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3 things to do if you receive an unexpected ‘no’ RSVP

3 things to do if you receive an unexpected ‘no’ RSVP

Written by Katie Byrne

Left floored by an unexpected 'can't make' it response to your wedding invites? Here's how to handle it...


Fact: there will be some names on your wedding guest-list who you simply couldn't imagine saying 'I do' without having in the room with you. But what do you do if - utterly unexpectedly - one such guest-to-be announces they actually can't attend your nuptials?

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First of all: don't react instantly

If you receive the RSVP via text or email, resist your instincts to let your thumbs do the talking. Instead, give yourself an hour or two to process the fact they can't attend. Work out why their attendance at your wedding mean so much to you - understanding your own feelings on the subject is half the battle in making sense of the situation. 

If they tell you face-to-face, it will obviously be harder to control or mask your emotions - but at least they'll be able to explain the whats and whys, rather than leave you speculating as you stare in disbelief at your phone screen.

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Switch up your empathy

There's obviously a reason they can't make it, so don't assume that their decision to respond 'no' would have been easy. They might be double-booked, they might have other obligations; if it's a destination wedding, they might not be able to afford it. Remember that it's never easy or comfortable to be the bearer or bad news, and chances are they'll be feeling just as upset about their inability to attend as you are.

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Talk to them!

Rather than festering on the news, open up the channels of communication as soon as you can. If you have to have an awkward conversation to clear the air, then so be it - there's no point in losing a friendship or a close relationship. You might be able to find a compromise - perhaps a pre- or post-wedding celebration with them could be in order, or you could ask them to film a video message that can be played during the speeches... 

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