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How to Uninvite Someone to a Wedding

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It’s your big day! The day you’ve spent months, perhaps even years planning—and probably more money than you should have! The day you want to be surrounded by friends and family who love and support you.

But, unfortunately, for whatever reason, someone on the guestlist being there will all but ruin your day. So here spawns the question: can you possibly uninvite that unpleasant someone to your wedding? Read on to find solutions to all your possible wedding scenarios.

woman reading an invittaion

Should I Uninvite?

Uninviting someone to a wedding can be one of the most hurtful experiences and harmful to your relationship if done poorly. The most important thing to keep in mind is the intention of why you are uninviting them.

An Aggravating Associate

Is it because they are unpleasant to be around? If so, do not bother uninviting them. The ceremony will be filled with so many people you will hardly notice them.

You could even deploy a team of loved ones to keep you surrounded and block out the irritable guest or to keep them occupied so that you can breathe freely. Don’t feel bad that they are guarding you against this person when they should be having fun– if anyone should be enjoying themselves, it’s the bride and groom!

Do not uninvite that unpleasant someone simply because they are aggravating. It’s only going to make the situation worse if you uninvite them. Drama, outbursts, and even sabotage may ensue leading up to and following your wedding for even years to come.

Bad Blood

Maybe you had a falling out with someone and cannot bear to have them at your ceremony.

The best thing to do is confront that person and talk. Don’t simply send them a text or email uninviting them, but meet in person. Discuss your conflict and be straightforward about feeling as though you no longer want them at your wedding.

As they realize how hard it must be for you to be uninviting them to the wedding, or how heartbroken you feel in no longer wishing for their presence, you may end up resolving your conflict right there and have no reason to keep them away.

two friends talking in the coffee shop

They may realize what they’ve been doing and agree to change their behavior. It’s not uncommon for you to get peace of mind by dealing with unresolved conflict head-on.

Or, if the feelings are mutual, you may come to an agreement that it’s not in either person’s best interests to be at the wedding together. It’s possible you’ll part ways amicably.

Avoiding any spiteful, non-confrontational invitation cancellations will also avoid any drama, miscommunication, and growing resentment towards each other.

Headcount Horror

Perhaps it isn’t a matter of an irritable person but headcount. You simply cannot afford to host the 93 relatives on your dad’s side and the 41 on your mom’s, plus all of your work friends and church friends and yogi pals!

Now, the best-case scenario is you have as many people you care about at your wedding as possible. If you want all your yogis there, we can try to fit them in!

You can create invitation boundaries. Some people will receive invites to the ceremony, and some only to the reception. This could reduce venue costs significantly.

If the big reception feast is what’s robbing you of most of your budget, you could even create reception boundaries such as an adults-only reception, so you don’t have to worry about feeding every couple’s children (and don’t have to worry about planning kid-friendly menu items!).

COVID Concerns

woman putting on protective face mask

Or maybe it’s not a matter of an irritable person or the headcount, but rather welfare. Especially during this pandemic, out of safety, it is understandable to feel the need to cut down on the guestlist in order to keep everyone else protected.

Perhaps you’re only comfortable hosting and partying with those in your COVID bubble, or you told everyone you knew to come only to discover your dream venue has a COVID seat limit.

This is probably one of the easiest and most understandable ways to uninvite someone. You can send out an email chain message or a second wedding announcement declaring that, unfortunately, due to COVID restrictions and protocols, you must whittle down your guest list to the chosen few, namely immediate family and close friends. It may sting for a few people, but most will understand.

Reception Readjustment

Another option would be to extend a peace offering. If you would still like to see them, state that although they may not be able to attend your ceremony, they are welcome to come to the reception.

You could even have a progressive reception to keep the number of people in one space down, having those with last names A-K go from 6:00-7:00, and L-Z go from 7:00 to 8:00, for example. This would spare feelings while also sparing anxiety of having so many people together at once, heightening the risk of spreading the virus.

Let’s Do Dinner

Perhaps you are relieved that you don’t have to extend a courtesy invite to so many acquaintances with an understandable excuse such as pandemic procedures, but there are a few families you are absolutely devastated are not allowed to attend.

If so, you can send an invitation inviting them each to dinner at your home after the wedding, once you’ve settled down. This grants you some quality time together and shows your love and appreciation for them.

friends having a toast in a restaurant

Progressive or Parade

You may even do a drive-by reception. This could be useful in staying a safe distance away from each other because of the pandemic and helps when the bride and groom want to get some alone time quickly but still pay respects to their loved ones. This can be taken two ways: the progressive way or the parade.

For progressive, after the ceremony, the couple can hop in their “Just Married” car and drive around to their families’ and friends’ homes, passing by and waving before continuing on or stopping and visiting for a while.

They could schedule having dinner at one house, dessert at another, and a dance at the third! Once they have made all their stops, they can continue straight on to their honeymoon destination!

For the parade, instead of the couple driving by, the married couple could stand in front of their home or ceremony venue and have loved ones drive by in their own cars, with posters and presents and well-wishes. The couple can take a few minutes to talk, or perhaps exchange presents for goodie bags or food or cake!

With this method, the couple can designate a time window of an hour or so for people to drive by, making visits with each family short and sweet and without dragging on a long reception when all the couple wants to do is spend time alone.

simple wedding ceremony

The Bottom Line

Weddings are tricky affairs. Trying to juggle the stress of making everything perfect and keeping the bride and groom happy along with all of the guests takes a lot of work. However, the most important thing to keep in mind is whose day it is. Is it Aunt Karen’s day? No. Is it Grandpa Jude’s? No!

It’s the bride and groom’s day. It’s your day. And your only job is to make your wedding day a magical day for you, full of fun, laughter, and love.

So if that means shaving off a few guests who will put a damper on your smile, cutting the list to allow money for more valued things, or even limiting your wedding to the inner circle in order to keep everyone safe in the pandemic, it’s worth it because you’re worth it.

You’re worth making one day a day dedicated solely to you and the one you love. And that is something every single person on your guest list, and in your life, will agree with.