Should We Send a Wedding Invitation to Someone We Know Can't Attend?

Well, how close are you and your fiancé to the guest in question?

Updated 02/15/17

Photo by Weddings By Sasha

As you’re choosing a wedding date and making your guest list, there’s a good chance you’ll find out that someone you’d really hoped would be there won’t be able to make it to your wedding. When it comes time to send out your invitations, should you add them to the list anyway, even though you know they can’t come? Here’s what our experts have to say.

Deciding whether or not to invite a guest you already know can’t attend your wedding all depends on the context. If it’s a more distant relative or a family friend you aren’t particularly close to, tread with caution: Sending a wedding invitation if they’ve already said they won’t be able to make it can be seen as a ploy to try to get more gifts, so think this one through. Of course, that doesn’t mean other guests should be struck from the list, too!

If the guest in question is someone you’re close to and is an older relative or friend, like a grandmother, aunt, or your childhood neighbor, they may want to receive the wedding invitation as a keepsake. Consider writing them a note about how sorry you are to hear that they won’t be there to celebrate with you and slipping it in with their invite. That way they’ll know that you wanted to include them in the celebration as much as possible, as well as that you already know they can’t attend. Bonus: These guests are probably planning to send you a gift anyway, so sharing your invitation (and therefore your registry information!) means they’ll be able to pick out something they will know you’ll love.

The same goes for close friends. Remember, an invitation to your wedding is an invitation for them to be a part of a huge moment in your life, and sending an invitation even if you know they can’t make it is a sweet way to still include them in this milestone. Your BFF will be happy to hear about the details, even if she already knows she can’t be there in person.

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