I would love your input. My partner and I are considering having a destination micro-wedding with a symbolic ceremony, doing the legal stuff just before we go. We want to keep the guest list limited to only the nearest and dearest (10 guests in addition to ourselves). We would have 7 relatives and 3 friends. We have opted to keep the numbers low for a few reasons. We are not interested in hosting another reception at home afterword. This is a second marriage for both myself and my partner. I do not plan on having a shower, as my partner and I have everything we could possibly need, being adults and having lived together for a couple of years now. My mother passed when I was a child, my father is not in the picture, and we are opting not to have a bridal party since we are only hosting 10 people anyway.
The day of my wedding, I plan on spending time getting ready with the ladies, and then having them leave once it's time for me to get dressed and do bridal portraits. I am planning on doing a first look with my grandparents. I will be walking myself down the aisle. Until I walk down the aisle, I want to keep my finished look a surprise to all of our guests (except my grandparents who will have their own private moment). I don't want any of my guests to see my dress ahead of time.
Ok, now the etiquette part...
I work in a very small department with 4 other people, 3 of whom are also women. I see these colleagues day in and day out and we work very closely together. I know when I tell them about the wedding, they will be thrilled. And I think that they will all also respect and accept the decision to have our wedding both destination and very small in size. If we were hosting 30+ people or getting married locally, I would absolutely invite them. I do not anticipate that my colleagues will be upset they are not invited. I'm sure they would love to be there, but they will definitely understand.
Can I invite these colleagues to go dress shopping with me and make a girls' day of it? I would love to be able to include them in something bridal since they won't be in attendance for the wedding itself. I greatly value their opinions and feedback and I believe they would be very helpful. I could take them to lunch as a thank you for coming to help me. I know traditionally it would be extremely rude to invite someone to a pre-wedding event and exclude them from the guest list for the wedding, but I also believe the rules of the game are a bit different when you introduce micro-wedding into the mix. I think the last couple of years with shifts in social norms surrounding weddings and events have been a bit of a game-changer for etiquette. Please let me know your thoughts, and if you have some constructive feedback, I ask that you please be kind. Thank you!!!