Entertainment

Here’s how to politely disinvite someone from your wedding



Over on Tiktok, brides and grooms have latched on to a particular trending sound called “Bye Rocco.” Here’s the gist: over a voiceover of a Sesame Street character, Zoe, asking Elmo if her pet rock, Rocco, can float in his tube, a user explains a demand a wedding guest has made. Maybe this guest wants the bride to pay for babysitting, or would like to skirt the couples’ vaccination-required rule. As Elmo explains Rocco will sink, the TikToker points out the reason they cannot grant that request. When Zoe—and transitively, the problematic guest—acts disappointed, the user quickly responds: “Oh, well. Too bad. Bye, Rocco.”

It’s a humorous way of highlighting an all-too-real pandemic problem: needing to disinvite a guest from your wedding. The reasons vary: a venue has pandemic-era crowd restrictions, or has potentially postponed all events for the foreseeable future. Now, the wedding is at an entirely different location than previously planned. The groom has elderly grandparents or an immunocompromised loved one, and it’s not safe to expose them to unvaccinated individuals. The bride invited a work colleague from the next cubicle over in January 2020, yet enough time elapsed between the original wedding date and the rescheduled one that the coworker got a new job and left their company. The bride hasn’t spoken to her since. (“Surely, it’s a relief for them not to feel obligated to come?” an engaged friend recently mused after finding herself in a similar situation.)

Cutting a guest list in half because of venue restrictions? Post advises a blanket statement, sent out to all original attendees: “You want to send a notice that says ‘We’re letting you know that our wedding, as we had planned it for X,Y,Z, date at X,Y,Z place and time, is not going to be held,” she explains. “You want to effectively cancel rather than say you’re postponing.” Why? Most people are understanding of the problems the pandemic has created, and will understand if you need to make cuts. But it’s frustrating for guests to be waiting around for updates when, in reality, they’re no longer a guest at all.

How about tricky situations with unvaccinated guests? If your venue, or you personally, have a vaccine requirement, Post advises to again go with a blanket statement. Send it via email or with the invitation. However, she says “use your judgement” if the wedding is small and you know that this statement only really applies to one or two guests. Here, call (rather than text), explaining that you need them to adhere to a safety protocol to attend, though you would still love them to come. Present it as an option: “Give them some time to think about it,” Post says. “They may decide to adhere to [your requirement].” Yet, many will decide they can’t and react negatively. Express your disappointment, but also your love for that person. Then, focus on the positive ways you can still celebrate together, like sending them a link to watch via Zoom.

If there are guests who you’ve simply drifted apart from, Post says that, as long as they haven’t done something offensive, keeping them on the list is a “better way to go”: “Consider whether or not your wedding might be the chance for you guys to be reconnecting and coming back together,” she says. If you don’t want to reconcile, she suggests sending an email explaining your decision to limit guests. Should you ever just, well, ghost them instead? Post is pragmatic: “If you haven’t talked in two years, and neither party has been reaching out, they probably think you’ve already [gotten married],” she says, although she points out there’s the off chance they’re still waiting for an invite. “Ghosting is not polite, but I know it happens and often happens without consequence.”

This article was originally published on Vogue.





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