Can We Invite Guests Who Didn't Get a Save the Date?

Etiquette, Invites & Stationery
How to Be a Good Wedding Guest

Photo: Megan Clouse

So much happens during those first few months of wedding planning, from choosing a venue to putting together the guest list to designing invitations. And especially when a couple is on a shorter planning timeline, it can feel like decisions need to be made IMMEDIATELY. When it comes to guest lists, there can be a lot more politics and emotions involved than you would expect, making deciding who to send invitations to a drawn out conversation. Can you cut yourself a break by sending a smaller number of save the dates, then finalizing who gets an invitation later? Our experts weigh in.

The great answer is, yes! You can definitely add guests to your invitation list after you've sent out save the dates. This is great if you're still finalizing your guest count, or are trying to figure out if you'll invite second cousins as well as your college soccer team. Simply make a list of guests you 100% know you'll invite (most likely your families and closest friends) and send them a save the date so they can start reserving hotel rooms and booking flights, then spend that extra month or so deciding who else will be getting an invitation.

Worried that guests who didn't get a save the date will think they weren't invited at all? The best way to field questions about your guest list is to respond by saying that you're still finalizing the details. If it's someone who you've decided will definitely, without question be receiving an invitation, you can let them know that they'll be in the mail soon.

The big no-no? Doing the opposite and sending a save the date and not following up with an invitation. If you ask someone to save the date for your wedding, you must send this person an invitation to your wedding, whether you're not as close as you used to be or you are wishing you'd cut the guest list down further.

See more: 5 Things to Remember to Include on Your Save the Date

Give a Subscription to Brides Magazine as a Gift

Get personalized planning advice, exclusive offers and must-read wedding news.

Thank You
for Signing Up!

Check your e-mail inbox for the latest updates from