When you picture your big day, a big part of what you see is probably the faces of loved ones around you. You imagine taking shots with the college crew, dancing with that surprisingly energetic grandpa, taking adorable photos with the flower girl and reminiscing about your single life over cake with some of your childhood friends. One thing you don’t imagine is that some of these key people won’t be able to make it. So when you get that “Cannot attend” or “Regretfully declines” RSVP, you could feel a huge letdown. You expect that from some of your removed cousins, or that unofficial aunt of yours who is really just a good friend of your mom’s. But from your college squad? Or from your favorite uncle? Unfortunately, maybe so. Here are reasons people can’t attend your wedding that they don’t really want to tell you.
You didn’t attend their’s
You didn’t take the time off or spend the money to attend their big day. You sent a rather small gift because, well, you weren’t going to get to enjoy an open bar and free dinner to make up for an expensive gift. If you didn’t put in the effort to attend someone’s wedding, and they didn’t agree with your reason for not doing so, they may not be at your big day.
They don’t plan on inviting you to their’s
This can be a bit awkward. The person you’ve invited may be on the cusp of sending out their save-the-date’s and, well, you’re not getting one. They’d feel guilty enjoying the event you spent tens of thousands of dollars on, and witnessing one of the most intimate moments of your life, knowing they aren’t going to invite you to do the same thing at their wedding.
They can’t afford it
Some of your friends simply cannot afford to attend your wedding. Or rather, they can either choose between affording your wedding, or staying on track of their budget goal of putting aside $400 a month for a year. If they attended your wedding, they’d be set several months back in their savings goal. And perhaps your wedding isn’t worth that to them.
An ex will be there
One invitee may just not want to tell you that she used to date someone who will be at your wedding. Perhaps she’s okay with seeing him, but her new boyfriend or husband would not like that. Rather than start drama, or have you judge her new boo for avoiding her exes, she’ll just make up some other excuse.
They’re soon to be an ex-in-law
Perhaps your would-be sister-in-law (once you get married) RSVP’s to say that she isn’t coming. “That’s weird…” you think. But perhaps it isn’t. If your fiance’s brother and his wife’s marriage has been on the rocks, they may be headed for divorce. Your would-be sister-in-law could feel like it’s wrong to attend your wedding, knowing that soon enough, she won’t be your family at all.
They can’t find a babysitter
Some people can’t find a babysitter and simply do not want to go to a wedding with their children. They don’t want to spend the money and take the vacation days, just to have their time at your wedding consumed by watching after their kids. If they’re going to attend your wedding, they want to attend it without the kids so they can fully enjoy it.
Their favorite dog sitter is unavailable
To some people, their dogs are their babies! And if your friend cannot get the dog sitter that her dog is the happiest with—the one she knows the dog feels safe with and gets plenty of love from—she’s not going to travel.
They only have so many vacation days and, well…
Most of your friends probably don’t have unlimited vacation days. Most of them probably have two weeks, and your cross-country wedding would eat into four or five days of those. They already have another wedding eating another three days of those. They’d really just like to keep some of their vacation days for the thing they want to do, and that isn’t attending your wedding.
They’re going to somebody else’s wedding
Your friend may not want to tell you this but, she’s closer to Karen from college, and Karen from college is having her wedding on the same weekend as you. You don’t like Karen, or you at least thought you were closer to this friend, so your friend doesn’t want to tell you the truth.
You’re not as close as you thought
This piggy backs off of the last excuse but maybe you’re not as close to this invitee as you thought. Perhaps you’ve always loved them, confided in them and invited them to all of your intimate birthday parties, but have they done the same to you? If not, this person may not want to be that close to you and feels that attending your wedding would send the wrong message.
None of the other crew is attending
For one reason or another, all of the other people this invitee would know at this wedding cannot attend. That will make a rather lonely and boring experience for her. After all, it’s not like she’s really going to get to hang out with you on your big day. She’ll just have to spend hundreds of dollars to talk to strangers all night.
They’re on a very strict diet
Perhaps your friend is on a very strict diet for weight-loss, allergies or religious reasons. Either way, it’s very difficult for her to eat out of her own house for one meal, let alone for several days of destination wedding activities. She knows that if she attends your wedding, she may end up in the hospital from an allergic reaction, in spite of your best efforts to accommodate her.
They don’t approve of your marriage
Uh oh. Maybe the invitee doesn’t approve of your marriage. Perhaps this person really wishes you weren’t marrying your fiancé. Sitting witness while you exchange vows would feel dishonest and dirty to this person.
They’re in love with your fiancé
Scandal. Having a friend be secretly in love with your fiancé is more common than you think. Or perhaps a cousin. Or a sibling…! It happens all of the time. Why would anyone want to watch the love of their life marry somebody else?
They can only attend so many weddings
If your wedding falls during typical wedding season, then everyone you invite has probably been invited to three to a dozen other weddings around the same time. If your’s was their only wedding invitation, they’d be there! But, unfortunately, as it stands, they’re invited to several, can only afford to attend a few, and your’s doesn’t rank that high on their priority list.