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

posted 9 years ago in Emotional
Post # 17
1993 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

My wedding is also Memorial Day weekend, and if it helps at all, we had some family members and friends decline just because there is a lot of stuff that happens at the end of May -namely graduations.  And we found out the hard way that as important as our wedding is to us, Little Johnny’s kindergarten graduation and party really do mean more to the parents.  And I can honestly understand that.  I think if my 5 year old were graduating Kindergarten, or my teenager graduated from high school, I would be there for my kids as well.  ALL of our guests are majorly traveling, because we live deep in South Florida and everyone else is in other states.  We also have another couple we are pretty good friends with that had a baby literally 2 weeks ago, and the wife doesn’t feel comfortable flying with a 6 week old at the time of our wedding, and isn’t ready to deal with leaving the baby, is breastfeeding, etc.  And again, when I put myself in the first-time mom’s shoes, I understand.  Her husband is actually attending solo.  So I hope you find out at some point what the reasons were behind so many declines, it may be similar situations to these.  We were always planning a small wedding, with just our closest friends and family, so that made it easier to know exactly why they couldn’t make it, they’re all pretty much people we talk to regularly.  And it may be many of those guests who declined had things going on like that, and when travel is involved, it complicates things too much.  It is tough, I know…Neither of my grandmothers are healthy enough to travel, and have only been on airplanes once or twice in their life anyway.  So I’m really disappointed that the distance means they won’t be there.  But on the bright side, at least you and I both know that the people we’re spending our wedding day with, are the people that are the closest to us and that we are loved by the most:)

Post # 18
186 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

Same thing is happening to us. We invited  220 and only looks like 110 are coming.

Thats half. I know what it feels like. None of my mothers (passed away) family is coming even though I have tried to stay connected as well as i can with them since my mom and my graondmothers passing.

I have learned to accept that really the only people this wedding is important to is my Fiance and I and our immediate family.

Post # 19
59 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: February 2010

I’m sorry this is happening. In reality, I would probably feel the same way. Try to shake it off… don’t let this bother you on your big day. I’m sure when you see the faces of the people that did make the effort to be there on your wedding, everything will be alright. Wink

I’m actually afraid that this will happen to me. I’m getting married on the day after Thanksgiving. We only have about 5 Out of Town guests, and not much our fam/friends travel…but still – I’m a little nervous. Our list is at 144 which is the max for our venue… so I keep going back and forth between stretching the list (we have a B list) because of the possible declines or keeping it how it is in case everyone pretty much shows up. Undecided

Post # 20
4122 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

we also had a 50% decline rate so I know exactly how you feel. All I can say is that in the end, it was for the best. I forgot about the people I wanted to be there who couldn’t because I was so focused on my husband and those who were there. On top of that, our catering / alcohol costs DRAMATICALLY decreased and I was able to work the rest of our photography into my parents gift amount towards our wedding because of it… saving us a lot… In the end, I don’t think about all the people who missed out… though I never would have thought that possible before hand.

Post # 21
2299 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

I’m so sorry you’re going through this! The best thing to do is just enjoy your day with your husband…that’s really all that matters. Everything is going to be beautiful and the people that will be there will be 100% supportive. But I understand your anger.

My husband’s sister sent me an email 3 days before the wedding that she couldn’t make it b/c she conveniently planned hers 2 weeks (oh, and she was against marriage a week before that) before ours when we had the date set for 2 years AND we were moving our stuff to our apt. 6 hours away. But she was able to make it to the family reunion a week later that happens EVERY SINGLE YEAR and her cousin’s wedding a week after that. really?!

Post # 22
1690 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2012


i am sorry to hear this,  it is such a shame.

I hope i get acceptance cards from all my guests….(22)  because if half declined it will be an even smaller wedding than it is now….(if thats possible!)  LOL

the RSVPs that you havent yet received, can you get in touch with them and say  ‘sorry to bother you,  but i really need to know the numbers…..and really would like to know if you will be coming?”

i think its rude not to even reply.

And look at it this way,  you can spend more quality time with the people that did think your wedding was special enough to turn up to…..

Post # 23
40 posts
  • Wedding: May 2011

Hey, I have a far lower percentage coming:

We invited 450 people to the wedding, sending out 225 invites.  We only have 145 coming, I was expecting closer to half!  I was sad at first, but then I redid the menu to include more food (and more expensive food) so that I still met the minimum.


Is your minimum a number of people or a price spent, because if it is a price spent, you can just change the menu to better food, or upgrade the alcohol.

Post # 24
21 posts
  • Wedding: September 2010

This happened to me, too.  We ended up having 160 people, but of that, my family encompassed eight.  Eight of about 30.  I know I have a small family, but it was really disheartening to see that they didn’t make the attempt to come to my wedding.  I chose to see it as me gaining a huge and wonderful family in my husband’s family, rather than feeling put off by my actual relatives.  We invited many of our friends, and between them and my husband’s family, I didn’t feel any less loved or happy that day.  Looking back, I wouldn’t change anything, because I know that the people who were there were ones who really cared, and wanted to be there.  I know it’s hard, but focus on the people that are there for you, and the new family you’re gaining in your Fiance.  Best of luck; I know you will have a lovely day!

Post # 25
7369 posts
Busy Beekeeper

I’m sorry you feel bad about the turnout, its defintely disspointing. But i  hate reading on here the judgements on guests who can’t attend, as not “being there for you” or “unsupportive”. I think thats a stretch. You have no idea why someone cant’ attend. They have lives to and sometimes our wedding can’t be at the top of list of their priorities, as much as they would like to be there.

Yes you (and all of us brides) have high expections and put alot of planning and money into this one day, but friends/family are also doing the same.  Add on that that its not easy, nor cheap to travel (especially) over a holiday weekend. I think brides lose the sight that for some guests, supporting you sometimes comes a high costs that involve hundreds/low thousands of dollars (between airfare, hotel, car rental, outfits AND wedding gift etc) that they may not have readily available, even with six months notice. Or perhaps they already had booked their vacations. It sucks but it is what it is. Its risk one takes when booking around a holiday.

Ultimately, I have no doublt  that your wedding you will be fabulous and you will have so much on your mind that you won’t be focused on who isn’t there.

Post # 26
3148 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

@dmk79: I know this porbably wont make you feel any better but pretty much no one on my my side came to our wedding either, at first i felt awful about it and really torn up and even after i think about it and am a little disgusted by their actions…but here is the thing.


I didnt notice on the day. Everyone who WANTED to be there was there, so I was only surrounded by love. and it was the greatest.


I really hope things work out for you and some friends will fill those empty spots!

Post # 27
994 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

I’m sorry you are feeling so down. I just wanted to say I’ve also heard that Memorial Day and Labor Day have the lowest attendance rates, I wouldn’t take it personally.


Post # 28
2600 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

I’m so sorry!  There really is no ‘good’ advice to give in that situation, just know that the most important thing is that you and Fiance are getting married.  People who can make it there will be a part of it, and those who can’t will still be thinking of you that day. 


Post # 29
192 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

I’m so sorry to hear you are disappointed with your RSVP’s. My favourite cousin (and best friend growing up) decided to go to a friend’s wedding instead of mine. It surprised me to find out a lot of people I thought for sure would make the effort are not coming – and the people I never thought in a million years would come, are coming! It is amazing to think there will be more people from all over the country (and world!) at my wedding than there will be locals! I have people flying over fromEngland, flying in from the west coast ofCanada, flying up from the States … and yet some of my guests that are living in the same city as our wedding cannot make it.

I know it must be disappointing, but think about all of the people that really are making a big effort to spend your special day with you! To me, it means much more to have half of my guests there that REALLY want to be there, and will stop at nothing to come (expensive flights, hotels, blowing off other weddings, taking time off work etc.) than to have all 100% of them there, with half not really fussed one way or the other about being there.

🙂 it will be a super special day, and you will be surrounded by people that really care about you! It is not about the number of your guests, but the quality! And having less people means you will have more of a chance to spend quality time with all of those special people!   

Post # 30
376 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

I am kind of hoping this happens – not that I don’t want a lot of my friends and family there, just that our venue is kind of tight. 

I’m really sorry that you’re sad, though. 🙁

Post # 31
629 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

I’m so sorry that you are sad.  That’s no way to feel before your wedding.

This may be a shot in the dark– but are there any folks that live nearby that you weren’t able to invite before because of space/monetary restrictions? Like work friends, or others outside of the main circle?  Perhaps you could send an invite (and give them a call) and explain that due to circumstances some space has opened up and you’d love for them to come? (I know some people think this is not appropriate, but I say, whta the heck! It’s a party– you can do what you want!  Another way to bump up the guest list is to call foks and let them know they can bring a date (if they were invited as singles originally? I know often people can’t invite “plus ones” but now there’s room!

Please keep us posted on how it turns out! And know that you are not alone!

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