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The Right Way to Deal With No-Shows at a Wedding

Emergencies aside, there’s no reason why an RSVP “yes” should turn into an empty seat at your wedding. No guest? No gift? No good

In No-Show Speak, “yes” means “no”

Bettina Baumgartner/Shutterstock

With the cost of weddings and receptions these days, it’s hard to believe that this kind of problem still arises. The question is: how would you handle it? Read on...

Dear Wedding Guru:
“I understand that emergencies arise and sometimes guests are simply unable to attend a wedding to which they have responded positively. What I don’t understand is those people who don’t show up and then say nothing about it... or those who say nothing and don’t send a gift. What's the right way to handle the no-shows?” — No Sympathy For No-Shows

Dear No Sympathy:
I agree. It boggles my mind how people can be so rude as to RVSP “yes” and then never show up to the wedding — and never provide an explanation. I wouldn’t blame you for feeling really annoyed and even to be curt, if given the opportunity. At the very least, the no-show owes you an explanation and, as far as I’m concerned, a gift!

That said, it’s entirely appropriate to call the person and ask them what happened. You should at least know why they didn’t make it when they said they would — especially since you paid for their seat (and perhaps their guest’s, if they were entitled to a plus-one). Regardless of the reason, you deserved a phone call and an apology. So, my advice? Confront them (provided it feels right to you), learn from their folly, forgive — and never do it yourself.

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About This Blog

Tying the knot shouldn't put knots in your stomach, so whether you're the blushing bride, hubby-to-be, or even a wedding guest, The Wedding Guru Judy Lewis can answer all of your wedding-related questions.

This blog hails from, the one-stop resource for services and products, promotions and specials, a Regional Bridal Show schedule, Wed Shop, and links to money-saving and wedding-related Web sites.

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