(Closed) Half our guests declined and I feel disappointed and awful at 3 weeks out.

posted 11 years ago in Emotional
Post # 3
3218 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

I’m sorry you feel so sad. But you really don’t know the circumstances of others not travelling to your wedding. Travelling is hard, and it’s expensive so it shouldn’t be so much of a shock that you’ve had a lot of declines from people who have to travel.

And just because you attended a wedding that you had to shell out for doesn’t mean you get to expect they do the same. Perhaps it is just not in their moneytary means to travel. I guess that’s just life.

Honestly 80 something wedding is just fine to me. You already have lots of people to celebrate with you already.

Post # 4
26 posts
  • Wedding: May 2011

I am in the same boat as you, we invited over 170 guests and just over half are coming.  More than 60% of our guest list is Out of Town guests, and 3/4 of the way across the country, so i knew some wouldn’t be able to make it, but before i worried about too many ppl attending, now i don’t think we will even have 100 ppl there.

It is sort of sad, i wish everyone could come, but i know in the end all that matters is that me and Fiance (and our officiant) are there.  I am trying to be happy and focus on all those who are making the trek out for our wedding and not focus on the others.  People have their own lives to lead and unfortunately our wedding isn’t top priority to everyone!

Post # 5
247 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2011

We had a lot less than we expected too, but you can’t assume that people don’t love you and that’s why they’re not coming. You don’t know what’s going on with their families, and sometimes there are just things that families have to do. The unfortunate part about a wedding on a holiday weekend is that travel is much more expensive, and sometimes families have traditions that they aren’t willing to break. 

It sucks that it’s happening, but your day will be beautiful no matter what. Just look forward to the extras that you can get now – make people regret that they couldn’t join your day!!

Post # 6
197 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

I’m so sorry this has happened to you.  First, the same thing happened to my brother.  He and his wife planned their wedding for a holiday weekend so everyone could have more time.  Unfortunately, it back fired.  Airfare, hotels and even gas are more expensive during a holiday weekend.  Plus traffic can be a wreck depending on where you live.  Also, a lot of people make other plans for their holiday weekends, which can be hard to break.  I know it’s hard not to be upset, but don’t focus your disappointment as anger or frustration for the people who cannot come.  As one poster said, it’s hard to know their circumstances. 

Also, try to focus more on the people who ARE coming, instead of the ones who aren’t.  It was a little sad for me to get over some of the close people who I know aren’t coming to our wedding, but once I stopped thinking of that aspect and concentrated elsewhere, I felt a million times better. 

The truth is that I’m sure you are going to be a lovely bride and have such an amazing wedding, during which you are going to marry the man of your dreams.  At the end of the day, who could ask for more?! 🙂

Post # 7
3214 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

We have also had a higher decline rate than we were expecting, and 4 of the declines were people it had never crossed my mind wouldn’t attend (2 super close family members and their partners). One is a groomsman in another wedding that day; the other couldn’t come for reasons too complicated to get into. I was really sad.  But it doesn’t mean that the people who aren’t coming don’t care about you.

Post # 8
59 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

Awww. *Hug*.

I’m lucky that almost everyone we invited can come. The sad part is that the people who can’t come include: all the surviving grand-parents (they don’t feel up for hte flight – totally understandable, but kind of sad) and my FI’s brother – who hasn’t bothered to RSVP. Or return his calls. We have no idea why, but something about our wedding made him (or his wife) really angry with us? And then my parents changed their flights for various reasons, and aren’t coming in until late the night before, so will be barely participating.

On the flip side, we realized that all the people who we both invited and are coming are truly supportive of us, and we appreciate their participation so much. I hope you can focus on the awesome 85 people who ARE coming, and realize that those people really support you in your marriage.

Post # 9
91 posts
Worker bee

Honey, please don’t fret over this so close to your wedding. I know it is hard not to. My daughter got married in Feb and we invited about 100 people. She and her husband live in Florida and all family members either live in Pennsylvania or South America. We ended up with 55 that came. We knew many people would not make the trip for various reasons. My son-in-law’s parents and 2 of his sisters could not make it to the wedding. Their visas were denied. Not much we could do about that- no matter how sad that was for everyone.

My family on the other hand… my sister/brother-in-law (my daughter’s godfather) and my niece (their daughter- mother of 3 young sons) told us they couldn’t make it to the wedding. Brother-In-Law afraid to fly. SIL couldn’t get the weekend off work. I figured my niece wouldn’t come due to the expense. Now, note that there is not any fighting, bad blood or whatever you want to call it betweeen any of us. Imagine my anger when I saw posted on Facebook 2 days after the wedding- the shopping trip to MALL OF AMERICA for my SIL and niece! I haven’t spoken to them since. I was incredibly hurt.

My point is this… you cannot control what others are going to do. I know you really want all of those guests at your wedding, but for whatever reason, they won’t be there. Try to focus on the fact that you are marrying the love of your life and it will be a wonderful day no matter what! You still have to deal with not meeting your minimum guest count and that has to be resolved. Just try to remember that the people not coming to the wedding are going to miss out on a fabulous day of love and fun.

If my son-in-law can have fun at his own wedding when his parents couldn’t come because some immigration person decided they can’t for no reason- you can enjoy your day too!


Post # 10
6980 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2011

I had a very similar situation. We invited 156, on the day of our wedding we had 73 people (75 total if you count us). Some of the declines hurt a bit… particularly because very few of my husband’s family came. But honestly on the day of it was wonderful. It was SO nice to have a smaller group with us because it meant we really got to chat with and enjoy each and every guest. Not only that– we got to have time to just enjoy ourselves! In regards to the money, I would just try to meet your minimum by adding a bunch of swank for those of your guests who are coming!

Post # 11
4560 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

So sorry this is happening. But like the others have said, don’t take it personally. Holiday weekends are actually worse for attendance beacuse of other commitment or the cost.

As your cater/venue if you can upgrade things or increase portion size and ask for them to box up any extra. Even if you can’t take it, maybe your guests can.

You will still have a wonderful wedding day because you only need a guest list of 2 to be successful!

Post # 12
508 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

I know how you feel. My mom got a phone call the night before my wedding from some family members that said they couldn’t make it after all, they all were on my dad’s side. My dad passed away about 3 years before my wedding and so I was hoping to at least have some of that side there. I had one person, a cousin who I hadn’t seen since I was 3, come. Thats it. Add in the fact that my grandparents scheduled a trip overseas (after I told them our date! Ugh) and wouldn’t be back in time… I was a tad upset. I probably cried for an hour that night.

But then the day of, I was so happy to see all the people that were able to make it that it kinda made up for those who didn’t. So be sad now so that you can be happy on your wedding day.

Oh, we had invited about 120 people, maybe 65-70 showed? And most were DH’s side.

Post # 13
1316 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

Oh honey, I’m sorry you’re so sad.  It must be incredibly hard to no longer have your parents with you to celebrate your day – I couldn’t even begin to imagine it.  Do you have any siblings that you can confide in?   Whilst it does stink that so many people have had to decline, there are most likely a lot of genuine reasons for it.  The economy is still rather down and petrol prices are going through the roof.  Memorial Day weekend is a hard weekend to have a wedding – I know your intentions were good in thinking that people would have more time to travel, but the roads are so crowded and things are so much more expensive on holiday weekends.  It could genuinely be that people can’t afford it and maybe are embarassed to say to you – hey, we can’t afford it.  

I’m just sending out my invites this week so I don’t know how ours are going to turn out – I know nearly all of my family is coming but hardly any of FI’s family is coming.  They all live in the UK or Australia so it is difficult for them to travel – we’re not even sure his sister in England is going to make it.  Other than that, it will only be his parents and his two brothers.  I was a bit upset about that but Fiance is not and doesn’t think it’s strange so I will follow suit.  

Ultimately, having a wedding of 85 people and 10 kids sounds like a great number.  You will actually have time to mingle with your guests and actually get to spend some quality time with them.   And having that many people is still going to seem like a full wedding and you will be surrounded by people who love you and are happy to be witnessing the most important day of your life.   Also, you can do things like decrease the number of people at each table so you can still have a good number of tables and people can have a bit more elbow room.  Instead of doing 8 or 10 at a table, maybe bump it down to 6 or 7.  Whilst the financial hit is not cool, that’s just what happens sometimes.

Hugs to you… it will turn out well.  Focus on the positives and don’t be dragged down by the people not attending as you never know what their personal circumstances really are.  Have a wonderful wedding day!!

Post # 14
185 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

Aww, dont feel too bad!  I have zero family/relatives in the US except for my immediate family…It makes me really sad that I wont have any family, but a few good friends and all of my FI’s family and friends on our wedding day.  Just remember the saying that its not about the quantity, as it is about the quality… And the time spent with those who few should be more important.  These are the people who you are going to be spending a lot of money on to make a great party., so maybe you can focus on these people more.  What I am saying is that if you have to spend more money  on other things for those select few that are coming, then you can make your party even better!!  What is the minimum spending requirement at your venue?? I know that I am going to be in a similar situation, but my wedding isnt till 10/1/11. Lastly, just know that in this time of our lives, its important not to forget that it is your day, and you really dont want to waste your tears on those who didnt make it. Just spend the money on making your big day extra fun for those who are coming! I hope you feel better..

Post # 15
1741 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

Hugs. Your wedding will still be awesome. And now you’ll have more time with each guest.


My parents only got 50% for their wedding, too, and they had a blast.



Post # 16
2268 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

We’re in a similar boat.

Same date too!

But I haven’t gotten RSVP’s from about 30 people so the numbers could still change.

I’m not that disappointed because a good chunk of them (maybe 30 of the declines) I knew weren’t coming from the get-go. They are poor family from back east and just don’t have the money to come out here.

So even though we invited about 160, we were expecting about 110-120. Seems like we’re going to end up with between 100-110 so it’s not really that far off our goal.

The only person I’ve been slightly upset about is a (relatively close)cousin who lives less than an hour away and declined without any explanation….strange!

Like others have said though, there isn’t much you can do. I’ve found out that a lot of people schedule family reunions on that date becase it’s the first 3 day weekend on the summer. At least 3 couples have declined for that specific reason (not relatives :)).

You can’t take it personally. There’s not much you can do except determine to have an amazing time with those who do join you!

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