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Etiquette

Elopement planned. Engagement dinner before?

Hi All!


Fiance and I are eloping in March with just our parents in Hawaii.

However, we do want to celebrate our upcoming nuptials with our friends and family. We are unable to celebrate after we elope due to personal reasons.


We plan on having a dinner to celebrate the engagement and upcoming elopement.

How do we phrase the invites? Do we include a registry even? Or do we just ask them to RSVP at the wedding site where there is a registry to look at if they so choose? We know people will ask and want to purchase items. 

Re: Elopement planned. Engagement dinner before?

  • Hi All!


    Fiance and I are eloping in March with just our parents in Hawaii.

    However, we do want to celebrate our upcoming nuptials with our friends and family. We are unable to celebrate after we elope due to personal reasons.


    We plan on having a dinner to celebrate the engagement and upcoming elopement.

    How do we phrase the invites? Do we include a registry even? Or do we just ask them to RSVP at the wedding site where there is a registry to look at if they so choose? We know people will ask and want to purchase items. 

    This isn't really an event you can do. It's fine if your reasons are "personal," but after a marriage is really the only appropriate time to invite people to a wedding-celebratory event, unless those people are actually invited to the wedding itself.

    You definitely cannot make a registry. If people want to give you gifts, they can ask you what you'd like, but having a registry (and promoting it) says to people that they are good enough to buy you things but not good enough to be included in your plans for actual marriage. When you choose a private wedding, you give up the opportunity for these sorts of things. There is literally no reason for you to have a wedding site. Communicate plans about the wedding with your parents directly.

    By the way, an elopement is when it's secret. You're just having a private wedding.

    ETA on the registry bit - I have a running Amazon list of stuff to get for my third baby. If someone asks me directly if they can get anything, I might send them that, but I would not put it anywhere publicly available. That makes it feel like people are expected to get us stuff, even if that's not how we mean it.
    Exactly this. 
    MesmrEwe
  • ILoveBeachMusicILoveBeachMusic Indiana member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    Yep, @flantastic nailed it.
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    Yep. Very rude to invite people to an engagement party if they aren't invited to the wedding. And sharing a registry would just be crass. 
    short+sassy
  • I agree with the other PPs.  An engagement party is a wedding event and only people invited to the wedding should be invited to an engagement party.

    However, what you can do, is throw a dinner party.  Don't "hint" that it's an engagement party.  Don't talk about your engagement/private wedding plans, unless people ask.  And, even then, keep it brief.  Don't have RSVPs for this dinner party that are related to or directed back to your wedding website.

    Keep in mind, your wedding is an event that they are not invited to.  Which is totally fine!  I think a private destination wedding with just you all and your parents sounds great.  I'm sure all of your friends/family are excited for you all.  Some of them might want to hear details about it.  But the asking for details should come from them.  Because, otherwise, you're celebrating and talking about an upcoming trip/event that they aren't invited to and that can be off-putting.  KWIM?  

    If people ask...emphasis on ask...where you are registered.  Whether at this dinner party or in general.  Then it is fine to provide them with that information.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    MesmrEwecharlotte989875
  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited November 1
    As others have pointed out, an elopement is, by definition, secretive. The hallmark feature is that it is often without parental consent. You are having a very private destination wedding that includes your parents. You can’t have a pre-wedding event for a secret or private wedding. 

  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Agree with all other posters. What you're doing is a small, private wedding. Eloping is marrying in secret, with just you and your partner. 

    You should never invite people to a pre-wedding event if they are not invited to your wedding. Full stop. 

  • levioosalevioosa Southern California member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Agree with PPs. You are having a private wedding. Recreating your wedding at home would be inappropriate. As would having pre-wedding events for people who are not invited to the actual wedding. 


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  • It's not appropriate to have an engagement party with people you aren't inviting to the wedding. If you want to have this small of a wedding and for whatever reason can't have a celebration of marriage with your friends afterward, you'll just have to accept that these people aren't going to be involved in your wedding in any way. It's fine to choose a private wedding, and you don't owe anyone an invitation, but you can't have it both ways.

    As for a registry, I definitely don't think it's a good idea here. If people want to get you some sort of gift to congratulate you on your marriage, they will...and they may or may not ask you what you want beforehand. Just accept any gifts you do receive graciously, even if they aren't really things that you want.


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