What to do when wedding guests cancel at the last minute

By on June 20, 2016

It is common courtesy to RSVP, whether you will be attending a wedding or not. There is a purpose to it, as it helps the couple make their wedding plans accordingly. A last-minute cancellation not only results in money being wasted and seating arrangements thrown off, but is plain inconsiderate.

As a guest, if you are not sure that you will be able to attend the wedding, it is polite to inform the couple of this. Mention that you will confirm at a later date, and make sure you do. It isn’t right to expect them to simply accommodate you at the last minute, when they have already planned the last details of the wedding. On the same note, it isn’t right to tell them that you will be attending, and then just throwing their plans off.

Unfortunately, not all guests are great at sticking to what they said in their RSVPs. So, how do you—the couple—handle this situation? Here is some help.

Don’t go berserk over the cancellations

It doesn’t take too much for the already stressed-out bride to have a meltdown, and absent guests are a trigger. It is good that you are mentally prepare for this possibility, so you do not get too upset if it were to occur. Remember that emergencies do happen, and more importantly, that the wedding will go on even if the people who cancel aren’t there. So, take the high road, and don’t spoil your mood.

Don’t worry about rearranging your seating arrangement

angry bride

It is unfortunate if a guest cancels at the last minute, especially when you’ve painstakingly spent hours of research to perfect your seating arrangement and got it just right. Our advice is to leave things as you’d originally intended, and don’t worry about changing your original plan. If it is possible, make a few discrete rearrangements here and there, so it doesn’t affect the entire picture. Or else, leave it as it is.

Is the reason valid?

Some reasons like an unexpected illness, or a death in the family are valid reasons to cancel, even at the last minute. Nevertheless, it is only appropriate that you are informed. Most guests have the sense to send you a personal note, or even a bouquet to show their regret at not attending your wedding. If the excuse is simply horrible, fake or if they entirely skip informing you about it, you can always send a thank you note for their gift (that is, if they have sent you a gift) saying you were worried about why they weren’t there when they promised to. Or tell them you were disappointed with what they did, at a later time.

As optimistic as you may be, there are things that will go wrong at a wedding. After all, that is how life is. Just be glad of what went well, and don’t stress out over what could have been. Ultimately, it is your happiness that matters, and don’t let anyone put a damper on it.

For more wedding tips and advice, continue visiting us on our blog page at Best for Bride.

About Olga Pomeransky

Olga is manager at Best for Bride since 2005. Currently Best for Bride operates 4 bridal stores in Canada (Toronto, Etobicoke, Hamilton and Barrie). Best for Bride sells wedding, bridesmaids, mob dresses and more. http://www.BestForBride.com

9 Comments

  1. sobby14@yahoo.com'

    Carol Fernandez

    July 5, 2016 at 8:49 AM

    I can understand a few cancellations, it is bound to happen. If your invite a lot of people, it will happen even more. Unless an entire table of people cancel, I would not see any reason to redo the seating chart.

    • sobby14@yahoo.com'

      Stephanie Foote

      February 11, 2017 at 11:03 AM

      Yeah, you have to plan for a few of the cancellations, that is just the way things are with planning a major event like this.

  2. sobby14@yahoo.com'

    Ruth Lopez

    July 5, 2016 at 9:22 AM

    Getting back to the couple is a must. There is a lot of planning on their part and it is a good thing to know ahead of time.

  3. sobby14@yahoo.com'

    Karen Whitfield

    July 5, 2016 at 9:43 AM

    In my opinion, if they skip the wedding day, what is the difference what the reason is.

    • sobby14@yahoo.com'

      Vivian Brown

      February 25, 2017 at 9:23 AM

      Exactly. This is not something that should throw off the entire day, right?

  4. sobby14@yahoo.com'

    Dorothy Green

    July 5, 2016 at 9:58 AM

    I wouldn’t think this would be that big of a deal, right? Unless its half the guests, its expected to have a couple of them.

  5. sobby14@yahoo.com'

    Katherine Vogt

    February 11, 2017 at 10:19 AM

    I don’t think this is major problem. I can make things work on a last minute notice. Good tips!

  6. sobby14@yahoo.com'

    Elizabeth Jackson

    February 25, 2017 at 9:59 AM

    Unless it is a family member that has a part in the wedding, I am not going to fret about it.

    • sobby14@yahoo.com'

      Paula Legg

      June 21, 2017 at 11:18 AM

      That is what I was thinking. Most guests are not in the wedding party itself so there should be nothing to worry about.

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