The “You’re Not Invited” Wedding List

Image ©Jaime Pharr - FeaturePics Stock

Image ©Jaime Pharr – FeaturePics Stock

So, you received an e-mail from your recently engaged friend and the news within blew your mind: The words: “You’re Not Invited.” The trend of “not requesting the honor of your presence” has grown in recent years and led several brides and grooms to launch the advent of the “You’re Not Invited” alert.


In this age of many couples opting for budget-friendly weddings and smaller guest lists, some couples have made informing their large Facebook contingent that they will be sitting out the “I Do’s” in the form of an alert as the best way to go.

“Nine out of 10 times, it’s because of lack of space – and the couple feels super guilty,” Tatiana Byron, founder of event planning service The Wedding Salon, told TODAY.com. “These are usually people they’re friendly with, but not close to.”

Etiquette expert Emily Post suggests sending wedding announcements the day after one’s nuptials to those left off the guest list – “to acquaintances or business associates who might wish to hear the news.” Is the “You’re not invited” alert almost the same thing, except that it’s sent just sent before the wedding instead of just after?

So what should you do if you feel compelled to send your own “You’re not invited” alerts? A few tips to help smooth the situation:

Make the cut. A rule of thumb for whom to downsize from the guest list: “Have you had dinner with them in the last year?”
Don’t leave it till the last minute. “Have this conversation early, because it will be more uncomfortable to have people assume they are coming the whole time,” recommends Annie Lee of Daughter of Design Events, a wedding-planning agency in Culver City, Calif. “Feelings are hurt when guests have imagined themselves invited and then feel like it was revoked. Manage expectations.”
Don’t go on the offense. Express gratitude to the asker that they want to celebrate with you. Don’t be defensive about how rude it is for someone to assume that they’re invited to your wedding. The situation gets more awkward when you make it awkward.
Keep it simple and gracious. “You don’t have to go into intricate detail; just start by saying how touched you are that they would want to come, then explain your limitations, whether due to budget, space constraints, or big families… they’ll get it,” said Elizabeth Graves, editor-in-chief of Martha Stewart Weddings. “Then include the person or persons in a different way later on, like offer to go out to lunch or drinks after the wedding. It will show them the exclusion is nothing personal.”

So, how do you feel about the “You’re not invited” list? Good idea or bad?

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