Covid 19 - How to Un-invite Guests to Your Wedding

Covid 19 has made planning your wedding even more difficult than ever before. Some of our West Coast Wedding couples have had to reschedule their wedding up to 3 times!



More and more couples are now tired of waiting for the Covid 19 situation to improve and are deciding to press on regardless, with live-streaming and video now being in demand for those who can’t make it from interstate or overseas. However, there is still the shifting sands of government mandates, restrictions and changes to numbers allowed at weddings and in venues, that can make it a nightmare to try to navigate.



Some couples wait until the very last minute to send out their invitations but this is not really a practical strategy, since you will often have already sent the people on your list a Save The Date Card and they will be expecting an invitation to arrive.



Perhaps one of the most difficult things is when the invitations have gone out and the RSVPs are in, then there are sudden changes to Covid 19 guest numbers permitted at weddings or at your venues, leaving some couples with the unenviable task of not only deciding who can now attend and who can’t - but then having the hardest job of all - un-inviting some people - sometimes with very little notice.



It’s never an easy situation but here are some points that might help:


1. Which Guests Are Most Affected By The New Rules or Restrictions?

Start by identifying the essential people - those that you simply must have at your wedding! Then consider the people who have already helped you out for your wedding and those that might have made a huge effort or expense to be coming (provided they didn’t get in touch from point 1 ie they are still intending to come.). It’s not going to be easy to cut people , because you would have gone over a lot to decide to put them on the list in the first place. But this is not your fault, Covid 19 is out of your sphere of influence, so even though the decisions will be hard, people will simply need to put their big girl or boy pants on an understand.



2. Go Over Your Guest List Carefully

Start by identifying the essential people - those that you simply must have at your wedding! Then consider the people who have already helped you out for your wedding and those that might have made a huge effort or expense to be coming (provided they didn’t get in touch from point 1 ie they are still intending to come.). It’s not going to be easy to cull people from your guest list, because you would have gone over a lot to decide to put them on the list in the first place. But this is not your fault, Covid 19 is out of your sphere of influence, so even though the decisions will be hard, people will simply need to put their big girl or boy pants on and understand.



3. What Will You Say And How Will You Say It?

Prepare what you want to say ahead of time - you need to carefully word it to avoid any uncomfortableness for both yourself and your guests. Share the burden between yourself and your fiancé - maybe taking responsibly for the guests you each invited and sharing any joint guests. Please don’t delegate this job to someone else, your guest was invited by you and deserves to hear from you directly, not someone else.


Start by letting them know how much you appreciate them and were looking forwards to seeing them but do to Covid 19 changes you are so disappointed that you wont be able to have them attend. Try to soften the blow if you can by organising to live stream the ceremony, have some kind of get together at a later date or post them the wedding favours they would have received had they been able to attend.


You need to let them know as quickly as you can so they can adjust their plans and maybe cancel any leave, travel or accommodation etc. Time might be a big factor here and you also want to make sure people get the message and don’t turn up to the wedding - VERY AWKWARD! You can send an email to explain and ask for a response back confirming they have received it and they understand. A read receipt wont cut it as it doesn’t guarantee they actually read it, only that they clicked on it or opened it. If you don’t hear back then maybe a follow up SMS or phone call is needed for those people. It’s ESSENTIAL that you know they got the message - you might feel reluctant to chase people up, but it will be far worse if you don’t and they turn up on the day.



4. Will Un-inviting A Guest Offend Them?

Some guests will be upset and disappointed about not being able to attend, or might even feel they are not considered as important as others within your family or friendship group, but you did originally invite them and you do still want them at your wedding - it’s only due to circumstances beyond your control that this has changed. The vast majority of people will be totally understanding, and even with any disappointment they feel, will be very sympathetic to your situation. Anyone who tries to make you feel guilty or bad probably wasn’t really the person you thought they were in the first place - so just let that one go and enjoy your wedding!



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