Nothing is set in stone. Although uncommon, there are instances wherein guests have to be uninvited to a wedding. Informing them properly and avoiding conflict should be your biggest priorities in this situation.
There are a few ways you can uninvite someone from a wedding politely. This includes making a phone call, having a face-to-face conversation, sending an email, or sending a text message.
Provided below are explanations for each way to politely uninvite someone from a wedding. Some sample conversations are included to help you. Lastly, some tips for how to uninvite someone from a wedding are also given.
Polite Ways to Uninvite Someone from Your Wedding
1. Phone Call
Sometimes, the best way to uninvite someone from your wedding is through a phone call. This method is best if the guest is someone close to you, such as a relative or a close friend.
However, you must act quickly. If you engage in too much small talk, they have the opportunity to mention how happy they are to be invited. This will make it difficult and awkward for you to tell them that they are uninvited.
Here is a sample conversation to give you an idea:
You: Hi, (name of guest)! How is your day going so far?
Guest: Hi, thank you for asking! … What about you?
You: I’m great! The reason why I called you today is to tell you that unfortunately, we can’t have you with us on our special day. I’m truly sorry. My partner and I love you, and your presence would mean a lot to us, but (state the reason why they are being uninvited).
2. Face-to-Face Conversation
Having a personal conversation with a guest you need to uninvite can be intimidating. However, it is also convenient in several ways. Firstly, you can immediately see their reactions and adjust the way you approach the topic.
Secondly, this limits the risk of miscommunication. Cell signal is not always reliable. People who are hard of hearing might find phone calls challenging. Some people cannot accurately judge a person’s message without seeing their expressions.
Thirdly, they can ask questions and instantly receive a response.
3. Send an Email
Sending an email is an efficient way to uninvite guests to your wedding. This method works best if you are uninviting several people. As an email might seem too impersonal or professional, make sure that the recipients are not people you are too close with. This includes friends, colleagues, and acquaintances.
Here is an example of an email you can send to multiple recipients at once:
We hope you are all doing well! We are sending an email to inform you that there have been some changes to our wedding. Because of current circumstances, we need to minimize our guest list to only include our families.
We wholeheartedly apologize for the trouble this sudden announcement may cause. Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions or concerns.
All the love,
(You and your partner’s name)
4. Send a Text Message
This method is highly similar to sending an email; the only difference is that you are relaying a message through another platform. You may contact your guests through a text message or a personal message on any of your social media accounts. Likewise, this will work best for guests with whom you are not very close.
5. Write a Letter
Sometimes, the most fitting course of action to revoke a wedding invitation is by writing a sincere letter. This method is best when the guest is a distant relative or someone with whom you share a more formal connection.
Regardless, you must proceed with a sense of urgency. If you take too long, the guest might already be preparing to attend your wedding. This would make the task of sharing the unfortunate news more uncomfortable.
Here is a sample letter you can use as inspiration:
Dear (Name of Guest),
I hope this letter finds you well, safe, and happy. We are writing this letter to inform you of a matter related to our upcoming wedding celebration.
With great regret, I must announce that due to unexpected developments, my partner and I have had to make some difficult decisions regarding our plans. Unfortunately, we have had to make changes to our guest list. It is with deep sorrow and regret that I must inform you that we are unable to maintain your invitation to our wedding.
Your presence would have undoubtedly been a great source of love and comfort, but (say the reason why you are uninviting them).
Please accept our most heartfelt apologies for any inconvenience or disappointment this may cause. We hope you can empathize with our situation and that this does not impact our relationship negatively.
With all the love,
(You and Your Partner’s Name)
6. Create a Personalized E-card
If the person you have to uninvite is a casual acquaintance or someone you have a lighthearted relationship with, a personalized e-card might be the most suitable way to break the news.
Here is an example of text you can put on an E-card:
Dear (Name of Guest),
We hope this message finds you in good health and high spirits. We have some unfortunate news about our upcoming wedding celebration.
Due to unexpected circumstances, we’ve had to make some tough decisions, one of which involves revising our guest list. It is with sincere regret that we inform you that we can no longer extend an invitation to our wedding.
Your company would have been a wonderful addition to our special day, but (share the reason why you are uninviting them).
Please accept our warmest and deepest apologies for any inconvenience this may cause. We hope you understand our situation and that our relationship remains the same.
Wishing you all the best,
(You and Your Partner’s Name)
7. Make a Group Announcement
If you are uninviting a cluster of people, a group announcement might be the most appropriate and efficient way to approach them. Create a group chat with the guests you have to uninvite; this method works best for colleagues, organization members, and other groups of interrelated people.
You can write a formal message or be more lighthearted in your approach. Ultimately, this depends on the extent of your relationship and connection with them.
Here is an example of a semi-formal group announcement:
I hope all of you are doing well today. My fiancée and I have some sad news regarding our upcoming wedding celebration.
Due to unexpected and tough circumstances, we have had to make some changes to our wedding. Unfortunately, these involve reworking our guest list. It is with sincere regret and heartbreak that we inform you all that we have to cancel your invitation to our wedding.
Your presence would have been deeply appreciated on our special day. However, (state the reason why you are uninviting them).
Again, we are sincerely sorry for the inconvenience and disappointment this sudden announcement may have caused. We’ll get in touch soon so we can plan a small get-together to celebrate together!
Thank you for your understanding.
(Your and Your Partner’s Name)
Tips for Uninviting Someone from Your Wedding
How Do You Decide Who to Uninvite?
Having to uninvite people is difficult enough but deciding which guests to uninvite might be the bigger challenge. Here are a few questions to ask yourself:
- Who do I really want to be there? In some cases, you are only inviting someone because you feel like you have to. Likewise, you might feel pressured to invite a distant relative, a friend of your parents, or someone’s spouse who you are not close with. Think about why you invited that person and how you would feel if they could not be on your special day.
- Will they bring more people with them? For instance, if you invite a friend who has children, they will most likely bring them to the event. However, remember that you can prevent this through your RSVP wording.
- Do they make me happy or comfortable? Some people’s presence is comforting and empowering. However, others might make you feel insecure or unhappy with yourself. It is best to uninvite people who belong to the latter category.
Let Them Know Why
If you are uninviting a guest, then you should consider informing them about the reason. On one hand, they are not entitled to know every detail. On the other hand, knowing why it happened will help them feel better about it. Here are some reasons why uninviting someone from your wedding might be a practical choice:
- Financial constraints. Your wedding budget might not be enough, or you might have underestimated the costs of a wedding. Ultimately, weddings are expensive. One way to cut costs is to uninvite some guests.
- Venue restrictions. The venue itself might make a sudden decision to lessen its capacity. Regardless of the reason behind the move, you will need to adjust your guest list in response.
- They refuse to follow safety protocols. During the pandemic and the upcoming new normal, venues have instated strict guidelines for safety. This might include quarantine policies, vaccination requirements, and mask mandates. If your guests refuse to abide by these rules, they may need to be uninvited.
- You are having a destination wedding. Not only are destination weddings expensive to execute, but they are also costly on the side of the guests. Uninviting some of them will be beneficial for both sides.
- You want a small, intimate ceremony. Small and micro weddings have been gaining more popularity over the years. Not only are they less expensive, but they are also more private and sentimental. Typically, these weddings have less than 50 guests in attendance.
- You have changed your mind about their invitation. Things happen. A reason to uninvite a certain guest might arise somewhere along the way.
The Sooner, the Better
As soon as you know you need to uninvite guests, you must act on it. Waiting for the last minute will be a logistical nightmare for both sides.
By informing your guests early on, you are saving them from various tasks: lining up their work calendars, booking accommodation, buying gifts, and so on.
Be Kind and Compassionate
Getting uninvited to any event is understandably saddening. Even if you tell your guest the reason, it will still be difficult not to take it personally. With that said, be mindful of the way you react and respond to them. Be kind, understanding, and accommodating of their questions.
Avail of a Live Stream
Even though you uninvited some guests, you may still want to include them on your special day in some way. Moreover, some guests might not be able to make it due to logistical and financial constraints. To hit two birds with one stone, you should consider setting up a live stream of your ceremony.
Some photographers and videographers might offer this service. However, there are also several companies dedicated to streaming your ceremony to a live audience.
Have an Alternative
Besides a live stream, there are other alternatives you can explore. You can invite someone to your reception but not the wedding itself. You can think about holding a vow renewal in the future. You can also host a casual dinner party at your new home.
Likewise, you may also extend a peace offering to certain guests. You can invite them over for dinner or treat them to lunch. You are not obligated to do this, but it is something you can consider for select guests.
The Situation with Gifts
Before you get around to uninviting some guests, they might have already bought a gift from your registry. This is a tricky and awkward situation to navigate.
As you uninvite them, inform them that you do not expect them to bring you a gift. If they already bought one, tell them that it is up to them if they want to hold onto it or give it to you. Assure them that there will be no hard feelings if they decide to keep their gift.
Do Not Ghost Them
As illustrated above, keeping your guests informed is always a good practice. This is especially important if you have decided to uninvite them. Because of how awkward and intimidating it can be, you might put off telling them until you eventually forget. Likewise, you might tell them but not respond to their questions.
Firstly, this is disrespectful; everyone deserves to be informed. Secondly, they will be embarrassed if they show up to your wedding only to find out they are not invited.
Ultimately, this is your wedding and it’s essential to craft an event that reflects your preferences and unique circumstances. This includes making difficult decisions like uninviting guests when necessary.
If you find yourself needing to uninvite someone, approach the situation with kindness and understanding to avoid unnecessary conflict. Communicating politely and empathetically can help maintain relationships during this sensitive process.