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Is It Rude Not to Attend a Wedding?

bride hugs bridesmaid at wedding

If you've ever received a wedding invitation that you weren't thrilled about, you're not in the minority. Most people, at some point or another, get that wedding invite that either clash with current plans or just doesn't sound very appealing, especially if the invitation comes from someone you're not that close with. Who wants to spend an afternoon mingling with their best friend's second cousin's boyfriend's family, anyway?

If you've got a wedding invite that you're thinking of turning down, the good news is that you're not the only one. A recent survey suggested that on average, around 13% of wedding guests typically decline their invite. Whether or not this is rude or not, well, that's another matter.

Turn it down politely

The biggest factor that determines how rude your absence is will always be the way in which you RSVP. It's always more polite to decline the invitation sooner rather than later, where possible so that the bride and groom can offer your place to someone else. Be politely apologetic, explain why you can't attend, and send a small gift if you can afford to.

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Je t'aime RSVP Cards

Just how close are you?

Another important factor in whether or not it's rude not to attend a wedding is really how well you know the bride and groom. If the bride has been your best friend since you were five, chances are she'd have tried to sync her wedding date up with your schedule to ensure you could come. If you've suddenly made plans at last minute without telling her, then it's definitely going to come off as rude now.

Generally speaking, the less close you are to the bride and groom, the less you'll be missed at the wedding - and the less chance you have of causing offence when you send that 'no' response back in the post.

Entwined Rings - Foil Boutique Wedding Invitation & RSVP
Entwined Rings - Foil Boutique Wedding Invitation & RSVP

What's your excuse?

Finally, it really does come down to your reason for not attending. While many people have very good reasons for declining a wedding invite, such as pre-booked holidays, others simply don't feel like attending. If you fall into the latter category, it might come across as a bit rude if either the bride or groom suspects you just don't want to go.

When possible, it may be a good idea to attend for an hour or two in order to congratulate the happy couple - if there's a free dinner included, it can't be that hard, right?

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Rustic Wedding Lace Thank You Card