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What's The Etiquette For People Who Declined Before The Invitations?

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One of my bridesmaid has informed me that her and her husband cannot make it to our wedding due to financial reasons. I completely understand where she is coming so I'm not upset. I expected this already to happen with our DW. I'm bummed about it but I'm not upset. My sister (who is my MOH) and my brother cannot cannot attend our wedding also. So what do you do for the invitations for the people who already declined and told you ahead of time? Should I still send them a formal invitation knowing they cannot make it? Do I still send it as a polite gesture? 

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One of my bridesmaid has informed me that her and her husband cannot make it to our wedding due to financial reasons. I completely understand where she is coming so I'm not upset. I expected this already to happen with our DW. I'm bummed about it but I'm not upset. My sister (who is my MOH) and my brother cannot cannot attend our wedding also. So what do you do for the invitations for the people who already declined and told you ahead of time? Should I still send them a formal invitation knowing they cannot make it? Do I still send it as a polite gesture? 


This is a hard one and was addressed not to long ago - will try to remember under which thread.


Personally for me I felt that if people politely declined before invites were sent out you didn't have to send one. Like that was their RSVP.... but, I had a friend tell me point blank to count her out. So knowing that I didn't send her an invite and months later I found out she had been in a 'tiff' about it all this time and hasn't really spoken to me since.  I told her why I didn't send the invite, and got no response so I decided to just move on and not engage in the high school behavior.


That said, I think you should just send one for a couple reasons - to avoid these feelings and so they have a nice keepsake!

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So glad you asked this question! Been wondering the same thing....it to me seems like a waste to send invitations to people who after they received our save the date, said they wont be able to make it. However, my sister its still proper to send invitations to everyone ....but my passport invitations are expensive lol so decided only sending to those that are coming and those that havent outright declined. oh and to my grandmother who cant make it because I know she would keep it as a keepsake :)

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EKKK!  :o  This thread scares me a bit, into thinking I'm being rude!??


I have decided on ordering rather elaborate "Message in a Bottle" invitations (gorgeous labelled glass bottles, with sand, seas shells & script inside, comes in a box wrapped with fishnet) which run about $17.50 EACH (plus shipping to me, then the shipping to each of my guests!) For cost reasons, I thought it would be okay, only to send them to people who were attending, as a keepsake, especially when they're spending $1300+ to attend our wedding  - plus they will receive OOT bags upon arriving and favors at the reception...


Would it be faux pas to do the above (invites only to guests) and then afterwards, send out Thank You cards with a nice photo of the wedding, to ALL that were invited instead???


It's my first go around here, so any feedback would be helpful! ;)

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@@JennyZ wow your invitations sound really special. Who wouldn't get excited receiving an invitation like that!


Ok here's my thoughts, if you care about them and genuinely want them to attend regardless of the save the date responses, you should go ahead and make the splurge (maybe a thrifty splurge mentioned below) and send an invite.


Couple reasons;


You might be surprised that some people may change their minds once they receive an actual invitation. Get to thinking about it more....It happened to me.


Not that weddings are about gifts AT ALL. Destination weddings are a splurge in and of themselves for any attendee so I believe it is pretty common for people not to give gifts or if so maybe small, but upon receiving an invitation maybe your loved ones that can't go will bless you in other ways.


You won't have any doubt or regrets your mind will be clear that you sent everyone an invitation.


Any invite is better no invite. Maybe send a different invitation to those who may not attend?

Could get tricky if it's siblings and one receives a different invite than the other so exercise caution here.


Although most of my side of the family can't attend (how'd I get the short end of the stick lol) they wanted to and I wanted them to feel apart of it so I sent them an invitation. Having done so I do not regret it and am very confident the time and effort was worth it.


I made all of my invitations myself. Each invitation took about 2 hours a piece to make. I cut down card stock for main invitation, RSVP, and extra info cards. Painted waves with watercolor paint. Printed everything. Adhered them to pocket invitations, applied ribbons... So forth.

Take some time and let your heart be your guide!



Hope this helps.

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@@LisaAnthonyPoppy Thank you so much for the wonderful response! So awesome to have such nice ladies out here for us to reach out to! Your reply made me smile (and laugh about your short end of the stick! lol!) and really warmed my heart :wub:


Your invitations sound SO NICE!!!! I hope everyone who receives them realizes how much love (and time) you poured into them!!!


Here's my tricky part... We didn't actually send out "Save the Dates"  :wacko:  We actually sent out an explanation letter, advising our friends and family, what our plans were and giving them links to view the resort, the package information, etc. We then made a Wedding Website and sent out the links for everyone to view our plans and to RSVP from there.


The deposit date is now only 24 days away, so yesterday I sent out a "reminder" email to all guests and asked for them to RSVP on our site. We have had about 10 people straight up say, they 100% CANNOT attend, due to their work, school, or financial reasons - Do I still send them invites??? Seems a little odd, sending them an invite AFTER they have expressed they will not attend, no? Almost like a guilt trip? lol!

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Ahhhhh I see I see.... Mind if I share a similar experience with you? Didn't think so ;) so I will begin.


How you handle your accommodations, RSVPs, and overall logistics is very personal and should be because after all it is YOUR beautiful wedding.


Down memory lane...

I did what you did. Sent the email to family. Had a great idea that everyone could stay at this big villa sol y luna. It could all be so perfect ... Syke!


The email was sent announcing our wedding location, the villa we wanted to stay at and some other stuff, probably similar to yours. Immediately I had people say they couldn't come. So I omitted the regretful parties off of the circular. :)


Then I wanted everyone to tell me when they could have their deposits in and so forth.


That was a flop :(


Everyone's budget was different, everyone's needs were different.


We needed to let people book their own accommodations.


Some places you do need to get a head count and enough rooms together ahead of time to get the group rates, I totally understand that!


... But some you do not!

We had the same dilemma as you. We solved it by stopping while we were ahead of our selves mentally.


Sent out another email lol to tell everyone "just kidding" that we decided to shop around a bit more for lodging and once we found where we wanted to stay we would let people know and if they wanted to stay there great if not, no biggie!


We found a great place eventually that gave me a wedding code so if family wanted to stay they could and they could book whenever they wanted! No longer did we have to worry about when people had their deposit together, if they RSVP, etc etc.


Some people still haven't booked anything and the wedding is 6 months away! Some people booked at the same place as us! Some booked at an all inclusive Eco resort on the other side of Playa!

And you know what? We don't need to worry anymore.


Although we bumped people who we knew weren't coming from receiving occasional updates, when the time came, we sent our invitations... To everyone. They were received very well. They were very much appreciated.


So, if me sharing how we handled our initial planning makes things a little clearer for you then I'm happy! But by all means you can totally be in a wedding frenzy and crazy like me and we still love ya!

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