Response: What you plan to do is a major breach of etiquette. Everyone invited to the ceremony should also be invited to the reception. Guests will be most upset if they are asked to go home then come back and they find out that some guests received dinner while they were sitting at home, but they were not 'good enough' to be included. Not only you and your fiance, but the pastor as well, will look bad.
The way to handle the issue is to have a cake and punch reception at the church immediately after the ceremony. This is the 'official' reception. Then, when that is over, a smaller group of family and friends can have dinner and dancing at another location. This is considered a different event and you can invite those that you want to invite.
To invite guests to the two events, the bottom of the wedding invitation should say 'reception immediately following the ceremony.' Everyone will receive this invitation.
Then, those who will be invited to the dinner will receive a second invitation that says something like, 'Please join us after the reception at ..... for dinner and dancing.' Do not call the dinner a 'reception' or you will offend those not invited. If you think that guests may be upset with you if they arent invited, then place your parents names at the top of the dinner invitation as the hosts so that it is clear that the dinner invitation was not issued by you and your fiance, but by someone else.
Return To Question