I am on a budget and I wanted to get some thoughts on what was appropriate. We are having a small church ceremony with only our immidiate family. After the wedding we are taking them to a nice early dinner. Then, we will be hosting a cocktail party with light appetizers and dessert for the rest of the individuals we want to join in on our special day. Here is my dilema; when I want to invite my shower guest, I have a couple of friends I would like to include in the shower piece, but do I have to invite them to the wedding ceremoy as well? I do plan on inviting them to the cocktail party, but not the ceremony. Should I not invite them to the shower and invite them to onlu the cocktail party?
The general rule is that anyone invited to any pre-wedding party should also be invited to the wedding. This is especially true when the party is gift-centered.
Inviting someone to a shower, but not the wedding, says "You are good enough to bring me a gift, but not good enough to be invited to witness our vows." Besides, it's awkward at a shower to know some participants will be at the wedding and others will not.
"Oh, wow, I can't wait to see you in your dress."
"Gee, I wish I could be there, too."
If your friends are really super close to you, then see if you can stretch the budget to include them in the ceremony and the post-ceremony dinner. If so, then you can invite them to the shower.
If not, then you will have to have a shower with only your immediate family.
Since only the immediate family will be at the wedding, it seems like it won't be a problem. Just focus people on the cocktail party instead of the ceremony. But you have to keep it at only immediate family at the ceremony, no exceptions or you're sunk. Once you let one non-family person in, the floodgates are open.
I agree with ilovemedia. I think most potential guests would understand if the ceremony was only immediate family, but as soon as you start letting in people who are "like" family or just friends, you'll have trouble drawing the line!