After Pandemic Delays, a New Dilemma: Disinviting Wedding Guests

Ms. Montufar was concerned that their uninvited guests, who had seen photos of the reception on social media, would be upset. “I felt so bad,” she said, “because they obviously saw one of my good friend’s little sisters there, and it’s like, ‘Oh, they invited the little sister, but they didn’t invite me.’ No one has since expressed disappointment to the couple about withdrawing their invitation, but Ms Montufar still feels guilty about doing so, she added.

Because it can seem disingenuous, re-inviting guests can be as much an etiquette minefield as disapproving of them, said Tracy Taylor Ward, the owner of New York-based events agency Tracy Taylor Ward Design. But today, “Given the state of the world and the ever-changing pandemic conditions, we encourage everyone — couples and their guests — to give one another grace and act under the assumption that loved ones act with the best of intentions,” she says. added.

When re-inviting a previously uninvited guest, couples should “be as honest as possible” while taking a casual approach, said Gayle Szuchman, the president of Events by Gayle in Norwalk, Conn. “Even consider adding some humor,” Ms Szuchman added. “Something like, ‘Let’s try this one more time’ or ‘Please be our guest one more time.'”

Still, hosts shouldn’t be surprised if re-invited guests turn them down.

Taylor Bowling and Lawrence Bowling, both 34, also emailed save the dates when they scrapped their original plan for a November 2020 wedding of 210 people in Charlottesville, Virginia. They finally decided to leave a month later and were married at the French Huguenot Church in Charleston, SC, on December 22, 2020.

By this time, the Bowlings, who live in Mount Pleasant, SC, had notified 100 people on their original guest list that they would be invited to a smaller celebration of the couple’s wedding in 2021. Their other 110 original guests were notified that this hadn’t happened. openly rejecting them, but explained that the couple chose to hold a more intimate event.

When narrowing down their guest lists, Ms. Bowling, who runs interior design company Home Taylored, and Mr. Bowling, a platform architect at software company ServiceNow, took into account friendships that had changed during the pandemic. “You definitely lose touch with people,” she said.


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