My fiancé and I are wild about each other! We’ve set a wedding date for spring 2018 to allow our more distant loved ones time to plan their travels. For tax-related and so-in-love-we-can’t-stand-waiting reasons, we’d like to elope before the end of the year. We’re torn on whether to keep it a secret. He’s taking my last name, and he works as a wedding photographer, so we think it would make more sense to do his public name change in advance of wedding season. Would it be rude to our guests to elope and then invite them to the party in the spring? Our families are not big travelers and they’ve never visited us even though we live in a popular destination city. Our decision to have a wedding at all was largely informed by our desire to get our families out to see us. They’re pretty old-fashioned, and I could see them thinking there’s no point in coming out for a wedding if the papers have already been signed. Does it take the wind out of the celebratory sails to get hitched first and party later?
—Can We Elope?