How to Stop Unintentionally Leading on Uninvited Wedding Guests

Updated 08/16/19

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There's nothing worse than hearing all about a wedding come to find out that you didn't quite make the cut for the guest list. Because you don't want to be that bride (you know, the really insensitive/rude type), here are some quick tips to avoid leading on your wedding guests even if by accident.

Don't tell everyone to save the date until you know your budget

While there are certain people you wouldn't dream of not inviting to your big day, friends on the fringe shouldn't get a confirmation immediately, be it in person, via text or on social media. Why? Well, the reality is that weddings can be costly, limiting the max number of people you're able to invite, points out national etiquette expert Diane Gottsman, owner of The Protocol School of Texas. "Your dream venue may also be too small to accommodate everyone so it's best to think carefully about the guest list and make a plan before giving out too much information. Being discreet will keep from hurting those you can't invite."

Don't invite guests to the shower that didn't get the wedding invite

If your mom wants to invite some friends over for a celebratory lunch in your honor that's one thing, notes Gottsman, however, it's bad form to invite someone to a bridal shower and not invite them to the wedding. "Unfortunately, there's no tactful way to say, 'Hey, you aren't on our guest list, but we'd love for you to come to the shower. Oh, and by the way, I'm registered at Pottery Barn.'" The only exception would be a shower thrown by your co-workers.

Don't let anyone know they're on your B-List

As you can imagine, this could cause some problems down the road! Gottsman says it's not necessary to tell your "potential", as of now uninvited, guests they're a Plan B. "Even if they receive a late invitation, it's better to offer less information upfront in order to prevent making your friends and/or family feel like they're second best."

Don't forget to have family members spread the no kids word

It's your wedding and you can choose to not have kids in attendance if you want to. However, this is a prime opportunity for hurt feelings among guests if you don't communicate with them in advance, warns Gottsman. "Ask your family members or friends to pass the word along, as opposed to including it on your invitation, which would be in poor taste," she tells us.

Do be honest if you lead a guest on

So you sent out save the dates or gave verbal confirmations only to later realize that you had budget concerns and couldn't invite everyone? In this case, Gottsman recommends simply being honest and saying something like, "We were overzealous when we first started discussing plans for our wedding. As we started putting things down on paper we realized we were going to have to be more prudent with our funds than we previously thought. I hope you understand we won't be able to invite all of our friends, but we do intend on celebrating with a barbeque (or you fill in the blank) later in the year."

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