Q: Dear Amy,
How do I revoke a wedding invitation? We initially sent a friend a save the date for our wedding. But since then, the friend has been causing problems left and right and saying some not-so-nice things about my future spouse. This “friend” even said he didn’t care if we gave him a plus one because he was going to bring a date to our wedding anyway. FYI, he doesn’t even have a girlfriend or date to bring (imagine that!). Anyway, how do you go about revoking a wedding invitation? Is there a “graceful” way to do this?
A: Dear Alanis,
Sometimes in life, you don’t need to bother about being graceful. Because, nope, there is not a gracious way to un-invite someone, not even a little bit. But life happens, and sometimes you still need to!
If I may, first, a brief note. If you’re sending save the dates, please be extremely sure you both want to and have the budget to invite every single one of those people. Uninviting people because you’re just not close to them anymore, or because your budget is shaping up differently than you expected, is simply going to be something most people will find hideously rude. Feel free to skip save the dates if you aren’t sure!
That being said, people who say not-nice things about either person getting married are not your friends anymore, right? Knowing that it is a relationship-severing move—un-invite if someone has been truly horrible and you just feel in your heart of hearts that you simply cannot have them at your wedding or in your life.
Ideally, you’ll be able to get yourself in a headspace to do this in an adult manner. I suggest channeling Julie Andrews in The Princess Diaries. First, whoever is closest to the person should have a real conversation about this (no, texting does not count. Would the Queen of Genovia text?).
Say things like, “I don’t understand why you feel that making negative comments about my beloved and threatening to bring an uninvited guest to my wedding is okay. It makes me feel like you don’t respect me or value my friendship.” And then tilt your head and gaze at the person. Give them a chance to apologize profusely for the behavior, explain that they hadn’t considered your feelings, and vow to do better. And if they do, great! If they don’t, or they relapse, then you can proceed to, “Dave, as I’m sure you can understand, in light of your comments about Laurie, we couldn’t possibly have you at the wedding. Best wishes, Alanis.”
There comes a time when you simply must un-invite someone. Make it rare, but make it happen if it needs to.
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