I sure hope someone can figure out what I should do with this situation, because I'm at my wit's end.
I work as a youth pastor, and accordingly invited my youth kids and their parents to the wedding (it's a pretty small church), as well as the on-staff pastors. I also spread the word subtly that we couldn't invite everyone we wanted, etc., and did all invites directly to homes so there would be no confusion. To be honest, I'm pretty certain a large portion of the congregation had no idea when I was getting married, and only a vague idea that I was engaged. Until Sunday, that is.
From what I understand, there was a general announcement at the very end of service on Sunday, which announced that I'm getting married this Saturday, at X location. It's a nice, sentiment, right? Well the problem is that in our culture in the US, it's extremely common to invite your whole church to the ceremony followed by a luncheon cooked by the church ladies. No formal invitations, no RSVPs, nothing except time, date and location. It's common enough that some of my kids have never been to a wedding that wasn't like that. And I had no clue the announcement was made until an older congregant asked me where the hotel is, because they had never been there before.
So now I'm really worried that people will just show up, assuming that they're invited, because it might not have occurred to them that they're not invited. I won't be seeing these people before the wedding, so there's precious little time for damage control, plus how do you even tackle a conversation like "oh hey, just in case you were thinking of coming, which you might not be, I just wanted to make sure you knew you're not invited."
We will have escort cards, but many people might overlook that, and the ceremony is held at the same site as the reception so they're seated at tables, so it'll be really obvious really quickly if there's extra people. Aside from the practical part, I'm concerned that this will damage my working relationships in a job where relationships are really important. My mom suggested perhaps posting family members to act as screeners, but that doesn't really address the fact that people will be irritated, because they semi-legitimately believed that they were invited.
There's a chance that I'm just blowing this out of proportion, but judging from the reaction of my brother (who also works at a church and has seen this happen), there's also a strong possibility that I'll just have people showing up.
Champagne and moscato have already been applied directly to the affected areas, so if anyone has additional recommendations, please share.