– Ask Cheryl – Can I Change my RSVP?

Today’s question comes from a reader that wanted to change her daughter’s RSVP to a bridal shower at the last minute.

Hi Cheryl,

I was searching to find an answer to this question when I came across one of your articles and thought I would reach out.

My daughter and I were invited to a bridal shower. I RSVP’d for myself only, since my daughter told me she would be traveling out of town. I didn’t want the host to incur any unnecessary expenses. However, my daughter came back from her trip ahead of schedule. She isn’t able to attend the wedding and she really wanted to celebrate with the bride. Around 10 am, I texted the host to see if my daughter could attend (the shower didn’t start until 1 pm). She replied, “Sorry, the final head count has already been given.”

As I pulled into the restaurant for the shower, the mother-of-the-bride (who is my close friend) called to say it would be OK to bring my daughter since one of the attendees was not coming. I attended the shower feeling a little awkward, but I made myself at ease and everyone had fun.

I guess my question is this: due to this situation, I no longer feel like attending the wedding. It will be out of town, and I already booked the hotel. What is your advice to me?


Can I Change my bridal shower RSVP last minute?

Hi Belaine,

Thank you for writing. My question to you is, why do you feel as if you now don’t want to attend the wedding? Let me address some of your comments and hopefully I will hit on your concerns.

First, you did the right thing in only RSVP’ing for yourself. Your daughter is a grown up, and therefore she should be responding for herself.

If you’re upset at the host, put yourself in her shoes. At the very last minute, you requested to add an extra guest. You shouldn’t be offended that she said no. Sometimes one more doesn’t matter, but in this case it must have. While it’s too bad that your daughter’s plans changed, once you have replied, then you most often need to stick to that reply unless you know the event is very informal and the host won’t mind.

We always think we are the exception (and I’m guilty of this too), but we are actually putting ourselves first. Once you RSVP, put others first and stick with your decision unless there is an emergency or illness.

It sounds like your friend was trying to accommodate you and make you feel at ease since she called you, probably after learning of your request.

My advice is that you forget about it and attend the wedding. If you felt slighted, it’s best to be forgiving. Remember, the mother of the bride has a lot of details to think about. I’m sure your close friend will appreciate your attendance and support.

If you have questions or comments about this post, or about gift giving, bridal shower, baby shower, or wedding etiquette, please comment below or email [email protected].

Questions in this column are received from readers. They may be edited for spelling, length and grammar, or to remove sensitive information. However, we are careful not to alter the intent or content of the question.

Cheryl Seidel is an etiquette writer and the founder of RegistryFinder.com, an intuitive search engine that helps gift givers quickly and easily find online registries for weddings, baby showers, graduations and more.

4 thoughts on “Ask Cheryl: Can I Change my RSVP?

  1. I like the helpful information you provide to your articles.

  2. This is a subject close to my heart. Thanks.

  3. Bridal Shower etiquette question: How should the bride-to-be respond to a guest that has sent an RSVP stating, “I would love to come, but would I be able to bring (son)? Spouse is out of town that weekend.”

    Thank you for your advice.

  4. Hi Elaine,
    Thanks for your question. We often have brides tell us that guests ask to include their children at the wedding, but not usually for the bridal shower.

    First of all, the bride should not really be responding to this question. She is not (or should not be) the hostess of the party and therefore should not be fielding the RSVP’s. The host of the shower should determine if she wants to include children.

    Usually children are not included in the bridal shower, but the person holding the shower can determine if it’s appropriate for the event. If not, she can simply respond and say that it won’t work because, “The venue it’s child friendly,” or “there won’t be any other children there.” Since I don’t know the particulars, the host will have to use her best judgement. Perhaps if the child is an infant, it wouldn’t be a problem.

    I hope this is helpful!

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