I’m eloping June 2020 and can share the following:
How far apart in time were your destination elopements and your US receptions?
We are planning our reception to occur 3-4 weeks after the elopement. We live in CA and are getting married in CO. From there, we are going on a 2-week honeymoon out of the country (destination TBD). When we come back, we want a week to settle in together, and then we will celebrate in the 4th week with family and friends. By then, we will have photos of the wedding and honeymoon to loop on a projector for all to see.
When did you send out invitations for the reception?
We are going to send out invitations for the reception the day after the wedding. The reception will be local for our family and friends, so they don’t need more than the 3-4 week notice. We are hosting on a Saturday during the summer months. I found lots of reception after elopement announcements on Etsy and will likely use one for the invite:
What was your reception like?
A friend of ours has a 1/2 acre backyard that they agreed to let us use for the evening. We are bringing in tables, a bartender, a jumper with slide, large games like jenga, and if we get our way, a food truck that can pull in their driveway and serve guests. We want things to be casual, inclusive of guests with kids, and relaxing with good food, music and a space for both sides of our family to mingle. I wanted to do away with the served dinner and table rounds where people tend to cluster with those they came with.
Feedback from close friends and family
Feedback on the elopement with the few family members we shared with has been met with resistance. In making our decision, the FH and I made a list of what was important for us on our special day. For us, it was maintaining cost, having each other, and doing something that suits us! For him, he also had 1 other thing – wanting his mother’s blessing to forgo a ceremony where she would not be present. She was more than supportive, so things moved along.
Our friends, they love us and are just excited for when we come back! They have been more than supportive and immediately stepped up to host my bridal shower, the reception, and support us in any way we need. Now I discuss my wedding day desires with them rather than family who are saddened they don’t get a massive party on my dime.