My dad is an incredibly thoughtful and sweet man who goes to great lengths to avoid offending people. Wonderful qualities in a pastor--but not so much when it comes to making tough decisions about who to invite to a wedding. Anyway, I grew up in the church that he oversees and most parishioners know who I am and/or have watched me grow up. When I got engaged, my dad happily announced my engagement in church the very next Sunday (groan...I'm really regretting that now!). Since my dad's announcement, I've been approached by several people who've inquired about my wedding details--people who barely speak to me otherwise and who I wouldn't even think of inviting--which suggests to me that they're expecting an invite. But I'm not about to have a wedding that's overcrowded with a bunch of random people. I want to limit church invitations to those members that I'm close to because inviting everyone will easily bring the guest list to 300-400 people since both FH and I have large families.My dad, of course, thinks everyone who wants to come to the wedding should come because he doesn't want to hurt anyone's feelings. But he also thinks that announcing the ceremony's details in church doesn't mean that people will just show up to the reception because they "won't have the information." Seeing how quickly word travels these days and how interested people seem to be in my wedding, I think going his route will set us up to have more than a few crashers. I know it's generally poor etiquette to have an open ceremony and a closed reception, but since my engagement was already announced and people have been hounding me for wedding details, I feel like I am in a bind. Is this the kind of scenario where it's acceptable to share general details about the ceremony but not about the reception? If it is, what kind of language do I use to be tactful but clear that anyone who'd like to attend the ceremony can but that the reception is by invite only? If it isn't, how do I invite the church members I'm close to while preventing the flow of information to people I don't intend to invite?
If it helps, the ceremony will be at the church which can seat over 1000 people and the reception is at a catering hall. My dad is paying for the majority of the costs for the reception; FH and I are paying in part for the reception and for all other wedding expenses. Also, FH and I are not doing a greeting line or cake and punch reception in the church hall after the wedding...we think we'll be too pressed for time since the church and the reception venue are some distance apart from each other.
Looking forward to your insight/advice!!