Wedding etiquette: If you’re having a small wedding, how do you tell some friends/family they’re not invited?


Tec Petaja

QUESTION: I’m having a small wedding, and unfortunately cannot invite all the family and friends that know about my wedding. However, some family and friends have been approaching me and asking about the wedding details. How do I delicately communicate that they actually are not on the guest list?

GINA’S ANSWER: I don’t really think you owe anyone an explanation. Send your invites and address any questions as they arise. If the uninvited person actually brings the topic up to you directly, simply say that you are having an intimate wedding and weren’t able to invite everyone you wanted to invite.

If that’s too direct for you, there’s always the, “my fiance’ has a huge family” or “the venue only fits ___ people” and unfortunately you couldn’t invite everyone you wanted.

JESS’ ANSWER: Mention that unfortunately your budget is limited and as a result, you aren’t able to invite everyone. If there are quite a few people you aren’t able to invite, it might be a good idea to have a larger celebration after you get back from your honeymoon, to allow those unable to attend the big day to still celebrate with you!

ASHLEY’S ANSWER: This is never a pleasant subject. Sadly, many people are not straightforward in their approach to communication either. Being upfront and clear about your guest list can be a hard thing to discuss with your partner, firstly, when creating it. Once you have a solid idea of your guest list it is best to make a “no exceptions” policy with your partner, if this is something you are comfortable with.

In the event that someone hears the news of your wedding and asks for the details, and they are not on the guest list, you may be tempted to make an exception for them. Next thing you know, you are doing this for a few more people and your guest list is growing.

There are sizable factors to consider. Usually it is a budget factor, sometimes a venue factor. This is just one scenario, there are many other situations that arise surrounding this topic. To delicately address this, I would again explain to the non guest that the venue can only accommodate a certain amount of people, or that it is not within your budget.

Another route is to apologetically explain to them that you have chosen to have your wedding in a certain manner and that everything is in motion and at this point you can not make any revisions. This approach is often very effecting in easing some upset feelings. At least, if they are an understandable person. Hopefully they are!

Need more wedding etiquette, advice and tips? See previous etiquette posts here.

Gina and Matt_web_175Gina Heideman is a bride-in-training from Boise, Idaho. When she’s not planning her navy/preppy/downtown wedding, she spends her time perfecting her crab cake recipe, drinking wine and playing cribbage with her fiance, and playing outside. She’s an avid swimmer, runner, gardener and reality TV junkie. By day she works as Executive Director of a statewide nonprofit organization that focuses on meth use prevention. By night she’s a freelance graphic designer (


Jess Keys is a Journalism graduate of Indiana University, a Chicago transplant and Founder of The Golden Girl Blog. She was first bitten by the wedding bug at age 11, when she purchased her first Brides magazine in the Lexington, KY airport. She’s partial to red lipstick, French Bulldogs, and a lover of the written word. When she’s not writing for Wedding Party, you can often find her at the closest Dim Sum establishment, or exploring the Windy City with her camera in tow.


Ashley Smith is the wedding planner for Buzzworthy SF. She believes that purpose, craft, design, and strategy are all cohesive elements to produce a successful event. Ashley is available for weddings in California and worldwide. Her expertise is in the Bay Area, but her heart is in Mexico, where she is certified by the board of tourism to plan and work. If she is not in San Francisco planning weddings and being social, you’ll find her on the beach at Playa Azul, Papaya Playa, or exploring the coast lines in Central America via bicycle.


Will you be seeing Wedding Party in the movies?


This might not come as a surprise, but: we love wedding movies. From classics like Father of the Bride to hilarious flicks like Wedding Crashers or Bridesmaids, weddings provide some of the best backdrops for funny, heartfelt, and relatable movies.

That’s why we were just TOO excited when an up and coming indie movie about weddings, The First of our Friends to Get Married, contacted us at Wedding Party. Not only have they discovered and love our service…but they are going to be using our smartphone app and website! How, you ask?

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4 reasons why you need a wedding website


One of the fastest growing trends in wedding planning today is websites. Call them narcissistic, call them TMI or call them a waste of time, but there are several reasons why creating a wedding website is a really good idea. I know this because when I got engaged I spent a ridiculous amount of time creeping on other people’s wedding pages, gathering ideas and seeing which “wedsite” (yes, that is an actual term) builders had the best customization. I also sifted through the myriad options for free and paid wedding website services.

In the end, I decided that our website would be THE go-to place for information about our wedding, and so far it has made my life a lot easier. Here’s how a wedding website can benefit you:



We live in a digital age, people. If even my fiance’s family in Fargo, North Dakota are savvy enough to be on Facebook and stop by the World Wide Web on occasion, your family and friends will likely be able to do the same. If you have a website containing all pertinent wedding details, a place to RSVP and maybe even an FAQ, you can keep your invites simple, reduce the number of parts and pieces, and even ditch the pre-paid RSVP envelope.

Our invites are one-sided with a clearly stated message asking guests to visit our website for full wedding details (see below). And because I’m a designer and also a stalker, I can tell through Google Analytics who is visiting our site and from where. It’s amazing! And okay, I’ll admit this might not work for every single guest, but it will work for the majority.

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A Sweet and Simple Outdoor Engagement by Tyler Rye Photography

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There’s few things more beautiful than young love…except for young love with two beautiful, model-like people! Kendell and Brayden’s engagement  photos in St. George, Utah are just stunning. Today’s featured photographer, Tyler Rye, first met them when they helped to model for a styled shoot he was planning. Even though they’re not professional models, they sure are naturals in front of the camera!

The couple, who originally met on an airplane to St. George (yes, it really happens in real life!), were married in June of this year. Congrats to Kendell and Brayden, and thanks to Tyler Rye for sharing these amazing sweet yet simple outdoor engagement photos!

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