No-shows at weddings are more common than you realize. If you’re planning an event with a large number of guests, then the possibility of less attending than anticipated is more likely than you think.
You probably already have an answer in mind for a question of whether it’s rude or not. Answers like yes, of course, it’s rude, especially considering the money that’s poured into hosting a wedding. If that was your gut answer, then, well, there are shades of truth to it.
Even after agreeing to the date, guests may not attend for a variety of reasons, and dealing with each reason requires a different tactic. We’ll go into more detail about why no-shows for weddings happen, how to deal with them, and what to do if you’re the no-show, so keep reading below!
Don’t Skip Out on a Wedding After RSVPing
Unless, of course, you have a legitimate excuse.
Let’s consider the money being set for a wedding. A couple may spend tens of thousands of dollars for their wedding. The cost for each guest can vary from 300$ to 500$ dollars. The money spent covers the price of things like the venue, DJ, rentals, and catering. Catering for you, the guest, paid for by the couple’s own pennies. By not attending, you’re essentially letting those several hundreds of dollars go to waste.
When you put the cost into perspective, would you feel comfortable snatching that money out of your friends’ and families’ wallets? This is extra true as inflation skyrockets across the nation, too.
Most wouldn’t, so don’t do it by skipping out!
What if I Have to Miss the Wedding As a Guest?
There are always exceptions to rules. Life happens, and all the mess that comes with it. Emergencies can be a roadblock that prevents you from attending, or not being able to afford the travel expenses.
If you receive an invitation and know that you cannot attend, be upfront about this to the host. They would rather know ahead of time so they can account for your absence in their budget, seating charts, and other plans.
If you’ve already RSVP’d and a last-minute emergency stops you from being a guest, then again, contact the host or emergency contact for the host. Let them know as soon as you can.
Remember that the couple will be under a lot of stress before their big day, and news of a no-show might contribute to that. As such, always treat others as you want to be treated! Be kind, and consider sending a gift or at the very least a thank-you card. This is an extension of your gratitude for the invitation despite not attending the actual event.
Why Might a Wedding Guest Not Show Up?
It might be easy to assume that guests don’t show up because they’re lackadaisical, forgetful, and irresponsible. For some, this might very well be the case, but as we touched on earlier, emergencies can disrupt plans. Many reasons are understandable, such as:
- Sudden Illnesses and Injuries
- Childcare Disruptions
- Transportation Issues, like Canceled Flights or Car Breakdowns
- Family Emergencies
- Bad Weather
- Sudden Deaths
Other excuses may not hold the same weight as the ones outlined. This includes someone choosing to attend another event after RSVPing for yours, or outright forgetting to attend. Though, how you feel about an excuse will always be up to your personal discretion.
Guests will typically have the decency of getting a hold of you either the day of or the day before the wedding. Once you get the news about the no-show, you can then decide your next course of action.
Dealing with Wedding Day No-Shows
It may be frustrating for you, but it’s best to not let that rain on your wedding parade. Of course, it’s disappointing, and it’s fair for you to express that disappointment to your guest, but being gracious and moving on so you can enjoy the celebrations is the priority on your wedding day.
Just as you wish for graciousness from your wedding guests, it’s important to be as gracious of a host in return. Invoicing no-show guests for the costs of not attending the wedding may be having their moment, but doing so is an ill-advised decision. Charging your guests can damage your relationship with them, and if this is precious to you, then no plate of food is worth the cost of that.
What you can do is minimize the chances of no-shows. Sending out invitations early is one way, as well as requiring RSVPs a month before the event’s date.
Planning a wedding is hard enough without accounting for no-shows. But taking the possibility of such in stride and with grace will always lead to the best outcome, ensuring that you will enjoy your day as you deserve!