I'm having a semi-destination wedding (I guess? We're getting married where we live, and where his friends and family are, but my friends and family are from another country) in the UK this spring. We aren't having a rehearsal, so no rehearsal dinner. Regardless, I've always heard the right thing to do is to host dinner the night before the wedding for any out of town guests, but that puts us at at least 2/3 of the guests, which we can't afford (we had a very nice cushion in our budget but then life happened and now money is very tight - we can still pay for what we'd planned, but can't budget in any extras).
We were thinking of going out to dinner the night before with just our immediate families, and letting people know that we'll be hanging out in our hotel bar afterwards if anyone wants to come by to say hello.
Is this a good idea?
What's the best way to let people know? Can we just put a note on the website?
Are we obligated to pay?
We want it to be very informal - literally just a "hey, if you want to say hi here's where we'll be!" sort of thing, especially giving us a chance to catch up with out of towners, since many of them will be leaving early on Sunday.