My fiance and I want to have a ceremony in the Caribbean with just our parents as guests. We would like to have a big reception for our friends and family when we return home. How can we do this without hurting feelings?
Well, first you have to face the fact that you very well might hurt feelings regardless of your tact: Some friends and relatives will surprised that they were not included in the ceremony. But you should also remember that it's your wedding, and if you want an intimate ceremony on a beach, who can blame you? Explain to those who ask that this is your wedding dream, and that you're looking forward to a big, celebratory bash with all your nearest and dearest when you get home.
If your heart is set on an intimate ceremony, follow your plans and don't worry too much. Then when you get home, send out invitations to a party "celebrating your marriage" where you can show slides or photos of your ceremony. It will be as if they had all been there with you after all.
-- JoAnn Gregoli
Wedding Planning Advice