Ask the Wedding Maven: Avoiding Hurt Feelings with a Small Guest List

By Azure Nelson, Published Dec 10, 2009

Dear Wedding Maven Is there a polite way to let people know that they are NOT invited to my wedding? We are having a fairly small wedding and I get the feeling that a lot of friends and co-workers assume they’ll be invited, when in fact, we’re only inviting family and our very closest friends. I get a lot of questions about the wedding and wedding planning and I’m worried that people will feel snubbed if an invitation doesn’t come. Signed Keeping it Small Dear KIS, When my first child was a newborn other mothers commented on how beautiful she was. I never knew how to respond, because she was clearly so much prettier than their babies. After a couple of months or so I realized that these other mothers actually didn’t think she was that pretty. Sure, they thought she was cute and all, but they didn’t think she was nearly as attractive as their own babies. Their comments were just polite social conversation. The same concept may apply here. Just because people ask you about your wedding plans doesn’t mean that they’re angling for an invitation, or even that they are actually interested in your plans. They’re being polite and asking you questions that they think you want to answer. Luckily, the answer to their question is the answer to your problem. When someone asks how the plans are going you can respond “Well, it’s such a small wedding, we’re only inviting our families, so there’s not that much to do. What’s new with your life?” Believe me, most people would much rather talk about themselves than talk about your wedding. Taking another lesson from my life as a mother, I suggest a “no wedding-talk in school” rule. If you aren’t planning on inviting people to your wedding, don’t talk about the wedding in front of them. And by the way, in front of them includes Facebook and Twitter. That’s why OneWed has Wedding Pre-Party, it’s a private social networking tool that’s perfect for situations like yours. If you’re constantly updating your Facebook page with wedding plans, and calling caterers from your office phone, people are going to naturally assume that your wedding is a public event and they’ll be miffed that they aren’t invited. The final step to avoiding hurt feelings it to make sure that the few friends you are inviting understand that it’s a very small wedding and that your whole group isn’t included. If anyone who isn’t invited flat out asks if they are, tell them that the wedding is family only, don’t mention that some friends are included. Good luck and enjoy your day. If you have a question about wedding etiquette, traditions, or relationships write the Wedding Maven at About The Wedding Maven

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