Post # 1
My FI originally had an idea to get married at a Halloween Party and do a “mock” ceremony and sign papers later (we were going to do this for date reasons. Our dating anniversary is 8/9/2010 so we wanted to get married 11/12/2013 to keep the numbers 🙂 ) but because we would still have to contribute to many people coming, food, alcohol, photographer, etc… that it was going to be too expensive. FI lost his job in December and even if he gets employment soon, we are going to be way behind in paying for it.
Our original plan was to go on a cruise anyhow since we live in FL and during November we can get on a cruise for under $200 a person. That’s doable for us.
So we decided that we are going to go on a cruise and elope on a stop in Key West. Since we will still be in Florida, we can easily get our papers signed there. Plus it will be on the date we actually wanted to get married.
So we are trying to think of a way to have a celebration with our family before we go like we had planned, just not do a mock ceremony. So I was thinking of doing an elopement party. But I’m not sure how I can still do this and keep the price down. I want to invite important people in our lives. We are doing a Honeyfund in hopes that we can get help with our honeymoon costs vs getting physical gifts.
Anyone have any ideas on how I can do this? I need some ideas. I want to try and invite as many people as possible in hopes to make our funds more. (I know that sounds bad… but we also want them at our celebration).
Thanks for any advice!
Post # 3
To me as a guest it would be a little wierd to celebrate an elopement prior to it happening and to have my gift basically be funding the actual wedding.
What if something goes wrong and you don’t actually get married (as in ship can’t dock or soemthing)? Will you give back all the presents/cash?
I am sorry but you really are coming off in your post that it is all about the money you can get from guests to fund your elopement especially since you added the line about it sounding bad and that you want them at your celebration as an after thought.
The best way to handle it in my opinion would be to go elope and then have a party to celebrate or forget the party and use the money that you would spend on a party to celebrate on your elopement.
Post # 4
@j_jaye: I completely understand and you are right. I wouldn’t exactly be funding my wedding, but more like give us some extra spending money or stuff do to excursions. But I realize that it does sound pretty bad. I didn’t mean it as an afterthought for people coming. I want as many people to be there regardless if it’s done before or after.
I’ll rethink this…
Post # 5
I think that would be fine,it would be super cute if you did like a Bon Voyage party theme- maybe make it nautical or travel themed.
You could have a brunch/lunch to cut down on expenses. I always thought renting out a really cute coffee shop and doing a 2 hr desserts, mimosa bar, champagne, coffee would be super cute esp. if everyone who is coming is local. Would be fairly cheap, although if you are expecting to recoup cost of wedding/cruise and this party through gifts depending on your circle you might be SOL. If you can’t afford the party, then just elope and send announcements.
I don’t think it’s odd, but it is more of an engagement party than a wedding thing IMO.
Post # 6
@aliciapdx: thanks for your input.
I wouldn’t say I can’t afford the party, I just can’t afford the extra expense in a mock wedding that we had planned to have that would’ve been more in depth, detailed, etc. And as I mentioned before, the honeyfund we have would be for the honeymoon expenses as extras. I thought that’s what they created honeyfund for.
Anyhow, I think a brunch/lunch thing sounds like a good idea! I’ll look into that.
Post # 7
@Mydreymz: I feel a “mock cermony” is unnecessary, seems odd to say vows that aren’t the ‘real ones.’
I vote for a small party to celebrate. Not sure what area you are in, just checked my area (Ann Arbor, MI) and this fancy resturant/hotel has buffet brunch event rentals for $10.50-16.50 with some fancy add-ons like a carving station, omlette or waffle station. You could get all the bells and whistles for $30/pp.
Post # 8
@aliciapdx: Well the only reason we wanted to do a “mock” ceremony is because my parents were a little upset originally that we wanted to elope. So when we decided that we wanted a Halloween theme but still wanted to officially get married in November we thought we would have fun with it and do a ceremony for everyone who was there. It would’ve been for real for us and we would’ve just signed papers when the date came. But since the cruise we found was perfect timing on when we wanted to do that we decided that we wanted to go ahead and do something on the cruise stop. Then when it came to financially we wouldn’t be able to do a full blown wedding, thats when we decided to keep it more simple.
Post # 9
Welcome to the Elopement boards! I see a few issues with your plan here. Normally engagement parties (aka pre-wedding parties) are not hosted by the couple. Generally someone throws one in your honor and it’s always those that are invited to the wedding – so nearest and dearest (as most people don’t know their wedding guest list at this time).
With elopements, generally gifts are not the norm. It seems you are expecting gifts, and expecting enough cash to fund your party or trip. It is actually in poor taste. If you want people to be there to celebrate you have to go into it with the idea that you just may get nothing – not rely on their giving to fund the party. I thought this once too, as my dad engrained in me, but I have since learned it was in poor taste.
I will say that people did send us gifts and gift cards. This was usually just immediate family though. It was all very much a surprise and we felt very honored with such acknowledgements.
What you can do however, is host a very casual party when you return. You can make it just an afternoon, provide some cookies, treats, cupcakes and punch, having it at a non-meal time will cut down the costs. It’s not supposed to be a reception though – that’s usually what you host to thank the wedding witnesses for coming. Yours would be like a marriage celebration.
I think the mock ceremony seems kind of weird. Are you hoping to give them something to make their attendance worthwhile? Who would even conduct a mock wedding? Just making it a celebration party will ease that stress.
You could invite your parents to the cruise so they can be your witnesses. We thought of jus having the parents and H’s parents did attend and were our two legal witnesses.
Post # 10
Eh. I am not a fan of the pre-elopment party. If you want friends and family to celebrate your love, I’d do it when yall get back.
Post # 11
Thank you everyone for you opinions, suggestions, etc. Looks like I may end up having some kind of wedding type thing afterall. My ex mother in law (who I am very close to) wants to host me some kind of big party for me. Don’t know what we are going to do with it but it’ll help with the celebration with friends and family that we wanted.
I was also told that I should watch out about going to Mexico on a cruise because of saftey concerns. So I’m debating changing our cruise which would probably mean we wouldn’t elope.