Politely withdrawing a wedding invitation is very challenging, but not impossible. The main thing to remember is you'll never go wrong taking the high road and treating people the way you want to be treated. We've prepared a few tips on how to uninvite guests in the least confrontational way.
Situation #1. Your plans have changed
If your wedding plans have changed due to external circumstances (COVID restrictions, venue requirements, sudden financial difficulties), apologize and express your disappointment, but also your love for the uninvited guest. Then offer alternatives to still celebrate together. You can say something like: “We know that we had previously invited you to the event, but sadly, circumstances dictate that we have to shorten the guest list. We are so sorry about the cancellation and we hope we can celebrate together at a different time."
Situation #2. You’re worried about awkward situations
If the reason for uninviting a guest is to avoid a potentially awkward situation, try to be as direct and sincere as possible. Give your guest the details and let them decide for themselves. For example, you may need to say, for example, "Your ex from a bad breakup insists on going with his/her new partner, and I want you to know." The guest can then make their own decision about whether to attend or not.
Situation #3. There was conflict
If your relationship with the guest in question has changed significantly since you sent the invitation, there are two solutions. First, consider whether or not the wedding might be an opportunity for you to resolve your issues and become friends again. If this scenario is not viable for you, you can say something like: “I'm still not happy with our recent dispute, and I'm not ready to resolve our differences. In light of this, I think it would be better for us both if you do not attend my wedding." Second, if you do not want to rekindle your friendship, just be clear. However, the vast majority of friendships will not recover from this scenario.
Situation #4. The guest wants to bring a +1
Guests who do not see a plus-one on their invitation card may ask permission to bring a guest anyway. In this situation, it is completely acceptable to reply with: “We would be happy to meet your plus one, but we would prefer to do so in different circumstances. For us, a wedding is a very intimate affair with only our nearest and dearest.” This may feel a bit rude, but remember, you've already made arrangements with your partner and family. By sticking to your plan, you are one step closer to the wedding you want, and not the one your guests are dictating.
Situation #5. You are dealing with a self-invited guest
Remember how Chandler from Friends had to tell obsessive Janice that he was still in love with her in order to uninvite her from his wedding to Monica? The method might have worked on TV, but it definitely won’t work in real life. If you have no desire to test your acting talent, try saying something like, "I'm sorry, but we already have a set guest list. We have finalized the number of friends and relatives and are not able to change that number.”