Sometimes when planning your wedding you will have made your guest list, sent out Save the Date cards, but then something happens that leaves you needing to uninvite some guests.
There are a lot of reasons as to why you may need to uninvite guests but if you do, here we provide a guide on how to uninvite someone from a wedding when you have already sent them a Save the Date.
Reasons for uninviting
There are many reasons for uninviting wedding guests, but they usually relate to one of the following reasons:
As the wedding planning has progressed, the wedding budget may have got out of control and now lots of cuts are having to be made.
One of which maybe the cost of catering and alcohol which is impacted by your guest count.
Being in the middle of a global pandemic has made many things difficult. Some locations may put a restriction on the number of people able to be at a venue at one time.
Covid-19 has become one of the main reasons that wedding guests have needed to be uninvited and it is also closely related to the number of postponed weddings.
There can be a myriad other other reasons as to why you may need to uninvite guests, from very personal reasons to uncontrollable events.
Alternatives to uninviting guests
Uninviting guests never feels nice so if there is a viable alternative then it is at least worth considering. Here are the two main alternatives to consider.
Trimming wedding budget
If uninviting guests is the last thing you want to do, then consider whether you’re willing to cut a few things in your budget for your big day.
Changing up the structure may mean you are able to afford to have everyone attend after all. This will allow you to avoid the difficult conversations.
Ceremony only invites – Invite some people to the ceremony only, then have an intimate dinner for immediate family only – you could even cut the cake immediately after to share for afternoon tea.
Cocktail menu only – This means you will only serve finger foods, which is a lot cheaper per head than a full meal. Be wary of this though, as if you are supplying alcohol, then only having small portions of food can lead to drunk wedding guests.
Bar costs – You could reduce the wedding budget by having a cash bar or even having a dry wedding. If you’re financially a bit tight, saving on your bar bill could be a huge bonus and allow you to not have to uninvite guests.
If you can’t face the idea of telling guests they can’t come, if circumstances allow perhaps you can postpone your wedding. This gives you the added advantage of more time to save.
If you’re going to do this then send out ‘Change of Plans’ Cards instead to wedding guests. This gives them some assurance for booking travel and making plans, plus gives them a physical reminder of dates (and locations if necessary).
You can also update everyone through a wedding website if you had one setup for wedding RSVPs.
How to uninvite
There are a few options to consider when uninviting guests and here are a few ways an engaged couple could uninvite guests as well as tips on how to do so.
Emailing or texting
While this is definitely an option we highly recommend avoiding this option where possible.
In the same way that it is bad etiquette to break up with someone over text message, it is the same for when you are scaling back the wedding guest list.
Calling or in person
We all know emails can be misconstrued and you will want to minimize relationship issues going forward.
It may be tough to do, but talking to someone over the phone, on a video call or in person, are the quickest methods to letting them know. While the quickset it is also the most respectful way to let someone know.
Being honest with people is always the most important thing. Trying to make-up an excuse because you want to cover for the real reason is not the right approach.
Respect them by telling them exactly why the decision was made and how you came to it. If your decision to uninvite them is practical and reasonable then they will hopefully be empathetic to you having to make this tough call.
If they’re close enough to be invited to the wedding in the first place, they should understand why you’ve cut back.
Sooner than later
Procrastination can cause stress and when planning your wedding you have enough to worry about. You have already come to the decision that this needs to be done so it doesn’t help you or the guest to wait on telling them.
You also do not want the guests you are planning to uninvite, spending money on a new outfit, or booking travel and accommodation. So making this decision and executing it quickly is important for you and them.
Trying to figure how to uninvite someone from a wedding is never a nice position to be in. If you do need to trim the guest list for whatever reason after sending Save the Date cards, then being honest and calling them is our best recommendation.
The most important thing is that after the wedding you will still want to have a relationship with them, so uninviting them while doing so with respect is important.