Post # 1
We are sending “courtesy” invitations to some friends and extended family members out of town, because they probably won’t be coming. We’re actually hoping that they all will respond no, because they’re not included in our headcount. So should I still include a response card with the invitation, taking the chance that someone may respond yes?
Post # 3
Yes, if you are inviting them, you need to send a response card. If I received an invitation without a response card (and without directions for an online RSVP), I’d be really confused, and then call you, and you’d be in the awkward situation of trying to explain that you hoped I’d say no. I think if you’re inviting them, you need to include them in a headcount unless you’re certain they’re going to say no.
Post # 4
Yes, you should always include response cards. You shouldn’t send invitations to those who you don’t really want there. Those are the people that you would send wedding announcements to after the wedding.
Post # 5
Since, technically, the “proper” way to respond to an invitation is to send a handwritten note either accepting or declining the invitation, even if you chose not to send response cards to these individuals, you still could receive notes accepting your kind invitation and finding that you will indeed have additional guests in your head count.
However, since few people actually know this, @abbie017: is right in her thinking that most people would be confused not to find a response card in their invitations. (That’s why I included them in all but one of my invitations, the exception being a friend and her DH who went the traditional route with theirs and did not include response cards with their invitations. I knew they would know how to respond without a response card and that the wife would prefer to write the note herself.)
Also, @tksjewelry: is quite right in suggesting that, if these are family and friends whom you really do not wish to have at your wedding, you should send them wedding announcements instead of invitations.