I am planning to have a NY City hall wedding in mid-Oct. It will be just me and my FH, followed by a brunch and possibly a sail in the harbor if the weather is nice, just the two of us. I will likely hire a photographer to take a few pictures around the courthouse area. I am very happy with this choice for many reasons, it suits my style, I am not traditionally religious, and I don't have any family locally or that would be able to travel to NY, vs. my FH who has a large, local family and many local friends.
What we do want to do is have a family wedding dinner celebration with his immediate family that weekend (the civil ceremony will be a weekday.) I would like to make it special and "wedding-ish" feeling for his family, who I know are disappointed we aren't doing a "real" wedding. However, I absolutely am NOT planning a "do-over" type wedding, or any of the trappings of wedding, etc. But was imagining a dinner at a nice, scenic restaurant where my FH and I could do champagne "toasts" to each other that would express our love for each other (and to his family would substitute for "vows") as well as "toasts" to his family, I'd wear a cocktail ivory/champagne/silver dress (so a nod to wedding-ish without being actually a wedding dress), and we would have a fancy sit down dinner in a restaurant (that we host/pay for.) So ... my questions are: is this OK/etiquette wise? Has anyone else had a similar experience or could share advice/ideas or "no no's"? How would I word a wedding announcement (or should there even be one)? How would I word the invite to his family, given it isn't an actual wedding I am inviting them to? I am looking to be elegant, simple, polite and ideally make it a happy, heartfelt celebration of our love and marriage.