-related snafu. Your guest may decide it would be better not to disturb you on the morning of your wedding. (This is why there are florists and liquor stores that will bundle something lovely to give with the bad news.) If the guest still sends a gift—as is proper—your thank-you note could include a line about how you were racked with worry that something terrible had happened. This will make you feel better (and perhaps teach the guest a lesson). If you are so hurt you can't stop thinking about the slight, let the guest know it, but not in anger, nor while intoxicated. Take the high road, Clarita!

—Lisa Birnbach

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