How to Get Out of a Wedding?

I find weddings exceptionally beautiful, and it’s hard to decline an invitation. But over the recent past, a lot has happened that I had to rethink when to say “yes” and when to say “no”. That came after a period where I spent eight weekends in a row attending weddings for my college friends.

It not only cost a lot of my valuable time with family but also financially. So I desperately had to figure out actionable ideas on how to get out of a wedding without being seen as the “friend who never shows up.” Here’s what I found out.

The Bottom Line

In a nutshell, you should think before you act. Consider your options, and when you decide not to go to a wedding, think of a good reason or excuse to tell. And lastly, try to compensate with a present!

Step 1: Take Your Time, Think About It

There’s an array of reasons why you might find it hard to attend the wedding. That ranges from work-related commitments and school to family and financial crunches.

If you find yourself boarding a guilt trip because of attending the wedding, remember your happiness is, by far, much more important than anything else. At that point, you already know you won’t make it.

Step 2: Receive the Invitation With Excitement

While you already know you will not eventually attend, you need to R.S.V.P, congratulating them for the huge step they have made. It shows you are actually concerned and willing to support them throughout the process.

After all, you want the friendship to remain even after the wedding, right? Declining too early could suggestively mean you don’t value them—and might get you into unnecessary conflict.

Step 3: Can’t Wait To Be There!

At this stage, it’s too early to break the news that you won’t be attending. Regardless of how valid you think your reason is, people might mistake you for deliberately turning down their invitation.

Therefore, be sure to express how excited you are—until a few days to the D-Day, when you crestfallenly inform them you won’t be attending. However, be sure not to overemphasize or sound too odd.

Step 4: Be Smart—Come up With a Convincing Excuse

Avoid excuses that make them feel you don’t prioritize them in your plans. For instance, you cannot say you will be attending another wedding or you are going on a business trip.

Instead, be more creative and let them know how you got an urgent interview, family reunion, or how unwell your parents are—whatever works. But to avoid getting into trouble, be sure to remember this in future conversations with your friends and other associates.

Step 5: Formally Send an Apology Plus a Gift

Regardless of your excuses, the least you can do is communicate and show appreciation for their invitation. Otherwise, failure to do either could be considered ignorance and might blow your friends away. But you don’t want to go down that road, right?

Note that during the last minute, most likely the couple is busy handling many other issues in preparation for the wedding. That means they will not have a lot of time to overthink your excuse.