Wedding Etiquette Forum

Having a shower for an elopement? Invitation wording?

FI and I are eloping in May 2013.  We're not formal people and the idea of following a traditional wedding service just isn't us... so it'll just be the two of us, the officiant, and the photographers on top of a mountain :)

While we're not inviting guests to the ceremony, we would still like to have a celebration to bring together friends and extended family members (some of which we haven't met on each other's side).  As I've mentioned before on here, we were initially thinking of having a low-key bbq a month or so after we were married, but the idea of a wedding shower keeps coming up as well.  I'm just concerned with having a shower because I don't know how to word the invitation to let people know that although there's a wedding shower, they are not invited to an actual ceremony since we are eloping.  Is that even the right thing to do?  We will be sending photo announcements after we are married, but I'm just not sure how to handle the before stuff.

Questions: Is it appropriate to have a shower if the guests aren't invited to the elopement ceremony?  If so, how do we word the invitation to let them know that we will not be having a public wedding?
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Re: Having a shower for an elopement? Invitation wording?

  • Avion22Avion22 member
    2500 Comments 5 Love Its
    No, it's not appropriate to have a shower if the guests aren't invited to the ACTUAL wedding ceremony.
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  • No, it is not appropriate to have a shower if you are eloping.
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  • 1. Shower guests must be invited to the actual wedding ceremony, which isn't possible with an elopement.

    2. Do not plan your own shower. Ever.
  • edited May 2012
    Wow, quick responses! lol

    I had always heard it wasn't appropriate to invite guests who weren't invited to your wedding, but just wanted some opinions in this situation.  A friend of mine got married in Jamaica nd her family threw her a shower beforehand and I didn't think twice about it (then again we were 19 and young and had no clue), so that's really the only experience I have on the elopement etiquette.

    As far as planning the shower is concerned, I know you don't plan your own but this was my mom's idea and I know I'd have a say in everything.  So it would be about 70% her, 30% me.  That might not be tradition, but that's how it would end up with us.
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  • when the wedding shower is mentioned, you simply say "no thank you".
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  • From my perspective, if I had friends that were eloping, just the two of them and the bride's mother hosted a shower for the bride, it would come off incredibly rude and also very gift grabby.
    When you elope, you give up all pre-wedding parties. 

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  • Just because your friend did something rude, doesn't mean you should.
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  • edited May 2012
    Gotcha.  No pre-wedding parties for an elopement. 
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  • No pre-wedding parties for elopements, but the BBQ after your wedding sounds nice as long as you don't treat it as WR.
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  • I agree with the PP. I think it would be nice to have a family gathering after the elopement. I wouldn't call it a wedding reception or anything just a family BBQ, so everyone can meet and havea  good time.
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  • hccpsuhccpsu member
    100 Comments

    According to Emily Post's Wedding Etiquette, 5th edition, it's acceptable to call your BBQ a reception if you wish, although it sounds like you're fine with it just being a party.

    In the section on "Belated Receptions," p. 189, it states "If no wedding reception was held or if only a small reception was held [after the ceremony] this celebration may include all the components of any reception [such as wearing the gown, first dance, cake cutting, etc]."

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