Wedding Customs & Traditions Forum

Elopement question

Hypothetical question: Let's say we eloped based on a few factors, mostly cost and time constraints (combination of school and work schedules would make a legit wedding extremely difficult). We still want to have a small party, but: would it wildly unacceptable to have the celebration before the actual wedding? The goal is to get these two things accomplished in the summer, and it would be mighty nice to take care of the party logistics first, then relax and enjoy the ceremony/honeymoon before real life starts back up in earnest. What advice can y'all offer?

-Caraline

"Love is being stupid together!" =]
Cheers, Cara Daisypath Anniversary tickers

Re: Elopement question

  • I totally support you.  If you want to commit, and say your vows in front of 50 or 100 or 200 people, but want to start married life already, then do so.  Its your life, and the girls that are so damn negative on here are just unhappy with themselves.  It is your choice to do things your way.  There is no written code as to how things must be done.  White guys get japanese tattoos.  People in their 40's go to college.  Its your life, not theirs, and I think that as long as you are happy, thats all that counts.  Best of luck to you!!!  I hope you have a long and happy marriage!

  • edited December 2011
    My fiance's friends eloped this past summer and then sent out a surprise postcard afterward. What they did was very smart. They had planned their "wedding" for the fall, but never set a date. They eloped on Memorial day and started their honeymoon immediately after. The same day they mailed out postcards that said "Surprise We're Married!" inviting all their freinds and family to an elopement party just a month later. They had the party in a large old home/rental space, hardly decorated (just pictures of the elopement and their home and new puppy) and catered chinese take out. Their was self-serve beer and wine, and a dance party led by an Ipod and a friend. No cake, boquet toss, just a great party. The best way to go about an elopement I think!
    All done in two months!

    PS- They had pre-wedding parties, but they were very casual and everyone was invited to the post-wedding party that was dressy.

    I cannot stress what a great idea this was for them!
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_customs-traditions_elopement-question?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:36Discussion:e6a6942a-ea3e-4061-97a8-96282d4462aaPost:7e0a3408-a4ba-41ce-926a-45dfe2302dc6">Re: Elopement question</a>:
    [QUOTE]My fiance's friends eloped this past summer and then sent out a surprise postcard afterward. What they did was very smart. They had planned their "wedding" for the fall, but never set a date. They eloped on Memorial day and started their honeymoon immediately after. The same day they mailed out postcards that said "Surprise We're Married!" inviting all their freinds and family to an elopement party just a month later. They had the party in a large old home/rental space, hardly decorated (just pictures of the elopement and their home and new puppy) and catered chinese take out. Their was self-serve beer and wine, and a dance party led by an Ipod and a friend. No cake, boquet toss, just a great party. The best way to go about an elopement I think! All done in two months! PS- They had pre-wedding parties, but they were very casual and everyone was invited to the post-wedding party that was dressy. I cannot stress what a great idea this was for them!
    Posted by Mary Alex Senn[/QUOTE]

    Thank you for sharing their elopement story.  This is something similiar to what we would like to do. We are having a ceremony with no guests in the city where we are currently living. We'll then go the next day on a short 'get away' type honeymoon for a few days.

    Our close family members know our date (we tried to keep it a secret) but our extended families probably don't even know that we are engaged and have moved. 

    We are going to send marriage annoucements out the day after the wedding to our families, extended families, and his friends. 

    I'm not sure what kind of celebratory get-togethers may or may not take place following the wedding, mainly due to the logistics of our immediate family and his close friends being spread out in five different states from LA to NYC and us not living in any of those places.  My mom wants to host something where she lives, also where I grew up, but again, it's all a maybe at this point.
  • I think that depending on who you invite that having a party before the wedding would be fine, instead of calling it eloping why don't you just say "destination wedding" that you want to be just you and your FH. If its just a party with close friends and family who understand the situation I don't think that it would be a bad idea. And who cares its your day, do what makes you happy just happy and then years down the road when every thing in your life settles, you can renew your vows and plan something that you didn't get to do the first time :) Congrats and good luck with whatever you choose to do!

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  • I think many of the ettiquette issues on here apply more to more traditional situations, where the bride and groom grew up near each other and family and friends are, for the most part, nearby.

    My fiance and I have family in all four corners of the country.  If we had a traditional wedding, many of them would feel obligated to take time off and travel all the way to wherever we wed to help us celebrate.  That, combined with the fact it's my second wedding and we really do want a small, private ceremony, has led us to choose to "elope."

    Our plan is a "destination wedding" (all this in quotes because, in our case, elopement is pretty much the same as destination wedding) on the beach with our two kids from my previous marriage and an officiant.  Then we're thinking of small get-togethers as soon as we can get to where our family is, with invitations that say "no gifts necessary, just your company!"

    Just because we're having our ceremony be private does not mean that we don't want to celebrate with our friends and family.  This fits us and our families.  :)
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