(Closed) Elope now, ceremony/reception to follow?

posted 10 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
3765 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

I think the hostility generally comes from the deception (eloping and not telling anyone you’re already married).  Some people have to get married sooner due to health, insurance, or military deployment reasons, and that is completely ok- IF the couple is honest about it.

The other point of contention is that once you are married you had your wedding.  You can’t have another wedding unless you are no longer married… so the “ceremony” after an elopepment is a vow renewal/marriage blessing/recommitment ceremony/whatever.  There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with getting married (eloping) and being open and honest about it, then having a blessing or vow renewal and reception later on. 

Post # 4
1875 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

@DaneLady:  Exactly this!  I have no problem with people eloping, I just have a problem when people lie about it (keep it secret) and don’t consider it a “real” wedding.

For your situation, since there are no financial, medical, military, deportation, etc. issues, I would suggest just waiting until December.  There’s really no rush.

Post # 5
8375 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

@DaneLady:  Exactly what you said.  Very well put!

Post # 6
2001 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

@DaneLady:  This exactly.

A lie by omission is still a lie.

Post # 7
2153 posts
Buzzing bee

@RunsWithBears:  Agree with you and @DaneLady

Deceiving your guests about what they are actually coming to is the #1 problem.  I really can’t see any reason to lie to people, and it usually makes me think that a) the couple thinks people won’t actually come to a renewal or b) the don’t think people will gift the same.

The other problem that Runs with Bears pointed out, is that people don’t “consider themselves married” or that a civil ceremony “isn’t a real wedding”.  I find that very disrespectful to those that chose to go that route, who are very much just as married as someone who had a huge, white wedding.

The other issue I have is when people “fake” a wedding ceremony.  Saying pretend vows to me just cheapens it all.  Lots of people really said those vows and meant them.  To pretend to get married just doesn’t make me feel good.

Life and espeically adulthood is always about making decisions/choices.  If it is most important that you are married right now in a civil service then do that, but with that choice there is a trade off; no big white wedding.  If what is most important is to have friends/family to celebrate in a big, white wedding then the trade off is that you can’t be married right now.  You have to decide what is the most important to you.

Ultimately starting off a marriage on a hill of deciet seems a bad start.  But that said, you can always host a large party for any reason.  Just invite people to the proper event, even if that is a renewal, religious blessing of a marriage, anniversary party etc.

Post # 8
831 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

My beef with elopements comes in 2 catetories.

1. As PPs mention, if you elope and deceive your family/friends by getting ‘married’ on a later date, that is absurdly underhanded.  Just say no to lying to your loved ones.

2. Its great if you want to elope, that I don’t have a problem with.  The problem comes with when people elope and then decide to have a ‘wedding reception’ afterwards.  Clearly they can afford to have the big party, b/c they’re throwing the reception.  Maybe you aren’t doing this for gifts, but lots of people do.  But the gifts are wedding gifts, and you already had your wedding.  The reception is a thank you for those who watched the ceremony, but since no one was invited to the ceremony, the reception part looks rather silly and make the couple appear to want more attention.  Why elope if you have a big party afterwards?  Isn’t that what you wanted to avoid by eloping?

Post # 10
7555 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

@vitani88:  “I know that if my extended family (cousins, aunts, uncles) know that I’m already married, they won’t make the 30 minute drive to come to the big day. That’s why we want to elope now and not tell everyone about it. “

I don’t understand? If you want people to come to your actual wedding then invite them to that. Lying because you know they will be offended by a fake second wedding is even worse in my opinion.

Personally I wouldn’t go to a second wedding knowing the couple had already gotten married. I personally feel it is never acceptable (whatever the reason)and think that as an adult you make choices and you need to live with those choices. If you want to get married sooner rather than later why not just have a smaller wedding?

Post # 11
1484 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

To your personal question: Pick the month you want to get married in. Once you decide which month you want to get married, decide how big or small you want the ceremony and reception, anywhere from you and Fiance to big white wedding. You can easily put together a simple wedding for 100 guests in two months. If you want the big wedding with all the bells and whistles, get married when you’d have the time to plan it. 

To your general question: people don’t like it because of alllll the above stated reasons. It’s incredibly rude to lie to people and trick them into attending your renewal. 

Post # 12
87 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

Well this sure is opinion central! I don’t get the hostility or conventional idea that it has to be all or nothing. Everyone had a unique reason for their choices! I’m “eloping” bc my fi family/ friends live abroad. We r going to them vs their coming to us. We have a small end budget. And Europeans typically have 2 ceremonies FYI bc they require a civil – religious is not considered equally binding and is optional. 

Our 2nd will be in my hometown about 3 months later. Again, my family is large and cannot fly to Europe bc it’s financially difficulI at this time. We plan to have a ring/vow exchange complete with an isle walk and reception (granted its only 50 people and simple). 


I think everyone has forgotten the real reason is LOVE!!! We personally couldn’t wait to marry and have not kept it a secret. In fact, we are excited to be able to share this moment with everyone dispite the distances. 



Hope this helps 


Post # 13
42 posts

@vazem:  This is different than what the OP is doing and I doubt any/many people would take issue with it. You are not deceiving your guests about having multiple ceremonies and you have legitimate reasons for having multiple ceremonies. The deception part is what puts a bad taste in many people’s mouths. 

Post # 14
1733 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

As someone who eloped, I have a hard time understanding why people do it and then still have a big ceremony later. The reason I eloped was because I didn’t want all of that (plus many other reasons). If you’re going to have the big ceremony anyway, why not just wait? 

Post # 15
6303 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

I don’t understand the whole elopement with a big party later UNLESS you have some specific reason for it – health issues, military deployments, etc. Eloping for the sake of wanting to be married RIGHT NOW is silly IMO. If that’s the case, plan the big wedding for RIGHT NOW. Most people elope because they don’t want to plan a big wedding.

That being said, I also don’t understand hostility. I could care less what people do, and don’t feel “duped” that they didn’t tell me they were already married. I’d still go to the big wedding and party/enjoy myself. I just can’t imagine why anyone would be offended to attend the wedding of something who was already married, simply because they didn’t know. What does it matter? 

Post # 16
3 posts
  • Wedding: September 2012

@vitani88:  WOW! i am honestly suprised at how negative everyone is being about this! i think it’s wonderful that you and your fiance feel it is the right time for you, go for it! I also am disappointed in peoples’ over all response about an “elopement btwn two people that choose to keep it to themselves a lie”, or “only having the wedding/receptions for the gifts”! that’s horrible!

My husband and I eloped and do plan on having a wedding/reception on our first anniversary but decided to only tell our immediate family because we wanted our first wedding to be intimate and private, and both of us are very shy and get nervous easy (and we just didn’t want to wait! Our families were very happy for us might i add). However, we have a lot of friends who would be so hurt if they thought they weren’t “invited to our wedding” so we plan to celebreate with them too! And i don’t care if they bring gifts, we just want them to be there.

We know another couple that did this too and the husband was very reluctant to tell me they were already married but he chose to and i told him i thought it was wonderful! weddings are about love and two people wanting to spend the rest of their lives together. it’s not a lie by ommison if you don’t tell everyone you know you eloped because still want to celebrate with them when they time or finances is right. not everyone needs to know all your business!

The whole “wedding industry” makes people think they have to do things a certain way or it’s not ok. but it is ok! have your wedding exactly how you want to have it, as many times as you want to have it! because in the end your the one that has to look back and remember that day as “MY WEDDING” and if it wasn’t how you wanted to do it, you just did it because someone else told you “that’s just how it’s done” well that’s not a great memory is it?

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