Post # 1
My fiancee and I are both students, and will be paying for the wedding ourselves…so we want something relatively small with just the essentials: cake, ceremony, fun. I have a lot of extended family (that I am not particularly close with) that live several states away. I’m worried if they spend time and money to travel to the wedding, they will be disappointed that it’s not a grand, formal affair.
is there a tactful way to let them know that if they want to come we would love it, but not to expect the bridesmaids, catered dinner, open bar kind of wedding? Maybe some way to word it in the invitations, or let them know even earlier what to expect?
Post # 3
I think you are worried about something that won’t happen. Everyone I told was thrilled we were having a small wedding. I told everyone we are only having special people that are close to us at the wedding. They all loved that.
Even people that aren’t invited understand.
The best wedding i ever went to had 12 guests. It was perfect! Try not to worry, it will be LOVELY!
Post # 4
@Lucy27: On the invitation instead of saying Reception to Follow put ‘Cake and Punch Reception to Follow’ and that will let people know no dinner, no alcohol. Plus if you have your wedding at 2 pm or so then people generally know to eat beforehand.
Post # 5
An invitation conveys the “who, whom, what, when, where” of an event through the factual text printed on the paper; and it conveys the style of the event through the style of the paper, printing and wording. The third-person wording that most people think of as “wedding invitation wording” — you know, “Mr and Mrs John Doe/request the pleasure of your company/ at the wedding of their daughter …” — is actually formal invitation wording for any sort of grand, formal affair: wedding or not. The more stilted the wording, the more strictly the black-engraved-letters-on-heavy-white-vellum rule is followed, the more formal the affair.
You indicate that an event is less formal by using instead a natural wording, along the lines of:
“Dear Mary and Bill,
Lou and I will be getting married on Saturday the blat of blat at blat 0’clock at address. It will be a small wedding: just the ceremony and then some cake and fun. If you are able to be in town that day, we would be delighted if you could attend. It would probably be all over by blat o’clock.
Q.E.D. The easiest way to communicate anything, is just to say it straight out; and a naturally-worded note makes that easy.
Post # 6
Your invitations can me more informal. Maybe on the line where some folks put ‘Black Tie’ etc, you can put ‘Casual.’