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How Do I Uninvite Guests From My Wedding?


Wow what a year we have had! And weddings have been particularly hard hit with frequent changes on the number of guests allowed to attend and often changing with very little notice. How Do I Uninvite Guests From My Wedding?

Many couples have moved their wedding dates on more than one occasion.  I mean when this all started early in 2020 we never dreamed we’d still be living like this.  So lots of couples moved from early 2020 to later in 2020 and are now facing another move.

However, there’s an increasing number of couples who are saying enough is enough.  We just want to be married now so we’ll go ahead within the restrictions.

If this is you, the chances are that you are going to need to reduce your guest list and this is not an easy task.  Your invites for a bigger wedding have probably already gone out so it’s not just a case of people not receiving an invite – you have to tell them that they can’t attend anymore.

So how do you go about this?  Let’s have a look at some ways to help you with this process.


Be Clear On the Current Guidelines.

At the time of writing, the 3 tier system has just been introduced in England.  So the rules you’ll need to comply with will depend on which tier your local area is in.

If you’re in a Medium or High Tier, then you can still have a wedding for 15 along with a wedding reception (again for 15).  However, if you’re in the Very High Tier, you can only have your ceremony with up to 15 people but no reception is allowed.

The limit of 15 currently does not include any suppliers like your registrars or photographer but it does include the couple.  So you can basically invite 13 people to your wedding.  Children are also included in the numbers.

These tiers may change and areas will move in and out of these tiers so I can’t stress enough how you need to monitor this if your wedding is in the near future.  I totally appreciate how difficult this makes it to plan.

I’ve been advising my couples to think about what restrictions they can live with and what are deal breakers for them.  So you probably need to decide for example, if the rules changed and you couldn’t have your reception, would you still go ahead with your wedding ceremony.

I think it’s better to have thought these things through calmly and with time on your side, rather than making a rushed decision under pressure.


Time For An Honest Conversation

You and your partner need to sit down and talk all this through.  You both have to be honest about whether a small wedding with restrictions is what you want.  Remember, it’s not just a small wedding, there are additional restrictions you’ll have to comply with.

Can you really condense your guest list so much? Will it break your heart if certain people can’t be there? How will you decide which guests you are going to uninvite?

It won’t work for everyone.  I know that I personally couldn’t do this as my immediate family is over 20 people and I couldn’t get married without them there.  So you have to be practical and honest.  If it’s not for you, then it’s probably time to start talking to your suppliers about moving your date.

Table setting with wine & cake stand

Take Some Time

You might not have lots of time left to make a decision on this.  But I would always advise you to at least take a couple of days to think about and make sure it’s really what you want.  Don’t rush into an immediate decision and live to regret your choices.


Time To Decide On The List

So if you’ve decided that you are going to go ahead, it’s time to review and condense your guest list.  Be patient with each other as this can be an emotional task.

Try to be fair to each other and ensure that both families are represented on your new list.  You may need to put a few drafts together and see which one works best for you both.

You might also want to factor in any guests with health issues.  Is it safer to remove them from the guest list to protect them?

Again, once you’ve got your revised guest list, I’d advise you to sleep on it and make sure you’re really comfortable with it.

How Do I Uninvite Guests From My Wedding?


Communicating the Changes

Most people are aware that there are restrictions on weddings right now.  So your guests will probably already be wondering what you are going to do.

But anyone who you need to uninvite deserves to find out directly from you on a one to one basis.  So please try to tell people in person or on the phone.  Personally, I don’t think a blanket email or group message is the right way to do this.

Some people may be upset but generally people should be understanding that you’ve not had much choice.  If you’re planning to have a bigger celebration at a later date then tell them about your plans and that they’ll be invited to join you for that event instead.

It’s not going to be a pleasant job so try to share it out between you and your partner.  And don’t put it off, just be brave and work through your list.  You’ll feel better once it’s all resolved.  Remember it’s not your fault that you’re having to tell people they can’t attend.

And also remember that your actual wedding day isn’t the only chance you have to celebrate your marriage.  You can celebrate with your wider family and friends at a later date – and this means you get to wear your dress again!!

If you’re planning a different wedding than you’d anticipated and would appreciate some help with your planning then do get in touch and lets chat about how I can help you.  And good luck!



Louise Wearmouth, Founder of Your Fabulous Wedding