(Closed) Post-Elopement Celebrations and Wedding Gifts – What's the Deal?

posted 5 months ago in Etiquette
Post # 17
2849 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2018

lbqueen15 :  I would let your friend know that the reception or celebration is usually the most expensive part. Of course there are ways to keep the cost down by having it at someones house but the food and drink is the most expensive part, at least for us it was. I mean, they could have someone ordained and get married at the party they plan to throw rather than eloping by themselves. But again, just a bit of a warning that the party is the expensive part.

Post # 18
839 posts
Busy bee

Specifically in regards to registry when eloping- it wouldn’t bother me if the couple had the thoughts of a big wedding, but figured out later on that they couldn’t afford it, kept it, but on the down low. If anyone asked then you’d nonchalantly say “we registered right after our engagement before we planned to elope, but will be keeping the registry as a reminder of things we will need once we are married”. But don’t run around spreading the word you have a registry lol

Will your friend be eloping at her local courthouse?

Post # 19
2314 posts
Buzzing bee

There was a bride around here that eloped and had no party afterwards and then was shocked that no one gave her gifts/money.  That’s different though because she didn’t host anyone.   

Post # 20
1216 posts
Bumble bee

lbqueen15 :  they may be better off just eloping and then having a baby shower for their baby. If finances are tight now, they’re going to be even tighter once the baby arrives. Having kids is not cheap. Throwing just a reception is not that much cheaper than having a traditional wedding. The reception is the expensive part. 

My advice to your friend would be to really trim the guest list and throw something they can afford now. Even if it’s a backyard wedding or renting out a back room at a restaurant. 

Post # 21
1186 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2018 - Location

We eloped (not a secret – but literally just the 2 of us) and then had a big celebration after. All friends and family knew about both plans in advance.

We did NOT create a registry, most people gave us cards with cash gifts. We were surprised and made sure to really thank people since it was kind of a surprise to us/not expected. It would be rude to refuse the gifts. 

Post # 23
1462 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2019 - City, State

lbqueen15 :  I wouldn’t be putting the link on invitations or anything, but I really don’t see anything wrong with having one. If anyone asks, great, you can give them the link. If not, woooo you get a discount on the stuff you wanted and needed anyway

Post # 24
330 posts
Helper bee

lbqueen15 :  it’s like saying “you weren’t important enough to celebrate this major life moment with us but now that we’re back we’re slapping together some food so you’ll still shell out money for gifts.”

Post # 25
5959 posts
Bee Keeper

If your friends are so hard up for money, I don’t see the point of wasting it on a reception when that could go into savings for baby. They are not going to make more in gifts than the reception costs. And guess what – the reception is going to have people, so having anxiety but still throwing a party doesnt make much sense. 

Post # 26
1519 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2019

lbqueen15 :  I really don’t see the distinction. Celebration or ceremony and reception can be small or large but either will involve people and expense. The ceremony part is the cheap bit. 

That said… if it’s a true celebration then they shouldn’t expect gifts… just to enjoy the company of friends and family. 

A reception is a thank you to the guests for attending. The gifts are a way for people who were invited to be a part of the marriage to wish the bride sand groom good luck. 

A celebration after the fact is just a party. 

Post # 27
8660 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

lbqueen15 :  “general consensus that if a couple elopes and has a celebration subsequently, the two should NOT create a registry” — Correct. 

or even accept gifts.” — What? No. Some people will still give gifts and of course the couple can accept them. I have never seen anyone here say that if you elope and someone tries to give a gift you need to decline it. That’s ridiculous. In fact, the fact that people who want to give a gift will give a gift regardless of whether there’s a registry or not, is part of the reason why having a registry for an elopement is so frowned upon. People are going to give you gifts anyway. But setting up a registry is saying “we expect gifts for our wedding” even though you’re not inviting anyone to the wedding.

I eloped because my husband and I were too poor to afford a wedding and our families were even worse off than us. I admit I had some sads over the years, buying nicer stuff for friends and family’s weddings than I had for myself. But my dignity was worth more than a toaster or sheet set and I would rather buy my own homegoods than grub for gifts from people who were not invited to my wedding. People who wanted to give a gift did so without us making a list.

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