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Elopement questions

Hi all!

After a few months of searching and researching and hating every place we saw, we have decided that we want to say "Screw it" to the traditional wedding and do our own thing! It is such a relief honestly to not have to plan an elaborate wedding that would be for everyone else, not ourselves. 

First of all- where would you recommend we look? I'm thinking Costa Rica or somewhere tropical that we can be active one day and the next we can lay on a beach with a drink in our hands. Ideally we'd like to find a place that will do the ceremony and then we stay for a week. 

Second- how do we tell family and my bridesmaids? We'd like to extend the invitation for our friends to join us, but it won't be what they've been expecting this all to be. Because my parents can't travel (disabled), we've decided that parents will not be part of this. I know they'll be hurt but this is only fair. Should we make an announcement to all of the people we were originally going to invite to let them know our plans?

Third- Do people still do registries? I'm not really huge on it in the first place, but it's a question that's come up. 

Ahh.. So many questions. But this feel SO right. 

Thanks!
Meredith

KnotRiley

Re: Elopement questions

  • Hi all!

    After a few months of searching and researching and hating every place we saw, we have decided that we want to say "Screw it" to the traditional wedding and do our own thing! It is such a relief honestly to not have to plan an elaborate wedding that would be for everyone else, not ourselves. 

    First of all- where would you recommend we look? I'm thinking Costa Rica or somewhere tropical that we can be active one day and the next we can lay on a beach with a drink in our hands. Ideally we'd like to find a place that will do the ceremony and then we stay for a week. 

    Second- how do we tell family and my bridesmaids? We'd like to extend the invitation for our friends to join us, but it won't be what they've been expecting this all to be. Because my parents can't travel (disabled), we've decided that parents will not be part of this. I know they'll be hurt but this is only fair. Should we make an announcement to all of the people we were originally going to invite to let them know our plans?

    Third- Do people still do registries? I'm not really huge on it in the first place, but it's a question that's come up. 

    Ahh.. So many questions. But this feel SO right. 

    Thanks!
    Meredith
    First- I think this is a decision you and your FI can make. Just spend some time looking at places till you find the right one. Travel agents can help, and many of them have probably already had some part in planning elopements. It can't hurt to ask. Also- many of the other knotties here are well traveled and can probably offer more advice than me. 

    Second- If you have already invited people to be in the wedding, or to attend the wedding, it is proper to also invite them to this. Otherwise you could send out an announcement after you two exchange vows. 

    Third- Registries are for couples who are not eloping. If you are eloping no bachelorette, no bridal shower, etc. These activities are for people who are also attending a wedding.
    image
    [Deleted User]
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    So you have already asked people to be in your wedding?  If so, then I think it would be best to tell them that you are changing your plans and no longer going to have the wedding you were planning.

    As for where to get married, well that is up to you and your FI.  Just remember to research the requirements to get married in whatever locale you decide on.

    If you do invite your friends to come along then it is no longer an elopement and you have to make sure that you are hosting them properly.

    I would skip the registry.

  • KatWAGKatWAG Chicago member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    justsie said:
    Hi all!

    After a few months of searching and researching and hating every place we saw, we have decided that we want to say "Screw it" to the traditional wedding and do our own thing! It is such a relief honestly to not have to plan an elaborate wedding that would be for everyone else, not ourselves. 

    First of all- where would you recommend we look? I'm thinking Costa Rica or somewhere tropical that we can be active one day and the next we can lay on a beach with a drink in our hands. Ideally we'd like to find a place that will do the ceremony and then we stay for a week. 

    Second- how do we tell family and my bridesmaids? We'd like to extend the invitation for our friends to join us, but it won't be what they've been expecting this all to be. Because my parents can't travel (disabled), we've decided that parents will not be part of this. I know they'll be hurt but this is only fair. Should we make an announcement to all of the people we were originally going to invite to let them know our plans?

    Third- Do people still do registries? I'm not really huge on it in the first place, but it's a question that's come up. 

    Ahh.. So many questions. But this feel SO right. 

    Thanks!
    Meredith
    First- I think this is a decision you and your FI can make. Just spend some time looking at places till you find the right one. Travel agents can help, and many of them have probably already had some part in planning elopements. It can't hurt to ask. Also- many of the other knotties here are well traveled and can probably offer more advice than me. 

    Second- If you have already invited people to be in the wedding, or to attend the wedding, it is proper to also invite them to this. Otherwise you could send out an announcement after you two exchange vows. 

    Third- Registries are for couples who are not eloping. If you are eloping no bachelorette, no bridal shower, etc. These activities are for people who are also attending a wedding.


    I disagree. OP is cancelling her current plans. She should tell whoever she has previously invited that this wedding will not take place, which is true. And then plan your elopement.

    FWIW, it sounds like you are planning a DW and not an elopement since its not a surprise and you will be inviting guests.

    BabyFruit Ticker
  • Jells2dot0Jells2dot0 Cowtown mod
    Moderator Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its

    I eloped, meaning I didn't tell anyone we were marrying beforehand. What you are describing is more of an intimate DW. A Private DW is when just the two of you are there, but people knew about your wedding plans. Anyway, eloping was the best decision we ever made. We eloped to Australia and it was amazing!!! It was very easy to legally marry there. Our ceremony was extremely private and very personal. We only had the celebrant, photographer, and wedding coordinator present.

    I did not have a registry or anything wedding related because, well, no one knew our plans. If you invite people to your DW, you can technically have a registry. But, I would forgo it unless someone wants to throw you a shower. Keep in mind that if you do have a shower, only the people invited to the wedding can be invited to the shower. I imagine you don't want any fuss, so I would recommend you just decline any offers, if you receive them.

     

    As far as telling people about your change in plans, just be honest. If you want to invite some of those people, you'll still need to send out invites and properly host them while they are there.

     







    [Deleted User]
  • KatWAG said:
    justsie said:
    Hi all!

    After a few months of searching and researching and hating every place we saw, we have decided that we want to say "Screw it" to the traditional wedding and do our own thing! It is such a relief honestly to not have to plan an elaborate wedding that would be for everyone else, not ourselves. 

    First of all- where would you recommend we look? I'm thinking Costa Rica or somewhere tropical that we can be active one day and the next we can lay on a beach with a drink in our hands. Ideally we'd like to find a place that will do the ceremony and then we stay for a week. 

    Second- how do we tell family and my bridesmaids? We'd like to extend the invitation for our friends to join us, but it won't be what they've been expecting this all to be. Because my parents can't travel (disabled), we've decided that parents will not be part of this. I know they'll be hurt but this is only fair. Should we make an announcement to all of the people we were originally going to invite to let them know our plans?

    Third- Do people still do registries? I'm not really huge on it in the first place, but it's a question that's come up. 

    Ahh.. So many questions. But this feel SO right. 

    Thanks!
    Meredith
    First- I think this is a decision you and your FI can make. Just spend some time looking at places till you find the right one. Travel agents can help, and many of them have probably already had some part in planning elopements. It can't hurt to ask. Also- many of the other knotties here are well traveled and can probably offer more advice than me. 

    Second- If you have already invited people to be in the wedding, or to attend the wedding, it is proper to also invite them to this. Otherwise you could send out an announcement after you two exchange vows. 

    Third- Registries are for couples who are not eloping. If you are eloping no bachelorette, no bridal shower, etc. These activities are for people who are also attending a wedding.


    I disagree. OP is cancelling her current plans. She should tell whoever she has previously invited that this wedding will not take place, which is true. And then plan your elopement.

    FWIW, it sounds like you are planning a DW and not an elopement since its not a surprise and you will be inviting guests.

    I see what you mean. I think thought that if the OP is still planning on inviting some people to the DW then the people who have already been invited need to still be invited. If I had been asked to be a BM and then told the wedding was changed to an elopement I'd understand. But if I found out later that it wasn't an elopement and people were invited (just not me) I'd be pretty hurt. But yes, if OP wants an elopement, no guests at all, then she can just explain that to the wedding is not taking place- because that is the truth. 
    image
  • Hi all!

    Thanks so much for your responses! What we will most likely do is plan this for ourselves, then extend the invitation to close friends/family- with no pressure for them to join us. If they have the means to come, then we'd love to have them, but wouldn't want to make any expectations as some of our friends are not as financially capable. 

    We were originally planning on having a wedding, so yes, I had already asked my girlfriends to be bridesmaids. We want to be completely upfront on this, no one will be surprised by this- so you're probably right, this is more of DW than eloping. 

    Thanks again!
    Meredith

  • Hi all!

    Thanks so much for your responses! What we will most likely do is plan this for ourselves, then extend the invitation to close friends/family- with no pressure for them to join us. If they have the means to come, then we'd love to have them, but wouldn't want to make any expectations as some of our friends are not as financially capable. 

    We were originally planning on having a wedding, so yes, I had already asked my girlfriends to be bridesmaids. We want to be completely upfront on this, no one will be surprised by this- so you're probably right, this is more of DW than eloping. 

    Thanks again!
    Meredith
    The bolded is fine, because that is what every wedding invite means. We invite you to come but you don't have to. Just make sure that when/if guests come you host them poperly. 
    image
    Maggie0829
  • Elopements do not have guests.  None!

    If you are looking at foreign countries for a wedding location, make sure and check their laws.  Some places, like Mexico. are more difficult for paperwork and requirements to get a marriage license.

    You need to cancel your current wedding plans.  Send written notices out to everyone who received a Save the Date, or other invitation.  Make your new plans for a different date. 

    If you decide to have a destination wedding (inviting guests), all the rules still apply.  You must host a reception for your guests after the ceremony.  You should send out written invitations.  Do not try to make financial decisions for your guests.  They will have the option of declining if they feel it is too expensive.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
  • If we elope (and have zero guests) - can we have a party after the fact with the people who would have liked to come?

  • and we've sent out zero invitations, save the dates, anything... 

  • If we elope (and have zero guests) - can we have a party after the fact with the people who would have liked to come?

    and we've sent out zero invitations, save the dates, anything...


    BOXES
    You can have a party, like a celebration. But do not sign up for a registry or do other majorly wedding related things (first dance, announcements, wedding party, etc)

    If you've asked people to be in your wedding I would count that as an invitation.

    image
  • Jells2dot0Jells2dot0 Cowtown mod
    Moderator Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    If we elope (and have zero guests) - can we have a party after the fact with the people who would have liked to come?

    You can definitely have a party afterwards, though I personally don't get that. The wedding reception is the most stressful part of planning a wedding. It's the most costly, most time consuming, and the most involved piece. It usually causes the most drama. It's about the guests, as a reception is a thank you to them for attending your wedding. Planning an AHR will still have all of those problems as a AHR is a thank you to your friends/family for supporting your plans to marry. But, it's acceptable to do this as long as you don't treat it as a wedding reception. Just a nice party/celebration.

     







    Maggie0829
  • KatWAGKatWAG Chicago member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    If we elope (and have zero guests) - can we have a party after the fact with the people who would have liked to come?
    yes you can have a party. But what is the point? Why not just stick with your original plans if yu want a big party?
    BabyFruit Ticker
  • KatWAG said:
    If we elope (and have zero guests) - can we have a party after the fact with the people who would have liked to come?
    yes you can have a party. But what is the point? Why not just stick with your original plans if yu want a big party?

    I didn't say I wanted to have a big party. 

  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    KatWAG said:
    If we elope (and have zero guests) - can we have a party after the fact with the people who would have liked to come?
    yes you can have a party. But what is the point? Why not just stick with your original plans if yu want a big party?

    I didn't say I wanted to have a big party. 
    I think her point was if you want to have a party for everyone that would have wanted to come to your wedding (and that you would have liked to come) then why not just have a wedding locally and invite everyone to that?

    Jells2dot0CMGragain
  • princessleia22princessleia22 Oceanfront Property in Arizona member
    Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Answer
    If we elope (and have zero guests) - can we have a party after the fact with the people who would have liked to come?


    We had 25 guests at our destination wedding.  There were many that couldn't make it (and many that we chose not to invite).  We thought about having a BBQ back in my home town in Michigan and in our current town in Arizona within a couple months after the wedding.  Mainly because a lot of my family hadn't even met my husband yet.  It wasn't going to be a wedding reception at all, just an informal get together with all our favorite people.  It would allow people to congratulate us, but it wasn't really a wedding related function.

    You can totally do a party, just don't make it focused on the wedding.  Just through a typical BBQ or whatever party. 

    image 

    [Deleted User]
  • I think you have several options.
    1. If you want to include your parents, invite all parents to a courthouse wedding and take them out to lunch after.  I know you said your parents couldn't travel, but this could include them.  Then you can have your honeymoon at whatever destination you choose, regardless of their marriage laws.
    2. If you want to have a destination wedding, you need to do serious research about marriage laws in the different countries.  Invite people if you want, but I never understand this; you're choosing someone else's vacation for them AND basically inviting people to your honeymoon.  I don't know about you, but I plan on spending most of my honeymoon either naked or drunk, I don't want to have to be entertaining Grandma or needy-friend Betty.
    3. If you want to have your friends/bridesmaids at your wedding, you can do that wherever you're legally allowed to marry.  Then you have to take everyone out for food afterwards; pizza and beer or fancy location with steak, lobster, and champagne.  But you have to host people afterwards.  You can do this at any destination or at home, then you can go on a honeymoon somewhere else.
  • Another option? DW in the States - depending on location it can be cheaper and easier for your desired guests to attend.

    We're doing an intimate DW in the States. People know the date, the place, etc, but because we can't afford to properly host any guests, it will just be us, the photog, the officiant, and the required witnesses. Do we have a guest list just in case we win the lotto? Sure. But even that list is under 30 including us. The location is not up for debate because it's the only thing that FI is requesting. We will most likely NOT have an AHR later, either. To me that seems gift grabby and very AWish. Will people be bummed? Maybe. But people aren't as concerned/consumed with your wedding as you are.

    Decide what's best for you & FI and plan away. Don't worry about the feelings of others - if you start doing that you might as well go back to your original plans.

  • scoetto said:
    Another option? DW in the States - depending on location it can be cheaper and easier for your desired guests to attend.

    We're doing an intimate DW in the States. People know the date, the place, etc, but because we can't afford to properly host any guests, it will just be us, the photog, the officiant, and the required witnesses. Do we have a guest list just in case we win the lotto? Sure. But even that list is under 30 including us. The location is not up for debate because it's the only thing that FI is requesting. We will most likely NOT have an AHR later, either. To me that seems gift grabby and very AWish. Will people be bummed? Maybe. But people aren't as concerned/consumed with your wedding as you are.

    Decide what's best for you & FI and plan away. Don't worry about the feelings of others - if you start doing that you might as well go back to your original plans.
    You have got to be kidding!
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
  • CMGragain said:
    scoetto said:
    Another option? DW in the States - depending on location it can be cheaper and easier for your desired guests to attend.

    We're doing an intimate DW in the States. People know the date, the place, etc, but because we can't afford to properly host any guests, it will just be us, the photog, the officiant, and the required witnesses. Do we have a guest list just in case we win the lotto? Sure. But even that list is under 30 including us. The location is not up for debate because it's the only thing that FI is requesting. We will most likely NOT have an AHR later, either. To me that seems gift grabby and very AWish. Will people be bummed? Maybe. But people aren't as concerned/consumed with your wedding as you are.

    Decide what's best for you & FI and plan away. Don't worry about the feelings of others - if you start doing that you might as well go back to your original plans.
    You have got to be kidding!

    BOXES

    Bolded was sarcasm.

  • CMGragain said:
    scoetto said:
    Another option? DW in the States - depending on location it can be cheaper and easier for your desired guests to attend.

    We're doing an intimate DW in the States. People know the date, the place, etc, but because we can't afford to properly host any guests, it will just be us, the photog, the officiant, and the required witnesses. Do we have a guest list just in case we win the lotto? Sure. But even that list is under 30 including us. The location is not up for debate because it's the only thing that FI is requesting. We will most likely NOT have an AHR later, either. To me that seems gift grabby and very AWish. Will people be bummed? Maybe. But people aren't as concerned/consumed with your wedding as you are.

    Decide what's best for you & FI and plan away. Don't worry about the feelings of others - if you start doing that you might as well go back to your original plans.
    You have got to be kidding!
    I think she was referring to people being upset if the decide to elope.
    [Deleted User]
  • As long as you're not lying about what you're doing, people will be hurt that they're missing out but they'll survive. OP won't be the first or the last to change up wedding plans. As long as guests are properly hosted everyone invited will be happy. 

    FWIW, guests that you would like to be present but know won't come should be invited and allowed to decide whether or not they want to come - not have the decision made for them.

  • Thanks everyone for the advice. We've decided to do a stateside DW- it will still be a little work getting my parents there, but at least everyone can be there and it's in a special place. 

    Thanks again!!

    scoetto[Deleted User][Deleted User]CMGragain
  • snowywintersnowywinter member
    250 Love Its 100 Comments Name Dropper
    edited July 2015
    "Make sure that you host them properly"

    Can someone please explain what this means? It's said multiple times in this thread and I don't understand what it entails. During a DW what exactly do you need to do to host your guests properly (aside from the reception)?
  • "Make sure that you host them properly"

    Can someone please explain what this means? It's said multiple times in this thread and I don't understand what it entails. During a DW what exactly do you need to do to host your guests properly (aside from the reception)?
    The same as any other wedding. Make sure there's a chair for every butt, food appropriate to the time of day, guests don't have to open their wallets at the reception for anything, etc.

    Daisypath Wedding tickers
    image
    [Deleted User]

  • "Make sure that you host them properly"

    Can someone please explain what this means? It's said multiple times in this thread and I don't understand what it entails. During a DW what exactly do you need to do to host your guests properly (aside from the reception)?
    The same as any other wedding. Make sure there's a chair for every butt, food appropriate to the time of day, guests don't have to open their wallets at the reception for anything, etc.

    All that I get of course. I thought they meant host them properly during their travels, etc. Thanks for answering.
  • Did ya get to the bottom of your problem?
  • Hi all!

    After a few months of searching and researching and hating every place we saw, we have decided that we want to say "Screw it" to the traditional wedding and do our own thing! It is such a relief honestly to not have to plan an elaborate wedding that would be for everyone else, not ourselves. 

    First of all- where would you recommend we look? I'm thinking Costa Rica or somewhere tropical that we can be active one day and the next we can lay on a beach with a drink in our hands. Ideally we'd like to find a place that will do the ceremony and then we stay for a week. 

    Second- how do we tell family and my bridesmaids? We'd like to extend the invitation for our friends to join us, but it won't be what they've been expecting this all to be. Because my parents can't travel (disabled), we've decided that parents will not be part of this. I know they'll be hurt but this is only fair. Should we make an announcement to all of the people we were originally going to invite to let them know our plans?

    Third- Do people still do registries? I'm not really huge on it in the first place, but it's a question that's come up. 

    Ahh.. So many questions. But this feel SO right. 

    Thanks!
    Meredith
    My friend got married on Vieques.  It is an island off the coast of Puerto Rico.  The entire wedding with flights and lodging (for bride and groom) was under 10 grand. 
    image
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