Monday, November 11, 2013

Etiquette for a wedding invite decline response

Etiquette for a wedding invite decline response

It's interesting:
"A wedding is a time for joy and fun, with friends and family gathered to see the happy couple off as they start their new life. But it is a time, too, when our ..."

Weddings are a time-honored ceremony with their own formalities and rules of etiquette. Certain guidelines have developed over time regarding different aspects of the wedding ceremony- one aspect is the wedding invitation. If you know more than a handful of people, you are likely to get invited to a few weddings during your lifetime. If you cannot attend a wedding, there are certain procedures you need to follow to decline the wedding invite request.

  1. Response Types

    • There are three types of wedding invitations: formal, semi-formal and informal. Etiquette for wedding invitations response dictates that the reply, even if to decline, be returned using the same type of formality as the invitation.


    • Wedding invitations usually allow for weeks of advance notice- this is to ensure accurate planning and preparation of the entire wedding party and guests. The etiquette to decline the wedding invitation suggests that a response should be mailed within two or three days after the receipt of the invitation or knowledge that the invited party will decline the invitation. If the original response was an acceptance to the invitation, but then must be changed to a decline, etiquette dictates an immediate notification to the couple stating a reason.

    Response Wording

    • Proper etiquette to turn down a wedding invitation is to use the simple wording "I/We are unable to attend." Use the reply card if one is provided. Send a side note on appropriate stationary giving a reason why you cannot attend. If portions of the invited party cannot attend, the wording would be similar to "Mr. Jones accepts with pleasure the invitation of (wedding couple). Mrs. Jones regrets that she is unable to attend." The person who is unable to attend can add a brief handwritten note explaining why she declined.

    Response Format

    • Acceptance and regrets towards wedding invitations are handwritten. It is considered bad etiquette to use blank forms for a response to an invitation. Replies given via email can be used if the invitation was an email, although handwritten replies are still considered a more proper form.


    • If no reply was requested, the recipient should still send a letter or make a phone call declining the invitation. When writing to decline the request, write out the date and time using the same formality used in the invitation. When declining an invitation request, a handwritten note to congratulate the couple or send well wishes should also be included.


Tags: cannot attend, Etiquette wedding, unable attend, wedding invitation, wedding invite, decline response, decline wedding