Post # 1
I’m recently engaged and currently trying to make a final decision on how we approach our wedding. Next month marks 4th destination wedding I’ve attended in one year. I’ve attended countless weddings and enjoyed all of them very much but it becomes more and more clear each one I attend that I just don’t want to spend all that money on one day.
My fiancé and I are discussing very seriously eloping to Paris. We’ve been wanting to take a trip to Europe for quite some time and this way we could take the money we’d spend on one day and put it towards an epic trip. I’d like to then have a bbq in my parents backyard when we return 1.5 mos or so after the trip. Light on decorations or any other traditional wedding stuff but we will have some great food, lots of drinks and hopefully a photographer to capture the day. We could even possibly watch a video collection of the Paris wedding for all our friends and family to feel like they were at least apart of it in some way.
My issue is really the secrecy. ie, I can’t really keep secrets about this stuff. People ask me what I’m considering and I start talking and talking. I also don’t want to give such little notice that people would not be able to attend the bbq because I really would like to share the celebration in some capacity with all our friends and fam.
Is it crazy to consider being open about our plans? Telling people we want to sneak off to a garden in Paris to have the ceremony ourselves and then come home and have a party with everyone? How far in advance would you send invitations?
My fiance and I have been together 6 years, everyone loves him and is happy for us. We just aren’t the traditional type. The idea of reciting vows and dancing in front of everyone is enough to give him hives and I feel the same way about picking bridesmaids dresses and colors!
PS: I know about the paris requirements getting married there and that a civil ceremony would be needed beforehand. 🙂
Post # 3
@jj0313: I don’t think there is any problem at all letting them know!
I am sure they will be happy for you! Just let them know you cant wait to celebrate with them upon your return.
I think the video collection would be a great idea. I would probably send out the invitations 1-2 months in advance? Not sure exactly how to word it on the invitation though, but I am sure another Bee will be able to help with that!
Post # 4
Thanks for the reply!
Last night I was pondering possibly doing an email that would act as a save the date that would allow a little more space to explain what we are doing/why/how everyone means so much to us. With of course calls to those we are closest too.
Post # 5
@leisha606: +1 I think 1-2 months is fine to let them know
Alternatively, if you really want to be sneaky and surprise people, could you send invitations pretending its for a different occasion? parent’s anniversary, birthday, baptism, etc? I don’t know if you are expecting/hoping a lot of out of town guests to come but my guess is that a lot may not be able to or inclined to make it as it is not a “real” wedding.
Sounds like you are too excited to hold it in tho, so I see nothing wrong with being honest about your actual plans and letting people know you are doing a mixed elopment/honeymoon and that you cant wait to celebrate with everyone when you are home.
I love the idea of videos/photos, especially if you could get a videographer in Paris to document your wedding and do it like a trailer for when you get home? We had a trailer of our wedding done and I LOVED it! and LOVED our videographer!
Post # 6
@jj0313: OMG, I told anyone and everyone that would listen or ask! Mine was not a secret at all. Granted I just did not talk baout it out of the blue, but if people brought it up – I’d talk their ear off about it.
Many people knew we had a very long journey (my dad died while we were engaged, previous wedding plans were cancelled), so people were just relieved that we finally had a plan and made sure it was exactly what the both of us wanted to do.
I’d send out invitations 4 weeks in advance (unless you want out of state epople to fly in). So if you send them out shorting after you returned you can write,
“Jane and Joe were married privately at ABC on XYZ. Please join us for a celebration at their house on xyz!”
Post # 7
I am not even engaged yet, but my boyfriend and I are going to do the exact same thing. We are going to do a honeymoon/elopment to Bora Bora and have a get together once we get back. We’ve already talked to our family about it and they said that was a great idea! If we were going to have a wedding it wouldn’t be very big (50ish) anyways so I wouldn’t be worried about people not coming because it wasn’t a “real” wedding. I have also mentioned to my family I want a videographer, because I was being selfish and wanting it for my future, and they told me they would really like that because I could show it off at the bbq and they could still be involved. I think that is a great idea and I think Paris would be wonderful! I almost decided to go there for study abroad this summer but decided it would be more romantic if my boyfriend was with me so off to South Africa I will be heading lol Have fun, can’t wait to see pics!
Post # 8
I would definitely tell everyone! Hopefully they’ll be supportive of your choice since they’ll know how you want them included in the BBQ. A video would be fun!
Post # 9
- Wedding: February 2014 - Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts
I think its fine either way. You could announce that you two are eloping but there is a chance that some people might not be so happy about it because family isn’t involved. Originally my FI and I were waiting to have a ceremony and reception with family/friends. Things changed and we decided to just elope. But the officiant is going to be my mom who is a minister and for some reason I don’t think its fair that only my mom gets to know about it. So now our private ceremony will be with both our parents present. It is still a secret for others but I too wanna scream it from the top of my lungs because I am super excited. At least right afterwards we plan to announce that we are already married along with the announcement of a Blessing Ceremony and Reception that will happen in about 2 months. So I get to tell everyone then, for now I can only tell the Bees.
Post # 10
I’m actually currently designing my invites for our ‘after party’. We’re going to NY with four friends, and then when we come back we’re having drinks, dancing n nibbles with about 80 people. I actually chose this route because I was freaked about the money/time it would take me to sort everything (plus I have a lot of family drama). I floated the idea with my family by saying ‘oh i’m so stressed, I wish we could just go to New York with a couple of friends and do it there.’ They were like ‘why don’t you?!’ So they didn’t get annoyed or anything, because by them encouraging me to do it, they sort of felt like it was their idea, and they were helping me out. So yeah, for ours, everyone knows And they’re all pleased!
We’re wording on the party invite ‘after a very intimate ceremony in manhattan, bride and groom would love for you to join them in celebrating their marriage at home.
Post # 11
- Wedding: February 2014 - Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts
@jj0313: I think its fine either way. You could announce that you two are eloping but there is a chance that some people might not be so happy about it because family isn’t involved. Originally my FI and I were waiting to have a ceremony and reception with family/friends. Things changed and we decided to just elope. But the officiant is going to be my mom who is a minister and for some reason I don’t think its fair that only my mom gets to know about it. So now our private ceremony will be with both our parents present. It is still a secret for others but I too wanna scream it from the top of my lungs because I am super excited. At least right afterwards we plan to announce that we are already married along with the announcement of a Blessing Ceremony and Reception that will happen in about 2 months. So I get to tell everyone then, for now I can only tell the Bees…Good luck with your decision.
Post # 12
Thanks all, that puts my fears at ease a bit. The other issue I’m having (and maybe this would be better in a separate post) is that my girlfriends and sister (4 total) really want to be bridesmaids! This is a little crazy because we’ve been bridesmaids a million times and are all generally tired of it but I think it’s different when it is truly one of your BEST friends.
So I’m brainstorming ways I could kind of make that distinction at the bbq. Any creative ideas? I was thinking at the bbq there could be a time for a few key people to speak if they chose to. I don’t know about dresses-that seems pretty cheeseball for a bbq celebration. For the BBQ I want to wear a short white dress and a wild flower wreath (I know that’s not the right word for these) on my head, maybe I could tie in something with that.
Post # 13
@jj0313: “So I’m brainstorming ways I could kind of make that distinction at the bbq.
A distinction from a regular bbq and a marriage celebration bbq? Or the psuedo-bridesmaids at the bbq?
Post # 14
The psuedo bridesmaids at the bbq. Some way of calling them out without being over the top. I’m thinking I will just ask them to give speeches. I’d never think to ask them to get a dress but maybe I could leave that up to them and let them pick the color. My whole thing is keeping this as low key as possible for them but still celebrating.
Post # 15
@jj0313: That would be a lovely idea! They could all stand together and one could talk (then they all could help lead a toast) or they each could say a little something. I probably would not have them get matching dresses (that is unless they really want to and you’re working with a color scheme, etc). They could wear their own dress, or maybe suggest a dress but in a certain color scheme for some kind of uniformity if you’d like.
They could throw you a girls night out party, or a pamper at home party.
In the Mormon culture that I’ve seen here in Utah, bridesmaids don’t actually have any role in temple weddings/ceremony, but they do wear matching or similar dresses at the reception and there are not always groomsman either.
Post # 16
that’s good perspective on how it’s done in another setting-makes me feel better. Thanks!!!