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wediquette, schmediquette

Every week Xochitl (pronounced so-cheel), our resident wediquette expert and owner of Always a Bridesmaid Wedding Consulting, answers an etiquette question submitted* by one of our readers. So, (without further ado):

Q: After sending out save the date cards, a few people already responded saying they can't come to the wedding. Do I still send them an invitation? Seems rude not to, seems like another push for a present to send it. Help! --Sarah

A: Great question! While it does seem like a bit of pressure for a gift, I think that may just be the courteous bride in you who doesn't want to seem greedy. Even if people say that they can't make it after receiving a save the date we always like to encourage brides to send the formal invite anyway. First, because the truth is, plans change over the course of six months! If these guests rated the A-list for your wedding, if something came up and they were able to make it, wouldn't you hate for them to feel that they'd been "un-invited" or unsure if they were still welcome? But we also encourage invitations because they would probably appreciate knowing that you wanted them to feel included and appreciated. Receiving a wedding invitation is a special thing.
We like to advise our brides to add a personal note with these invitations so that you avoid confusion and alleviate pressure. Sometimes it's nothing more than a small enclosure that says something like: "We know you won't be able to join us, but should plans change, we would love to have you with us."
To just visit the gift issue one more time, it's also not uncommon for brides and grooms to start receiving gifts upon sending out save the dates! Some will be gifts with notes of regrets, but still others will be "engagement" gifts- especially if your Save the Date has information directing them to a website with registry info. So keep that in mind when you send our your first big "mailing" and know that even if you don't post it anywhere, you might want to let your parents know where you are registered. --Xochitl of Always a Bridesmaid

*If you've got a question for our expert, submit it by clicking "submit your question" in the right hand column, under "wediquette".