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Elopement Etiquette

Can someone please provide me etiquette on elopements? FI and I are hoping to elope to San Francisco to save expensive. This is my second wedding (his first) and we will be footing the bill. People are asking if they can come, if we are registering, are we having showers, are we having a reception afterwards? And honestly, I'm not sure what the protocol for this is.
Any help would be greatly appreciated!! Thanks!
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Re: Elopement Etiquette

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    If you elope you don't get any showers or bachelorette parties because it's considered rude to invite people to give you gifts for an event they are not invited to. You don't do a reception if you elope, and you can send out announcements in the days immediately following. Some people do an at-home reception (AHR) but that is kind of tricky - I suggest that if you want one you just throw an awesome party and not a wedding reception.
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    If you start inviting people to the ceremony then you really aren't eloping are you?

    If you decide to elope then you forgo all pre-wedding parties (showers, bach and bachelorette parties, etc).

    Make sure to send out marriage announcements as soon as you return from your elopement.

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    "Eloping" means a totally private wedding with only the couple, the officiant, and witnesses present.  It also means forgoing all the other elements associated with weddings, like parties, receptions, gifts, attendants, etc.
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    An elopement is when you run off and get married without telling any one about it (except maybe parents or a close friend), sometimes you won't have even announced your engagement. 

    What you seem to be suggesting is a private ceremony, just you and FI. Which is a wonderful, private way to celebrate your marriage. But like all things in life there are trade offs- you forego all pre-wedding parties (b/c only people invited to the wedding are invited to pre-wedding parties and no one would be invited to the wedding in this case), and in 99% of cases, there's no big 'reception' after you get home. Though if you or some one else want to host an open house/BBQ sort of thing, then thats cool. Just tell people that ask that you will be having a private ceremony later this year and decline any offers of a shower.

    However, if what you want to do is tell people "Hey we're going to X place to get married, feel free to just show up" then what you're really doing is a destination wedding- if there are guests (even if its just 2-3 others) you need to host something. Take people out to dinner or lunch, doesn't have to be fancy, just has to be a way to thank them for coming to see you get married. 

    Hope that helps!



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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_elopement-etiquette-2?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:061fa070-723e-4a1a-b6d9-36975be055e5Post:d06cba5d-f848-4d83-a847-11fc4d57ecb6">Re: Elopement Etiquette</a>:
    [QUOTE]An elopement is when you run off and get married without telling any one about it (except maybe parents or a close friend), sometimes you won't have even announced your engagement.  What you seem to be suggesting is a private ceremony, just you and FI. Which is a wonderful, private way to celebrate your marriage. But like all things in life there are trade offs- you forego all pre-wedding parties (b/c only people invited to the wedding are invited to pre-wedding parties and no one would be invited to the wedding in this case), and in 99% of cases, there's no big 'reception' after you get home. Though if you or some one else want to host an open house/BBQ sort of thing, then thats cool. Just tell people that ask that you will be having a private ceremony later this year and decline any offers of a shower. However, if what you want to do is tell people "Hey we're going to X place to get married, feel free to just show up" then what you're really doing is a destination wedding- if there are guests (even if its just 2-3 others) you need to host something. Take people out to dinner or lunch, doesn't have to be fancy, just has to be a way to thank them for coming to see you get married.  Hope that helps!
    Posted by lennonkdc[/QUOTE]

    Thank you so much for your response. I'm perfectly okay with forgoing all of the pre-wedding festivities that would go along with an elopement or private ceremony.  My current diliema is that i'm not sure if his family is on board with this plan. I'm trying to take their feelings into account as this is his first marriage and they want him to have all of these things. However, we would be paying for this venture and it is not in our budget to host a large affair. No one has been foramlly been invited to anything, but his Mother wants to be there which I completely understand. But the snowball that I see coming can easily grow out of control.

    I'm honestly debating on wether or not to say, "Forget it!" and have a traditional wedding even though its not what me or my FI want.
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_elopement-etiquette-2?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:061fa070-723e-4a1a-b6d9-36975be055e5Post:bb6898c6-e5a3-4fae-9045-fdad36b61e02">Re: Elopement Etiquette</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Elopement Etiquette : Thank you so much for your response. I'm perfectly okay with forgoing all of the pre-wedding festivities that would go along with an elopement or private ceremony.  My current diliema is that i'm not sure if his family is on board with this plan. I'm trying to take their feelings into account as this is his first marriage and they want him to have all of these things. However, we would be paying for this venture and it is not in our budget to host a large affair. No one has been foramlly been invited to anything, but his Mother wants to be there which I completely understand. But the snowball that I see coming can easily grow out of control. I'm honestly debating on wether or not to say, "Forget it!" and have a traditional wedding even though its not what me or my FI want.
    Posted by guin82[/QUOTE]<div>
    </div><div>I suggest talking to FI and seeing what he wants. If he wants a day that incorporates more people then there are ways to do that without breaking the bank. Is there is a church hall or park space you can rent, or one of your parents back yards you can use? If so, just buy some cheap wine/beer,and soda, some sandwich platters, snacks and a cake from costco and hook up an ipod. Heck, you can even do a cake and punch reception (as long as its not at a traditional meal time) Having a wedding doesn't have to mean having a pricey formal to do, it can be as formal or a relaxed as you want. </div><div>
    </div><div>So longs as you and FI are happy, and that you host some sort of event to thank those who were kind enough to come, then you're good!</div><div>
    </div><div>
    </div>



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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_elopement-etiquette-2?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:061fa070-723e-4a1a-b6d9-36975be055e5Post:bb6898c6-e5a3-4fae-9045-fdad36b61e02">Re: Elopement Etiquette</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Elopement Etiquette : Thank you so much for your response. I'm perfectly okay with forgoing all of the pre-wedding festivities that would go along with an elopement or private ceremony.  <strong>My current diliema is that i'm not sure if his family is on board with this plan. I'm trying to take their feelings into account as this is his first marriage and they want him to have all of these things. However, we would be paying for this venture and it is not in our budget to host a large affair</strong>. No one has been foramlly been invited to anything, but his Mother wants to be there which I completely understand. But the snowball that I see coming can easily grow out of control. <strong>I'm honestly debating on wether or not to say, "Forget it!" and have a traditional wedding even though its not what me or my FI want.
    </strong>Posted by guin82[/QUOTE]

    If you and your FI have both agreed that eloping is what is best for the both of you then you need to stick with your decision.  You are both adults and can decide how you want to get married.  Will some people be upset by your decision?  Yes.  Will they learn to get over it?  Yes.  But you need to own your decision.  Do not let anyone pressure you into doing something you don't want because you will only regret it in the end.

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    You could do a small ceremony with parents/siblings only.  It doesn't have to snowball if you don't let it.  I'm not a parent, but if I were I would think I'd want to witness my kid get married.  Ultimately it's up to the two of you to decide.  You can elope if you want.  
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    Thank you all for your thoughts. FI and are having a serious sit down tonight to discuss our options. As with anything dealing with multiple families there are lots of other "things" involved that must be handled delicately. I just want to make sure WE are on the same page as it is US who will be in this marriage.

    Thanks Again!
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_elopement-etiquette-2?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:061fa070-723e-4a1a-b6d9-36975be055e5Post:ef527b70-cef7-411e-a180-7aa8bab18284">Re: Elopement Etiquette</a>:
    [QUOTE]Thank you all for your thoughts. FI and are having a serious sit down tonight to discuss our options. As with anything dealing with multiple families there are lots of other "things" involved that must be handled delicately. I just want to make sure WE are on the same page as it is US who will be in this marriage. Thanks Again!
    Posted by guin82[/QUOTE]

    <div>Good luck with whatever you chose to do! and Congrats :)</div>



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    Oh My Heavens! FI has told me that he really wants a wedding now! Aagh!
    Since this was not in the oringinal plan I'm starting to panic with the thought of planning and paying for a wedding. Though I would love a ceremony/reception with our closest friends and family, he has no idea how stressful/expensive/time-consuming wedding planning is.

    Please pray he doesn't change his mind again once we get started down this road or we will have a case of shaken FI syndrom...
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