What’s the Proper Way to Send Our Regrets?Q. Our close friends are having a vow renewal, but we are unable to attend as we had already booked a vacation in Hawaii. What’s the proper way to send our regrets?

A. If you’re unable to attend your friends’ vow renewal, here are a few ways to send your regrets while still letting them know you are happy for them and regret being unable to attend. First, it’s important to send back the RSVP card as soon as possible, even if you opt to also use one of our other suggestions. Sometimes the delegate in charge of tallying up responses isn’t the person who received your regrets and this will save everyone a lot of confusion.

Send a Personal Note.

Include a personal hand-written note with your RSVP. Here’s an example of what you might say:

Dear Karie and Michael,
We are so excited to hear about your upcoming vow renewal. We can’t believe that ten years have passed by so quickly! Thank you both so much for including us in your event. Unfortunately, we won’t be able to attend, as we will be in Hawaii. If we could only be in two places at once!

We will be thinking of you on March 2, and sending our love and best wishes your way.

Tami and Chuck Stephens

Send a Card

Include your thoughts and best wishes in an anniversary card. You should include the reason you cannot attend but also congratulate the couple on their lasting love and commitment to each other.

Give Them a Call

As soon as you know, you won’t be able to attend their vow renewal, give them a call to wish them well and perhaps set up another time to get together with them and do something in celebration. It’s always nice to hear the voice of a friend!

A Final Note

Don’t change your mind, make excuses, or wait until the last minute to send your regrets. A quick, “with regrets” response may allow your friends enough time to send an invitation to a guest they might not otherwise be able to include.