Q: What are courtesy invitations and do I need them? 

A: A courtesy invitation is often sent as an act of inclusion or a sign of respect towards the intended recipient, even though the sender does not expect them to check off the Happy to Attend box. It is not necessary to send out courtesy invitations, however many couples do so without even realizing it.

How do you know who won't be attending?

Honestly, it's a gamble. Through experience, I have found that categorizing your guest list often helps to diminish the pressure of including everyone or the stress of cutting important people out. In some cultures couples are expected to invite the whole village (so to speak) and while not everyone will attend, it would be considered disrespectful not to invite them. Courtesy invitations...very handy in this case.

When creating a guest plan, follow the ABC rule;

  • A-LIST (Wedding party & closest friends and immediate family)
  • B-LIST (Extended family and close acquaintances)
  • C-LIST (Far away friends and family, senior relative unable to travel, new acquaintances, parents acquaintances, etc.)

If your final guest count is more then expected and are worried about the extra invitation costs, there are a few ways to mitigate that with the courtesy invitations;

  1. Simplify your courtesy invitations (leave out the butterflies and glitter!)
  2. Ditch the RSVP card and leave an email or phone number on the courtesy invite instead.
  3. Create a digital courtesy invitation. (Saves you money and the environment.)

Quick Tip #1: Do not send courtesy invitations for cash or gifts in return. One, it's poor etiquette and two, you may end up with an unplanned Happy to Attend rather than a Must Decline

Quick Tip #2: Always send a thank you note for every invitation you send out, even for the courtesy invitations. 

For more advice on guest planning, leave a message in the comments sections and I will be happy to reply. :)

Happy planning!


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