Q: The church where my fiancé and I plan to marry is very small. We both have large families and there just isn't room for extra people. How do we inform our single friends of our 'no date to the ceremony' policy even though they are more than welcome to bring dates to the reception?
A: It's all in how you word your invitation. If only a certain number of people can be accommodated at the ceremony then your formal invitations should be sent to all guests inviting them just to the wedding reception. The wording would be:
Mr. and Mrs. James Flynn
request the pleasure of your company
at the wedding reception for their daughter
Mr. Mark Wilmot
Saturday, the twelfth of August at six o'clock
(name the reception site and location)
To your single friends, be sure to write '… and Guest' on the inner envelope so they know dates are welcome at the reception. And for those also invited to the church ceremony, you can either extend the invitation orally or write a personal note to be sent separately or included in the formal invitations. That way, there should be no confusion.