How To Un-invite Wedding Guests To Your Wedding Due To COVID-19

March 1, 2021

Congratulations, you two are getting married! You already booked the best wedding planner to get the best hassle-free dream wedding you’ve always dreamt of. The time keeps ticking. You cannot wait for probably the best time of your life to marry your partner.

Then COVID-19 happens. There is a deadly pandemic and people are advised to stay home, reduce physical contacts, wear masks and observe safety protocols. Nevertheless, your “big day” is approaching, and you are very hopeful that life will be “normal” again. However, there is a problem. There is a new variant, a new wave in a new year. Meanwhile, you have already sent an invite for your wedding. What do you do to uninvite the guests you so carefully planned to celebrate with you?

As abstract as this may sound, this is the fate of many couples in 2021. If you, or someone you know, should be faced with the challenge of feeling anxious, upset, and maybe even scared, then, these tips will help you to confidently “break the news” to your guests and won’t have you feeling bad about it.

Here some recommended steps to consider or follow.

Remain calm

First thing first, in order to manage such a situation and any situation for that matter, is to relax and remain calm. The confusion about who to uninvite and the anxiety about telling him/ her is purely stress that you should just live without. Trust me. My wife spent half of her wedding day worrying because she took wedding planning into her own hands.

Once you are able to regain a sense of calm, you can then start to outline a clear plan of action.

Check the Facts, Know Your Numbers

The next and FIRST MAIN STEP is to know the current wedding limits in your state or province. It is important to check in with the state governor’s office to know what the CDC’s current guidelines are.

Work on Your Guests List (Downsizing)

The allowed number of people (couple, organizers, and guests) will be fewer than the people you have initially invited to come. But how do you know who to invite and who not to invite? This may or may not be the difficult part, depending on how you look at it.

How to do it

You can start by grouping all your guests into two: those who must attend and those who would like to attend. The “must-attend” group can be family (parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, and cousins) and very few close friends and the officiating clergy whose attendance is indeed mandatory. The “would like to attend” group will include anyone else, from other friends, colleagues, neighbors, to almost anyone else. The plan is to ensure as many of the people who must attend do so before considering others who would like to attend, should there be extra available slots for them.

In an ideal scenario, you and your partner would agree on this list. But listen. Truthfully, you both may disagree on this list; and that’s ok. Just be sure to consider one another’s feelings during your ongoing conversations. Talk openly and hear each other out.

If all of this seems overwhelming to you, you may be experiencing stress. Learn more about how to relieve stress while planning your wedding.

Re-plan With Your Wedding Planner

You’ve done it! You now hopefully have two lists. Now, it’s easy to get with your wedding planner (if you have one) and re-plan with her.

Reach Out, Politely and Honestly

Once you know the list of guests who may not be attending, it is important to personally communicate the situation to all of them. Ensure that you take a personal approach and please don’t mass- message/ email. Believe me when I tell you that your guests will understand in this current season that we are in.

How to do it

The best way to do so is to resend them new “change of plans” wedding cards, with personally written and signed notes attached. The note should inform with regret that “due to situations beyond our control in these times, you (and your spouse-to-be) may not be able to invite as many people as planned earlier. However, all invited guests can join the event virtually via a link (zoom or wedding website) and we will look forward to your presence at anniversary celebrations in the future.”

The note must be concise, honest, and compassionate enough to consider the other person’s feelings also while winning their support and well wishes with no hard feelings. As an extra step, you may call those closest to you to explain things further to them. Naturally, you need to make it clear that these circumstances are out of your hands while letting the recipient know they are important to you. 


The COVID-19 pandemic may have affected many social events such as weddings in several ways. The limit on the number of guests is causing a lot of stress among brides, even now in 2021. Be encouraged, the success of uninviting guests will depend on both the wording and the attitude behind it. The goal is to have everyone understand and offer their support from a far. That may not entirely be in your control but do not feel discouraged if one or two people get a little agitated. Just do your best, and let me know how your wedding went after following these steps.

Hello. I’m Damon and I’m a Washington DC Wedding photographer. My promise is to tell your story PRECISELY as it happens, to capture emotional connections, and awe-inspiring images, and to give you a peace of mind knowing that I will capture every detail of your day, perfectly! 

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I offer images that are classic and distinctive- just like you!

If this sounds like you and your partner, I’d love to hear more of what you are dreaming up for your wedding! Please reach out to me regarding availability and pricing. You can also email me at [email protected].


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