Social Graces: What to do when people (wrongly) assume they’re invited to your wedding

Social Graces: What to do when people (wrongly) assume they’re invited to your wedding

What to do when people (wrongly) assume they’re invited to your wedding

Q: What should you do when people assume they’re invited to your wedding —and they’re not?

A: Managing the expectations of other people is a common struggle for couples as they plan a wedding. This is especially true for couples who desire a small, intimate celebration.

When people assume they will be invited, my advice to couples is always to be honest. Let the person know that you and your spouse-to-be have decided to keep the guest list small —immediate family and dearest friends only.

If the greatest factor is the budget, it’s perfectly acceptable to tell the person that your budget is restricting you to a certain guest count. You can say, “In an ideal situation, we would invite everyone, but the fact is, our budget simply won’t permit it.” Whatever the reason, just be honest with the person in a kind, respectful way.

If people get offended, it could very well be an indication that their desire to be a guest is more about them than it is about you. In which case, your lack of invitation is justified.

Above all, couples in this situation should realize that regardless of what others’ expectations are, this is your wedding day. You don’t owe anyone an invitation. You are free to invite whomever you want, for any reason you want. Let your day be about you and the one you love, and surround yourself with only those you want there, because that’s what you deserve!

—Nikeva Lawrence, owner and lead planner of SouthWind Events

A: Your wedding is an exciting time for not only you and your fiance, but for everyone else around you! People will be thrilled and intrigued by all the wedding details when you first get engaged.

Before you start publicizing all your wedding plans, come up with a realistic guest list with your fiance based on your wedding style, venue choice and budget. Include your parents in this initial conversation to set expectations and avoid any awkward situations later. Come up with parameters for your guest list early, such as plus-ones for only those in relationships, no extended family whom you haven’t seen in five-plus years, or every guest has to have met both you and your fiance in person.

When you are faced with people who assume they are invited, let them know you feel honored that they would want to come. You don’t owe them a reason they aren’t invited, but if you feel compelled to do so, some common ones are budget constraints, venue size, you and your fiance have large families, and the guest list is limited in the number of co-workers, friends, classmates, etc.

Or, maybe you don’t want to oblige them to travel, which works best for distant relatives. Whatever you do, don’t back down from your decision or sound wishy-washy in your response. Deliver the reasons confidently, and don’t feel guilty that you aren’t able to invite every individual who has ever been a part of your life.

Hannah Herrera Greenspan

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

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