What to Do When You Accidentally Forget to Invite Someone to the Wedding

Etiquette, Planning Tips
What to Do When You Forget to Invite Someone to the Wedding

Photo: Getty Images

Wedding planning is hectic, crazy stressful, and with so much to do in so little time, it's no wonder things are frequently forgotten amidst the chaos, you know, like your dear Aunt Betty or Uncle John. To avoid any family drama or bad blood, put these wedding-etiquette tips to the test if you happen to leave someone off the guest list who you actually wanted there in the first place.

Be prepared with extra invitations
The guest list is often at the root of many wedding day woes. "Whether it's an invite that never arrives or someone is accidentally left off the list, it's best to always be prepared with extra invitations that you can send out on a moment's notice," says wedding planner Amy Shey Jacobs, President of Chandelier Events. You'll be glad you did when you don't have to hassle with reorders and additional shipping costs, not to mention timing concerns too.

Use this tried-and-true excuse
Not feeling like copping to your mistake, and there's still plenty of time to go until the big day? Invitations occasionally don't make it in the regular mail due to zip code errors, postage miscounts and wayward addresses, points out Jacobs. "If you don't want to fess up, you can always simply say that the original invite must not of made it to them and that you're terribly sorry and will have one in the mail before the day's end." Problem solved!

See More: 3 Creative Ways to Compromise When You and Your Fiancé Can't Agree on a Guest Count

Pick up the telephone and personally call them
If you discover your mistake close to the wedding date, Jacobs recommends picking up the phone and making a call, as opposed to simply sending a text or email. "A text is so impersonal and your guest will know that they're an afterthought," she warns. It could also come across as cowardly, adds national etiquette expert Diane Gottsman, owner of The Protocol School of Texas. Instead, Gottsman advises expressing your embarrassment and saying something like, "I just realized that you were inadvertently left off our wedding guest list. I was stunned and wanted to call you immediately and ask you to please forgive me for my unintentional blunder. I started to get suspicious that something was awry when I didn't see your RSVP. I made a quick review of the guest list and realized my slip-up. Please accept my sincere apology. I certainly hope you are free to attend." Chances are, your friend or family member will greatly appreciate the call regardless of whether or not they can come.

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