Post # 1
My fiance and I are eloping in a few weeks!
I am on the fence about having a party afterwords (or not). Most of his extended family, and mine (whom I don’t know all that well) would have to fly in. And I really think only a few family members might come to a casual post elopement party/open house, especially on short notice. With that said, we have lots of friends in the area. Many would show up I am guessing (hoping?). I think maybe about 30 folks or so.
The idea of planning a party stresses me out, and I’m afraid it won’t be as awesome as I had hoped. Also, we are pretty much living check to check with me not working, as I am chronically ill. I am pretty sure his parents would offer to help financially to throw the party. But in reality, if our families don’t help pretty much entirely, we really can’t afford to do anything. With that said, I just don’t want to ask for money. If they offer, that is fine, but I refuse to ask.
On the other side of the fence, if we weren’t to do anything at all, I worry about people being disappointed. I had a friend a number of years ago elope, and I remember (myself personally) feeling a little let down I didn’t have the chance to celebrate with her. One of my most dear friends who I have known since childhood told me that humans are creatures that use rituals as a symbol of change. My FI and I have been together nearly 4 years and all of our family and friends love us together. I know our elopement will be fantastic, and it will be a great memory for the both of us, yet I worry without some sort of social gathering that our family and friends might look at our marriage as somehow less significant, if they don’t have a memory to look back on about it.
Anyone with insight into any of this would be much appreciated.
Post # 3
That’s what we’re going to do.We will have the ceremony, then a very small party (family and close friends) after at a lodge, and then we will stay at the lodge for the honeymoon.
Post # 5
I’d have a big backyard BBQ and invite whatever friends/family live super close!
Post # 6
@iloverocks: Darling Husband and I eloped in may and had our reception/party this past friday. around 65 guests. stressful, but fun. i was on the fence about this too since it seems weird having it so delayed, but in the end it was totally worth it.
Post # 7
My mother-in-law threw a party for my husband and I when we eloped. It was on our first anniversary. I found it to be a very touching gesture. I did not plan or pay for it.
It seems like you are not in the best financial situation to have a party just now. Maybe you can wait and have an anniversary party when you have more money?
My husband and I are renewing our vows for our fifth anniversary because our elopement did not go well and my parents were very hurt. That is when we will have the money for the celebration we want; we don’t ask for money from our parents either.
Post # 8
@iloverocks: We had a casual pot luck party 1 month after our elopement. It was planned in 1 week, we did not invite any family since they would have had to fly in (and it was not that fancy of a party to warrant a flight). However, in order to not make it seem very weddingy, we were celbrating a few things; my recent graduation, our new deck, last days of fall and good weather, we got married. My graduate advisor brewed a couple mini kegs of beer (but that was for the graduation part). It was in our back yard. We provided all the main dishes and all the alcohol.
I did not really need a party. I was so done with everything and just glad to be back to normal life. H kind of wanted a party. Then all our local friends were saying, “When’s the big party????” A friend of mine was going to throw us a party. I did not want anyone doing that (I just did want anyone to trouble themselves, even though she’s an event planner for her job!), so that’s what prompted us to do a party.
If it were only a wedding celebration, I would not have made it a pot luck though. I would have provided everything. We called it a Fall Party (with many things to celebrate) LOL.
Post # 9
So this is not quite the same, but we are having TWO big family parties after our initimate wedding, which will be immediate family only.
We’re doing the famly parties in each of our hometowns, so that more family/old friends will be able to attend (the fact that our family/friends live over 1000 miles apart is one of the reasons we didn’t want to have a normal wedding in the first place).
We asked my mom to plan my family’s party and FI’s mom to plan theirs. For the one my family is having, we’re having it at a free location and just picking up some BBQ the morning of. My mom is doing some cute touches like favors and a picture display, but mostly it’s going to be really casual.
I think if you have ANY interest in this sort of event, you should have it. People want to celebrate with you. They want to mark your life change, and they want to show you that they love you. I’m not exactly looking forward to mingling and chit-chatting and telling the same stories over and over, lol, but I think it will be worth it in the end to make my (and his) family members happy.
Post # 10
If people wanted to celebrate with you and you did not hav a party, they can offer to take you both out to dinner. We had two couples take us out to dinner separately which was very nice.
Or you could have offered to take that eloping friend out to dinner and celebrate that way with them! 🙂 Doesn’t always have to include a dance floor, DJ and tons of people to celebrate!
Post # 11
@iloverocks: We did a casual park BBQ & potluck for our families the week after we got married in Mexico. Everyone loved it- my fmaily isn’t exactly well off so they really enjoyed being able to “gift” us with their presence & some homemade food (but food is big in our family too). We bought like $50 in decorations (just some plastic table cloths from the dollar store, a single bud vase for each table, and a few hanging banners) and spent under $300 on food (we made the main dishes ourselves, and me & my mom & grandma made 3 sides and a few apps). All in all, it was pretty awesome!
Post # 12
I thought about doing this, but once I looked at planning the sort of party I wanted, it completely defeated the purpose of eloping, because the cost savings was going to be like $5,000. My take on it was, “If you don’t want a wedding badly enough to elope, why come home and throw what’s essentially a wedding without a ceremony? And if you do want to plan a party, why not just get married at it and save the airfare $$ for the honeymoon?”
I can see it making some sense if you just have something really small, but that wasn’t realistic for the size of our families.
Post # 13
I think the idea of throwing a party after is a bit less stressful because some of the pressure is taken off. It would likely be an informal celebration, just to get friends together (eat, drink and be merry). And I think it would be less expensive in the long run. But yes, there would still be costs involved and some planning.
I think I am not going to plan anything, and see if any of our friends and family start asking. If there is an interest, maybe we will try, as long as family offers to help with the expense.
If we were to do this, what do you Bee’s think about in terms of timeliness? How long is too long after the fact?
Post # 14
I too do not equate a party later with a wedding reception. There are totally different expectaions between the two. Many things you don’t even have to consider with a party that you would with a wedding reception (linens, centerpieces, order of events, DJ, MC, lighting, favors, etc).
Of couse I would not be inviting everyone and their brother to just a party. No one that would require a flight.
Post # 15
I vote for a party afterwards. It does not have to be an extravagant affair but any kind of get together is better than nothing. I am afraid you might regret it once some time has passed. You can also have any annivesary party if you are a better position to do so on you one year anniversary. You can celebrate your marriage anytime! Good luck ♥
Post # 16
- Wedding: September 2014 - White Point Garden, Charleston, SC
I think we will probably throw a small party just like you are talking about. All of my family would have to fly in, so that’s not really an option, but we have a lot of friends who would probably show up to a small get together at the apartment. I say do it!