In the past, uninviting a wedding guest after a save-the-date or an invitation has been sent would have been considered a major faux pas. Couples today, however, are facing challenges that couples in the past couldn't have ever imagined. From states placing limits on gatherings to financial strains that have arisen due to Covid-19, there are some situations, unfortunately, where downsizing your guest list may be unavoidable. Although it is not ideal to have to rescind an invitation to your wedding (and it may be uncomfortable to do so), we've put together some tips to help you handle the situation gracefully if you are faced with uninviting guests.
Be Honest and Genuine
Let your guests know that your original wedding plans have changed because of the current situation with Covid-19. You may have decided to elope or have a more intimate wedding than you originally planned. You can always plan a way for the guests who are no longer attending to be a part of your special day still. You may choose to live-stream your ceremony or plan a way to allow those not able to attend to celebrate with you!
Be As Fair As Possible
Carefully consider which guests you have to cut from your original guest list. Is it best to limit the guest list to close friends and family or immediate family only? You may decide that each of you must cut an equal number of guests on each side. Only you and your fiance can find the best process to make this decision. Being as fair as possible across the board will help to ensure there aren't hurt feelings.
When an uncomfortable situation arises, like many of us, you may tend to over-explain things. Let your guests know that you are sorry and wish they could be there to celebrate with you and that it was not an easy decision to make. There are likely multiple factors that you considered when making this decision. Don't feel the need to go into each of those factors! Keep your explanation brief and be compassionate.
Let Guests Know ASAP
If guests have received a save-the-date or invitation, they have likely made arrangements to attend your wedding. Letting guests know as soon as possible allows them to have more time to change any plans they have already made and will most definitely be appreciated!
We know if you have to uninvite guests to your big day, it was not an easy decision. Try not to stress too much. With all things considered, most family and friends will be understanding if you have to rescind their invitation. Remember that this is not anything you could have planned for when making your original wedding plans. If there hurt feelings do arise, remind the guest of this and try your best to be compassionate towards them.
You may wonder what the best way to break the news to your guests is. Letting guests know in person is ideal, but since that is not feasible right now, you have several other acceptable options. You may decide to send out an announcement. If so, you could say something like, "Due to unforeseen circumstances and after much consideration, we have made the difficult decision to pare down our wedding. As a result, we cannot accommodate as many of our friends and family as we planned." If you have found a way to include the guests no longer attending, include that information on the announcement. How you let guests know is entirely up to you, but we always recommend following up with a phone call if you decide to send out an announcement via mail or email.