The home of UK weddings

02 November 2015

How To Survive Guest List Stress Without Losing Friends

RSVPs can be a bit of a nightmare, whether people answer “yes” and never show up, don’t respond at all, or turn up unexpected on the day. Unfortunately, these types of scenarios do happen, but it’s important not let a few ill-mannered guests ruin your big day!

We all know how expensive a wedding can be, and when people don’t turn up it can disrupt catering arrangements as well as the seating plans and table decorations that you have carefully laid out for them.

However, Jessica Baker raised an interesting discussion on Kare11 the other week, when she sent in an invoice from the bride and groom of a wedding she had missed, asking her to pay $75.90 for a meal she and her husband had not eaten. But who was in the wrong?

 Naturally, anyone who has had this happen at their wedding could appreciate the bride’s frustration, but demanding your no-shows to pay is poor wedding etiquette, and a pretty good way to ruin a friendship! We understand that weddings are costly, but they are your guests; if you invited someone round your house for wine and cheese party, and they couldn’t make it, you wouldn’t send them a bill for the Merlot and Brie they missed out on afterwards.

There is a responsibility for your guests to let you know if they cannot attend - not doing so is very rude. However, in the case of the Bakers, where they were forced to cancel on the day, Jessica argued that: “When I got married I didn’t want to be bothered with phone calls on the day of my wedding,” - especially ones delivering bad news!

Most wedding planners will tell you to expect 10% of guests not to show up on the day, so do be prepared for it. Our solution would be to add another number on your invitations for on-the-day cancellations, whether that be your wedding planner or another family member (who should be consulted beforehand!) as this will keep any negativity out of sight and out of mind.

It is your wedding day of course, and you’re entitled to be a little peeved, so confronting your no-shows is OK - just maybe not in invoice form! If you don’t receive an apology after a few days, send a message asking why they did not attend and calmly explain that is was both a disappointment and at a cost to yourself - it’s not unreasonable, but simply true.

The same goes for those that don’t respond by the RSVP deadline. It’s best not to assume a guest’s answer, so we recommend that you contact any of those that have not responded well in advance to help get a headcount. Just be polite and open minded - there could be a thousand reasons why somebody may not respond and may not show up; don’t take it as an insult to you.

If no-shows do occur on your wedding day, the most important thing is to take a deep breath, relax and simply enjoy the company of those guests that have chosen to come and spend your day with you. After all, there are more important things than the cost of a couple dinner plates!


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