What to do if you want a small ceremony?
Regardless of your reasons for not sharing the ceremony with other family members and close friends, be prepared, they will be hurt. One way to rectify this is to include them in the reception. Even the best big parties have some kind of focus. For your wedding reception/non-reception, give the party a sense of purpose by doing something meaningful right at the beginning. These folks aren’t witnessing the actual ceremony, but you could have someone give speeches, or do a few nice readings; you can show a video (if you have one) of the actual ceremony; show a slide show of various photos of the new couple and if you include photos of guests that will be present at the reception you’ll score bonus points!