Ok, so let me explain our situation. We're eloping in Kauai, HI on 4/7. Second marriage for us both. FH is from Phoenix and still has many close friends and family there. My family hasn't communicated with me in years and are in NY, so they're not an issue (besides the obvious). So I, of course, want to mail out our wedding announcements from Kauai the day of our wedding. Very few people know our plans (maybe 3 people) and we want to surprise everyone. (Even though I'd love a huge party in Phoenix, our jobs are just too busy to organize and throw a huge wedding.)
On top of this, his family wants to host a small progressive cocktail/ apps (street tacos) celebration of marriage at his sister's restaurant 3 weeks after our ceremony. It'll be lounge style, come and go... we'll have a small cake for everyone and hopefully we'll have some raw wedding footage and photos to play for everyone. Casual and easy, but of course, not everyone who will receive a wedding announcement will receive an invite to the party in Phoenix (and of course, no NYers)... so I found a small invite card that would match.
Here's our dilemma... Since the party is so soon after the actual elopement (3 weeks), but it's casual... do I need to send them out earlier to give our friends more time to clear the schedule so they can attend?
Or do I need to give them much more advanced notice? And if so, do I make it a surprise and say it's an engagement party... then SURPRISE!!! WE ELOPED!!!
It's really confusing!!! HELP!!!