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Jennifer
Just Said Yes October 2021

No one attending my wedding…need help?!

Jennifer, on August 15, 2021 at 12:48 PM Posted in Planning 1 42
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Hey everyone

Need a bit of advice & also venting:

My wedding is scheduled for 10/02/21. I invited 80 people, and I only have about 18 attending. This is the only time in my life I’ve asked people to show up for me, and the majority of people have communicated with me that they don’t want to come. And I’m going to be honest—a lot of family and friends have been downright mean about it. I’m talking about the people I’ve spent every Christmas with since I was little. One close family member told me I’m not a priority to her, and that’s why she’s not coming. Further, I’ve caught multiple people in lies about why they’re not attending. On the other side, my fiancé’s family isn’t in the picture and his friends aren’t willing to come because of Covid.

I understand that the 18-20 people that would be there are the ones who truly love me. But my fiancé and I are paying for this wedding ourselves. It’s going to be about $20k regardless of who shows up. I still have to pay food and beverage minimums so I’m basically paying for those who aren’t attending. Which upsets me and reminds me of the hurt that these people have caused. This is not what I imagined or wanted for the most important day of my life. Needless to say, I’m hurting.

I think I’ve probably answered my own question by now, but do I cancel our wedding? I considered rescheduling in another year for the people who cited Covid as a reason for not attending. But now I don’t know if I trust those relationships enough to show up for me even if Covid was gone. The second option is canceling the wedding and eloping. But that also brings sadness because neither my fiancé or I ever wanted that.

What do I do?! Help!


42 Comments

Latest activity by Fiona, on October 29, 2021 at 1:28 AM
  • Pat
    Expert May 2023
    Pat ·
    • Flag

    Can you cancel the VENUE portion of the wedding? If so, then choose a beautiful restaurant for those guests attending. You'll pay less and have a wonderful, intimate evening with those that truly matter to you. And am sending hugs for your hurting. Smiley heart

    • Reply
  • Jennifer
    Just Said Yes October 2021
    Jennifer ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment
    Thank you. That’s actually a good idea! I can cancel the venue.
    • Reply
  • AJ
    Super October 2022
    AJ ·
    • Flag
    I’m sorry you are dealing with this, if you do cancel how much money is lost? Maybe you could have a mini celebration with the people who are coming, just scale the event back.


    Were you having your ceremony and reception in the same location? If not maybe you can downsize your reception location to something more intimate like a restaurant or something? That way you are only paying for the people who attend, not the people who didn’t show up?
    I mean right now covid is still a valid reason for not attending especially with the new variant but if you push it back to 2022 covid will still probably be a thing.
    Why dont people just not want to come? What’s their excuse? Distance traveling too far? Or covid is everyone’s excuse? Or did they really say “we just don’t want to come”? Honestly this is about you and your fiancé, I’m sorry that a majority don’t want to be supportive and that really blows - but you have to focus on what you can control and makes you happy. You can’t force people to come.
    • Reply
  • Katie
    VIP August 2020
    Katie ·
    • Flag
    Hi Jennifer, we were in a similar situation last year as some guests were under the false impression we may be offended if they wore masks and they didn’t understand all the covid precautions that were in place. We got on the phones to answer any covid protocol questions guests had. This really helped our attendance because it dispelled all of the assumptions. I’m so sorry you are going through this. As another bride said in a different discussion, you can still have the experience no matter who attends. Many tables at our wedding had 4 guests at each, so it felt bigger. Sending hugs and strength to you and your fiancé ❤️❤️❤️
    • Reply
  • Ingrid
    Dedicated September 2022
    Ingrid ·
    • Flag

    I don't have any suggestions...but I jsut wanted to say you are not alone and that I am sorry you have to endure this. This is you and your FH special day. My FH family won't travel the few hours for our wedding in 2022. We have still extended the invitation and if they don't come I can't let that ruin my day. I know the ones who show up truly care, and most importantly it is about us. It is your call if you want to wait or keep the day you planned out. I know COVID throws a barrier in it all- I just hope whatever the outcome you choose it is for you both Smiley heart

    • Reply
  • Stevi
    Just Said Yes October 2021
    Stevi ·
    • Flag
    I am somewhat in the same boat! My wedding is scheduled for October 2, 2021. I live in Charleston, South Carolina and my wedding is in California ( granted I’m from California) I am actually thinking about cancelling as well. My fiancé and I are paying for our wedding and because a lot of people are backing out we are not sure if it’s financially smart. I honestly don’t care who shows up, but my guest list has dwindled down so much we are considering cancelling the venue and vendors and doing a borderline elopement.
    I think you have to go with what your gut tells you. It is uncertain times right now and with Covid on the rise again it’s hard to make a decision.
    If you’re ok with having a small wedding of 20 people and with the financial aspect of it I would say go for it. It’s hard because venues and vendors do have minimums. Is your venue or vendors refundable ? Mine have Covid refundable policies which make the decision process a little easier.
    • Reply
  • G
    Savvy May 2022
    Gc ·
    • Flag
    Did you make your RSVPs due already? If so, that could be a part of it. Typically RSVPs would be due 2-4 weeks before the wedding, so people would have a lot more time to tell you if they’re coming. If they were already due this far ahead, people simply might not know yet if they can attend, or they might not be comfortable giving a definitive answer this far in advance with the state of the pandemic etc. Therefore, they might have just said no. I’d give them more time to RSVP.
    • Reply
  • JM Sunshine
    JM Sunshine ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment
    I fully agree with this, Sept. 2nd should be deadline for RSVPs. However, it's no excuse for family and friends to be mean to youabout not attending wedding.
    • Reply
  • G
    Savvy May 2022
    Gc ·
    • Flag
    Oh and one other idea—if you wind up with an guest list less than you thought and you’d still like to have a wedding with the people who truly want to be there, instead of just losing out on the money you have to pay, talk to your caterer about upgrading your food and beverage or offering extras so that the money isn’t wasted and it at least goes towards something!
    • Reply
  • Janet
    Beginner December 2021
    Janet ·
    • Flag
    Omg I’m very very sorry! I truly understand you ! But guess what! They don’t deserve of you postponing the wedding to a “perfect day for them “ if is 18 people then 18 , you don’t need to pass all that process for people that don’t think that u are not important for them , marry the love of you life , that is what really matters
    • Reply
  • Cyndy
    Master May 2019
    Cyndy ·
    • Flag
    My daughter is getting married the same day. Congratulations! I would recommend getting your money back for the venue and food if you can and find a fun restaurant for your group. It can be small and intimate but also a great day!!
    • Reply
  • Laura
    Just Said Yes October 2021
    Laura ·
    • Flag
    Look at this as a blessing. It is not the quantity of people it is the top notch quality people that will be able to attend, and love you. If this were me I'd try to only incur a cancellation fee or better negotiate a new deal with a smaller venue: smaller room food at the original location. Tell them you can't meet the minimum. Walk if you have to and start a fresh with ideas. Rent out maybe a garden conservatory room or a real rustic barn not a sooped up one or even a big outdoor camp YMCA with huge pavilions and bring in a local caterer for a brunch, or rent a huge room at a great restuarant that usually has live music. Choose a great location for your photo opportunities with just you and your husband... or rent an ol fashioned photo booth and put a link to share photos from the dinner. Let the extra savings go to your wonderful future: home car honeymoon 401k expenses etc. Its easy to be bummed about this but please don't let it be a dark cloud. Let the sun shine on your and your future husband's day. Good luck
    • Reply
  • Pirate & 60s Bride
    Legend March 2017
    Pirate & 60s Bride ·
    • Flag
    To have so many people decline, and some of their crazy rude comments, must be so hurtful! I do want to say we had 15 guests at our wedding, and it was perfect. Where’s your venue? Maybe you can keep it but move to a weekday night or Sunday brunch so your F&B minimum would be lower (the venue fee might be too)?
    • Reply
  • A
    Just Said Yes April 2022
    Alicia ·
    • Flag
    Why not just scale the wedding down and have it at a restaurant or something. Those people suck for being mean like that.
    • Reply
  • Karina
    Just Said Yes November 2021
    Karina ·
    • Flag
    About micro wedding with any 25 people
    • Reply
  • Yasmine
    Master October 2020
    Yasmine ·
    • Flag
    I would just switch venues if possible and make it a micro wedding. Don't plan your wedding around others, at least I wouldn't
    • Reply
  • Mrs.a
    Master October 2021
    Mrs.a ·
    • Flag
    First off you have time for rsvps to still come back. September 2nd is an acceptable deadline.
    Secondly, why not to call to A. Make sure they received their invitation because the postal service, B. Talk to them, see if they have any questions or concerns about attending (aka COVID) that you can clear up And C. Get a verbal RSVP
    • Reply
  • Stacey
    Just Said Yes August 2022
    Stacey ·
    • Flag

    Many people are doing micro weddings because of COVID. For example, you can get married in some botanical gardens as a micro wedding. Then go to a restaurant. Keep it informal, classy and have fun. This is your day.

    • Reply
  • Kari
    Master May 2020
    Kari ·
    • Flag

    I feel for you!

    We invited 77 people to our wedding celebration but had so few people RSVP yes that we ended up expanding our wedding guest list to 90 people. We decided that 40 was our minimum to go through with having it, because we were looking at about a $20k investment in vendor fees alone and we just couldn't justify spending $20k on a 20 person event. We ended up with 47 guests in attendance, most of which were my husband's friends and family, and of those roughly a third were "extended invites" so not our closest loved ones. I only had about 10 of "my" people, only two of which were people who traveled at all and are outside of the group of people who live nearby and we see regularly anyway. At least one person I thought was a close friend made it very clear I just wasn't a priority to her at all, and a number of my other close friends did not come, and even though some had very legitimate reasons they couldn't make it, it was still disappointing and hurtful. The only "dream" I had ever had for my wedding was to get my friends all in one spot, and it felt kind of lonely to be surrounded by the same people we see every day and not have it feel "special" at all by having those outside our usual circle attend.

    When is your RSVP deadline? We had a number of people wait until the last minute to RSVP, so you may still get some accepts as your wedding is still 6 weeks away. You could consider expanding your guest list, although it won't feel the same as having the people you really want there. For those who have declined and made it clear you are not important to them, consider this just a wake up call to not prioritize those relationships in the future.

    Honestly, a 20 person event can feel amazing if its the right 20 people. The things that had the biggest impact (guest wise) on our wedding was having guests who we were close to, who really wanted to be there, and whose idea of celebrating mirrored ours. Our close friends who got on the dance floor with us, came early to help with prep, and/or hung out after the party was over are the people who I felt most connected to. The people who just came, ate food, said congrats, and left really didn't add much to our wedding experience at all - I either barely saw them or they pulled me away from having fun to be a good host.

    I can't say what to do only that I am sorry this is happening to you. I know it feels lonely, isolating, and disappointing. My best advice would be to focus on those who are really excited to celebrate with you and make the most of the experience with them. It's better to have a smaller group of quality companions than a large group of people who are only superficially there for you.

    • Reply
  • Crystal
    Just Said Yes July 2021
    Crystal ·
    • Flag

    Oh my Dear God! I am so sorry!!!!!! Weddings are the most beautiful thing, we as women get to experience other than pregnancy/birth ...why do people have to ruin that or bring it down in such a negative way. I too, would be so hurt.

    So here's my personal opinion:

    It sounds like there is no way to alleviate the family/friend situation. COVID, as we know it can continue for years to come and there's no way to predict the future and if this will dissipate. Move forward with your wedding. Is there ANY way to change to a smaller venue so it feels more intimate and big? I only paid 8k for our entire wedding and only 40 people. The venue had a small ceremony room that was SUPER luxurious, which would be perfect for your 20 guests. Let me know if you're interested! Had sooo many guests thinking we paid a ton of money for this place and they were SHOCKED when I told them our total. Venue, DJ, cake, reception, tables, food ..etc. Photography is an addtnl 1700.00 if you go with their guy.

    I am so sorry for the hurt they are causing. Nothing will repair the loss you will still feel up to, on, and after your big day. I know this because I only had one blood relative at my wedding and it killed me inside.

    Please move forward with your day. Let this be special for you and your Husband to be. Catering to these people that clearly don't care about your happiness is not worth your time, heart ache, or stress. Swallow that large pill, and walk your beautiful a** down that aisle girl. I'LL come to your wedding! Smiley smile

    Don't elope! That day with the ceremony, the applause, the smiles, the photos, the dancing ...that is what you want and don't chalk it up because others are willing to ruin it for you. ROCK that day and hopefully others will see that you shined and they'll regret not being a part of it.

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