“The Rules” is a Moneyish series where we define the rules around sticky money topics like giving an allowance, who pays on a date, combining finances with your partner, and more.

Being left out royally sucks.

Invites to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s May 19 wedding have been sent out more than a week ago, but one close friend hasn’t received one yet.

Elton John, who sang at Harry’s mother, Princess Diana’s funeral in 1997, and attended Prince William and Kate Middleton’s royal nuptials several years ago, is among those who have been seemingly snubbed from the guest list.

“We haven’t had an invitation yet,” the singer told BBC2 radio on Thursday morning.

And Markle’s nephew and former sister-in-law told “Good Morning Britain” that they haven’t been invited to her wedding yet, either.
“At this point, it’s just, who knows?” said Tyler Dooley, Markle’s nephew. “Ultimately, it’s her day, it’s her happiness,” he added. 

Tracy Dooley — Tyler’s mom and the ex-wife of Markle’s half-brother — gave a more passive aggressive response: “Chances are, I don’t think that we’re going to get the invitations, and that’s fine… [But] we’ve been here from the very beginning, her whole life, always rooting her on and supporting her.”

They’re not the only ones who have been snubbed from a high-profile guest list. In mid-2017, Drake Bell and Josh Peck — former co-stars on Nickelodeon’s hit show “Drake & Josh” — had a public falling out when Bell tweeted that “ties had been cut” between the on-screen stepbrothers because Peck didn’t invite Bell to the wedding, despite the two working side-by-side for four seasons.

“When you’re left out of a big event, it makes you feel shunned, and leaves you very skeptical about the relationship you have with the person who did the inviting,” etiquette expert and author Elaine Swann told Moneyish. “You feel a little embarrassed about the ones who attended and were part of the festivities, while you were not.”

But it turns out most people have been left off “the list” at some point or another. According to Psychology Today, as many as 70% of people say they’ve experienced a form of social exclusion within the last six months. And a University of Chicago researcher has speculated that as many as one in five people are unhappy as a result of social isolation at any given time.

So this is what to do if you hear through the grapevine that you’ve been snubbed.

1. Be honest: Do you really want to go? Swann suggests taking a pause to process what you’ve just learned — that you’ve been left out of something — and to ask yourself if you really wanted to attend in the first place, or if you’re just feeling overlooked. If you genuinely wanted to be there, she said, it’s worth speaking up. Otherwise, stop here, turn around, and walk away — it’s not worth starting a fight over something you don’t really care about anyway.

2. Should you still send a gift? Do you still spend money on someone who left you out of their wedding or kids’ Bar Mitzvah? “You’re not obligated to,” Thomas said, “but it’s just nice to do.” Swann said you should “respect their position in terms of not inviting you,” such as if the event is only for close family — but it’s thoughtful to still send a little something to acknowledge the occasion. She advised keeping it “small, something along the lines of a gift card, but choose one that suits the person’s taste or interest.” She added that a picture frame with a photo of the couple or recipient is a great gift, too. For reference, experts have previously told Moneyish that wedding guests generally spend between $50 and $100 per gift, on average.

3. Determine how close you are to the person. “If it’s a casual acquaintance that you see once in a while, I would let it go,” said etiquette guru Karen Thomas. “The next time you see them, say, ‘Hey, I heard you guys got together; I wish I could have made it,’ just as a hint for next time around.” And you could set up a separate coffee date or meet-up with the host to bond and forge a better relationship, so he or she may invite you the next time around.

If it’s someone you are really close with, however, then certainly say, “I heard you are getting together tomorrow, and I’d love to join you if I’m welcome.'”

4. Avoid discussing this over email. It’s best to have this conversation in person or by phone, Thomas said. Swann agreed: “With family, make a phone call. Let them know you were definitely not invited and you’d like to know if there was a reason you were left off the list.” Most of all, the experts said, avoid conducting this correspondence via email.

5. Don’t get everyone else involved. If you decide to confront the hosts before the event, don’t enlist other guests in your defense; address this yourself. “Resist the urge to go on a campaign to get people on your side. Instead, go directly to the host,” said Swann. In her view, you should take up the matter before the event, rather than waiting until after.