Post # 1
My fiancé and I got engaged last July. We’ve been together for three years and are both in our early 30’s. We decided shortly after we got engaged (for an array of reasons) that we really wanted to travel somewhere beautiful and have a small ceremony with just the two of us. My brother had a lovely conventional wedding in March that we were both in (I was a bridesmaid, my fiancé a groomsman) and a big part of, and I feel that I got my big wedding “fix” from that experience. We’ve been very open about our plans and our families are very supportive. We found a great company in Western Montana (we live in Florida) that offers elopement packages in Glacier National Park. We’re working on designing the ceremony/writing our own vows. The officiate and attendant will help us carry the whole thing out (down to the not seeing each other before the ceremony). I found the dress of my dreams, my fiancé will wear a tux, and we hired a professional photographer. Everything down to the honeymoon suite and our week in the mountains afterwards is set. We are thrilled, but confused as to how/when to send announcements. We are almost done with a little wedding website, and we wanted to include the URL on a postcard sized announcement to send to all of the people we would’ve invited if we were having a conventional wedding. We are planning on having a post-wedding party in August (a month that works for our scattered family), and were going to include that information on a separate “Just Married” postcard we’d send out with a wedding picture on it. Is a pre-wedding announcement (we never send official engagement announcements) AND a post-wedding announcement too much? We want our loved ones to be included and feel this may be the best way to do that without compromising our decision (the ceremony alone idea is incredibly sacred to us).
The whole elopement idea with regard to etiquette is confusing me. Elopement means “running away/getting married in secret” and we are not doing that. We are openly having a private wedding ceremony. See? Even the wording seems off putting. Any advice??
Post # 3
@pianochick1980: I would just send a post-wedding announcement. I feel like prewedding announcements can be a little confusing and draw attention to the fact that you’re not actually sending them an invitation.
As for the “elope” wording, I think you can just state that you had a private ceremony if you feel uncomfortable using it. However, the word “elope” doesn’t necessarily have a negative connotation. According to Wikipedia, “today the term ‘elopement’ is colloquially used for any marriage performed in haste or in private or without a public period of engagement.”
Post # 4
Congratulations! We eloped to British Columbia, so I hear you about the mountains!
1. There is no need to mail out wedding announcements unless you really want to. The goal of annoucements is to send them out right away so that you are the first word and it doesn’t ge through the grapevine. That’s what they were for anyway. However, that means you’d need a propic from your photographer really quickly.
2. Engagement annoucements are not a typical thing or a mailed thing. I would advise not to send any type of pre-wedding mailing. (unless you’re talking about a picture in the paper’s Engagements section – that is common here for very young couples).
3. Since your August celebration party is about ~2 months after your wedding date, I’d just make a photo invitation (OR invitation plus separate photo) which is mailed to your party guests. Mail it out 4-6 weeks BEFORE your party date so you can get RSPVs in the proper timing (that means you need to have the party date solidified/booked). That also means you’ll need a propic very quickly from your photographer.
Jill and John were married privately at
Glacier National Park, Montana
On June 25, 2013
Please join us for a celebration party
On August XYZ
Dinner and dancing for all!
4. If your celebration party is at a MUCH later date or you want to wait longer than 2 months, you can opt to do wedding announcements if you want. You can also opt to include on your annoucements “Stay tuned for celebration party details!” which buys you more time, but kind of locks you into doing something because you said it up front.
5. Elopements can mean a lot of things these days – not always running off secretly. Heck I say we eloped and I told anyone and everyone that wanted to know about it up front. Intimate wedding or private wedding are also acceptable.
Post # 5
I would just send out a post wedding announcement like “Hey we got married” along with the invite to the party in August.
Post # 6
I would just send the post wedding announcement. I’m not sure as a guest I would get the pre wedding anouncement,
Post # 7
@sienna76: Thank you SO much for your input, it helped put things in perspective for us. I really appreciate it.
Post # 8
@somethingaquamarine: Thank you. That pretty much sums up what we needed to know. Thanks!!
Post # 9
@pianochick1980: We’re doing basically the same thing. We plan on sending a wedding announcement with our URL printed on it. Then we’ll send an email or use our wedding website to let everyone know about our “after party”