Should I send wedding invitations to guests I know aren’t coming?

When you start making your guest list, you might find there are several people you think/know won't be able to make it to the wedding. Should you still send them wedding invitations or should you be practical and save a little money? Just like most wedding etiquette questions, the answer depends on the situation. Here are our suggestions if you find yourselves in this situation.

Guests Who Aren't Coming
  • Suggestion #1: Never assume someone won't make it to the wedding.
  • It's easy to assume some long-distance friends and relatives won't come but travel is so easy and affordable these days that you really have no idea who will decide to attend despite the distance.
  • Suggestion #2: Send an invitation unless the guest tells you directly he/she isn't coming.
  • Always send an invitation unless you hear from the guest directly (via phone call, email, Facebook message, etc.) that he/she won't be attending the wedding. If they've spoken to you and have said they aren't coming, don't feel obligated to send invitations. Check out the next two suggestions to help you decide.
  • Suggestion #3: Don't send an invite to guests who can't come for lack of funds.
  • This applies mostly to destination weddings but it also applies to guests who will be traveling long distances to attend your wedding. Why worry about this at all? Friends and family members often feel obligated to send a gift if they receive an invitation. If they don't have the funds to travel, they may not have money for a gift either. Those who want to send a gift will do so with or without an invitation.
  • Suggestion #4: Consider sending an invitation as a keepsake.
  • Close friends and relatives will appreciate a memento of your special day. Photo wedding invitations make especially nice keepsakes. Worried about people feeling obligated to send a gift? Include a note that says the invite is a keepsake on behalf of the couple, no gift necessary. This is a fantastic way to include the elderly. Aging grandparents may find it difficult to attend the wedding but this will show them their absence is recognized and they are missed.