Skip to main content
Weddings

Sorry, You’re Not Invited: How to Tell Someone They’re Not Invited to Your Wedding

It can be the trickiest conversation ever - but it doesn't have to be! Here are 13 ways to politely tell someone they're not invited to your wedding

Groom sitting in a chair holding a bouquet with a bride standing next to him with her arm around her shoulders, both looking seriously at the camera
Unsplash/Blake Cheek

Groom sitting in a chair holding a bouquet with a bride standing next to him with her arm around her shoulders, both looking seriously at the camera
Unsplash/Blake Cheek

It might feel like a tough conversation - but it doesn’t have to be. There are easy ways to tell someone they’re not invited to your wedding without it being awkward.

Whether it’s down to budget restraints, capacity limits, or you just don’t want this person to attend your wedding, we’ve explored the best and most polite ways to say to someone that they’re not invited to your wedding. 

If you’re close to the person and would love to invite them but can’t for whatever reason, we’ve got an apology letter template you can copy to let them know they’re not invited. If it’s someone you don’t know well, like a friend of your parents or a plus one a guest wants to bring, there are still plenty of easy and polite ways to let them know they’re not invited, without needing to resort to a more formal template. 

Read on to discover all the ways to say ‘you’re not invited to my wedding’. 

READ MORE:

How to Politely Tell Someone They’re Not Invited

Bride and groom happily laughing hand in hand at an intimate wedding celebration
Unsplash/Jakob Owens

There’s nothing more awkward than someone assuming they’re invited to your wedding - we hear from so many couples who are put in a tricky situation because a friend thinks they’re bringing a plus one, or a colleague assumes they’ve scored a day invite. The best thing you can do is address it right away, no matter how uncomfortable you might feel - the longer you leave it, the harder it gets.

How to Tell Someone They Don’t Have a Plus One

If you need a polite way to tell someone their plus one isn’t invited to your wedding, try to be upfront about it. You should make it very clear on the save the date and your wedding invitations that it is addressed to only the person or people you want to attend.

If they still bring up the topic of a plus one, be polite but firm: “I’m so sorry but due to budget limitations/venue capacity, I’m afraid we can’t justify plus ones.” If you want to add additional reasoning, such as ‘plus ones we don’t know well’ etc. you can, but remember this is your wedding and you’re funding it, so you don’t need to explain yourself. 

It’s also important to consider why this guest might want to bring a plus one - if they’re a friend that doesn’t know many people at the wedding, they might want to bring a date so they have someone to keep them company. If you think this is the case, you could always compromise and extend an evening invitation to their plus one, or offer to grant them a plus one if someone else RSVPs no, but it’s entirely up to you. 

How to Tell Colleagues and Co-Workers They’re Not Invited to Your Wedding

Eek, is there anything more awkward than when your co-workers assume they are invited to your wedding? Again - the best way around this is to be clear that they are not invited. 

You can say something along the lines of: “As much as I care about you all and enjoy working with you, our guest list is very limited so [PARTNER] and I have both agreed not to invite colleagues.”

If you have invited some colleagues and not others, ask them to keep it discreet. You might have the option of evening invitations for your co-workers if you’re close to them, but it’s entirely your right to have a work-free wedding, or only invite the colleagues you really get along with. In this case you can cite limited numbers: “Due to a really tight venue capacity, I’m afraid we’re only inviting people that we socialise with outside of work, but I’d love to celebrate with everyone with some cake once we’re back from our honeymoon.”

How to Explain Children Aren’t Invited to Your Wedding

People love to assume their kids are invited to your wedding, don’t they? But it’s one of the number one rules for wedding guests - if their names aren’t down, they’re not coming in. Here are the best examples of child free wedding wording.

If someone asks you if their children are invited to your wedding, you can politely explain that they’re not invited by saying: “I’m sorry, as much as we love [CHILD’S NAME], we’ve decided to have a child-free wedding/limit it to the children of immediate family only. We hope you’ll still be able to come.”

Remember, it’s not always straightforward to arrange childcare, so if your guests decline to attend due to this, it’s not personal. 

How to Not Invite Someone to Your Wedding

When people hear about weddings, they love to make assumptions! If, from the moment you start planning your wedding, you know there are people you don’t want to invite, here are some simple ways to not invite someone to your wedding and how to explain it. 

You don’t have to tell people straight up they’re not invited if they don't bring it up - it’s probably easier to not mention your wedding in front of people you don’t want to invite, but in case it comes up in conversation, here are some easy quotes to explain why they’re not invited:

Budget Restrictions

  • "We’re so sorry, but due to budget constraints we’re keeping our guest list really small."
  • "As our family is paying for a significant portion of our wedding, we’re trying to keep numbers as small as possible."
  • "We’re trying to save for a house as well as pay for our wedding, so we’re keeping it small as possible."

Venue Restrictions

  • "Unfortunately our venue has really limited capacity so we’ve had to really scale back our guest list."
  • "We’re so sorry but we just don’t have the space in our venue to accommodate plus ones/children etc."
  • "The venue we fell in love with has a max capacity of [NUMBER], so we’re really limited on who we can invite."

Intimate Wedding

  • "We’ve chosen to have a very intimate wedding celebration with just close family/friends. We’d love to celebrate with you at a later date though!"
  • "We’ve decided to keep our wedding celebration really small - however we’d love to invite you to our anni-ception next year."
  • "Thank you for asking about our wedding! We’re keeping the numbers really small as we’d like to have an intimate wedding, but I do appreciate you asking about it."

Apology Letter for Not Inviting Someone to Your Wedding

Bride and groom staring at the camera whilst the groom is seated and the bride stands next to him
Unsplash/Blake Cheek

If there’s someone who you’d genuinely love to have at your wedding but you can’t invite them - whether it’s due to budgets, capacity or a more complicated personal reason, you can send them an apology letter explaining why they’re not invited to your wedding. 

It doesn’t have to be a formal letter on paper delivered by post, but you can use the following apology letter template in a text message or an email even to explain politely why they’re not invited to your wedding:

Dear [Name]

I hope you’re well. I just wanted to get in touch about our wedding. I’m so sorry to say we will not be able to invite you. As much as we really wish we could celebrate with you, we’re afraid that due to [budget limits/capacity/etc.], we’ve got to keep our guest list really small.

We understand that this may come as a disappointment to you, and we apologise for that but hope that you understand. 

However, we’d still love to celebrate with you at some point - we’ll be having drinks and cake at [location] to mark the occasion and it would be wonderful to see you there.

Lots of love,

[Your names].

You can tweak this apology letter template to suit your specific needs, reasonings and alternative celebration plans - perhaps you’ll have a streamable link to your wedding they could watch or you’ll plan another party to celebrate your marriage at a later date.

It’s never easy to plan your guest list so go easy on yourself if you have to have some tricky conversations. Remember that, at the end of the day, it’s your party so you have the right to celebrate how you want to, with who you want.