How not to invite people to your wedding

How not to invite people to your wedding

If you think sending out wedding invitations is stressful, consider what sending out “You’re not invited” cards is like! Amazingly enough, this trend is actually real–and more common than you think.

Aimed at the close friends who would otherwise assume they were invited to the celebration, the anti-guest list is a practical (if not-so-tactful) way of letting them know space is tight.

The Argument for an Anti-Guest Wedding List

Wedding planning can do strange things to couples’ heads. For example, ten years ago, would you ever have pictured yourselves agonizing over vanilla cake with white chocolate frosting vs. white chocolate cake with vanilla frosting? (For those who say yes, ask your soon-to-be spouse if the feeling is mutual.)

Planning a major event like a wedding is a huge undertaking, both financially and emotionally. And everything depends on the guest list.

The size of the guest list determines the size of the venue. After all, you need somewhere to seat all those people you invited. The guest list also determines the size and number of rentals, such as seats, place settings, and even portable dance floors.

The number of guests even influences how many bathrooms are needed. It determines how many wedding favors you buy, which determines how nice each favor can be. The number of plates determines the meal options you can afford to serve.

The number of guests can even make the ultimate decision about whether you can afford a full reception or only a cake-and-bubbles cocktail hour.

With everything riding on the size of the guest list, it’s no wonder that this aspect of wedding planning can make a happy couple go a little haywire. If a couple on a limited budget decides to throw a wedding celebration that emphasizes quantity over quality, therefore, some tough decisions have to be made.

That means diving into the painful process of deciding which friends are more necessary than others.

The anti-guest list is never a thing to be created lightly. Instead, think of it as a way to acknowledge all of the wonderful people you really wish could come. Instead of sending out cards saying, “Don’t bother attending our wedding,” put careful thought into phrasing the announcement in the tenderest possible way.

Emphasize how much you regret that you can’t afford to host each and every one of your loved ones with all of the trappings of royalty. Let them know that they are still important to you and that you will be thinking fondly of them on your wedding day.

The announcement should focus on the fact that the recipient is important enough to merit a special card. After all, there are plenty of people in the world who aren’t invited to your wedding, and they’re not getting any personalized envelopes.

The card is a way to let each person know how special they are and how much you regret not being able to include them in your wedding plans.

Be Prepared for Backlash

Of course, no matter how you phrase it, some people are bound to take offense at being excluded from your nuptials. And can you really blame them? Send the cards with all of your sincere regret and emotion extended, but be ready for the backlash.

Some couples have lost friends over their wedding anti-invites, with angry recipients referring to themselves as second-tier friends.

The unavoidable truth is that you can’t please everybody–especially when planning a wedding. As your celebration comes together, the decisions you have to make will get harder. If facing the backlash of insulted friends is too daunting for you to face, you do have another option: plan an inexpensive celebration, such as a potluck gathering in a public park, where you don’t have to exclude anyone.

Soften the News

The best way to let your would-be guests know that your wedding isn’t big enough for them is to assure them that they are still a valuable part of your life. Write each note personally and include unique details about your friendship. Plan a time to meet with each person who won’t be at your wedding. Personalized attention goes a long way towards softening the blow of a nonexistent invite.

Ultimately, weddings include friends because couples want to share the joy of their new life together with the people who mean the most to them. If you can’t include every single person in the wedding itself, you can still share your joy with them.

Make sure you make plenty of time for your friends in the months preceding your wedding, and you can help them to feel included in your life and appreciated all the same.