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Nobody likes an uninvited guest. Bottom line, it’s quite rude and/or oblivious to invite yourself to a wedding; however, this happens all the time and leaves many brides wondering how to tell an uninvited guest they can’t attend the wedding.
For this situation, first ask yourself if you mind them being added to the list. If not, then by all means let them attend. If you definitely don’t want them there for any reason (personality, budget, capacity, etc.), you are NOT in the wrong.
This is YOUR wedding and it’s important that every guest in attendance be someone you want to celebrate with. This is not rude or selfish, period. They’re in the wrong by inviting themselves, trust me!
If someone invited themselves to my wedding, I would never be rude or offended. I would be tactful and honest, while very clearly letting them know they cannot attend. Here’s an example of something I would write to them over email or would hope I would be able to quickly say if confronted in person:
It is so great to hear from you. I absolutely hope you’re doing well! [If you can mention something specific about them, do so here; for example, I saw that your daughter is off to college, I’m so happy for her!]
Unfortunately, in order to stay within budget/stay within the capacity of our venue’s rules/keep our celebration intimate/etc. (choose one or many), we are unable to accommodate any additional guests.
I do hope we can catch up after the wedding. Looking forward to seeing you again soon!
Note that I didn’t go into detail for any of the reasons I provided. When you start to elaborate, you can inadvertently open an opportunity for them to wiggle back in. Short and sweet gets the point across!
A template like that would work really well for people you don’t see very often. If you happen to have someone invite themselves who you see regularly, like a co worker, you can always amend it slightly to make more sense.
What if You’re Confronted Verbally?
If you’re like me, you often blurt out “yes” when someone asks uncomfortable things in-person.
My trick for this, if I can’t collect myself enough to turn them down, is to say “Let me do some thinking” or “Let me check with my fiancé.”
This extra time will allow you to go home and email them and protects you from caving in and regretting it later.
Telling people no doesn’t come easily for most; however, it is often necessary to keep yourself from regretting saying yes. For your wedding day, your happiness is more important than your wannabe guest’s happiness.
If someone invites themselves and you don’t want them in attendance or simply don’t have the room to include them, let them know with kindness and I promise that you’ll be at peace with your decision on your wedding day!