First, congratulations on your upcoming 20th anniversary! Now on to your question. This is a tricky situation; it is hard for me to advise you on the proper etiquette for handling this issue in terms of wording the invitations since having guests pay their own way at an event such as this would not be considered socially correct in the first place. If a group of your friends were to invite you out to celebrate your anniversary, they would be expected to pay, not just for themselves, but for your portion as well. However, when you are inviting guests to celebrate your anniversary with you, typically the expectation is that you intend to host the celebration.
I’m afraid that there is simply no wording suggestion I can offer for the invitations which will conform to the standards of proper etiquette or social correctness. The best way to handle the matter would be to issue the invitations to dinner in a less formal manner, by word of mouth, in the weeks preceding the occasion. When you do this you can make the circumstances clear. You may say something along the lines of, “John and I will be going out for dinner following our renewal of vows. We’d love it if you and some of our other friends would join us, although I’m afraid we do not have it in our budget to pick up the tab for those who will be joining us”.
This is a polite way of clearly communicating the circumstances of your invitation, and in this day and age you can ‘get away’ with this form of invitation. However, as stated previously, to extend invitations to a celebration in honor of such an occasion, expecting guests to pay their own way, is not a practice which would be deemed ‘socially correct’.
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