Elopements have become the norm these days, and it doesn’t look like that’s going to change anytime soon. While many couples choose to elope with just the two of them, some opt to throw a post-elopement party to celebrate being newlyweds with friends and family. Whether it’s a grand affair full of food and dancing or a lowkey backyard brunch, there’s no better way to include your loved ones after saying “I do.”
What Is A Post Elopement Party
You may be wondering, “what is a post elopement party, exactly?” It may look different to everyone, but generally, it’s a way to celebrate tying the knot with those who could not attend the elopement. It’s an opportunity to tell your story of the day as well as share your photos and videos from the day.
The party can be as simple or as complex as you want, and there is no set timeline for the event. If you want to have it a day after your wedding, or you want to celebrate a year later on your anniversary, the choice is yours.
Why Have A Post Elopement Party?
Much like an elopement, the choice to have a post elopement party is entirely up to you. There are a whole host of reasons to throw a party for your loved ones to attend. These are some of the most popular reasons couples decide to throw one of these parties:
- You’re having a destination elopement
- You don’t want the stress or financial burden of a full-blown wedding or reception
- Your adventure elopement was too difficult to attend for some
- You’re not quite finished celebrating your love
Tips For Planning A Post Elopement Party
Whatever the reason, there are a couple of things to keep in mind when planning an elopement reception. Although they’re typically smaller than regular wedding receptions, there are a few tips that will make planning that much easier.
1. Announce Your Elopement Beforehand
Rather than send out save-the-dates, consider sending out elopement announcements. If you announce that you already eloped by sending an elopement party invitation, your guests may feel excluded. Avoid hurting the feelings of your party guests by ensuring they find out from you instead of hearing it from someone else or seeing it online.
2. Send Out Elopement Party Invites
Although elopements are pretty popular these days, they’re still not nearly as popular as traditional weddings. Because of this, if your guests receive an elopement party invitation–especially without an elopement announcement–they may confuse it for a regular wedding invitation. You don’t want to offend anyone by having them assume they were only invited to the after-party.
On the invites, use language such as “You are invited to celebrate the marriage of…” or “We got married. Come celebrate with us!” This will clear up any uncertainty and set guest expectations before the party. You can also include a small message about when you eloped–though this isn’t necessary if you sent out elopement announcements.
3. Pick A Date
Though this may seem like a small detail, choosing a date will help dictate how you announce the party and how soon you need to do so. For example, if you want to celebrate immediately after you elope, you’re going to want to send out invites in advance to make sure that your guests can attend.
If you want to wait a bit so that you’ll have photos, videos, and extra time to plan, you may feel a little less rushed. Just remember that there is no right or wrong length of time between the elopement and celebration–it’s entirely up to you.
4. Decide Where You Want To Host It
One of the best parts about hosting a post elopement party is that you can decide how big you want to make it. Because it isn’t a traditional wedding reception, there is no expectation of having a grand sit-down dinner–unless you want to.
You can have a casual backyard BBQ, and Airbnb fiesta, a garden party, or rent a room at your favorite restaurant for a family-style meal. No matter what you choose, having a post elopement party gives you the ultimate freedom when booking a venue.
5. Don’t Expect Gifts
Many couples stress when it comes to putting together a registry and receiving gifts after eloping. Rather than expect gifts, you can include a note on your invites that says something along the lines of, “Gifts are not necessary. However, if you do feel so inclined to contribute to our future, here’s how.” This can include where you've registered or a note about cash donations.
Doing so will help you avoid questions about it down the line, plus you take the pressure off of the guests.
6. Consider Entertainment
Depending on the size of your party, you may want to consider entertainment options. Now, this doesn’t mean that you need to hire a DJ or live musician–but if you want to, go for it! This could be anything from including speeches, showing a video presentation from your elopement, reenacting your first dance, playing games, etc. You’re throwing a party, after all.
7. You Can Still Have A Ceremony
This may seem a little redundant since you’re already married. However, there really are no rules when it comes to your party. If you eloped because your family and friends couldn’t attend and you want to include them after the fact, why not have a second ceremony? This gives them the chance to recite poems or other readings, incorporate family traditions you may have missed out on, and more.
8. Wear What You Want
There’s no better excuse to don your wedding attire for a second time than an elopement party. If your celebration is going to be a bit more laid back and you don’t feel comfortable wearing your gown or suit a second time, you can opt for a more casual white dress or a simple button-up and slacks combination.
Post Elopement Party Ideas
Know that you want to have a party, but not sure just exactly what kind of party you want to throw? Consider one of the following ideas!
Traditional wedding-style reception
Rent a private room in your favorite restaurant
Take a day trip to your favorite city
Now that you’re ready to plan your own post-elopement party check out our elopement picnic tips to celebrate your love–just the two of you.