Brides – We’ve all been there. We’re working on creating the perfect guest list for our wedding and a friend or family member casually mentions that we should invite so-and-so, even though you know that they won’t attend for one reason or another.
“But it’s the thought that counts.”
Before you know it, you’re playing a mental tug-of-war with yourself because you don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, but that’s one invitation that could be sent to someone else with more of possibility to come celebrate with you.
It’s easy to get hung up here, but you’re not alone and you have options! This is something I dealt with a few times as a young bride and I have since learned a couple of ways to handle these situations gracefully (Dear Younger Me, please read this!).
If you’re opting for a micro wedding or elopement, that will solve this snafu pretty quickly. Generally, the only people present for an elopement are the honored couple, the officiant, and the photographer. If you’re planning to include a few of your nearest and dearest to witness your vow exchange, usually there’s not much room for anyone outside of you and your hubby’s tribe. While that may sound a tad harsh, it’s true that every invitation counts with fewer guest spots available. Besides, you can always throw a fun post-elopement party to celebrate with those who aren’t able to make it to your ceremony!
Say you do have room on your guest list, so sending out an invitation that you know won’t be sent back with an RSVP won’t be doing any harm. While this is true, this could be one less stamp you have to buy and one less envelope you have to address, which can really add up! Maybe you have a grandparent who cannot travel due to health reasons, or a friend with a long ways to travel and not the means to do so – Whatever the situation may be, if you are absolutely unfailingly certain that they will not attend, move them off your guest list and opt to send them a kind hand-written note instead. You could say something like:
“We miss you so much and wish that you could be here to celebrate with us! We understand that’s not feasible for you at this time and simply wanted to let you know that you will be present in our hearts as we tie the knot. Much love!”
Not only will they enjoy hearing from you, regardless of the situation, it assures them that you understand and takes some of the pressure off of them for not being able to be there with you, which may be especially upsetting for family members who wish they could attend, but aren’t able to.
Everyone has that one cousin or friend that never RSVPs to anything and shows up to about only half of the events they’re invited to. Maybe they have a demanding job, they travel frequently, etc.; either way, the option for this scenario is pretty simple. If you’re feeling up to it, simply reaching out to them and saying something like:
“Hey there! We’re getting married on November 19 and would love to have you celebrate with us, but we know life keeps you busy! Do you think you would be able to attend?”
There’s no harm in asking before you make it invitation official! Especially with the one or two people whose attendance is a toss up, reaching out beforehand could give you an answer right then or there. They could respond with saying they wouldn’t miss it for the world, or perhaps they’ll still give an uncertain answer. If that’s the case, and you have room on your list, opt to send them an invite anyway. Telling them that you would love to have them join you may encourage them to make an appearance!
Sending invitations as formalities isn’t a bad thing to do! It is polite, but when you have a smaller guest count or a less flexible budget, it’s worth trying to weed out as many uncertainties as possible. You’re not a bad friend, cousin, coworker, niece, fill in the blank for not sending everyone you know and love an invitation to your wedding!
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