(Closed) Should they give a reason for declining?

posted 8 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 17
4144 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

@MistressBee:  I get it, especially when it’s someone you fully expected to come! But, people decline for all sorts of varied reasons, it is what it is!

Post # 18
30402 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

@MistressBee: I agree with you. But some invitations are so obviously a gift grab.

You must not have read all the posts from Bees who are upset that people came empty-handed. LOL


Post # 19
4835 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

Meh, I don’t think so.

Sometimes the honest reason is something you don’t really want to hear like “I don’t want to have to find a baby sitter” or “I don’t care enough about being there to incur the associated costs.” 

In those cases I choose to imagine that they’d love to be there but just can’t be.

Post # 22
6609 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

You wouldn’t want someone uninvited to ask you why they didn’t make the guest list. In the same vein, you shouldn’t worry yourself with why an invited guest declined. There’s very few reasons they can give that wouldn’t hurt your feelings, even if they’re perfectly reasonable causes to decline an invite.

Post # 23
4097 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: February 2013

@MistressBee:  no one gave us reasons. I don’t think an explanation is ever owed. Either you accept or decline, that’s all. 

Post # 24
297 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

We just started getting RSVPs back, I don’t think anyone has written on the RSVP card why they can’t come, but I did get a very apologetic phone call from my next door neighbor hoping I wouldn’t get upset that they couldn’t come, and I had to reassure her that I wasn’t offended at all and I completely understood. I think my FI’s mother has gotten a couple phone calls of explanation too. And I had a coworker today who hasn’t decided yet (it’s in the state where my Fiance lives, not where I currently live, so the coworker would have to travel) explain to me today why it’s a hard decision for them. I guess explanations aren’t necessary, but they can be nice if the reasons are good (and not too personal, because then that’s just awkward).

Post # 25
444 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

some did, some didn’t. We appreciated the ones who did. Some didn’t need an explanation – they were really old and far away, something like that, but some were surprising so we appreciated knowing why they couldn’t come, and knowing they would come if they could. I wasn’t upset when people didn’t say anything though – it’s not expected and at least they RSVPd. The ones who didn’t RSVP at all were the ones that were annoying

Post # 26
546 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2013 - Mansion House at the MD Zoo

@MistressBee:  I don’t think guests need to give a reason (and agree with PPs that you might not want to know. For most of our declines, they just sent it back and we either weren’t much bothered (courtesy invites) or they had already said to us that they couldn’t come because of some conflict or some such. One of my aunts did send us a lovely handwritten note about why they weren’t able to come (kids moving from UK to US that same week) and how much they would miss us. It was really sweet, but then I was like, is this a letter? Do I need to send her something back? I think I sent an email, and then she didn’t respond (didn’t need to), but yeah it was sweet but confusing.

Post # 27
2336 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: February 2015

I don’t give reasons. I’m not even sure if I wrote in a “congrats!” Or “sorry I’m unable to celebrate with you, best wishes” on the few declines that I’ve sent out

Post # 28
1347 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

The only person who declined was my dad. He gave an excuse. Everyone but me thought it was lame.

In general I’d rather a guest decline without a reason and move on with your rrelationship with them.

Post # 29
336 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I think it’s nice if someone sends their regrets (e.g. “sorry I cannot make it best wishes”), but I don’t think someone has to give a reason for declining. If they can’t come, it makes no difference why not; they’re not coming all the same. Their business is their business, and if they want to share it, that’s fine. I felt a little bad when people wrote big stories on their declines, like they wrote so much because they felt bad for declining, and I didn’t want people to feel that way.

The only thing that annoyed me was when someone RSVPed yes, then didn’t come, without saying anything whatsoever. I only found out the day before that they never planned on coming, and that was through the grapevine. WTF?

Post # 30
8700 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2013

We only had three declines–My Godfather/his wife (attending their niece’s college graduation), and DH’s career advisor person (who said that she was SO sorry she couldn’t make it, but made plans to visit over the summer!)

I didn’t expect reasons for why, but I liked knowing!

Post # 31
7813 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

No one has to justify their attendance choice. A simple yes or no on the reply card should suffice. If someone can’t make it, does it really matter why? It won’t change anything and generally just starts crazy ranting that a wedding is more important than whatever else the person has to do. We all get to choose how we spend our time and what is important to us. 

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