I’ve met lots of couples that face a huge challenge when planning their wedding: how to include all friends and family members while staying in the budget they are comfortable with. Generally, the sad truth to this is that you can’t do both. Either you go over your budget, or you exclude some people you’d like to include. Even for the craftiest of couples, this is not easy to do.
However, there is an option that can allow you to stick to a budget and invite all your important people. A great solution is to have an open ceremony and closed reception.
What does that mean, you ask.
Invite all the people you want to your ceremony. It allows all those you care about to be part of the most important and sacred part of the day — the vows and commitment element. And then have an invite-only reception. Logistically, this means you’ll need to send a separate invitation to your reception guests.
A tactic that can make this type of wedding successful is having a greeting reception directly following your ceremony. Often this happens in a church fellowship hall or area at the ceremony venue. You can have sheet cake and drinks or some minimal snacks that don’t break the bank for all those that attended the ceremony to enjoy. You can spend some time going around the space and greeting your guests. After you receive your guests, you and your wedding party can relocate to the next location for the invite-only reception.
In these types of situations, most people recognize your effort to include everyone and they appreciate that. Having a receiving time to interact with your guests is important, so they know that you care about them too.
By the end of your big day, you’ll have included everyone you want as well as stayed within your budget (hopefully)!