Let’s face it: attending a wedding is expensive, especially if you have to travel for it. Plane tickets, attire, and wedding gifts can all add up quite quickly. Depending on your age and number of friends, it’s not uncommon to get a couple of wedding invitations every year.
Don’t Want to Go? Here’s Some Tips on How to Get Out of Going to a Wedding
Now comes the hard part – how do you turn down the wedding invites? Perhaps you don’t know the groom or bride very well, or you don’t have the funds to travel across the country to attend a destination wedding. Depending on your relationship with the inviter, saying “no” could be difficult and awkward.
If you play it right, you can get out of attending a wedding without damaging any relationships. Make sure to stay courteous and be sure to express your gratitude for the invitation. Before you decline the invite, make sure to do it properly.
1. Just Say No
The simplest and most respectful way to get out going to a wedding is to say “no” by declining the invitation. Most couples send out their invitations between 6 to 8 weeks before the wedding, so you have plenty of time to decide if want to go or not.
Another option is to simply not respond to the invitation, but that may come across as rude. At most weddings, the bride and groom pay for each plate of food, so letting them know your plans ahead of time is the best approach.
Do You Need to Give a Reason?
No, you do not need to give a reason for declining a wedding invite. You could say “sorry, I have conflicting plans and cannot attend.” However, we understand that you may feel obliged to offer up more information, especially if a close friend or family member invited you. In those cases, you may feel less guilty if you make up an excuse for not going.
2. Fake an Illness
If you have a guilty conscience, this isn’t the excuse for you. However, if you find it too difficult or relationship-damaging to say “no,” this might be the best option. Fake an illness but not a serious illness. Say you have the stomach flu or strep throat – something that you can recover from in a couple of days.
If you decide to play sick, be smart about it. Stay on the lay-low during the wedding and for a few days after the wedding. Do not go out clubbing with friends and end up on social media – this is a prime example of how can get caught red-handed.
There are no major repercussions of ditching a wedding by playing sick, and you don’t even need to tell the bride or groom what you are sick with. It’s much easier to “be sick” than flat out say that you’re not going to attend the wedding. The only downside is that the bride and groom will be out of the money paid for your plate at the wedding.
3. Plan a Vacation Instead
Some people feel guilty faking a sickness, and we understand that. For those with a guilty mind, saying you have a vacation planned is a bit more innocent. Now, you technically don’t even need to have a vacation planned. You could actually plan a vacation if it makes you feel better, though.
It’s a lot easier to get caught faking a vacation versus faking sick. If it’s a close friend or a family member’s wedding, it might not look the best if your trip is to a nearby town just a few hours away. You’ll probably need to come up with more of an elaborate vacation, such as a trip to Europe or a trip at least 5+ hours away.
If you have a plus one, you will have to make sure he or she is in on the ruse. Once people hear about your vacation, the questions will start to flow in. People may even expect to see photos on social media. If the consequences of faking a vacation are detrimental to your relationship with the bride or groom, you may want to consider actually going on vacation.
4. Say Something “Came Up” at Work
Work is work and most people understand that. However, most weddings are on the weekend, so using work as an excuse isn’t always easy. You could simply say that you’re working on a big project or that you have to be out of town for the weekend.
Don’t use this excuse for a co-worker’s wedding, or a wedding that you know your co-workers are going to attend. They will be the first to spot your lies and call you out. Again, if you’re so busy with work that you can’t attend a wedding, don’t be spotted eating out, going to bars, or playing golf. Stay on the down-low.
5. Say Family is Coming to Town
Using family as an excuse is great if it’s not a family member’s wedding or if no one from your family is going to the wedding. Invited to a wedding scheduled for May 31st? Oops! Mom and dad are coming to town to visit that weekend.
There’s always one big risk with this excuse: the bride or groom could invite your family to the wedding as well, especially if he or she knows them. If that happens, you’re kind of stuck in a rut, but not out of options. If your family gets an invite as well, you could say that they didn’t pack the proper attire or that you already have lots planned.
Like the vacation excuse, you could actually invite your family to visit. That’s totally up to you and how easy you think you can get away with the excuse. Again, some people might expect to see photos online or even ask to drop by and visit your family.
Be Affirmative Without Burning Bridges
No matter what you say to get out of going to a wedding, make sure to be affirmative and respectful. Flat out saying “no” could hurt the bride or groom’s feelings and potentially damage your relationship. If you do come up with an excuse that isn’t true (such as a vacation or illness), be extra cautious so you do not get caught.
Cynthia Pate is a passionate writer and wedding enthusiast, dedicated to helping couples create their dream celebrations. With years of experience in the wedding industry, Cynthia has developed a deep understanding of the latest trends, timeless traditions, and unique ideas that make every wedding special. Her articles cover a wide range of topics, from planning and decor to etiquette and fashion, always with the goal of providing practical advice and inspiring ideas. When she’s not writing about all things wedding-related, Cynthia enjoys exploring new destinations, trying out local cuisines, and spending time with her family and friends.