Those first few days and weeks of being engaged are so exciting. You get to spend the rest of your life with the person you love—oh, and you get to plan a wedding! If you have a friend with a new ring on her finger, there’s probably been little talk of anything else since she said “yes,” and she may have even hinted (or flat out told you) that you’d be on the guest list. But if the chosen date is fast approaching and you still haven’t found any fancy envelopes in your mailbox, is there anything you can do to figure out if you’ll be getting an invitation? Our experts have some tips for handling this tricky situation.
While it’s definitely bad form to tell a friend you’ll invite her to your wedding and then not actually do so, if your friend hasn’t sent you a save-the-date, she hasn’t technically done anything wrong. The only guarantee of a wedding invitation is getting a save-the-date (or, you know, being the bride or groom yourself!).
Of course, telling you she’ll invite you isn’t recommended unless she plans to do so. Before you give your friend a call, start by checking the calendar. If you know when and where she’ll be getting married, it might not quite be time for her to send invitations anyway. For destination weddings, save-the-dates are sent six to eight months in advance, with invitations mailing 12 weeks before the wedding. For local events, four to six months of advance notice is plenty for a save-the-date, with invitations mailing eight weeks before the big day. So if your BFF just got engaged and won’t be walking down the aisle until August, you don’t need to look for a save-the-date until February. Got time? Don’t worry! Your invitation should be on its way when the time comes.
If, however, the wedding date is coming up and you still haven’t gotten a formal invitation, you should check in with your friend. It’s impolite to directly ask for an invitation, but there are a few ways to hint at the conversation and allow your friend to address the situation. Try asking how planning (and specifically the guest list!) is going. Narrowing it down is tough, so she might really want to vent about the crazy demands her parents are making—and she can let you know if they’ve had to really cut it down and won’t be able to invite you.
And a note to brides and grooms…
Resist the urge to casually tell friends that of course they’ll be invited, or to really discuss any details with anyone unless you know they’ll be invited. It might seem innocent enough to tell your coworker about the cake you’ve chosen or ask for your gym buddy’s opinion on how to wear your hair, but including them in the specifics implies that they’ll be there come wedding day to see how it all comes together.
Instead, keep those conversations broad. Of course you can talk about how excited you are (who can resist?!), but if the details come up, change the subject. And if you did pass out verbal invitations, only to realize your venue simply can’t accommodate everyone? Be proactive to avoid awkward situations. Let the friends in question know that, while you know you talked about inviting them, you are so sorry to let them know that your venue (or budget!) can’t handle the crowd you originally planned for. That way, they won’t be left watching the mailbox and wondering where their invitation went!