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Tackling the Guest List: The Uninvited

Posted in: Etiquette, Ettiquette, Wedding Planning Advice
Tackling the Guest List:  The Uninvited

The guest list is probably one of the most stressful areas of wedding planning for couples.  It’s especially difficult when you have a large and even extended family and friends.  For most couples, the limitations in who they can invite comes down to their budget.  And then comes the task of deciding who makes the list and who doesn’t.  This struggle often goes beyond just who the couple knows and extends into who the parents know and feel obligated to invite, like business associates, co-workers, their neighbors.  Sometimes its enough to make couples just want to forget a traditional wedding ceremony and elope.

But , lets be real. Eloping isn’t really the answer either and that would open up a whole other mess in which you’d need to deal.

How to decide on who to invite and who to not invite is a whole other blog topic in and of itself so,  I’ll save that for another day.  Today, I’m going to tackle some ideas on how to address those that you didn’t  or simply couldn’t invite and how to soften the blow and let them know, they still matter.

I always draw inspiration from my clients and or friends and family experiences for these blog topics. This one came to me when an friend of mine on Facebook wrote the following status:

Its time I get this off my chest. Throughout the whole process of the wedding we had tough decisions to make. Not everyone we wanted to invite could be invited. Thank you to the people who understood, but to those who didn’t and actually defriended me on Facebook, well , you helped me learn who my true friends are, because they understood the reason for not being invited.

When I saw this post, I felt for them because I see this struggle so very often with almost every couple that walks through my doors, whether they book the Ballroom or not.  Turns out, I happen to know which friend prompted this post.   Honestly, I was kind of surprised that they felt slighted because, well I didn’t think that they felt close enough to this person to warrant an invitation to such an event, especially when you consider how much it costs a couple per person to inviteI don’t even think this friend (of the groom) met or knew the bride very well.  But, no matter, they were offended.  However, just because they didn’t receive an invite doesn’t necessarily mean that they are not a valuable person  in their past, present or future.  So, how do you tactfully handle people that you didn’t  and can’t invite without hurting their feelings or pride?

Why not send them a not invited wedding announcement!

Yes, you read that right. Send them an  announcement of  the date of your wedding that lets them know they are not invited.  They probably know the date alrleady because it’s on Social Media, but getting a personal piece of mail from you speaks volumes.    So,  what should this non invitation say or include, you ask?  Here are some suggestions:

  •  Be honest –  Include a note explaining that you are keeping it intimate – immediate family and those closest to you because, as much as you would want to invite them, you simply can’t afford to invite everyone and have to limit your guest list.
  • Invite them to dinner sometime –   Take it a step further and say that you and your future wife or husband  would love to get together with them and have them over for drinks or dinner sometime once you are settled into married life and the wedding planning whirlwind is behind you.
  • Reminisce –  Include a hand written note maybe making reference to a special memory you share with them.
  • Be clever, cute, funny or all three –  include a poem that is maybe funny or cute and may make them smile when they read it.

Most people just like to be acknowledged.  I think a non invitation announcement accomplishes just that.  It let the uninvited guest know that you thought of them, that you care about their feelings and that you still consider them someone of a level of importance in your life. It softens the blow of being left out and works to diffuse any anger or hurt feelings they may have.  And, if they are still that upset and angry with you, then maybe it’s time that they are cut out of your life as these people or persons may think that everything is about them and having people like that in your life is, well not helpful.

As my friend said.. he found out who in his life has a level of understanding.  And, while he may be hurt by being unfriended, he has a wife (and child) to focus on and it’s better to be surrounded by people who share in and understand your priorities than those that don’t.

If you like this blog, you may also like one I recently did on RSVP Ettiquette: A Primer for Guests.  And, please like and share with others who may find this advice helpful and useful in restoring some of their sanity during the wedding planning process!

Oh.. and if you’re looking for a venue give us a call at a 484-629-5070 to schedule a visit with me, the Venue Planner!