While most of your guest list conversations will focus on who you'd like to have celebrate with you, not everyone will be able to make it on your wedding day, whether they have a prior engagement or can't travel for health reasons. If you know someone won't be able to attend your wedding, should you still send them an invitation? Our experts weigh in on whether this is a sweet gesture or looks like you're asking for gifts.
It's always sad to find out that someone won't be able to celebrate with you at your wedding, but it can be harder if you know they won't be there before you've even sent out the invitations. It might be your childhood best friend whose baby is due the same weekend, a grandparent or older relative who isn't up for the long distance they'd need to travel, or a close friend of your parents who has an international trip planned. Whatever the reason, you know your wedding won't be the same without them.
If you already know they can't come, you might be shying away from sending an invitation. After all, those things can be expensive, and you don't want to look like you're just soliciting wedding gifts. However, if this person is someone you really care about, reconsider. A wedding invitation isn't just for a party: It's inviting your guests to be there to witness your vows, and even if you know an important guest can't make it, you should still formally invite them to be there with you. These guests will be expecting an invitation, whether or not you've already discussed every detail of their bucket list trip to India that kicks off the weekend of your wedding, and they'll be thrilled to hear about the details of your big day and hang your invitation on their fridge, even if they'll only be there in spirit.
Still worried about your invitation seeming like a solicitation for gifts? Remember that these VIPs would most likely have sent you a wedding gift either way — and with an invitation in hand, they'll be able to head over to your wedding website and buy you something you really want off of your registry.