Is it wrong to uninvite wedding guests to stay on budget?

I can’t believe it’s almost March… which means wedding season is approaching. Here’s a recent letter I got from a reader who was uninvited from her sister’s stepdaughter’s wedding because the wedding was downsizing. I’m not sure why they had to downsize. The letter writer wasn’t upset, but she was wondering if she still needed to send a wedding gift.

I think we can all pretty much agree that the answer is no. (If you disagree, I’d love to hear from you, though!)

What this letter got me thinking about is: Should you uninvite guests to avoid blowing your wedding budget?

The letter writer didn’t specifically say that the downsizing was money-related. But given how wedding costs are notorious for spiraling out of control, I’m sure a lot of people are faced with uninviting guests vs. paying for a wedding they can’t afford.

At first blush, uninviting guests seems super tacky. But I think a breach of etiquette may be worth it if you can avoid starting your marriage dead broke or saddled with wedding debt.

Fortunately, in this case, there were no hard feelings. Regardless, I think the couple could have handled the situation better. I think a personal note, email, or phone call explaining the situation would have been appropriate… I can’t imagine being upset with someone if they sent a note saying that they had to cut the guest list after realizing they couldn’t afford the wedding they envisioned.

I’ve also never been engaged or married before, so I don’t have any experience on this one. What do you think? Would you go over budget to avoid disinviting guests? Or would you stick to your wedding budget and make the necessary cuts?

Wow that’s all i can say never heard of this before. I won’t give anything


I have never experienced or heard of someone personally that this has happened to before but I think it is safe to say, there should be no expectation of a gift from someone if you had to downsize and that person was chosen as one of the people to be uninvited.


If someone received a formal invite which was later rescinded, that would be a faux pas. But in this case, it sounds like the couple intentionally wanted a smaller wedding and sent the card out to let their extended network of friend and fam know about the wedding, which is a nice thing I suppose?

Agree with the others that no gift is required in this case!


A gift wouldn’t be necessary at the time of weeding. But if the writer is close/friendly with her sister’s stepdaughter, I might give the newlyweds something later on.


I’d make adjustments in other areas to avoid uninviting people. Even though there were no hard feelings in this situation, that might not be the case in most situations.


The invitation count should match your commited number of guests for the reception—to avoid confusion and unnecessary hassle on the final cost. When I see this type of question about invited guests I am getting the impression that there’s no coordination at all in setting up the whole event. That’s why guests can’t add a plus one or bring children unless the invitation states that exactly. Also people are forgetting that the facility has to accommodate the guests accordingly. One should not invite guests unless they are planning on everyone attending and not as a means to get gifts. Instead of inviting people for that reason just send out Wedding announcements which don’t have invites to ceremony or reception on it.
Lastly if you’re sending out invites put a definite date on the RSVP and follow up to avoid guests showing up unannounced and unexpected because they couldn’t commit themselves until the last minute. And put someone else in charge of keeping track of this stuff.

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IMO, they can come to the wedding, but is it the reception that is overbudget? Simply say, come to the wedding, but the reception is cancelled at this time. No further explanation is needed.

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i so agree with you, i never heard of this but i am old school

The budget should have been thought about BEFORE invitations went out. With planning, you know what it will cost to feed everyone, or buy everyone a drink or whatever you plan is. If you have a $5000 budget, then feeding 100 people at $50 a piece. It is just math and affordability.
It is poor form to “disinvite” people.

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