Q&A: Do I Need to Invite Old Friends?

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Q: My fiancé and I are both in our early thirties and we’re struggling with the numbers on our wedding guest list! There are many friends from high school and college that we are no longer in close touch with, but whose weddings we attended when they got married (though in most cases that was 5 or more years ago.) Is there a “statute of limitations” on socially obligatory invitations?

A: There is no firm wedding etiquette rule requiring a return invitation to someone simply because you attended their wedding. If you’re not in regular contact with an old friend, there’s really no obligation to include them in your guest list. However, you might choose to do so if you think it’s likely that you’ll reconnect with that person down the road, especially once you are both married and once again in the same “season” of life. If you’re on the fence about a particular friend and you have the space, it’s usually best to err on the side of including them to avoid any later regrets.

Another consideration is if you’ll be inviting other mutual friends from the same social group. If not inviting this particular friend would present potentially awkward situations in the future, go ahead and include them.

You want your wedding day to be a celebration of your new life as a married couple. It’s most important to make room for guests who will be a part of your future than to make accommodations for those who will probably remain in your past.

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One Response to “Q&A: Do I Need to Invite Old Friends?”

  1. Stacy

    Great advice! This information makes me feel much more comfortable with the choices we’re making for our guest list!

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