How Do You Uninvite Someone from Your Wedding?

When you just have to say no

Updated 11/06/17

Photo by Erich McVey

Planning a wedding might be taking over every spare moment, but it doesn’t mean the rest of your life is on hold through the process. Relationships continue, conflicts arise, and, well, sht happens. A friendship that was totally solid when you made your guest list and sent the save the dates might not stay that way—and could even crash and burn in the intervening months. If you’ve got a few people on your guest list who no longer belong at your ceremony, can you uninvite them? And how?*

Generally, rescinding an invitation to your wedding is in poor form. A save the date is a promise that a wedding invitation will be on its way, and an accepted invitation isn’t something you can really take back. So if whatever’s making you consider uninviting a guest is minor enough that you can handle them being in the room as long as you don’t have to have a long conversation with them, hold your head high and stand by your word.

Of course, not every disagreement is one you can set aside easily on your wedding day. If there was a dramatic falling-out or other traumatic experience that will taint your wedding day and prevent you from enjoying it, removing this person from the guest list may be your only option. So how do you do it?

Understand the Repercussions

You probably understand that uninviting someone from your wedding is a nail in the coffin of your relationship. Extending an invitation to such a major life event, and then taking it back, sends a clear message that you do not want to continue having a relationship with the person in question. Think long and hard about whether you’re prepared to live with those consequences. If you are, proceed to the following tips. Not sure? Remember, you’ll only have one wedding day. If future you can’t imagine looking back on your wedding and not seeing this person, no matter how much they’re bugging you right now, you’ll be happier in the long run if you include them in your celebration.

Meet Face-to-Face or Talk on the Phone

Uninviting someone from your wedding should never be done via text or email. Words are so often misconstrued, and the goal here is to be cordial and avoid any chance of coming across as nasty or inflammatory. Instead, show a little compassion and pick up the phone or schedule a time to meet.

Make Your Decision Clear

Let the guest in question know that, due to the current state of your relationship, you believe it will be best for both of you if they don’t attend your wedding. In most cases, they may already have decided not to come—making this conversation a mere formality. Of course, there’s always a chance that they don’t agree, but you’ve made your decision and should stick to it. Keep the conversation brief, and avoid the urge to go into detailed explanations of your reasoning.

Be Prompt

It’s also best to call sooner rather than later. Whatever it is that has caused you to change your mind about this person’s attendance, address it immediately instead of waiting until the last minute. Give your guest the courtesy of time, before he or she has booked travel or a hotel room.

Know What Qualifies—and What Doesn’t

A major falling-out or a guest being involved in a serious crime are valid reasons to uninvite someone from your wedding. Getting overzealous with the guest list and then realizing your budget can’t accommodate so many people? Not so much. It’s disrespectful to your family and friends to haphazardly create a guest list, only to discover it’s too big. Instead, be thoughtful and intentional when you make your guest list. It’s much easier to extend additional invitations to a B-List—and in much better form.

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