Maybe you want a ceremony that’s strictly for close family members. You may be working with a constrained budget, therefore wanting to keep your wedding party small. It can get a little awkward when someone asks “Hey, why am I not invited to your wedding?”. It’s even worse when someone presumptively says “Hey so when is my invite gonna come?”. Whatever the reason is, there’s that chance that you would end up having to reply with “Sorry, you can’t go to the wedding”. Luckily, there are some ways to tell this to people that don’t seem as harsh as just pure rejection. Master the art of being blunt, but gentle.
Show appreciation of them wanting to come.
Don’t go around emailing people who never asked why they aren’t invited to the wedding. If they never asked, it’s likely that they already know why. Therefore, it’s also likely that the people who do ask have some sort of established relationship with you and want to be there for that special day. Start off with “I would’ve loved to have you there, but we were forced to be incredibly selective about the guest list.” Follow it up with how you want to catch up afterwards. It’s incredibly important to establish that their relationship matters to you, and that the lack of an invite shouldn’t tarnish that.
Putting emphasis on the budget
If a budget constraint is what keeps you from inviting the entire town to your big day, the key is honesty. You don’t need to be forced to go into debt just to make everyone else happy, and you can convey that without the aggressiveness. “It’s genuinely upset me to not be able to have you come, but with such a small budget we were forced to keep it to a small party.” Again, this is still emphasizing on not liking how you may have disappointed them.
Wanting to keep it intimate
Not everyone wants a big wedding and that’s perfectly fine. The big problem with trying to convey that you want to keep the ceremony “intimate” may rub people off the wrong way. Thoughts such as “Am I not close enough to you to be part of an intimate ceremony?” might cross their minds and that’s okay. It can be addressed in an elegant manner. Tell them how you envision your day as something very small with very few people and be straightforward when you tell them how this doesn’t mean they’re a less valuable person in your life.
In general, it’s always hard to tell people “no”, especially if you know they’re coming from a place of love when they want to be part of a milestone in your life. Just remember to be honest and gentle and the people in your life are sure to understand.