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’s wedding is in a couple of weeks and I am planning to attend. I submitted the R.S.V.P. when we go it two weeks ago. It thoughtfully included a plus one for my long-term partner. Since then, my partner was diagnosed with a condition that causes her energy levels and feelings of wellness to fluctuate day-to-day. Lately she has been down for the count more days than not, hence the visit to the doctor and subsequent diagnosis. We are trying to navigate this the best way we can, but aren’t sure if she will feel up to attending the wedding until most likely the day of the event. Is it OK for one member of a guest party to cancel due to illness the day of the wedding?
Answer: First, I’m sorry about what you and your partner are going through right now. It’s so difficult to deal with health complications, especially with an illness that is so unpredictable. Next, if your partner gives her blessing, it would be a good idea to share the situation with your cousin, so she understands if you end up attending solo. She also might be able to communicate with the caterer for options where food is concerned, but the day of might not make any difference. Either way, at least she will have the option. If your partner would rather keep this confidential — which is of course understandable, especially since she just learned about this and is still processing the situation — it’s always OK to cancel in the case of illness or emergency. Contact the couple to let them know she is ill and can’t make it to the wedding. You may want to do this via text and assure them that you know they are busy and you don’t expect a response. Meanwhile, give them her regrets when you see them at the event. Also, don’t forget to take lots of pictures to show your partner when you get home, so she can feel included. It’s hard to bow out of important celebrations due to health issues.
Do you have a solution to share or a wedding etiquette question? Respond in the comments or email Melanie@MyNewOrleans.com.