Each Wednesday, we tackle wedding etiquette. At times, it’s a reader question or one from a colleague, friend or family member and other times we’ll cover a popular issue. (Note: Questions may be edited for clarity and brevity.)


Question: My cousin is getting married in about two weeks. Originally, I planned to attend, given the number of coronavirus cases dropping and phasing in the area opening up. With the spike in cases and phasing being dialed back however, I’m having second thoughts. Can I change my ‘yes’ R.S.V.P. to ‘no,’ due to COVID?

Answer: Normally, I’d caution against cancelling this close to the event, unless it’s an emergency. But the pandemic has turned the usual etiquette on its head, as we all learn to navigate and cope with the latest twists and turns. If you are having second thoughts, call your cousin as soon as possible to tell her about the change in your R.S.V.P. Be honest about your level of discomfort, but don’t pass judgement on her plans to move forward. Let her know this is a personal decision, that you hope she can understand and that you hope her Big Day is lovely. Be sure to send along your gift and a card if you haven’t already. We all have to be flexible at this time and cancellations like yours, especially since it’s early enough remove your meal with the catering company, can — hopefully — be taken in stride.


Do you have a solution to share or a wedding etiquette question? Respond in the comments or email Melanie@MyNewOrleans.com.