Perhaps you’ve recently opened your post and were delighted to receive a lovely wedding invitation… only to see that the date clashes with other plans you can’t get out of – what an absolute nightmare! But what do you say? Well, we’re here to help you out in this tricky situation and have come up with all sorts of wedding wishes for when you can’t attend the wedding.
We even have this sweet wedding regret card that you can also send them (along with the RSVP) and is bound to leave the couple smiling, even if you can’t make it.
And if you’ve somehow stumbled upon this blog by accident but can actually attend the wedding (yay!) then definitely take a look at our guide on what to write in a wedding card for inspiration.
How to decline a wedding invitation
Okay, so we appreciate that having to decline a wedding invitation isn’t exactly ideal, because who wants to miss out on all the wedding fun and shenanigans?! However, sometimes other things get in the way and the only option left is to politely decline.
The most important thing is not to forget to send your RSVP before the deadline so that the bride and groom know that you can’t attend. This is super important as it’s what will be used to determine the headcount.
Other than that, we do have a few tips for how to decline a wedding invitation:
- Don’t immediately say no if you’re busy and instead see if you can change your other plans so that you can go before declining. That way you know you’ve done all you can and are sure of your answer. (Although in saying that, it’s important to not wait until the last second to respond as this is unfair on the couple.)
- Alongside your wedding regret card, give them a call or send a message just so they genuinely know how much the invitation meant to you. This gesture will genuinely mean a lot to the couple, and you’ll feel better afterwards as well.
- Be respectful when responding unless you’re being jokey and are completely sure they’ll understand that you’re not being serious. After all, this is their big day and they’ve gone out of their way to invite you, there’s no need to be unnecessarily rude.
- There’s no need to overexplain yourself, if you’re letting them know that you can’t attend then this doesn’t require a long story. All you need to do is let them know you can’t but that you’re extremely grateful, and at most a brief explanation as to why. Definitely don’t come up with a fake excuse that could later be revealed as a lie.
- Remember that once you RSVP’d and declined then you need to stick to this decision as it’s a difficult task trying to rearrange things if someone changes their mind.
- While you won’t be expected to do so, it might be a nice touch to still get them a wedding gift to go with your wedding regret card, especially since getting married is a pretty big deal. You can also arrange to meet up with the newlywed couple on another occasion after their honeymoon to celebrate together.
Sincere wedding regret messages
We understand that it can be a little tricky thinking of how exactly to write out a message declining a wedding invitation that sounds truly heartfelt. Don’t you worry though, we’re pretty much pros when it comes to card messages and have some sincere card message suggestions for you:
- From the bottom of our hearts, we’d love to be with you on your big day, but regretfully we’re unable to make it. However, we’ll definitely celebrate with you another day and you can tell us all about it!
- Thank you so much for the invitation, sadly I already have prior engagements so won’t be able to attend. I’m so excited for you both and I know it will be a beautiful day for everyone.
- We can’t even put into words how devastated we are to miss being there for you both as you start your new life together. It will be a beautiful and magical day and we’ll be there in spirit.
- It was such a delight to receive your invitation to the post and as much as I’d adore seeing the happy couple get married, we’re unavailable that day so will have to make plans to see you both afterwards.
- Unfortunately, we won’t be able to make it, but we’re so honoured that you wanted to include us in your wedding. Best wishes to you both and we’ll have to catch up properly another time and get all the gossip once you’re officially Mr and Mrs [insert surname]!
- I’m so excited for you both and know your wedding is going to be so beautiful. Regrettably, I’m not going to be there in person to see it for myself but send all the best wishes and shall be there in spirit.
Simple messages to decline a wedding invitation
Maybe you don’t know the couple that well or would just prefer to keep your response short and sweet. These are some simple messages that you can use as inspiration although feel free to add your own personal touch:
- Thank you for thinking of me, I really appreciate the invitation and I’ll be thinking of you on your big day.
- Congratulations, I wish I could be there with you to celebrate properly, but due to other commitments, I’m going to have to celebrate with you another time.
- Thank you so much for inviting me to your special day but regrettably, I won’t be able to make it.
- Unfortunately, we can’t make it on this date. Wishing you both the best, we’re sure it will be wonderful!
- I’m so sad I can’t attend your wedding, but I will most definitely be there in spirit. Sending all my love and warmest congratulations.
- After trying to rearrange plans and dates, I’m afraid I won’t be able to attend the wedding due to prior engagements.
- I’m truly so sad to respond that I won’t be able to make it. However, I’ll be thinking of you both and look forward to seeing all the wonderful photos.
Funny wedding regret messages
Alternatively, if you’ve got a particularly close relationship with the happy couple (and are certain they’ll find it funny), then you could always add a bit of humour. If you’re not sure where to start, here are some funny messages that we’ve come up with:
- Ah, so you’re getting married on [insert date], sorry but I’ve got better plans for that day. Congratulations though, I’m sure you’ll still have a spectacular day, even if you will be missing me!
- I think we all know that I’d just be a liability if I came, so I’ll save you the embarrassment and sit this one out. All jokes aside, sadly I’m unable to attend that day but sending you both my best wishes for the special day.
- Sorry, who is this? Well, since I’ve not seen either of you in forever, I’m going to presume you either accidentally sent me this invite or it’s out of pity, so it’s a no from me. (Obviously kidding, I really am so sorry to miss this day, but I can’t wait to see all the pictures afterwards.)
- Look at you two getting married… finally! As much as I was looking forward to making fun of all the bad dance moves and taking advantage of the open bar with the rest of the drunkards I’m going to have to politely decline. Massive congratulations to you both though.
- Even though I know I would be the life of the party and was at the top of your wedding invite list, you’re going to have to try cope without me. However, we will definitely catch up and get drunk another time.
- I couldn’t think of a better way to spend a ridiculous amount of money attending your wedding, but you went ahead and picked a date I can’t do anyway.
Wishes after not being invited to the wedding
Maybe you’ve not quite made the cut, or the couple are having a more intimate wedding with a small guest list? Whatever the reason, this doesn’t mean you still can’t wish the happy couple the best so here are some ‘not invited to the wedding’ quotes:
- We just heard the wonderful news about you both getting married, massive congratulations!
- Congratulations on your upcoming wedding! We completely understand that you want this to be a low-key occasion and just wanted to send our best wishes your way.
- This day is supposed to be focused on the two of you and the love you share, we’ll definitely get a celebration in the diary for after you’re pronounced husband and wife.
- I’m so thrilled for you both and am sending all the warmest wishes on your special day.
- When I first heard, I couldn’t believe it! I’m sure married life is going to be blissful for you and we’ll definitely celebrate at a later date.
Now you should have an idea of what to respond with when it comes to declining a wedding invitation and you can check out our wonderful selection of wedding cards that you can send the happy couple for their wedding day as well. And if you’ve got any other special occasions coming up, check out the rest of our blog where we have a whole load of posts ready to help you! (p.s. You’re welcome in advance.)