Every now and then you might receive a wedding invitation that you unfortunately have to decline. It happens to the best of us, whether we want to or not. Sometimes it’s a destination wedding we can’t afford, or you’re simply not available that day. It doesn’t make you a bad person—just a regular human being with a life. Whatever the reason, there are a few things to remember when you need to graciously decline a wedding invite:
Call the couple
If you can’t attend the wedding or a pre-wedding event, don’t text or email them. It’s proper etiquette to pick up the phone and personally let them know that you won’t be able to make it. It may be easier on you to shoot a text or send an email in case they have an unpleasant reaction but at the end of the day this isn’t just another party, it’s their wedding day! It’s important that you give the couple the respect they deserve.
Send a gift
Even if you can’t make it to a wedding, it’s proper etiquette to send along a gift, anyway. Scope out their registry to find that perfect somethin’ somethin’ to say congratulations to the happy couple. Remember, you don’t have to purchase a big ticket item to show that you care.
Once you’ve said you’re sorry for being unable to attend, move on and be done with it. There’s no use in bringing it up every time you see or hear from the couple. The couple has dozens of other things to worry about besides your attendance, so chances are they’ve already moved on to their next task pretty quickly.
Be Brief In Your Explanation
Keep it Formal
The response card should be written in a formal format, regardless of how close you are to them or not. Always start with a formal introduction, such as, “Dear (name),” followed by your explanation that’s one paragraph, short-and-to-the-point, with no excuses. Then, end it with a sincere enclosure such as, “sincerely,” “best regards,” or “wishing you the best,” (your name).