Eloping and having a reception when we return, do we create a registry?

posted 3 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
2878 posts
Sugar bee

Will you host a reception or tell your guests to join you at the restaurant ? Because to me, that’s very different. If you host a reception just like you would at your wedding, and all fees are yours to pay, I would procede the same way I guess (I’m not familiar with registries where I live). But if it’s informal and it’s more like a gathering at a restaurant, I would not do any registry, wishing well or giftbox. And as a guest in the second situation, I would not feel obliged to bring anything either.

Post # 4
660 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

@ZestyBee143:  I did an elopement and then a dinner party for 35 afterward which we paid for ourselves. I didn’t do a registry. People kept asking if I had one, and I told them I didn’t. So then they used their own judgment. I received some gifts, and also cash as well. It worked out fine.

@NauticalDisaster:  Agree

I personally wouldn’t bother doing a registry in your case. Good luck!

Post # 6
6964 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

I would make a registry so that if people ask you can refer them to it, but I definitely would not include that information on the invite. We did a wedding website and included the registry info there.

Post # 7
667 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

If you are eloping, you’re not actually inviting guests to your wedding. If you elope, you should not expect gifts and I would say not to register.

Post # 8
10219 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

Etiquette Snob here… lol

@ZestyBee143: What you are seeing on-line are Wedding Websites, these are very popular now.  Fellow Bees here on WBee can give you tips on how to get started, what companies host them etc.

Technically if this is your First Marriage, then things like Showers, Bachelorette Parties, and Registries are all considered the norm (not so much for Encore Brides)

If you are Eloping… in the traditional sense and NOT TELLING PEOPLE BEFOREHAND… then Registries can be awkward to say the least (and so can be a lot of other Rules of Etiquette)

If however you are Eloping, in so much as you just wish to get away to a Destination for your Wedding… and people know the event is happening, then Registries are ok (in the same way that they are ok for Destination Weddings)

In fact this latter example, is a lot more like having an Intimate Wedding / Destination Wedding than it is for a true Elopement

This was my situation…

Mr TTR & I were Encores (and Older)… so we truly didn’t want or need anything.  We were Eloping to a Destination Wedding because we wanted none of the huge fuss (or expense) of a BIG White Pouffy Family Wedding this time round, in that we had both done that previously.  We wanted our wedding to be just about us.  And so that is what we told our friends, we were Eloping over our Christmas Holiday… heading to a favourite Destination / Beach and would stand alone to say our Vows (just our Officiant & Photographer, as Witnesses are not required in the State of Florida)

Our Friends & Family were thrilled we were getting married… BUT they were disappointed that our plans were going to be so private.  Very upset.  We had to find a compromise as soooo many people wanted to celebrate our LOVE with us… so we organized a Back Home Reception Party for after our Caribbean Cruise Honeymoon.

We sent out Invites (we had a Travel Theme… so we sent out the Invites while we were away for Christmas), and had pre-organized all the other details… Hall Rental – DJ – Caterer for light eats – Cake – Champagne – Bar Tenders etc before we went away for the Holidays.

We DID NOT register anywhere… because as I said for us it wasn’t about the Gifts (we didn’t need a thing)… and we were Eloping, and we were Encores.

People did ask… to which we reiterated, that old saying “Your PRESENCE is present enough”

And still people did want to do something… so many brought a Boxed Gift to our Party (mostly Wine… knowing we are Wine & Food Lovers).  There were many cards filled with Best Wishes, and a few with Cash, Cheques or Gift Cards.

And some of our closest friends even got together and threw us a surprise Couples Shower in December BEFORE we headed off on our Wedding Adventure.

All was appreciated.

TIPS – From an Etiquette POV… technically Gifts mentioned in any way (including “No Gifts Please”) is seen as rude.  So navigating this all can be a minefield.  My best advice is just do what we did… “Your presence is present enough”… and keep the convo light, and off of Gifts entirely.  IF someone wants to give you a gift they will (be gracious).  People aren’t dumb… they can figure it out… afterall this is how the world was for 100s of years, and not that long ago before the Internet (lol, like my First Wedding circa 1980… we got TONS of gifts and the info was ALL spread by word of mouth via family members & my bridal party)

As for Wedding Websites & Registries… the way most couples inform people now… so quite acceptable.  Just be tasteful.  A good statement is in the 3rd Party… “The Bride & Groom is Registered at ___ and ___ ”  That is all you say.

And the rule of thumb is no more than 2 places… so make them different.

Ie… Big Box Store & Department Store OR China & Giftware Store & Sporting Goods etc

And NEVER any sort of a Cash Registry… as that is still seen to be quite RUDE in many circles (asking for cash equates to fundrasing)… so forego the Honeymoon Fund or Jars that are often seen on Pinterest.

At any rate, in truth as with all things when it comes to Etiquette & Manners, it truly comes down to a choice.  You can follow or not… just be aware that there are risks when you don’t… ONLY YOU KNOW your social circle… and how bad those risks / consequences will end up being.  The reason that Etiquette / Manners works, is because the truth is, that if you do make a faux pas, it can unfortunately last a long time and wreck havoc with your social life afterwards.  So best to tread lightly.

Hope this helps,


Post # 9
7997 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2013

I would just leave it be and let people give you cash.

Post # 10
626 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

What Westwood said I think is the best option. 


Post # 11
1981 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

If you aren’t inviting anyone to a wedding, I think posting a wedding registry on the website is weird and presumes people must give you presents at the reception.  Weddding registries are for weddings and not parties. If you make a registry, I would only tell people who ask you personally.

Post # 13
5482 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2013

Wow, I’m surprised so many people don’t think its appropriate to bring gifts to a post elopement reception hosted by the couple. If I went to a reception after a courthouse wedding (in fact iam, in april) I would certainly bring a wedding gift! We got married at the courthouse two weeks ago and are hosting a reception next weekend. We didn’t register but I assume our friends will just choose something. Maybe I’m wrong!! Now I’m curious!!

Leave a comment

Sent weekly. You may unsubscribe at any time.

Find Amazing Vendors