If you've accepted a wedding invitation, it is considered good etiquette to follow through with your word and attend the big day. However, sometimes we do find ourselves with other commitments that we simply can't miss, and therefore have to decline.

If you have to turn down a wedding invitation after accepting it, then this is how to do it politely:How Do You Decline a Wedding Invitation after Accepting It? - Rustic Pastel Butterflies - Wedding RSVP Cards

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Act Quickly

We recommend to tell the couple you can't make their day as soon as you find out. This means that they will have plenty of time to perhaps invite a new guest, and won't end up wasting money on a wedding meal that you won't eat!

The longer you put it off, the more likely you are to upset the couple, so its best to do it as soon as you can.

As long as you decline several weeks in advance of the day, they should be appreciative that you let them know.

Give them a call

Whilst it may seem awkward, it's important to tell them in a polite way, such as over the phone.

Or if you they live locally, why not visit them? They are sure to appreciate being told face to face, and it gives you some time to catch up, too.

Over an email or text, you may struggle to truly express how sorry you are.

Thank them for the invitation

Don't forget to thank them again for the invitation. Say how much it meant for you to be invited, and how you hope their day will be amazing. You can say this during a phone call or with a thank you card.How Do You Decline a Wedding Invitation after Accepting It? - Pink Country Roses - Ready to Write Wedding Thank You Cards

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If they're a close friend, you may also want to invite them out for a meal or a day out to show how much you care.

Avoid Excuses

It can be tempting to make up a little white lie about the reason you have to decline. However, if they catch on, they will definitely be upset by this.

Either opt for saying the real reason, e.g. business commitments, family holiday, etc, or say that it is a private matter if you feel uncomfortable about sharing the real reason.

Send a wedding gift

This one is completely optional, but we think it's really nice to send a gift after you decline an invitation. Whether that's a large gift you know the couple have been wanting, or a simple bunch of flowers, it makes a lovely touch that they will remember.


We hope you have found this blog useful! Head over to our other blogs to find out more about wedding etiquette.