(Closed) From Big Wedding to Elopement? Help!

posted 7 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
46606 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

I would plan whatever works for you for your wedding. After the elopement, you can send out an announcement that you eloped. People understand that circumstances and plans change.

Post # 4
1696 posts
Bumble bee

This is not a new situation, and traditional etiquette has a standard correct solution. You send a notice, in the same style as, and similar wording to the original, to the recipients of the original notice, stating that the planned celebration will not take place. No further details are required, although you will doubtless be kindly asked about the details by people who truly care and by the dyed-in-the-wool family gossips. You can answer the questions or not when they come, but you don’t need to anticipate them.

So. If you sent formal invitations, you get more of the same card and using the same typeface you write:

Mr and Mrs Firstname Hostess
regret to inform you that
the planned public wedding ceremony and reception for
Jessica Lastname
Mr Handsome McB
will not take place.

(If you were actually calling the whole thing off, you would simply write “that the wedding of …”; this wording leaves open that it is just the public celebration that is being called off.)

If you sent informal invitations, you write a very brief informal note such as:

Dear Auntie Aspasia,
Sadly, Handsome and I are not going to have a big wedding on (date) after all.
Love, Jessica

If you sent printed Save-the-Date cards, use the same template and picture (although you might photo-shop the photographs to a more muted shade for artistic effect if you like) but where it said “Handsome and Jessica / Save the Date / 5 May 2012” put instead “Regrettably / Handsome and Jessica’s plans for / 5 May 2012 / have been cancelled”

Although all these statements seem bald and painful in their lack of explanation, the very simplicity of these statements should have the effect of reminding your guests to be tactful and avoid prying. Naturally, that doesn’t work on tactless busy-bodies, but no matter how much explanation you feed such people they will always pry for more anyway.

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