Wedding Etiquette Forum

Elopement Reception/Vow Renewal

We are considering eloping, and hosting a elopement  reception and vow renewal 1-1.5 years after. Is it considered ‘tacky’ if we planned it like it was a traditional wedding ceremony and reception? Can we still have a bridal party/first dance without it being weird? 

I’d love to have a traditional wedding, but because of family matters we have to wait to have a reception. So I’m trying to figure out ways we could add a little tradition into our celebration with family. 

Re: Elopement Reception/Vow Renewal

  • levioosalevioosa Southern California member
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    We are considering eloping, and hosting a elopement  reception and vow renewal 1-1.5 years after. Is it considered ‘tacky’ if we planned it like it was a traditional wedding ceremony and reception? Can we still have a bridal party/first dance without it being weird? 

    I’d love to have a traditional wedding, but because of family matters we have to wait to have a reception. So I’m trying to figure out ways we could add a little tradition into our celebration with family. 
    Yes, it would be tacky to do a re-enactment of your wedding. You can have a party, but it shouldn’t have anything that recreates a wedding ceremony or reception. 


    image
    Jen4948
  • ILoveBeachMusicILoveBeachMusic Indiana member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Normally, this is considered a breach of etiquette. However given the times we are living in, Covid has changed things. I wouldn't be offended if you did this - as long as your guests are aware that you are already married. Don't lie to your guests but enjoy yourself at your party - wear what you want and eat what you want. You don't have to call the dance the first dance, but you and your husband can certainly open the dance floor with a dance! Best wishes.
    short+sassy
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    It's totally fine to do a reception and even a vow renewal later. But a vow renewal is not a wedding, and it shouldn't be made to look like a do-over wedding. You won't be a bride, so you wouldn't have bridesmaids. (Wifesmaids is not a thing!) A spotlight dance would be nice, but it hopefully won't be your first dance if you've been married for a year already. 
  • Another idea: If you have your dress now, why not get married in it and have someone film the wedding? Then you can show the video at your party a year from now. No need for a vow renewal. People can watch the video at the start of the party and then celebrate with you.
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    I can understand a postponed celebration, especially in view of the pandemic.

    But if you're "eloping," then I think that cancels out the propriety of a vow renewal later on. If you're saying your vows once in private, then it doesn't seem appropriate to re-enact them later in order to "include" people that you didn't see fit to include in the original wedding. I would not do this.

    I like @maine7mob's idea to video the actual wedding and show the video at a first anniversary party rather than having a live "vow exchange" when you're already married.
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