Post # 1
Ok, so we eloped Jan 1, on top of a mountain that we climbed our friend got ordained and we climbed for 5 hours, and it was amazing and just what we wanted. We came home told our families, and they still wanted us to have a ceremony/small wedding. So here we are planning a wedding.
We are doing about 60-70 people “destination” (5 hours away) Savannah, originally we said instead of an “engagement/ save the date” we would have a “surprise we eloped/ save the date” however now I’m wondering do we really have to tell people? A few of our close friends know, our parents know, but do we really have to tell the rest of our family/ friends? I don’t want to have to justify why we did it.
It’s great having a forum where I can ask people advice for this stuff.
Post # 2
Yes, be honest. I highly doubt people will be asking you to “justify” your elopement.
Post # 3
Be ready for a shit storm and there a lot of different opinions on this.
Personally, I would be annoyed if I was invited to attend a “wedding” only to find out that the couple eloped prior and kept it a secret. There is something special about witnessing the couple actually go through their vows the first time for real – not a re-enactment.
Just own up to it. You don’t have to justify why you got married where and when you did. I really think you should tell your guests, not to mention if some of your family already knows, the “secret” will get out and the others that were not told initially will most likely be upset.
Post # 4
My $0.02? I would tell only those who are invited to the affirmation/renewal/celebration ceremony; I would never call that a wedding. I would tell “everyone” (who asks) that we’re simply married and leave out details about the ceremonial aspects to your union.
Best wishes, Bridex2 Bee!
Post # 5
In the interest of avoiding more drama than it’s worth, I’d tell people. It sounds appealing to avoid it all by not telling anyone first, but in reality, you’ll have more of a headache to deal with if someone who cares whether you’re already married or not finds out after the second ceremony that you were actually legally married months before. I personally wouldn’t care one way or the other, but I think you’ll have a lot less explaining to do if you just spill first.
Post # 6
You don’t need to justify, but you do need to explain that you are married.
Post # 7
Yes, announce that you were married in a private ceremony and are inviting them to a reception. I would not reenact your vows. We’re doing something similar: small ceremony for close family, followed by a reception later.
Post # 8
Not reenacting vows is a very good point.
We did two ceremonies but the first was the wedding with traditional vows (Do you take him? her?) while the second was an affirmation with altered vows (Did you take him? her?) so that it wasn’t a do-over. It did allow for all guests to witness our commitment even though the second set would never attest to having seen us get married.
Post # 9
You are already married – why are you having a pretend wedding again? You didn’t want these people at your real wedding, I don’t see why you’d want them at your fake wedding. Oh right, gifts?
Post # 10
What’s the point of having another wedding if you’re already married? Have a party if you want, but you didn’t care if these people saw you say your vows, so I’m unclear as to why you want to reenact it for them. Just have a big fun party and yes, definitely tell everyone you’re married.
Post # 11
Yes, tell people you eloped and are having a reception at home to celebrate your marriage. Do not hide the fact that you eloped in order to have a pretend wedding. I can guarantee that this won’t go over well with at least some people you know.
Post # 12
I agree with PP that you should tell your guests that you eloped, but should not feel obligated to justify it. My cousin did this but kept it quiet and a lot of our family members were pissed that they weren’t honest about it. I’m sure they all would’ve gone anyway, but some people are really particular about this, so I’d just be up front to avoid drama later.
Post # 13
DESTINATION???? For a fake wedding? Rolling my eyes……….. And YES you have to tell them, if these people are important enough to invite they are important enough to NOT be lied too.
Post # 14
Ugh, I missed the part where the reception was a destination affair. OP, just NOPE. Announce your elopement and have an at-home reception for your friends and family (by which I mean at home, not in another city/state/country) like a normal, polite person.
Post # 15
Yes–you need to tell people you’re already married. First of all, it’s just basic decency that you invite people to the actual event you’re hosting–people expect and deserve to know what they are potentially taking time off and spending money to attend. And the number of people who will take time off, travel, and spend money on accommodations (AND *gifts*, by the way), to attend a wedding outnumber the people who will do so for a party.
Which is what you are having. Don’t get me wrong–people who love you WILL come out to celebrate. I also had a courthouse wedding and then we hosted a party several months later, and out of maybe 85 people, 75 came–and it too, was a semi-destination (ie, it was a drive from a major city to a more vacation-type town). But you cannot lie–it’s not a wedding if you’re already married. It can be a “celebration in honor of your wedding” but not the wedding itself. Make sure this is clear on your invitation.
(Other things, just in case: 1) yes, you can still register, although I would default to traditional etiquette and NOT have it on the invite. Put it on the website, do word of mouth, but not the invite–keep it on the DL and let people come to you if they are so inclined. And be aware that it might be fewer people will purchase gifts for the celebration than a wedding ESPECIALLY if you’re doing a destination because of the cost they’ll incur just getting there 2) yes, you can do all the stuff you would do for a wedding–wear the dress, dance the first dance, etc. I think it’s also fine to recite vows again for your community, but a repeat ceremony is a little odd)