What to do if your friends can’t make it to your wedding

So you’ve sent out your invitations and you’re excitedly awaiting your RSVPs. But instead of those thick envelopes arriving en masse, letting you know your nearest and dearest will be there for your big day, some very different answers start rolling in.

I’ve always said that a wedding really does show you who your friends are. I remember when John and I got married, people we thought of as our closest friends did a no-show on the day without so much as a text message. People we definitely thought would be there and couldn’t imagine the day without RSVPd “no” with excuses like “I have work the next day.”

So there we were, months before our wedding, feeling like real billy no mates and wondering why we weren’t worth one holiday day, or why people we’d gone the extra mile for in the past weren’t willing to reciprocate. Our fabulous wedding was turning into a real pity party and we (well, mostly I) started to feel a little bit bitter.At the time we thought it was just us, but since then a number of our friends have tied the knot only to face the same problem – apparent apathy from people they thought they were very close to. So if some of your friends and family are turning you down, why is this happening, and what can you do about it?


It’s easy to imagine the worst when it comes to your big day guest list. All images © Satureyes

Find out the real problem

Before you get upset, find out what the real problem is. Sometimes people say one thing when they’re too embarrassed to say another. For example, they might be anxious about their financial situation, transport, accommodation, a perceived social pressure to get a gift etc. Maybe they’re offended that they weren’t asked to be in the bridal party. Or they might be having their own marriage issues, or problems at work that would make it difficult to ask for time off. They could be suffering from depression and finding social situations very difficult. Have an honest conversation with your friend and try to get to the bottom of it.


Is your friend feeling left out? People don’t always say what they mean.

If it is just apathy

If it is genuinely just that your friend can’t be bothered to make the effort or doesn’t think your big day is a big deal, then before you ditch the friendship or react too badly, perhaps try explaining to your friend how much it means to you. Perhaps they have their own self confidence issues and don’t realise how important they are to you, or maybe they’ve never been married and don’t understand how much the day means to you. Be really honest and let them know the reasons you want them there in the first place.


At the end of the day, your best buddies will be there no matter what

Focus on the positives

It’s easy to become disheartened with every RSVP “no” that comes in, but if you really look at the overall picture, I suspect you’ll find that the negatives, while meaningful, are in a minority. Think about all of your friends and family who are planning to be there and are making the effort for you both. Yes, a wedding shows you who your friends are – in a good way too. It’s also important to remember why you’re having a wedding in the first place: to marry the person you love. As long as that happens and your closest family is present, everything else is a bonus.

Do you have a wedding dilemma or problem that you’d like us to solve? Email sara@darlinglovelylife.com

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