So you’re not invited to the wedding. What happened? Do the bride and groom hate you? Are you not as close to them as you thought you were? WTF?!?
Not necessarily. As my wife Lily and I learned when we got married a few years ago, there are many innocent reasons to leave people out of a wedding guest list. Sometimes it’s not even related to the un-invited person at all. To understand this better, let’s take a look at why you may not have gotten that wedding invitation.
10 Innocent Reasons You’re Not Invited to the Wedding
Probably the most likely reason. The simple reality is that weddings are extremely expensive, with Business Insider reporting that the average US wedding costs around $33,000. Moreover, “[w]hile there’s a current trend in hosting fewer guests, the average cost per guest is increasing, due to couples wanting to create a unique and memorable experience for all those involved..”.
As I know from experience, every guest costs money. Each person carries a cost in space (the more people, the larger the venue that’s needed), plus food and drink. This means that many couples get to a point where they have to make painful cuts to their wedding guest list, whether they want to or not.
Also, remember that one guest is not always one guest, in the sense that most people need at least two invitations (one for them and one for their “plus one”). If they have kids that have to be invited, it’s even worse. So, it’s not surprising that the bride and groom cull people just because they need to control costs.
A ballroom or other venue can only accommodate so many people. If the loving couple have 100 people on their wedding guest list but their venue only fits 90, they’re going to have to cut 10 people, period. If you’re one of those 10 people, you won’t get a wedding invitation, even if they like you and only cut you because they felt they had no choice.
Remember that every couple will have very close friends and family that they’ll have to invite no matter what. So if that’s 70 people in the above scenario, it only leaves room for 20 more. Not the best situation, but probably unavoidable.
You’re Not Invited to the Wedding Because You’re A Friend From Work
If you made friends with the bride or groom at work, maybe they only consider you a friend within that context – work. If so, they might feel that inviting you means mixing work into their big day, and they don’t want that. Or, they have a personality outside of the office that they don’t feel comfortable sharing with you yet.
Office friendships sometimes evolve into “life” friendships, and sometimes they don’t. If yours hasn’t yet, don’t be surprised you didn’t get a wedding invitation.
They Don’t Want to Invite Other People in Your “Category”
Say you’re a friend from work and they actually really want to invite you. That can bring up the dilemma of feeling like if they invite you, they’re obligated to invite everyone else from the office, lest they feel left out. So, they don’t invite you at all.
This can happen with many “categories” of friends and acquaintances. For example, you might be the groom’s third cousin, and you get along great. The groom wants you to get one of the wedding invitations, but is afraid that then, his other third cousins might feel snubbed. To avoid dealing with the family issues that it can cause, he just decides to keep all third cousins off the wedding guest list.
It’s like “I want to invite cousin Jill, but that means I have to invite uncle Jack, who always gets drunk and becomes obnoxious”. Or “I want to invite Jenny from the office, but I can’t do that without inviting my boss Tim, and I don’t want him to see me drinking and dancing”.
Someone Else Doesn’t Like You
Maybe the bride and groom love you and you hang out all the time, but the bride’s dad hates you. Or maybe the groom is your buddy but the bride can’t stand you. If a must-invite person can’t be in the same room as you, there’s a good chance you’re out.
Another variation of this is when you’re someone’s ex. If you’re the bride or groom’s ex, they might not feel comfortable having you there. (Since you remind them of a past relationship). Or if you’re a bridesmaid’s ex, maybe she asked the bride to keep you off the wedding guest list because she doesn’t want to spend half the night in your close proximity (especially if the relationship didn’t end well).
You’re Not Invited to the Wedding Because You Can’t Hold Your Liquor
If it’s a party-type wedding (my favorite!) and you have a reputation for getting drunk and wild, you might not get one of those coveted wedding invitations. You know, the stereotypical groom-can’t-invite-his-wild-frat-buddies scenario. You might just be too big a risk!
A variation of this could be if you’re one of those people that can hold their liquor, but are always riling up others to drink. Maybe you love to bring cocktails and shots to people that haven’t asked for them. Or, you might be constantly rounding up others to head to the bar for another round. If this describes you, your invitation might get “lost in the mail”.
They Don’t Want You To See Their “Party Face”
Sometimes people put on masks just for us. Perhaps you’re the bride’s very conservative uncle and you’ve never seen her dance or have a drink. And maybe you have no objection to that, but she would just feel weird letting you see her like that.
A lot of us simply feel uncomfortable “letting our hair down” in front of some people. If you’re one of those people, the happy couple might keep you off the wedding guest list.
You’re Not Invited to the Wedding Because They Don’t Want You to Feel Pressured to Travel
Perhaps you live far from the wedding location (or it’s a destination wedding). If so, you might not get invited because the bride and groom don’t want you to feel pressured to travel. They might believe that if you’re invited you’ll make a sacrifice and come, and that would make them feel guilty.
They Think You’ll Spill Their Secrets
If you’re a bad secret-keeper (or just know a super-confidential secret), you might be left out. It’s possible that the bride and/or groom simply don’t want you in the same room as someone who would have a bad reaction if they learned one of your secrets. In that case, they might just choose to avoid the risk, especially if they think you’ll be tempted to spill the beans.
You’re A Known Seducer
I don’t know if it’s just a stereotype, but if you’re known for being a Casanova (or Cleopatra), the bride and groom might not want you on the prowl. If they think you won’t be able to contain yourself and they’re not eager to see some serious seduction going on during their big day, they could decide it’s just not worth the trouble. The bridesmaids and groomsmen will be going home alone, while you’ll be staying home for the night.
You Talk too Much About Taboo Topics
Religion and politics are the main ones. These topics tend to stir up strong emotions and pit people against each other. If you’re someone who constantly brings these up, you might start getting shunned from social events, including weddings. That is, unless the entire group thinks the same as you and likes to talk about it.
Summing It Up – Why You’re Not Invited to the Wedding
If you have a good relationship with the bride and groom, don’t feel snubbed if they didn’t invite you to their wedding. It doesn’t necessarily mean that they secretly dislike you. Finalizing a wedding guest list entails hard choices, and sometimes it’s necessary to cull people for innocent reasons.
Did you ever not get a wedding invitation that you were expecting? If so, do you think it was for an innocent reason?
Tom @ Dividends Diversify says
Miguel, I would have never thought of all those reasons. The upside is you save money on a gift. We only had about a dozen guests/family at our wedding almost 20 years ago. So our reason for those not getting an invite was we wanted to keep it small and intimate. Tom
I always thought the reason for not inviting me was because I always become centre of a room. And believe me it’s not what I want or intend to. I’m quite tall and look like I just walked of a Parisian catwalk. Even when I appear in black or other muted colours. And when I stand with a group of strangers I have them laughing under 10 minutes. It’s paradoxically why I always assumed that people would invite me as an icebreaker kind of guest. But not even close family and best friends ever invited me. And trust me tha5 hurts. Not anymore I’m older and wiser now and learned to disassociate myself. Besides I’ve never been married either…considering everyone who turned a shoulder my own guest list would be ridiculously short either elope or just the office of the JP
When we were planning our wedding, our main thing when it came to who to invite is how many we could invite. From our parents lists to our friends and co-workers lists, we were able to fit just enough to get most of who we wanted to invite on our list. We didn’t factor in the majority of the reasons you had on here, only #2, space, which was our main concern.
On the flip side, outside of family, I didn’t really think about why a friend didn’t invite me to wedding. All I cared about was that they were happy and found someone they can spend the rest of their life with.
Well. Some of this just hurt. Nonetheless, a very good read!
…but now we just need one telling us exactly how to get back on the list
Barbara Friedberg says
I didn’t get invited to a relatives wedding this week end and I’m fine with it. It’s across the country and it saves me the stress of deciding whether to go or not!!
RACHEL COLLINS says
I AM ANGRY AT NOT BEING INVITED TO MY GRAN NIECES WEDDIG. CAN YOU TELL ME WHAT I SHOULD DO, DO I ASK HER WHY? WE GET ON VERY WELL.
Miguel A. Suro says
If you feel comfortable asking her, sure. If you have a good relationship with her, there might be a good reason. You always risk an argument and hurt feelings with that kind of question, so it’s up to you whether to risk it.
Another idea is to ask someone you trust that’s very close to her, instead of her directly.
I hope all goes well!
Wasn’t invited despite inviting her to my wedding. We are from the same group of school friends (who all got invites), so I was really stumped. Maybe another of her friends secretly disliked me? Either way, I think it’s really rotten, you invite who you *want* to be there (as opposed to excluding who someone else doesn’t like)! Haven’t spoken to her in years and I’m fine with never. Hope she enjoyed the lobster, free flowing alcohol and goodie bag at my wedding, anyhow.
Try being not invited to family and best friends and a lot of other supposedly good friends. I am not a drunk or junkie not loud or overbearing. Don’t say things that could hurt people and as an anorexic I barely eat. Yet not once in 35 years have I ever been invited to a wedding. So I think you can deal with 1.
In the end I just told myself I must be too good-looking and upstage the bride and her entourage. Otherwise I would spend the entire day miserable, self loathing and huge kick to my fragile ego. Just make sure the next time you accidentally see them you have a very good looking person standing next to you….Pretend you’re lost or you went to the same high-school, anything to keep that person talking to you. Until your wedding nemesis is gone. Or ask that stranger for a coffee date. Good luck….and I hope my worst being dumped for weddings makes you feel a little bit better.
My sister didn’t invite me to all 3 of her kids weddings. Did I ask her why ? Nope – I knew her petty reason. She’s very rude and disrespectful! I knew all 3 of her kids were getting married. I contacted an aunt and she intentionally didn’t tell me this news. Why because she felt that my feelings would be hurt. Nope – Now I’m done with my entire family. I refuse to tolerate rude, disrespectful, selfish and toxic people! My family didn’t even care when my husband passed. Sad but true.
What a bunch of silly reasons are listed in this article. Here is my story: I was VERY good friends with someone for 20 years. They announced they were getting married at the end of that time and then bored me no end for weeks about all the details. The wedding came and went but I did not get an invitation but instead, an announcement long after the wedding. I had already told the friend congratulations so when I got the rather cold announcement I said nothing. The “friend” who got married contacted me a while after her lavish wedding and asked why I hadn’t acknowledged it (the announcement) with a gift. Huh? She actually expected a gift and a card after NOT inviting me to her shower or her wedding after 20 years of friendship. She was so angry I had not sent a gift to her that she stopped speaking to me. I actually rejoiced since her behavior revealed the type of person she REALLY was. Both rude and clueless!