(Closed) Eloping ettiquette

posted 7 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
1126 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

I think the going out to dinner thing only works if it’s a small group of people you want to invite (15 or less).  Otherwise it’s too hectic and confusing, especially if you expect people to pay for themselves.  If you want to have more people, what about hosting a party at your house?  You could cater for cheap, or do a potluck, or just have cocktails/snacks, etc.  Or else you could celebrate separately by getting dinner with different groups of people, although I don’t think you can call everyone up and invite them to buy themselves dinner. 

I’d say either a small family/friends dinner with people you know would want to help you celebrate, or else hosting a party for everyone.

Post # 4
937 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

we had a small group of about 25ppl at our house for a BBQ dinner… my mum provide the meat and we provided all the alcohol, we asked everyone to bring a plate… it worked out wonderfully.

Post # 6
172 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

I think if you’re going to invite fair sized crowd to your dinner, it might make sense to send invitations or give some sort of notice to your guests in advance before you go out of town, just out of courtesy.

I also think that you and your groom should shoulder the expense of dinner or some sort of simple reception because your guests will still treat it like a wedding reception and will probably bring gifts as well (even though you’re probably not expecting them to).  I’m afraid your guests might be unpleasantly surprised to  bring a gift and then on top of that, have to pay for their dinner as well.

However, I think the rules kind of change for a smaller crowd.  I particularly like Miss OBG’s suggestion of having multiple but smaller groups of people for a bunch of seperate casual dinners.  In that case, I don’t think people would mind so much paying for their own dinner seeing as it won’t have such wedding reception type feeling to it.

Happy planning 🙂


Post # 7
2232 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I don’t think it’s rude to ask people to pay for their own dinner if you make it very clear beforehand (as in through the invitation) that you are not actually hosting/paying. 

I went to a wedding a few years ago where the reception was held at a restaurant and the bride and groom did not tell anyone that we were all to pay for our own dinner. It was definitely awkward when the waiter came around to take orders and assigned us numbers to keep track! 


Post # 8
3638 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

It’s not rude at all to ask people to pay their own way. As you said, it’s just like a birthday dinner type thing. But warn the resturant when you book that it will be a lot of split bills.

Is there a problem with telling people about it beforhand? Did you want to keep the actual elopment date a secret?

Post # 9
3267 posts
Sugar bee

I think you need to be careful to be clear that it is infact not a reception.  A wedding reception is always a hosted event, and it would be rude to ask guests to pay their own way.

I think your options are to have something less formal at home, or to do a less formal invite letting people know you will be at XXXX restaurant and if guests would like to join you at a pay your own shindig you’d like that.


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