Who eloped then had a wedding later?

posted 2 years ago in Elopement
Post # 2
169 posts
Blushing bee

My sister did. She lied to almost everyone about it too. Her MIL figured it out and was pretty upset. I didn’t care that she eloped, that’s her choice. Wasn’t happy being lied to, but I know her well enough to not expect better from her. They were already engaged, and there was some financial reason why it was better to get married then.

They had their “wedding” and reception about a year later. It was a fun party. Most of the guests still thought it was their “real” wedding. I was uncomfortable going along with that. My sister wanted people to put the same importance on it as a “real” wedding and figured not as many people would have come if she told the truth about eloping.

I think eloping is great as long as you don’t lie to people about it.

Post # 3
2387 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

realtreegal:  We sort of eloped in Mexico- our families knew about it ahead of time, and we had 4 guests because legally we needed 4 witnesses & it would have cost extra to have hotel staff do it… A week later we had a very low-key casual bbq in our families home states to celebrate & tell them about it, show pics, etc.. It worked out really well for us, aside from a little drama that would have cropped up no matter what we did, it was rough for a few weeks, but nothing relationship changing or major- just different ideas of what a wedding/marriage is/should be…. 

We went super easy on the wedding ceremony and found an AI we liked on the beach with a very basic package for a good price- We paid $1,500 for everything including the hotel planner, paperwork, judge, beach cabana, flowers… And I loved that we didn’t have to do much planning at all. I hired an outside photographer- the one featured at the hotel wasn’t my style. We negotiated with him to get a tiny package with just 3 hours (plenty of time for a few getting ready shots, first look, ceremony, and post-ceremony) for about $600 and I LOVED pretty much all our pics! We didn’t do a reception really, just a after ceremony dinner in the usual AI restaurant with regular menu’s so it didn’t cost a thing- the staff was amazing & moved our flowers over for us and even surprised us with a cake to cut (not included in our package & I was very touched). 

We did ask that our guests/witnesses leave a day or two after the wedding ceremony so we could still have alone honeymoon time which worked out well. They came 2-3 days before the wedding so we got to hang out and sight see which was fun. 

We flew back to our families home state about a week later. Our families are very much potluck/bbq/the more the merrier types so they encouraged us to have a potluck instead of catering & asking for gifts- their offering of food and/or their presence was present plenty to us! We rented a cabin for 3 nights at a state park so I had a kitchen- spent the entire day before the bbq prepping and cooking with my mom, sis, grandma, & grandpa which I loved (haven’t all been in the same kitchen in forever). My grandma decorated the state park pavilion we rented ($50/day) with less than $300 in decor, my dad got there early and started the grills, and we setup a laptop with a slideshow of the wedding pics (our contract with photog was for at least 15 pics before we left mexico that week, he shocked us with nearly 100 in my inbox the morning after the wedding). 

All in all it was way better than we ever expected, and cheaper to boot! 

Pics from the mexico wedding: 

And from the casual bbq in GA:

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 4 months ago by  . Reason: added pics
Post # 4
743 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2014 - Our Backyard/Steakhouse

realtreegal:  wait, so you want to take off and get married (which is awesome) and then come back and pretend to do it all again in front of your friends and family?  That’s seriously shady…you’re already married, own it.  And as previous poster exhibited, it doesn’t go over well when people find out you’ve lied to them.

Why not elope and then just come back and invite your family and friends over to a ‘celebration of your marriage’?  

Be honest with the people you love most.  

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 4 months ago by  LDay1983.
Post # 6
3735 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

BeckyS0:  PA in Isla Mujeres, right? I’ve stayed there many times. Gorgeous!! That’s why we got engaged in fact.

Post # 8
1 posts

If you want to elope, it’s still your wedding!  Go ahead and elope.  But after that you’ll be married, so you can’t really have a “wedding.”  Just be honest that you are already married and have a casual, non-wedding party at home if you want.

Or, best option, just have the wedding and reception all in one day.

Post # 9
743 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2014 - Our Backyard/Steakhouse

realtreegal:  so long as everyone knows, then go for it…but you’d be better off to do a ‘celebration of marriage’ instead of calling it a wedding.  

Go elope, and then come back and have a kick ass party.

Post # 10
6073 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

realtreegal:  I once had that plan – back in 2000 when I was married the first time at the courthouse quickly (he needed my health insurrance urgently) and wanted to redo it all for family to see after he recovered from surgeries.  The idea never happened so that courthouse day was it actually THE wedding day.  Plus no one was excited to fly in for a pretend wedding that was after the fact.  My family can be harsh but I guess they are honest!  That had a lot to do with not following through with a redo – that and money.

If I were in those shoes again, I would go do the elopement but somewhere special and nice.  Then do a celebration party later (even up to a year later is fine) – but not a wedding if you already had a private wedding at your destination. 

Now if you’re going to Mexico or somewhere that the legal paperwork is going to be hard (often couples get married before or after in the US, then go to Mexico for a religious or symbolic wedding), then I could see inviting just immediate family to the legal US wedding – but then follow up with a celebraton party for all (which would not be a reception) which could be on the same day as the legal or just have it later on.

I knew a couple that had their celebration party 2 years later after they finished building their straw bale house finally which was the site of the party.  I guess then it’s more like an anniversary party!

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 4 months ago by  sienna76.
Post # 11
1583 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

realtreegal:  If you want the experience then wait and have it in November. A lot of people on this and other places (won’t name where lol) are really against having a wedding ceremony after you are already married (whether you tell people or not). Heads up on that for some of the comments you might get.

And that’s a lot of kids!! Big age range?

Post # 12
442 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

Wait, if you already have a wedding planned, why are you going to get married before the wedding? That doesn’t make any sense. What’s the point? If you want to make it special for your kids and your husband, why not go on a trip after?

Post # 15
743 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2014 - Our Backyard/Steakhouse

realtreegal:  the vow renewal would be sketchy…you’ve just gotten married.  What are you renewing? All your friends and family would be experiencing is a re-enactment…

Honestly, most people will side-eye anything beyond it just being a party.  That means no first dance, no garter toss, no registry, no showers, etc.  nothing ‘wedding’ related as you’ll already be married.  

But, there’s nothing wrong with having a party, but if you’re eloping you are making the CHOICE to forgo all of those other ‘wedding’ trappings.

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