It's a dilemma faced by many couples today—do you send an invitation to someone you already know can't attend the wedding? Will it look like you're trolling for gifts? If ever an etiquette rule was needed, it's for this. Should you or shouldn't you? In most cases you should—and here's why.
It avoids family drama (at least some of it).
Every clan has at least one hypersensitive relative who easily takes offense at many things in life, and not receiving an invitation to your wedding will be one of them. So what if she lives 1,000 miles away from you and is on a tight budget? So what if she hasn't gone to a family wedding in over a decade? So what if she goes to bed by 9:00 p.m. every night and wouldn't last 'til midnight at your reception? Inviter her!
It's an acknowledgment of their worth to you.
Receiving a wedding invitation tells them they mean something to you, and who doesn't want to feel loved and wanted? Whether it's your housebound grandparents or a very pregnant friend from college who lives on the other side of the country, getting invited to your big day lets them know they're still in your life. Invite them!
It's presumptuous not to.
Maybe your friend already mentioned she's been invited to a wedding on the same date as your ceremony and reception. That doesn't always mean she's choosing that party over yours. The same goes for budget concerns. Unless you're someone's personal banker, don't assume Cousin Kim can't afford to fly to Mexico for your destination wedding. Let your cousin decide, not you. Invite her!
No one's going to think you're greedy.
If the person is important to you, they would most likely have given you a gift anyway. This is especially true of relatives who can't travel far, as this is a simple way for them to feel included in your day. Invite them!