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How to Deal with No-Show Wedding Guests (Who RSVPed Yes!)

Where are they? And why didn't they call?

Contributing Writer
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Photography by: Lacie Hansen Photography

Until it happens to you, you may not realize it's a thing: friends and family members who RSVPed that they were coming to the wedding then didn't show up. It's rude and frustrating, especially if there were other people who you would've loved to fill those empty seats. Here's how to handle this precarious situation.

 

Related: What No One Tells You About Your Wedding Reception

 

Don't do anything at the reception.

You worked hard for many months to create your dream wedding. Don't let someone ghosting you put a dark cloud over the day. Enjoy the family and friends who are present, and don't give the absentee a second thought at the reception.

 

If you don't hear from them, contact them after the honeymoon.

Believe it or not, some no-shows won't bother to contact you to explain or apologize. Whether it's due to bad manners or ignorance, some people will behave in ways that are shocking to the rest of the world. It's not worth getting into an argument with them or making them feel embarrassed but it doesn't hurt to call them to ask what happened. Reach out after your honeymoon—now is a time to celebrate.

 

Accept that unforeseen things occur.

Unexpected situations come up—illness, a family emergency, a last-minute work commitment. Then there are those who are flaky and forgot about the wedding and those who weren't in the mood for a party that day. No one likes to pay for a meal that went uneaten but there's nothing you can do about it. It's one of the negatives that come with throwing a big celebration.

 

Don't expect your caterer to give you a refund.

By the wedding day, you've already given the guest count to the caterer, who's bought and prepared enough food for the number of people you told him would be attending. Chances are you won't notice the MIA guest until after the food prep is well underway, so the caterer will unlikely deduct anything from your bill, which you probably already paid for anyway.