Dealing with no show guests at your wedding

no show wedding guests

I’ve been covering off a fair bit about RSVPs in the last few weeks (here, here and here are some articles). I wanted to cover off this topic well because it’s often a big source of anxiety in the lead up to your wedding day, and there’s little you can do to control it.  But something even more annoying than people who are slack at getting their RSVPs in, is guests who say they’ll attend, and then don’t. It is incredibly upsetting to have people RSVP yes to your wedding – and then fail to show on the day. I know, because it happened to me. Unfortunately, no show guests are pretty common. This sucks when you’ve given final numbers to the caterer and you’re paying per head!

Before you freak out and invoice someone for not turning up, here’s a few things to help you deal with any resentment and anger:

Guests bail, but don’t tell you because “I don’t want to stress the bride”

Don’t assume they just couldn’t be bothered going to your wedding. You don’t know what could be going on in their life, and their reasons for a no show might be genuine (to them at least).  A guest may not want to stress you out or upset you on the wedding day by pulling out on the last minute. I’m sure you don’t want to be sitting at the hairdressers and getting text messages from people flaking out!  One of my guests just couldn’t face attending a wedding so soon after her husband had left her. She’d RSVP’ed thinking she could do it, but on the day realised her feelings were still too raw.

Guests don’t want to let you down: Have a sensible RSVP date

Ensure you have a sensible RSVP date on your invitations – no further than a month before – so that people don’t forget, or have their plans change.  For example, we were invited to a wedding with a RSVP date 4 months out.  In between RSVPing and the big day, my husband was selected to attend a World Cup in Germany on the same weekend of the wedding. Obviously we knew about the wedding – but in this case, the World Cup was a career-highlight and once in a lifetime opportunity – it had to come first. We procrastinated on telling the bride and groom that we couldn’t go, because we didn’t want to be seen as rude. However, when Craig’s big trip made the papers… the bride and groom quickly worked out we wouldn’t be there! Procrastinating to not be rude, ended up being rude… being honest and open really is the best policy.

Dealing with no show guests on the day

If you do hear about a guest who can’t make it, it’s not a big deal. Sure, their name will be on the seating plan, but that shouldn’t cause too much upset. Inform the wedding reception venue, who should be able to remove the (now) spare place setting from the table they were supposed to be sitting at.

Have you had no show guests at your wedding celebrations?

Newlyweds, have you had guests pull out of your wedding at the last minute? How did you deal with it.

3 thoughts on “Dealing with no show guests at your wedding

  1. I had two pull out, one had warned us that he wouldn’t make the wedding due to milking but said he would try finish ASAP and make it to reception, turned out he fell asleep on the chair at home and missed it. Only found out about it afterwards so was a bit annoyed considering they should know better that it’s costing us to have them here and they choose to abuse the privilege. Second one was my Nana who woke up with really bad leg problems and i heard at cocktail hour that she couldn’t make it and was crying all day that she wasn’t able to make it, so I decided right then and there that after the first dance my hubby and I would travel 30 minutes out to her place and surprise her 🙂 it broke my heart to hear how upset she was. So it all depends on the reason why people don’t turn up

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