In a perfect world, you get engaged, send out save-the-date cards and then send wedding invitations to every person who received a save-the-date card. But reality is a bit more ambiguous and wedding invitations are expensive.
Some couples think sending an invitation to those who have indicated they could not attend screams of fishing for a wedding gift. If there’s no invitation, then, obviously, there is no obligation of a gift. Although this is an excellent reason to forgo sending an invitation to those who have “pre-regretted,” you don’t want to unknowingly make someone feel snubbed. Obligations change and a “no” from six months ago could become a “yes” today.
Bottom line: The people on your “A List,” your closest friends and relatives, should definitely receive invitations, regardless. But you can skip sending an invitation to someone not on your core list – a co-worker or professional acquaintance – that has already expressed a conflict. If you really want to cover all your bases and leave no room for hurt feelings, send that friend a quick note giving them the opportunity to change their mind. “Rebecca, we’re sorry you can’t make it to the wedding. If your plans change between now and November, please let us know. We’d be thrilled to include you.”