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Chance encounters with old friends are enjoyable accidents, especially when there is a wedding invitation attached. However, securing a summons to a high school friend's nuptials can be tricky if the friend in question expects an invitation in return. Is it necessary to invite a high school friend to your wedding if she has extended an invitation of her own? Our etiquette experts weigh in on the complex topic of guest list reciprocity.
Traditionally, an invitation to a classmate's wedding would dictate that the bride follow suit with an invitation in return, but modern weddings do not necessarily require such protocol. The size and content of your guest list depends on a number of significant factors, including your budget, the size of your wedding venue, and the desired intimacy of your celebration. Some couples choose to maintain a minute guest list and exclude anyone with whom they don't have a close relationship, or minimize the list to keep costs within reason. If your venue, financial situation, or guest list size are such that including friends who have fallen out of touch places a strain on the affair, you don't have to invite them.
However, if your wedding is adequately large to accommodate two more guests, the polite course of action would be to offer an invitation. Your friend felt the relationship significant enough to include you in her special day, and will likely expect an invitation of her own in return.
Think carefully about your wedding and your relationship with your friend before making a concrete decision. Your day should revolve around your inclinations regardless of who may or may not make the cut on the guest list. If your friend fits into your big-day vision, be sure to invite her.