For those of you that threw a party after your elopement…

posted 5 years ago in Elopement
Post # 3
6124 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012


We had a party 1 month later, but I really did my best to NOT make it a wedding type thing.  I called it a Fall Celebration – new deck, graduation, fall is coming, we got married.  Why not celebrate our marriage in full force?  I did not want people to bring gifts.  That was all.  If one could have a celebration party and gifts are not even on people’s minds, then I’d be all for shouting from the rooftops – CELEBRATE OUR MARRIAGE WITH US!


We literally planned it in a week.  I was really satifsifed with our awesome weddingmoon, but H wanted a party.  Plus all our local friends were like, “When’s the big party???”  Then a good offered to throw us a party.  I did not want her to go through such trouble, so we ended up having our own party.


I used email to send out the info – nothing fancy (I would have done but it was down on the night I sent the info).  No family was notified, they were all a plane ride away.  It wasn’t that fancy of a party to warrant a plane ride!

Post # 4
478 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2015

You might not have the photos in by then.  I hate to say it but why are you having a party after your actual wedding? Why not just have a “wedding” where the guests can actually celebrate with you on the day you get married? It seems like a gift-grab :-/ 

Post # 5
569 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

we planned the wedding 1.5 away and about 6 months later we decided to elope.. so we did in a private ceremony with no one other than the photographer as witness..

kept the wedding plans the same.. doing the “vow renewal” and reception..

we annuance to our family and close friends a month to a week before we elope and then we did another announcement on facebook to the rest..

people are rsvping as expected and no negative comments..

whoever doesn’t want to attend because we are already married can rsvp no..

I don’t see a problem with eloping and celebrating after.. True friends and family would still want to celebrate your marriage.. those who don’t.. well.. i wouldn’t be bothered with them 🙂

Post # 6
3283 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 2014

@musician32992:  We are having “family receptions” about a week and then two weeks after our wedding. We’re sending out the invites actually BEFORE the wedding–they say something like “Sweet and Mr. Sweet will be married in a small ceremony on January 6. We hope you’ll join us the following weekend for a casual family party to celebrate their new life together.”

We are not registering and spreading the word that no gifts are expected. I suspect people will still bring us small gifts or cards, but we’re trying to make it clear that this is a celebration, not a gift-grab. And if people don’t like it, well, then, they don’t have to come!!

I definitely wouldn’t think you’d have pictures back by then, unless you specifically clear it with your photographer first. Not only would you need to get the pictures back, but you’d have to get them printed on announcements, too, which can take a week or so.

Honestly, we feel a little funny about using our wedding photos on things for people who weren’t invited to the wedding, but that’s just my two cents.

Post # 7
6124 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

@MrsChristopher:  A wedding/reception and a celebration party can be different things.  A reception is thrown to thank guests for witnessing your wedding.  It’s usually a fancier affair. A celebration party is usually more laid back like a BBQ.  Less stress, but you still want to share this happy time with friends/family.

Sometimes couples want to marry in locations that are not condusive to inviting guests (like in a different country) because that is important to them.  Or they feel exchanging wedding vows is a private and personal thing not to be put on show for all to witness.

With a celebration party, there are *generally* no linens to worry about, there can be lawn games, it can be more casual, no need to dress up, no worries about colors/centerpieces.  No wedding planner (or one frazzled bride) needed because there is no coordinating really.  People expect certain things when it comes to weddings.  Frankly it’s just easier to throw a regular party than it is a wedding and reception.  I cannot imagine all the coordination needed for a full on guested wedding!  In fact, I did go down that road at one point.  It was not fun.  Loosing sleep over flowers in mason jars!

Gifts are not usually typical with celebration parties in my experience.  Sometimes a card with well wishes is given.

Post # 8
164 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

@sienna76:  Agreed.  Plus, if you need caterers or any rentals, the price goes up exponentially as soon as you say “wedding!” One of the reasons I was seriously leaning toward eloping and having a BBQ after the honeymoon!

Post # 12
7216 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2015

@musician32992:  My BFF is doing that. She got married with just immediate family (+ me) this summer and she’s having a full-on reception in October. I should actually be getting the invitation in the mail today, but I think it says something like “Bride & Groom request the honor of your presence at the celebration of their marriage”, so very VERY similar to a wedding invitation, but everyone knows they already got married and there will be no ceremony at this party. They already have their pics back (got married in early June), so they are using a photo album as their guestbook & I think also doing a slideshow of the ceremony pictures. 

I don’t know your reasoning, but for her she just REALLY didn’t want to walk down an aisle and have a bunch of people stare at her while she said her vows. I’ve always wanted a big wedding, but the way she describes her preference, it really makes sense to me. Exchanging vows is such an intimate thing… it’s kind of weird that we do it in front of our dad’s cousin’s boyfriend, ya know? Her wedding was all kinds of awesome and I’m totally looking forward to the party. 

Post # 13
7216 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2015

@MrsChristopher:  There are a lot of reasons people have the actual wedding ceremony in private. Like I mentioned above, my BFF is too shy to walk down an aisle and exchange vows with a bunch of people staring at her. But that doesn’t mean she doesn’t want to celebrate with her family & treat them to an awesome party to thank them for supporting her. No one seems to see it as a gift-grab and, in fact, her grandma was PISSED she didn’t register, even though grandma herself wasn’t at the ceremony- only the party/reception. 

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