So you weren’t invited to a 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 on the Wedding Guest List
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.
3. 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. In such a situation, they might feel that inviting you may mean mixing work into their big day, and they want to avoid 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.
4. 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”.
5. 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, reminding 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).
6. They Think 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”.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. 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.
Summing It Up
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?