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Allison
Master October 2019 Ontario

RSVPs - dealing with the first decline

Allison, on July 31, 2019 at 19:43 Posted in Plan a wedding 0 35
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We are starting to get RSVPs back for our wedding, which is great! I knew going into it that around 10-15% will end up declining, but getting the first decline today still kinda sucks.

For context, the decline came from my cousin. I invited her and her husband - they do have a 3 year old, but he's not on the list, and frankly, he doesn't behave and I don't really want him at the wedding. Anyways, I talk with my cousin and she is currently in the divorce process and custody battle - meaning her kid can't stay with the dad right now and someone from an approved list has to watch her kid if she can't. Most people on that list are also on the guestlist, such as my other cousin and aunt. So as of now, she's not able to come unless: her kid can come OR: she finds someone who can watch over him for a bit and she'd leave after the first dance.

I'm standing my ground on not letting her kid in, so she probably won't be coming to the wedding. It sucks because we were close growing up and if it weren't for the divorce/custody battle, she'd be able to go. I know it's a tough spot for her, and I really appreciate her being up-front with me about it (she messaged me earlier explaining that her RSVP is in the mail, but this is the situation).

Anyways, how did you deal with the first RSVP decline? Was it someone you expected would decline or a complete surprise? Did you stuck to rules you made earlier or bend them a bit so someone who couldn't attend now could?

35 Comments

Latest activity by Allison, on September 17, 2019 at 12:57
  • Allison
    Master October 2019 Ontario
    Allison ·
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    Even if people whispered, you probably wouldn't notice.

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  • Nehita
    Newbie May 2020 Ontario
    Nehita ·
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    O mine Allison, thanks I would love to but can you imagine walking down and hearing people whispering? I am so scared it I’ll terrify my day , I I’ll love the white and veil but m scared no body s taking it . But I I’ll try , thanks a lot .
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  • Allison
    Master October 2019 Ontario
    Allison ·
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    Nehita, If your dream wedding dress is white, then definitely wear white! Just because you have kids, doesn't mean you can't wear a colour. Traditionalists will say you can't because white represents purity but it can also mean a new start. Also if you want a train, get a train!

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  • Nehita
    Newbie May 2020 Ontario
    Nehita ·
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    Am on same road with you , I have 4 kids my last is 5 and has autism , I am training him like mad I can’t leave him behind , sadly aside my 4 young kids I refused any other kids and I am hiring a babysitter too come with me to the wedding , pls are you wearing a white? When I talk of a wedding dress my friends bring crapy red and gold and they say bcas I ve kids I cant wear my dream dress in white m looking for an off white I m currently making a custom made dress and I was told s too white and there should be no train .
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  • Allison
    Master October 2019 Ontario
    Allison ·
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    I hadn't even thought about showing people who couldn't make it the photos afterward! It still would've been heartbreaking to have last-minute cancellations, but you have the moment afterwards with them!

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  • Allison
    Master October 2019 Ontario
    Allison ·
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    Most people in our family know of the cousin's separation so it's not a huge surprise.

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  • Allison
    Master October 2019 Ontario
    Allison ·
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    She actually is able to attend now! More people since have declined, most of them were family I knew would decline, but had to invite due to family politics. I had some friends that declined and it hurt more, but for most of the declines, it wasn't a total surprise.

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  • Stephanie
    Master July 2018 Alberta
    Stephanie ·
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    My husbands sisters declined. That was a tough one. They don’t get along, but we still expected them to come. My husband grieved for a bit but then focused on those who were coming. I had “siblings” ( I babysat them so I call them my little brothers/sisters, they call me their other sister) who were supposed to come but cancelled the week of because their vehicle broke down and they couldn’t afford plane tickets (they live three provinces away) so I was heartbroken for a bit. But, the day came and we were just on cloud 9 that we barely noticed who wasn’t there. It was so much fun and we just focused on those that came. It was then exciting to get to talk about my wedding with my “siblings” when I visited a few months later. And, showing them pictures and seeing their reactions—you don’t see everyone’s reactions the day of so it was nice to hear their thoughts on the venue and flowers etc which I hadn’t heard from other guests.
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  • Ashley
    VIP August 2020 Ontario
    Ashley ·
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    Shes probably in a bad place right now and doesnt want to be surrounded by people asking whats with her husband, why isnt he here etc. who knows. we havent had any declines yet but we will see!

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  • Kelly
    Devoted May 2020 Ontario
    Kelly ·
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    Honestly as much as it sucks let her deal with her own battles, if she really wanted to be there she will make it work
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  • Allison
    Master October 2019 Ontario
    Allison ·
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    It’s true, we invited 140 and our ideal number would be around 100-120 and that’s 20-40 declines!
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  • Kristy
    Beginner October 2019 Alberta
    Kristy ·
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    To be honest every decline I get a little bit relieved. We invited 120 and I can’t stand crowds. I would have loved to elope but it meant a lot to our families to have a wedding. I’m regretting that we didn’t elope. Anyways I think a lot of what people said is right it’s not personal. Not everyone can go to all the things all the time.
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  • Amanda
    Super June 2019 Ontario
    Amanda ·
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    It's so true... I guess I shouldn't have assumed, that was what hurt me the most, being SO sure she was coming and then finding out not.

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  • Allison
    Master October 2019 Ontario
    Allison ·
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    It's definitely a gamble going no-kids, some people welcome an adults-only outing, while others don't. As you said, to each their own either way.

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  • Chere-Lee
    Frequent user October 2020 Ontario
    Chere-Lee ·
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    It's a tough situation, but I commend you for your standing your ground!

    I am a mother of 4 and honestly, I would welcome the night out! Everyone deserves to have some adult time without their children! But to each their own!

    We did invite only 3 very young (highchair aged) kids - aside from my own. If these people come, we don't expect they will stay much longer than dinner.

    I have some time before our save-the-dates go out, let alone our invitations. But I believe I would probably feel exactly the same in your situation!

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  • Sarah
    Expert July 2021 Ontario
    Sarah ·
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    Yeah I definitely get it. Good luck hopefully all goes well with her. And I am sure you will have plenty of loved ones around you on the big day either way Smiley smile
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  • Chantel
    Newbie September 2019 Ontario
    Chantel ·
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    As a mother of 4 and I was placed in that position, I would not attend your wedding. I thought about not inviting kids to our wedding but we have 4 of our own, and most family that we invited have kids. I just made sure theres lots for them to do.
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  • Casey
    Master October 2019 Ontario
    Casey ·
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    Oh boy. That honestly is my biggest pet peeve when it comes to wedding planning, a lot of my FH's family goes to him, and he has no idea what to say for the most part lol. So I completely get the frustration on that one.

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  • Allison
    Master October 2019 Ontario
    Allison ·
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    Yeah it irks me when people ask if they can bring their kids, even though we stated on the RSVP just the parents' names and the website that we're keeping it 16 and over.

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  • Valérie
    VIP September 2019 Quebec
    Valérie ·
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    My first decline was a complete surprise:

    Couple of friends with two young kids. They asked me if they could bring their kiddos, because the grandparents were unavailable to take care of both of them. I told them no, which they understood, and a couple of weeks later asked me again if they could bring their youngest. Again, told them no. Luckily, they didn't take it personally and understood that we were limited on space and didn't want kids at our wedding.

    What irked me was how last minute it all felt. Like, we sent you save the dates in February, with a link to our website that said that kids weren't gonna be invited.

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  • Allison
    Master October 2019 Ontario
    Allison ·
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    Yeah, I feel like bending the rules opens up a whole can of worms. If I allowed my cousin's 3 year old, what's stopping other cousins to ask the same for them and make up a sob story (i.e. I can't get a babysitter) to gain my sympathy.

    I'm really emphatic too, so imposing these rules sucks for me, but it's something we decided to do as a couple.

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  • Allison
    Master October 2019 Ontario
    Allison ·
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    My cousin mentioned that this is really bad timing - she's hoping everything's resolved by Christmas, if all goes well. She said if the circumstances were different, she'd definitely be there - she's mentioned she might be able to be there for the ceremony.

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  • Allison
    Master October 2019 Ontario
    Allison ·
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    We have a FH's cousin who wants to bring their kid that's just under a year old (10 months). She also goes to his uncle (her dad) instead of us so the uncle ends up in the middle -.-

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  • Allison
    Master October 2019 Ontario
    Allison ·
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    I'm definitely closer to cousins on my dad's side (which is the side she's on) so it was a bit of a blow.

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  • Allison
    Master October 2019 Ontario
    Allison ·
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    That sucks about the childhood friend!

    I probably would've felt better if the first decline came from a "had-to" invite but I genuinely wanted my cousin to go.

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  • Tori
    Top October 2019 Manitoba
    Tori ·
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    It for sure gets ya right in the gut - I had lots of family RSVP no and I knew in the back of my head that they most likely wouldn't be coming as they live 4.5 hours away but I still had hope... Completely normal (I hope) to feel bad as it is a type of rejection no matter how you look at it. For my Aunt and Uncle they told me they aren't coming but didn't say why - but I know through other family it's because they were upset with me that I said no kids and they have 3 kids aged 10-16... I'm sorry but I will not bend rules to have to pay more money in the end.

    The only way I will bend a rule is if the person we invite asks for a plus one and there is time to meet the person in order to approve of them or if somebody were to have JUST delivered a baby within the month.

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  • Sarah
    Expert July 2021 Ontario
    Sarah ·
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    Don’t take it personally.. your cousin is have a really rough go right now and her son is her priority. As a mother of two I can easily say If I was in that position I would never choose a wedding over my kids no matter whose wedding it was. If you stand your ground that’s cool it’s your wedding but just don’t stress about it; remember this isn’t easy for her and it has nothing to do with you.

    We are expecting the majority of people to attend but there’s a couple we are expecting to decline (two cousins and their families who nobody ever sees /talks to). We’d be okay with them not coming as terrible as it sounds lol
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  • Casey
    Master October 2019 Ontario
    Casey ·
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    That is not a fun decline to get. It would have been a little easier if it wasn't someone you were super close with. But good for you for sticking to your guns about not having kids come.

    We are currently having an issues with FH's cousins kid wanting to come, and we are getting guilt tripped into it, but trying super hard to stand our ground!

    I got half a decline, my God mother sent back her RSVP, and it was just her and not her husband coming, which is cool because I don't really know him anyways lol. But I am trying to stay positive and that just means one less person to pay for.

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  • Erin
    Super May 2022 Ontario
    Erin ·
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    Sorry to hear that your cousin is not able to make it to your wedding. I think it's tough because even though you know you will get declines, in the back of your mind you're like everyone is coming. I am close with my cousins as well so I can understand how disappointed you are.

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  • Becky
    VIP September 2019 Ontario
    Becky ·
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    That must be a rough go for her, I get where you are coming from with still saying no to the kid aspect. My first decline was someone we had to invite - fh aunts kid but step kid and we only see them few times a year, we couldn't not invite them if we invited the rest of the cousins. Some rsvps that we got that were disappointing were his childhood best friend. I asked his mom to deliver their invites as she couldn't remember actual address.. well she delivered them to her work and not her house. The work didn't give them to her until 2 months later -.-

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  • Lisa
    Expert August 2019 Alberta
    Lisa ·
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    Ouch, I’m so sorry. That must have been a blow. Family has a bigger emotional hold
    on us than we realize. It’s funny how it’s just so obvious that of course someone will be coming -
    only to realize and have to reconcile the emotions when you find out they aren’t.
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  • Allison
    Master October 2019 Ontario
    Allison ·
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    That's one thing I'm trying to keep in mind - that they are declining because they have things come up and they need to deal with said things.

    It's hard to not take it personal, but you are right, the declines are usually for a good reason.

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