(Closed) HELP! How to tell guests wedding is downsized!!!!!!

posted 11 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 17
44 posts
  • Wedding: May 2011

I always cringe when posters put “that’s bad etiquette.”  What is good for one circle of family friends might not fly with another.  My fiance got back from Iraq last September (YAY for our servicemen).  If I were in your shoes, I would consider how many people I would be cutting.  If it were only 20 or 30 I would say people would get hurt feelings and hear through the grape vine that they were one of few people that got the “cut notice.”  But if you are cutting the festivities by at least half, I think most people in this day and age would completely understand.  It’s a different time, different economy than our Bridal etiquette gurus grew up in.

Post # 18
3572 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

I don’t buy the “Different time” argument. Think about how you would feel if you got a save the date and the bride sent you a note two months later saying “oops nevermind, you didnt make the second cut”. I would be really upset. I like the idea of sending out invites earlier than usual to get an idea of how many people are rsvp-ing no and then modifying the reception to make room in the budget for however many people you are over.

Post # 19
89 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: January 2010

I would asseble and email list and add it to the website.  There is nothing you can really do besides spread the word.  I would invite everyone to the wedding and then have a family only reception.  Hopefully that will minimize the guests.

Post # 20
3292 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

I wouldn’t cut down the guest list if I were you. The save the dates are as good as an invitation, just without as much detail. Unfortunately, you’re stuck with your guest list–or, if you cut it down, you risk seriously offending people. Make it a very simple affair, but keep your guest list. Look at it this way–the more guests you have, the more presents you’ll get–that should help you start your lives together, too!

Post # 21
2419 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

Does he have to quit the military the second he’s back? Not that he should stay in for the sake of a wedding, but more so from the… nothing else is lined up and things may be tight financially until he finds a job point of view. The economy still really bites for finding jobs and I know a lot more people who have lost jobs this month than found them…. He shouldn’t be deployed again for a while… :-/ But, I know a lot of people in the military and many soldiers and marines… I know sometimes the last thing they want is to stay a little longer… It’s just the outlooks of our economy and job growth are not looking good at all.

Once you send STD’s I don’t really think it’s proper to disinvite someone. I would just cut back on other aspects as other people have mentioned….

Post # 22
98 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

Um I dont think you should invite people to the ceremony and not the reception, and then give them a last second invite to the reception, if you can. That’s just… rude. Your much better off just having a cocktail reception or sunday reception or something else more casual that would be able to house all the people you have already invited for the budget that suits you. It can be done. 

Post # 23
3974 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: February 2012

That’s a sticky situation… I think you can either have a less elaborate wedding, or invite all the guests to the ceremony and only some to the reception. You can’t completely un-invite people now.

Post # 24
396 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

I agree with most bees on here, in that you should not “uninvite” guests you have sent Save the Dates to. By sending a STD, you are telling them, you WILL be invited and most people would be offended to later be told you’re no longer part of the “A” list. I would make it known that this will be a punch & cake kind of reception and your Out of Town guests can decided if they would like the make the trip or not. Also, if you invite people to your ceremony you MUSt invite them to your reception, whether it’s a sit down dinner or stand up with cupcakes & punch.

Post # 25
2 posts
  • Wedding: March 2011

The only way to “uninvite” guests, IMO, is to change the date, location, etc.

If you make a personal phone call to each and let them know your wedding plans have changed due to unforeseen circumstances (e.g. the federal gov’t) and you haven’t made further plans, they’ll understand.

I think if you call ALL your guests and let them know the change of plans and then months down the road send out invites to your new guest list (maybe only the ones in town or close family) you should be good.  Just don’t do them too close together.  

If anyone makes a fuss if they hear they didn’t get a new invite – just tell them the standard Intimate / Close Family / Venue constraints etc


Post # 26
11 posts
  • Wedding: August 2011

Well this is a bit of a sticky situation…like many posters here have put it uninviting people may put you in a predicament to face drama-which you really want to avoid at all costs during such a joyous time. 

So I see it this way, you’ve got some options:

1. cut down on things that people don’t remember about a reception. (expensive linens, chair covers, small beautiful but tasteless appetizers) 

2. move the time up: mornings-removes a lot of out of out o towners- bonus: cuts costs a lot because serving brunch is less expensive (especially in buffet style)

3. go to http://www.pennywiseguides.com/100-ways-to-cut-wedding-costs to learn more ways to save!

Good luck and major Thanks to the FI!

Post # 27
215 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

There’s no law that says you CAN’T uninvite people. Yes, it may be frowned upon by some, but you have to think of your circumstances. If you were my friend or relative I certainly wouldn’t want you to go into debt just to have me at your wedding. I think if sent out a note soon enough that explained that your situation has changed many people would understand. Anyway, that’s my two cents.

Post # 28
64 posts
Worker bee

I am going to go with some of the other posters here. I think due to your unforseen circumstances, you have the right to change your mind or your plans.

We were actually going to have to do this as well, but ended up with some extra money.

We were going to mail a personal note to each guest letting them know that for unforseen circumstances we had a changes in plans and we would be sure to send them pictures. We didn’t phrase it as they were uninvited just that plans changed and we had to downsize our plans to modify our new lifestyle.

I think weddings have gone from the idea that these are our family and friends and look at people like customer or patrons. These are the same people that if you had to cancel plans  of any others kind, they’d totally understand…. just something to keep in mind.

Post # 29
2303 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

I realize it’s frowned upon, but I think it can be done. Perhaps like someone else suggested, change the location, or maybe cut it down from like 40 to 20, and just say that you are now only inviting immediate family and hope to have a larger reception the following year to include everyone. If anyone deserves to be given a break, it’s a guy returning from Iraq.

@missdonnaanne: Um I dont think you should invite people to the ceremony and not the reception, and then give them a last second invite to the reception, if you can –I know right?? I can’t believe that was suggested. That to me is far more of an etiquette breach then the honest explanation that the wedding has to be downsized. I realize that sometimes the ceremony is private and people invited to receptions aren’t necessarily at the ceremony, but I don’t think you can ever do it the other way around.

Post # 30
1211 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

<<Believe me I would have been elated for just a courthouse wedding but the groom’s parents want the grandparents to be there.>>

I would just cut everyone and have immediate family-parents, grandparents, and siblings and that’s it. 

Post # 31
22 posts
  • Wedding: August 2012

I’m curious if you did anything about this situation (since it was posted 5 months ago) what did you do and how did it go?

I can’t imagine that anyone would be upset if they were uninvited b/c you have finanical hardships. Technically, STDs ARE NOT INVITATIONS! Wedding guests are supposed to be LOVED ones so I would suggest that you personally call everyone that you are un-inviting and be sincere, be honest apologize and move on. 

They can be with you in spirit and if you really wanted to hold true to that, you could do a wedding quilt guest book-when you mail out pieces of fabric to all your distant guests- they personalize the square somehow and mail it back. Then sew it all together and display it at your ceremony. Take a pic of it and put it in your wedding announcements/thank you cards.

Love is unconditional family/friends shouldn’t judge and you shouldn’t go broke trying to save face (b/c once your wedding is over its you and your husband living in the circumstance your wedding debt leaves you in, not everyone else)

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