Is It Rude To Un-Invite Someone To My Wedding?

The-Uninvited-movie-posterDear Uncommon Courtesy,

I am getting married soon, and included among the guests is a woman who  was a friend until recently.

When we compiled the guest list and sent out the Save the Dates, she and I were on great terms and, in fact, she was one of the first people I told about the engagement. Subsequent to that, she has gone through some personal turmoil that I was tangentially involved in, collateral damage-wise. As a result, she is no longer speaking to me though the turmoil really had only the smallest amount to do with me and I’ve indicated to her in about a hundred ways that I’m not upset with her over it.

What’s an exasperated bride-to-be to do?


Invitation to Danger


The official etiquette is that if you have sent someone a Save the Date, you must send them an invitation. However…


Jaya: So do you send an invite?

Victoria: Hmmmm. Yeah, technically if you sent an STD you have to send an invite. But in a case like this, I guess it depends on if you want to reconcile.

Jaya: Yeah. Here it sounds like she does, so sending an invitation is a great way to show that. And if the other person doesn’t come, it’s not any shock.

Victoria: But if you don’t want to reconcile, I would actually not send her an invitation. I mean, it’s not news to her you’ve had a falling out. But that only works when, like in this situation, both parties know they’re fighting.

Jaya: Right.

Victoria: If you just randomly decided you hate them in between the STDs and the invitations, it’s a bit harder. In that case I’d invite them anyway!

Jaya: It’s easy enough to ignore someone at your wedding, I think. There are lots of people, no one will begrudge the couple for saying “Hi” and “Bye” and that’s it.

Victoria: I think this is a good lesson in being very judicious in who you send STDs to. It should be mostly people you REALLY REALLY must have there, or people who have to travel very far.

Jaya: Yeah, but it’s hard. If it’s a small wedding, everyone really is a necessary guest. And no one anticipates falling outs like this.

Victoria: True. In this case, they were really close before, but maybe for people who you aren’t super close to, just hold off sending anything until a little closer to the wedding, just in case (like coworkers and such!)

Jaya: This question is hard!

Victoria: It’s so eloquently written though!

Jaya: Save the Dates are strange. It’s such a recent invention, and now can be so easily accomplished by calling or emailing people.

Victoria: But then if you had specifically told someone to start making arrangements to come, you’d still be in the same boat. Because a verbal Save the Date still requires an invitation, I think.

Jaya: Yeah, I think you have to gauge where this anger is coming from. Here, it’s highly unlikely she’ll come, whether she receives an invite or not. So send the invitation if you honestly want to make amends. But you don’t want it to look like you’re trying to bury the hatchet when actually you’re just following the std=invite rule and you don’t really want her there anymore.


7 thoughts on “Is It Rude To Un-Invite Someone To My Wedding?

  1. This isn’t really uninviting, so much as not following through with the invite. Could you actually tell someone they can no longer come, if you’d already sent the invitation?

    • Yeah, it’s harder to retract a physical invitation. I’d say once the invites are out, you’re sort of stuck, unless it’s a MAJOR falling out, and similarly understood on both sides. If someone punches you in the face after they get a wedding invitation, both sides can probably assume that invitation is not relevant anymore.

  2. I had a similar situation (invited friend and his wife, they decided to get divorced, she and I tried to stay friends and then she was just awful in all sorts of ways). I have no qualms about not following through on the save the date, she has proven herself to be a terrible friend and I don’t want toxic people around me on a big day.

  3. Pingback: Wedding Invitations | Uncommon Courtesy

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