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How To Politely Tell Guests They Dont Have To Attend Destination?


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I've been crunching my numbers over and over and I'm still worried more people will show up than I am anticipating and budgeting for. I would like to put somewhere on my wedding website that guests do not have to feel obligated to come....without making them feel like I don't want them to come. 


I have a very large family, and so does the groom. We assumed most of the family wouldn't attend. However, now that we have been talking about it with family, we are getting more "I plan to come" responses than we anticipated. We are also dealing with parents who are excited and have already mentioned the wedding/hotel/date to some of their friends whom we did not plan to invite, but now we have to because it has already been brought up by our parents. 


I'm really starting to stress because the venue we booked only holds 120 for a reception and with unanticipated growing numbers I am afraid we will go over the limit. 


Any advice on how best to word my website without offending anyone? I was thinking something along the lines of "While we hope that you all will be able to make it, we truly understand if you are unable yo attend. We hope to celebrate with you leading up to and/or after the Wedding". I would just like to make it a little more friendlier and not offensive.

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We are having the same issue - super excited our friends & family are excited and willing to travel, but we're hoping for a smaller affair. We also have some guests who are completely offended we'd ask friends and family to pay so much to attend our wedding... how do you tell guests come, but it's okay if you can't. We settled on the following on our wedding website....


"We understand the cost to travel and time off from work, may be too much for some. Please join us if you are able, but we completely understand if you cannot. We are looking forward to an amazing vacation, with close friends and family as we tie the knot!"

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When booking our small intimate venue, we anticipated about 30-40 guests but as people began telling us, "see you in cabo!" that number doubled to 75 guests. So I knew a gentle "dont feel obligated to go" message was absolutely necessary to note on our website. 


Our first page was titled "Message from the Bride and Groom" which we used to share our excitement and thank yous along with our reason behind selecting Cabo San Lucas as our destination for our wedding (since soo many were asking). At the tail end of that message, I included this:  


We are aware that scheduling time away from family and work may pose challenges, so if this time of the year does not fit into your current situation we sincerely understand and hope to see you all soon. We will gladly accept your prayers and warm wishes from afar!

Thank you again for your continuous love, as we begin our lives together. We can not wait for the BIG DAY and look forward to celebrating with you all - near or far!



I will add that until the guests have actually booked their vacation, do not take their word for it. We had so many voice their excitement and desire to attend the wedding but about 3 months prior to the wedding that number began steadily dropping. In the end, we ended up with the exact number we were hoping for 35 guests. It was absolutely perfect..whew! Who knows, maybe our little website message helped many feel not-so obligated to attend in the end? But it's worth a shot! 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi... I'm new to this (just got engaged 4 days ago) but our initial thought was to send out sort of a dual invitation.  An invitation to the resort wedding destination... and to also include a second invite to a "wedding celebration" after the actual wedding.  Something in our home town and probably in our actual home  to keep costs down.  Just a party to celebrate with those that can't afford to come to the wedding.  The hope is that invitees will see the in town wedding celebration and not feel obligated to attend the destination.

Other than that, kill them with kindness... people understand.  It's your day, not theirs.  Cheers!

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