How to tell someone they are not invited to your wedding

On a day that is truly all about yourself and your partner, who is part of your day should be 100% up to the two of you. Of course, this is easier said than done and wedding politics are a real thing. People have expectations and sometimes your wedding plans won’t always meet them, so how do you tell someone kindly and tactfully that they are not invited to the big day? Our Wedding Planner & Stylist Alanah explains.

Guest lists can suck. If you have managed to write your guestlist and send out your invites without a sticky conversation or two, please tell us your secret! Most couples will find the guestlist a tiny bit hard. Do you invite that cousin you haven't seen since you were seven? What about people from work? Your mum wants to invite her neighbor and his cat? 

Tell them before your invites go out. Timing is everything. This can be a hard conversation to have so I don’t blame anybody for wanting to avoid it, however there is nothing worse than finding out you didn't make the list by other people receiving their invites and yours never arrives. Make the time to call or shoot off a message to those who might be expecting an invitation before mailing out your save the dates. 

Be honest.  Honesty really is the best policy here. Explain the reason why you won’t be inviting them in a polite and tactful way. Maybe you have decided to have a smaller wedding as they are less of a gamble with Covid and the ever changing landscape of restrictions, maybe your venue has a cap on guest numbers, maybe you simply want to keep it as immediate family and very close friends, maybe it's a budget issue. The good news here is following covid especially, people are a lot more understanding and accepting of couples taking control of their guest lists. 

Don’t over apologise or make excuses.  Although it may feel like this will lessen the blow, over apologising or making excuses will only ever cause more problems - worst overall it will come off as insincere. For example telling someone you have decided to only host people who are your closest family and friends so you and your partner have ample time with those who are most important to you and in the same breath telling someone that they are still a really close friend, who you really love and that they shouldn't take it as a reflection of how you feel about your friendship will only confuse and upset them further. Keep it simple and straightforward. 

Stick to your guns! But also, it's ok to change your mind.  Wedding planning is more often than not a lengthy process and often couples will decide to add people to the guestlist all the way up the wedding. Leave yourself some space to do this. Throughout the planning process friends and family will no doubt ask for exceptions, plus ones, to bring their children etc. Try not to give in to pressure, remember that its your day, if you don't want to spend it with your mum's neighbor and his cat you don't have to!

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