How to Tactfully Turn Down a Wedding Invitation

Turning Down Wedding Invitation

Photo: Corbin Gurkin

Whether it costs too much to attend the wedding or an emergency comes up, there are plenty of reasons why you may have to turn down a wedding invitation. And even though it's totally acceptable to not attend a wedding, when you check off that "No" box, there are still a few etiquette rules that apply — especially if you have to change your RSVP from "Yes" to "No" last minute. Here, a few guidelines for tactfully turning down a wedding invite.

First thing's first, how to properly turn down a wedding invitation.
Although you may feel compelled to tell the bride and groom why you can't attend, you shouldn't. There's no reason for explaining that their destination nuptials and ritzy hotel block are just way beyond your budget, or that you've already RSVPed to another friend's affair. Simply RSVP that you regretfully cannot attend and wish them all the best. You're more than welcome to send them a gift, but don't feel obligated to make it amount to your absence.

Can you change a RSVP last-minute?
Honestly, we wouldn't advise it. After all, the couple already shelled out some serious cash to save you a seat. If you must (A.K.A. an emergency pops up) let the couple know, and express your apologies. You should still send them a gift with a heartfelt note, and, if you're feeling generous, you can host a gathering for the couple to help celebrate since you couldn't make it on the actual day.

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