(Closed) We Eloped – still having a wedding, do we tell everyone before hand?

posted 5 years ago in Elopement
Post # 16
224 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

Attending a Destination Wedding is expensive and time consuming, but if that is what the bride wants, that is fine.

In your case, however, you are not the bride and this is not a wedding that you are planning. You are already married, and the event that you are planning is a reception party.

I would be less likely to spend the time and money to attend a reception party than a wedding, but if I found out about it afterwards, I would be furious. I think that I would feel that I had been ‘duped’.

Post # 17
93 posts
Worker bee

You already had your wedding.


Have a party to celebrate your marriage, but do not expect people to trave to a destination and LIE to them.  I wouldn’t do a destination in this case though.

Post # 18
911 posts
Busy bee

I agree that asking your guests to spend time and money to go to your destination wedding so they can then be surprised by the fact that you are already married is not fair or appropriate. I think it’s great that you guys eloped and decided to get married in a way that worked best for you, but now you need to be honest and come clean about that choice and your marriage to your loved ones. Go ahead and plan a party to celebrate that recent marriage, but don’t ask your guests to travel as if it were a wedding–because it’s a party. You already had your wedding, right?

Many congratulations on your marriage and good luck with the celebration planning!

Post # 19
2697 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2015

This is a very divisive issue on the Bee. I eloped to Vegas and then had a large formal wedding later, complete with showers etc. It was great and I’m incredibly happy we did that. 

Most people knew we were already married except for my mom’s extended family. We didn’t advertise we had already gotten legally married. It was not a problem. The people who knew were thrilled to celebrate with us etc. 

Do whatever makes you happy!


Post # 20
5077 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: December 2014

We had a very private ceremony and then had a “reception” later, not where we live, but where my family is from. We sent out invites to the reception saying we got married and that they were invited to celebrate with the couple. We did not register, though we did get small ($10-$100) cash gifts from pretty much everybody. 

I think you have to tell people, but be prepared for a low turnout, because people will not view this as a real wedding and therefore it isn’t as important. I would also reconsider the destination aspect. I might shell out the money to travel to a wedding, but I probably wouldn’t for a reception after the fact. 

Post # 21
5151 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2014

View original reply
christinalred:  Instead of calling it a wedding, why not call it an “marriage celebration” or an “elopement party”? A friend of mine did this and sent out super cute invitations “so and so eloped, come celebrate!” etc. 

Are you doing another ceremony?

Post # 22
11363 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2015

Normally I can’t be bothered to care about this esp when the couple involved are dealing with deployments, green cards, insurance, etc., but since you’re asking people to travel, things change a little.

Under these circumstances, I wouldn’t do a destination “wedding” when you’re already married.  

Post # 23
262 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2016 - Madame CJ Walker Building

Wow some of you ladies are really catty…..Personally I see nothing wrong if she had a ceremony or not! OMG! Accusing her of wanting free gifts just seems a tad bit mean! 

You eloped ok-go on and have a destination celebration how ever you would like! If it’s what you want do it! I would call it an affirmation. But hey its all about you! Good luck doll!

Post # 24
115 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: November 2016

I attended my friends’ wedding years ago. Turns out they married the year before for health insurance reasons. We didn’t find out until after the wedding, but everyone had a great time and no one cared that they were already married.

IMO you don’t have to tell.

Post # 25
458 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2017

Honestly what pushes this over the edge is that the celebration (it’s not a wedding, you already had a wedding) is destination.  However, you will probably end up doing whatever you want in the end, so at the very least I would tell everyone.  That way you are being honest and they can make a decision on what they would like to do.  

Post # 26
352 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2019

View original reply
christinalred:  I think if you are asking people to give up their time and travel 5 hours at their expense then you owe it to them to be honest about what they’re attending.

I would have no issue of someone eloped and then had a reception or celebration party afterwards, however I would ‘ve really upset if someone lied to me about what I was attending.

I’m guessing you care about the people you would be inviting, you don’t want to upset them by misleading them about whether they are watching you get married or not. If you care about these people and your relationship with them then I strongly suggest that you tell them the truth. That way they can enjoy celebrating your marriage without their memories of the day being tarnished by feeling deceived. 

Post # 27
2091 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

Honestly, I would just send out a nice announcement with a wedding photo on it and do something small at home to celebrate with close family and friends. Asking people to travel 5 hours away to celebrate your marriage that took place MONTHS ago seems strange and honestly will come off as gift grabby, even it that isn’t your intention. If you must do something, have a “celebration of marriage” locally and use that invitation as a wedding announcement with a photo from your wedding day on it. That way you aren’t lying and you aren’t pretending to be getting married. Lying to family is never a good option so be honest. 

Post # 28
14009 posts
Honey Beekeeper

Be honest. A reception can be as fancy as you like and you can even wear a white dress and serve cake. Just don’t call it a wedding. DWs already imply that venue is more important than people. I definitely would not do one in your circumstances. 

Post # 29
433 posts
Helper bee

Congrats on your marriage!

This sort of thing would never fly in my circles, so I can’t say it’s a good idea. But my family and friends are very traditional, so perhaps you have a different culture.

Post # 30
880 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2006

As someone who eloped, I’m going to remind you that an elopement is still a wedding. 

It may not be a traditional wedding celebration but it is still the day you become your husband’s wife. I find it annoying when people make a distinction between an elopment and a wedding. They are one and the same. 

Lying to your guests when they will be travelling 5 hours to witness your vows would be awful. Please don’t do this. It’s not nice to mislead people that you care about. 

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