Wediquette Wednesday: Can I un-R.S.V.P to a wedding my ex is attending?

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: A friend is getting married in two weeks and about a month ago I sent back my R.S.V.P. card with a yes for me and my bestie, who is my plus one. I’d really like to change my R.S.V.P however. Reason being, a month before invitations went out, my boyfriend of three years and I split up. The couple knew this, so they sent us separate invitations. He told me he wasn’t planning to attend, but I learned through mutual friends that he changed his mind and is now planning to go. The breakup was as amicable as these things can be, but that doesn’t make it hurt any less and I’m just not up to seeing him, whether he goes alone, brings a friend, or god help me, a real date. Can I un-R.S.V.P to a wedding my ex is attending? 

Answer: First, I’m so sorry you are hurting. It’s important to give yourself time to heal and space away from your ex in which to do it, so its natural that you’d want to bow out of attending events where he will be present. There’s plenty of time when things are less fresh to dip a toe into being around one another, if that’s something you hope to do at some point. Meanwhile, the rule 10 days to two weeks for couples to make changes with the caterers, so if you notify them right now, you should be OK. Typically, it’s only acceptable to cancel last minute when there is a cancelled flight, sudden loss of childcare or an emergency, such as hospitalization or a death in the family. So if it’s too late for the couple to change the catering numbers, plan to attend and leave the reception after the food is served. It’s not ideal under the circumstances, but at least you will have your best friend there for support.

Do you have a solution to share or a wedding etiquette question? Email

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