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Can’t attend a wedding? Need to decline a wedding invitation but don’t know how to go about it? It is time you learned how to decline a wedding invitation. We know you feel bad about declining the wedding invitation but think of it this way — the bride and groom expect at least 10% to 20% of the people invited to their wedding to decline the invite.

Since you have no plans to attend the wedding and need to decline the invitation, it is crucial for you to learn how to do it properly.

1. RSVP the Bride and Groom ASAP

If you are unable to attend the wedding for one reason or another, do not delay informing the bride and groom that you will not be making it to their big day. Whether you are close to the couple or not, sending an RSVP is a must.

If you are close to the bride and groom or either of their families, you not only need to send an RSVP to them, but you also need to send a brief note with it. Do not email but write it yourself. A hand-written note adds a more personal touch to the whole thing.

You can wish the couple a long and prosperous journey ahead along with your thoughts. Also, give the reason or reasons you cannot come to their wedding. You should not focus on just the bad news but use it as a chance to congratulate them on their marriage and send warm regards to both of their families.

2. Do Not Make Excuses

Perhaps, you had plans to go to the wedding, but something came up at the last second and now you cannot go to the bride and groom’s wedding. In that case, just decline the wedding invitation. What you should not do is make excuses about why you cannot attend their wedding.

Let them know the reason you cannot make it to their wedding, but when you start going into details about it, that is when you are making excuses. For this reason, use your sound judgement when disclosing the reason why you cannot make it to their wedding.

If your reason for not attending their wedding is that you prefer to go on a world tour over their wedding, it is better not to say that and respectfully decline the wedding invitation without going into too much detail.

3. Do Not Ignore Your Phone

If a handwritten note is not your thing, it is always better to ring up the bride and groom to congratulate them on their big day and politely decline the invite. Do not wait a few days before the wedding or on the day of the wedding to give them a call.

You should do this as soon as you find out that you will not be attending their wedding. Usually, you find that out from the beginning but if some unforeseen circumstances arise, which prevent you from attending their wedding, call them up a few weeks after they have tied the knot.

The reason you should not call them the very next day or during the wedding week is because they might be on their honeymoon.

4. Become a Special Part of Their Big Day

You can be with them in spirit if you cannot be there in person. If you are really close to the bride and groom, you can write a toast for them and ask the maid of honor or the best man to read it aloud on your behalf. In doing so, you will become part of their big day and the couple will appreciate the kind gesture and effort you put into writing and emailing the toast.

5. Spend Time with Them

If you are a close friend or family member of the bride and groom, you can throw them a dinner party or invite them to your house for a homecooked meal. You do not have to treat them to dinner. You can take them anywhere, as the sole point of you inviting them out is to spend time with them before they are to be married because you will not be at their wedding.

6. Send the Bride and Groom a Gift

Even though sending the bride and groom a gift is not necessary, there is no rule saying that you cannot. You can send them a gift if you are not attending their wedding. You would have brought them a gift anyways if you had attended their wedding, so why not send them a gift for not attending the wedding? It does not have to be an expensive gift either. You can send them flowers with a letter to inform them that you will not be attending their wedding for a specific reason and wish them and their families well.

7. Do Not Change Your Mind

Once you have declined the wedding invitation, you should not change your mind. Planning a wedding is a time-consuming process and changing your mind about it makes it more stressful for the couple because they have to do the seating arrangements.

If you have said no to attending the wedding, stick to it and do not go. For this reason, you have to think about whether you want to go to the couple’s wedding or not for a few days before you send your RSVP.

You know how to decline a wedding invitation, so if you ever need to decline a wedding invite in the future or you need to do it now, you can follow these tips to decline the invitation politely.

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