Post # 1
Hi all! Long time lurker but I think it is time to post! Around this past Christmas, my boyfriend surprised me by taking me to design an engagement ring together. It was a fantastic experience and I can not wait to see it! I am pretty sure he has the ring but he wants me to be surprised about the proposal with it, so I have no idea when it will be or how.
We decided a long time ago that we did not want a long engagement and that we wanted to elope sometime between this coming September and December – so soon! In Colorado, a bride and groom can solemnize their own marriage. Basically, that means you can marry yourselves and don’t need a judge, minister, witnesses, or an officiant. We plan on writing our own vows and doing our own ceremony, a photographer will definitely be involved! Originally, we decided that we did not want anyone there. We were thinking of doing a picnic after with cake and champagne and having an amazing low key wedding night after driving towards the mountains and stopping when we see a wonderful spot. I am very close to my father in Chicago but not my mom too much or sister. He is close with his family in Vegas, but not super close I guess. I do want my dad there to celebrate but it is very important to both of us that we marry ourselves and do our own intimate & private thing. He is worried that this is the only time our parents will meet together to celebrate since we live in Denver and our families are on opposite sides, which I get and it is important to him.
Here is what we are thinking: we will still do our lovely private ceremony with just the two of us. Our families can come to town and help us get ready separately and then do cocktails or something during the super short ceremony and some pictures. Then pictures with the fam and a dinner reception with our parents and siblings to celebrate together. Then go ahead and meet up with friends and family at a bar or other location to do drinks casually (not an official reception) and then a nice wedding night. We are already planning on going to Vegas for Thanksgiving and Chicago for Christmas. This means we can have a casual dinner at our respective houses when we go home to celebrate with family and friends who will already be over for Thanksgiving or Christmas.
Is this okay? I mean we know it is our wedding and our marriage so technically we can do whatever we want hah, but I want this to be okay and good for everyone and I feel like it is a good way to do what we want and then also involve parents. But it may not be – I don’t know. Thoughts??
Post # 2
eireannsh: It sounds like you’re planning a small, private elopement, which is completely fine. I don’t really feel like either family will be that involved, but it doesn’t sound like you want that anyways. If you want to have a small celebration after your private ceremony, you could definitely host a light meal or drinks at a local restaurant/bar. However, when you have dinner for Thanksgiving/Christmas, it won’t really be about your wedding, but will probably be more of a holiday celebration since your families won’t actually be together (which is also fine). The thing about weddings is, it’s never fine/good for everyone, so you have to do what’s right for you.
Post # 3
If you invite family to help you get ready, they will not want to sit around while you go have your private ceremony- they will want to be at the ceremony, too!
Post # 4
- Wedding: October 2014 - Cape May
eireannsh: it sounds to me like you already have it all planned out. My only suggestion is to simplify it by not having everyone help you get ready before if they are not welcome to attend the ceremony. Simply have your ceremony then arrange to meet everyone after or at a separate time.
You are in essence eloping which is exactly what we’re doing. Except were not having our family see us first. They know where we are getting married and are welcome to attend, but afterwards they are on their own. We will get ready with our witnesses, get married, then enjoy the rest of our trip with just us.
Post # 5
There’s nothing wrong with having a private ceremony, but I do think it is impolite to invite your family to come to town explicitly to NOT watch you get married.
I would recommend either 1) elope and have your families meet another weekend, or 2) invite your families to witness the ceremony.
Post # 6
You ladies are brillant. Thankyou so much! I like what you said Strawberryshmoo and the others, about not having them help out and then what you suggested, merpitymerp, having it another weekend and then having them come a different weekend. My only concern is them flying out just for a weekend. I suppose that is what people do for a wedding anyway and since we have family here im assuming my parents will come a day or two early. I feel torn. I was to do what we want but having our families in different states and trying to please everyone is quite the task. And I know it is important to my man that our parents meet. I guess I just feel like if we are going to have them come out here for a weekend it has to be for more than a dinner. Maybe we can elope and then have family and friends at a reception at a restaurant. Boo. I am stressing out already. I don’t know how people plan elaborate huge weddings. I don’t even have the ring on my finger yet and I am going crazy.
Post # 7
eireannsh: I am planning on doing something very similar!! I too am not yet engaged but SO and I have obviously discussed how we want things to go. We are planning on getting married in a local park with a guest list of 20 immediate family members. We will hire a photographer to capture wedding photos as well as some with family and then we will head over to an amazing local restaurant for dinner and drinks to celebrate. We then plan on having a party of some kind with all our friends and family who were not at the actual wedding 🙂
Post # 8
- Wedding: July 2014 - The Meeting House/DoubleTree by Hilton
I agree with PPs – maybe skip having them get ready with you? But if I was your family member, I’d like to come on the same weekend and be able to celebrate with you right after the ceremony! Just personal preference.
I think as long as you’re honest with everyone, your plan is fine. It sounds personal and intimate and really relaxed – I think it’ll be beautiful.
Post # 9
eireannsh: We are having a not so private destination wedding and some family/friends are invited and some are not for various reasons. We will have a party at our local bar back home when we return for those in town or could not make it to the location and show the DVD of the wedding.
In the end you are not going to be able to please everyone, so you and future hubby need to decide what is going to please you both and stick with that. I would opt out of having them help you get ready, as the main reason they want to be there is to see the wedding. Is it possible to have someone (not related like co worker ect) tape the ceremony and have it played at another location. Maybe see what the cost for having a private party at a resturant, you don’t necessarliy have to tell them its a reception ( think places charge more for that word lol ) just reserving some tables and it doesn’t have to be the same day as your wedding maybe the next day, or follwoing weekend where some casual outings could be planned to get everyone together. Good Luck