Post # 1
so after the usual bit of trying to plan a big wedding that just doesn’t work logistically or financially, my fiance’ and i decided we just want to elope and do things on our terms. not a big of regret as i’ve never been particularly bridal or ever ‘dreamed of my wedding as a girl’ or anything like that. so we’ve picked a place we’re really excited about and we’re taking our kids and making kind of an elopement/mini/familymoon out of it. The problem? When asked about our wedding plans we’ve thinking nothing of it been pretty vocal about what we plan to do and we’ve had several people pretty much invite themselves along!!
Now we expected out parents (3 total) and siblings (1 each) to tag along and thought no biggie… but now we’re up to about 11 people (plus our family of 5) and I don’t think the number is going to stop there. At first I thought ‘hey if you want to come all the way out there we’d love to have ya’ and we’ve even discussed changing our plans a bit to support the extra guest. But now i’m feeling all the wedding pressure again specifically what to do with everyone after we get married. We’d orginally planned to have lunch with our family, leave the kids with them and jet off to our minimoon and I was/am in LOVE with the idea. Now I feel bad just saying i do and leaving 15-25 people hanging in a strange city to fend for themselves after they’ve flown all the way just for us. At the same time hosting a private lunch or something is going to jack our price up and put us right back at square one.
So I guess I’m venting mostly but also asking is there a happy medium to this? We’re from MD and the plan is to go to SF City Hall. All of our friends/family but one person is also on the east coast so this isn’t a quick or cheap trip for anyone that decides to tag along. There is a champagne and appetizer and/or cupcake package I found to serve after the ceremony and my fiance’ suggested getting everyone/couple tickets to something (museum, show, attraction etc) as a thank-you for coming, like maybe in a gift bag but geesh thinking about it as i’m typing that’d cost the same as a $50 p/person lbreakfast or lunch. I don’t want to do this much coordination or planning or thinking about it at all. My causual family elopement is getting away from me. Any advice would be awesome.
Post # 2
Sounds like a destination wedding and not an elopement.
We are eloping and nobody but us knows when or where. We always considered the concept of eloping as running off and getting married … not having people tag along.
If you want an elopement (as opposed to a destination wedding) then keep the date and location under wraps and run off and do it. Don’t tell family.
Post # 3
Unfortunately, you kind of shot yourself in the foot by telling so many people what you were planning on doing. You’re no longer eloping if everyone knows. Secrecy and doing things quickly are what makes an elopement an elopement.
The first thing you have to do is stop inviting people/letting them invite themselves. Make it clear that there won’t be anymore guests.
If you love the idea of getting married, having a lunch, letting the family take care of the children, and going on your honeymoon, go ahead and do it. I doubt they would mind that much. You don’t have to do anything fancy. If you wanted to skip the champagne and cupcake package and just do the gift bag thing, that would be fine; that sounds like a good middle-ground option to me.
Post # 4
- Wedding: June 2014 - San Francisco, CA
It sounds like you’re planning a smallish, semi-intimate DW instead of really an “elopement.” I eloped to SFCH, didn’t tell anyone until the day-of (and only then our witness, aka my MOH). Stop telling people your plans! Then they won’t be able to crash the event 🙂
Post # 5
With my first marriage, we lived in CA and eloped. We called everyone the night before and told them we were in Las Vegas and if they were free they were welcome to come see us get married the next day. Both sets of parents came and 3 out if 4 siblings came. Worked out great.
Edited to add- obviously when I said it worked out great, I meant the elopement- not the marriage! But we were married for 10 years- eloping had nothing to do with our divorce.
Post # 6
devonlee: SF City Hall *technically* has a limit of 6 guests, so you could just tell everyone you can’t have them come, so sorry, because of SFCH limits. Problem solved!
Alternately, you tell them that’s really sweet they want to come, and they’re totally welcome to watch the ceremony and then enjoy their own vacation in SF, but your plan all along (which you absolutely can’t change since you already booked your plane/car/whatever, right? 😉 ) has been to go to lunch and then jet off to a honeymoon, so you’re really sorry it won’t be a normal wedding and you’ll completely understand if they can’t make it all the way just to watch the ceremony and nothing else… 😉
Post # 7
- Wedding: February 2015 - Chapel on Base
Have them pay for their own meal at a restaurant. Sounds like they aren’t concerned about how much they spend. Not the best concept but it could be worse… no food at all.
Post # 8
Thanks for all the replies ladies. I know I’m pushing the boundaries of the term ‘elopement’ with this one (ok not pushing pretty much blowing it to bits). All these suggestions are great and all ones i’ve considered. It started off simple enough just us and immediate family. Then the second I told my bff of 17years I was engaged the first thing she said was “i know you, you’re going to convince him to elope wherever it is i’m coming” lol Then fiance decided well if your bff is coming so is mine. That alone put us over that 6 person limit but not by much and I’ve read everywhere that they’re pretty relaxed with that rule so I figured if us…kids..parents..siblings…photographer…bff….and then I started thinking WAIT better safe than sorry! I found out there’s also a weekday package that allows up to 100 and still thinking it’d just be the 2 3 3 2 1 2 (adding out loud lol) 13 i started weighing the two options. Try it out knowing we’re double the allowed amount? Go the safe route and pay for the extra allowed guest? But then fiance goes ‘if we’re going to pay all that extra money we might as well allow more people to come” and then it snowballed from there.
Hmmmm angyjaxon I considered that, it’s a bit tacky but hey isn’t inviting yourself to a wedding tacky too? LOL I don’t know that I’m bold enough to go that option though. Hopefully this is just all talk and if I work hard at appearing lazy about the plan details people will loose interest andby the time we go (mid next year) everyone will just say ‘have fun see ya when you get back”