Wedding RSVP Cancellation

A few weeks ago I received a email from my sister letting me know that an invite to a cousins wedding was received at my parents house and I was to go to their website to RSVP. The problems start there.

This part of the family is not speaking to my parents and my parents are not invited to the wedding, yet they decided to send my invitation to my parents house. Fine. Too lazy to call me for my address? Whatever. So I check the date and realize that I am working far away that same weekend…but the date may change. I RSVP to the website and sat that my partner (living together for 3 years) and I will try and make it and that I would let her know in a few days. A few days later, I realize that my work was pushed so I email my cousin and let her know we can make it. We email back and forth and to my knowledge, all is fine and dandy, until this weekend.

I am talking to my mother about the wedding and she verified that she was not invited and drops this bombshell: apparently my partner was not invited either!! My sister told my mom that he was not invited since my cousin had only met him once. I am confused. I have been in contact with my cousin and no where in our discussions did she say he was not invited. So I tell my partner this and now he doesn’t want to go since he is now feels unwanted.

I would like to send a letter letting her know as politely as possible that WE will not be coming to the wedding. I can’t seem to find any letters that don’t look contrived and phoney. Please help!

Donna, Wedding Queen, President; Top Wedding Sites

You need to call your cousin and tell her that since you never actually saw the wedding invitation (since it was sent to your parent’s address) that you assumed your significant other was invited – just checking. He certainly should have been invited since you have been living together for 3 years. See what she says before you get your nose out of joint. If she says your boyfriend is not invited, tell her you’re sorry you misunderstood but that you cannot make the trip without your boyfriend. Hopefully that will not be the case. Try not to involve your parents any further as this is surely pouring salt into the wound.

Good Luck.


I don’t need to call her, I need to write a letter of cancellation that won’t put the family even more out of sorts. My though is that since I said he was coming, she has just said “fine”. Bringing this up now will just be added stress to planning a wedding.

Can someone help me with how I word this letter.

Donna, Wedding Queen, President; Top Wedding Sites

We have to first determine the reason for your cancellation. If she said it was fine for your boyfriend to attend, and you RSVP for 2, I don’t see the issue. Why have you changed your mind? Sorry, what am I missing?


The reason is that now my partner feels unwanted and doesn’t want to go. I have been told that everyone else who is in a relationship is bring there SO. I am not going to a wedding where my parents and my SO are unwanted, but I also don’t want to cause her more stress as the wedding approaches.

I jusy need to know how to politely word that we will not be attending. I don’t want to bring up the actual reason as that will cause unwanted stress.

I am looking along the lines of: We apologize for the short notice, but we will not be able to attend your wedding.

Donna, Wedding Queen, President; Top Wedding Sites

I understand what you’re looking for here but want to offer some (maybe unsolicited) advice. Your cousin never said your boyfriend isn’t invited so I’m failing to see his issue. This is why it would be important to speak to your cousin. It seems family ties are strained enough and I’m wondering if you can possibly salvage your relaionship with the cousins.

If you don’t want to attend because your parent’s aren’t invited then fine, but, you knew they weren’t invited before you agreed.

I’m not sure there really is any polite way to decline at this point unless you fib and say something has come up. You can word this any way you see fit since it will be an informal letter to your cousin. No email though. This has to be done with a letter that you’re sure she will get in time to make alterations to her seating and such. If you can’t be sure then a telephone call is the best way to go. You don’t want to cause more issues for your family with the cousins saying you agreed then didn’t show.

I hope you can go though.

Rebecca Black, Etiquette By Rebecca

I completely agree with everything suggested. You and your partner really don’t know that he isn’t invited. But, if you really feel that you must cancel, then the words must be yours. There isn’t a template for this.