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Details regarding eloping

Hello!
My fiance and I got engaged in April 2016 and are planning to elope mid-September 2016. We've found the place, booked it along with the photographer, and I got my dress - all is well there. We've decided to keep it completely secret until we're married. Our families are supportive of our elopement and our decisions to not disclose the time and place. My questions are regarding everything but the wedding! First, if we're eloping, do we still register somewhere to receive gifts? If so, how would we get that information out there? We are definitely having a reception. We want to celebrate, of course! How soon after the wedding should/could we have the reception? I know the folks from out of town will need time to plan. And finally, since we're secretly eloping, I'm guessing we forfeit the traditional protocol for bachelor and bachelorette parties?
This is the first engagement for both of us so we're looking for help with etiquette - or anything else that we simply don't know about! Thank you in advance for your information!

Re: Details regarding eloping

  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs member
    10000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Personally, I don't really understand eloping and then having a party to celebrate. Also, if you've told people you're eloping, that's not really eloping. 

    And ditto that the party you're having is not a reception. A reception is the event immediately following your ceremony, and is held to thank the guests that attended. 

    I think it's fine to register (as long as you're not having a shower). People will still want to buy gifts. 

    DrillSergeantCatsparklepants41
  • Jells2dot0Jells2dot0 Cowtown mod
    Moderator Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its

    I eloped back in 2012. Our families knew we were engaged and that we would eventually marry, but they did not know any of the specifics, and of course, were not invited. So, sounds like a similar situation.

    We seriously owned our decision to elope- no registries, no showers, no bach parties, no celebration after the fact. We got married, people found out after the fact, we got some congratulations (no gifts, other than our parents sending us cards after they found out), and moved on with life. I personally don't get the point of having a private wedding/eloping if there is still going to be a party after the fact. The whole reason we eloped was to avoid everything tied to a traditional wedding (except the photographer- we still got awesome pics) and to have it be completely between the two of us.

    PPs have covered the specifics on etiquette, though I did want to point out that we chose not to send announcements for the wedding. Not sure of the timing of your celebration, but you may not need to send separate announcements if you are going to have a party within the first two months or so of returning. People will know you got married because they are receiving an invite to your party.

     







    OliveOilsMomSP29drglitterSTARMOON44
  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    Count me in the camp of not understanding a party back home after an elopement. If you want that, why not just do the whole thing at once with friends and family present to begin with? 

    I'm also not a fan of couples who register and elope. I agree with Climbing that people will still want to give you gifts, but I think I would just give you cash or gift cards if I were your friend or family and wanted to give you a gift b/c you registering but not inviting anyone rubs me the wrong way. 
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
    image
    geebee908Greenjinjo YogaSandy
  • Hello!
    My fiance and I got engaged in April 2016 and are planning to elope mid-September 2016. We've found the place, booked it along with the photographer, and I got my dress - all is well there. We've decided to keep it completely secret until we're married. Our families are supportive of our elopement and our decisions to not disclose the time and place. My questions are regarding everything but the wedding! First, if we're eloping, do we still register somewhere to receive gifts? If so, how would we get that information out there? We are definitely having a reception. We want to celebrate, of course! How soon after the wedding should/could we have the reception? I know the folks from out of town will need time to plan. And finally, since we're secretly eloping, I'm guessing we forfeit the traditional protocol for bachelor and bachelorette parties?
    This is the first engagement for both of us so we're looking for help with etiquette - or anything else that we simply don't know about! Thank you in advance for your information!
    You're not secretly eloping if your families know.  You're not even eloping- it's a private wedding.  Which is very nice.  I'm all for the photographer and dress.

    I don't understand the desire to have a party so soon afterwards...one of my aunts eloped and she her H had a big 5-year-anniversary party.  But the timing is totally your call.  As long as there are no trappings of a wedding (first dance, bridal party, spotlight dances), and guests are properly hosted, I'd say go ahead.  You're correct, definitely no bach parties, or shower.  Congrats!
  • ILoveBeachMusicILoveBeachMusic Indiana member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    I too don't understand the eloping followed by a reception thing. A friend of DS from high school had a private ceremony on top of a mountain, then a two week trip. Pictures posted on FB, I congratulated the couple. Then this weekend it looks like they had a church ceremony with all the trimmings. Huh? I just don't get it.
  • We just wanted to forego all the planning and expenses of a traditional wedding and have a ceremony that was just for us. Having the ceremony to ourselves and only having a party significantly reduces cost and stress for the both of us.
  • kvrunskvruns member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    Just remember the party is usually the most expensive part, not the ceremony. You can also have a ceremony at the same location as the reception party.

    Not saying you can't do your private ceremony, but just the theory that not having a ceremony with a bunch of guests saves money is rarely true.
    ernursej
  • Thanks KV, I wasn't aware of that. If we hadn't already booked our ceremony, I would probably reconsider the whole thing. Let me ask this then... we found a little B&B that offers different packages. We got the 2-night stay, an officiant, photographer, small cake, my bouquet and a few meals for around $1900. Was that a good deal? I know it was a good deal for as far as we were willing to travel but do you think that's less expensive than including the ceremony with a reception?
  • kvruns said:
    Just remember the party is usually the most expensive part, not the ceremony. You can also have a ceremony at the same location as the reception party.

    Not saying you can't do your private ceremony, but just the theory that not having a ceremony with a bunch of guests saves money is rarely true.
    That is a really valid point to keep in mind.  By all means have a private wedding if that's what you want, but it is a bit strange to combine those things: secret private wedding plus party with the friends to celebrate. The only additional cost required to actually have the ceremony at the party would be whatever you pay the officiant, and if money is the issue you could even have a friend get ordained and do it for you.  There *will* be friends and family members who feel hurt at being cut out of the meaningful part (your wedding) but invited to the part that means they give you gifts (the big party.)  

    If you really want to do it that way with your eyes open, go for it.  But don't hurt and stress on family, friends, and yourself under the misconception that the ceremony itself is somehow necessarily costly.
  • SP29SP29 member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Depends on the type of celebration party you are having. Hosting a large party at someone's home versus renting a venue with catered meal and DJ are two very different price points.

    The package you have sounds great for a wedding + vacation stay with meals.

    When we got married, it was a traditional wedding, but we did the ceremony and reception in the same room. In addition to the reception fees, we paid $400 for the ceremony (chair set up, decor). $150 for the officiant (which is quite cheap). $1900 for our photographer alone (6 hours with second shooter for the ceremony). Our total budget, while much under what the national average is, was WAY more than $1900. Of course there are many ways to plan a wedding cheaper.

    Cheapest option is a ceremony with cake and punch reception. This could be potentially cheaper than what you currently have, depending on the number of guests, and hiring a photographer. But it would not include the B&B stay. For interest sake, could you ask the B&B what it would cost to host a dinner there after your ceremony? Is the B&B large enough to hold the guests you would like?

    Personally, I love the sound of your wedding the way it is. It sounds lovely. And as long as you aren't re-enacting your wedding, I'm all for throwing parties, as many as you want, for any reason. It's never wrong to host a party. Go for it.
    eileenrobshort+sassy
  • ILoveBeachMusicILoveBeachMusic Indiana member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    Thanks KV, I wasn't aware of that. If we hadn't already booked our ceremony, I would probably reconsider the whole thing. Let me ask this then... we found a little B&B that offers different packages. We got the 2-night stay, an officiant, photographer, small cake, my bouquet and a few meals for around $1900. Was that a good deal? I know it was a good deal for as far as we were willing to travel but do you think that's less expensive than including the ceremony with a reception?
    That would depend on if you are having the ceremony at the same place you are having the reception. If you are, the cake and dinner would be included in the reception cost. An officiant varies in cost - maybe a couple of hundred dollars the photographer would be the expensive part - more than a thousand- but were planning on having a photog at the party anyway?
  • Thanks KV, I wasn't aware of that. If we hadn't already booked our ceremony, I would probably reconsider the whole thing. Let me ask this then... we found a little B&B that offers different packages. We got the 2-night stay, an officiant, photographer, small cake, my bouquet and a few meals for around $1900. Was that a good deal? I know it was a good deal for as far as we were willing to travel but do you think that's less expensive than including the ceremony with a reception?
    I see we were posting at the same time.  Whether that is a "good deal" depends entirely on what you want.  Consider a nice hotel room for 2 nights at $200 per night, officiant for another $200 or so, "small cake" maybe $25, bouquet let's say $50, let's guess at two nicer dinners at $100 each, two lunches at $40 each, and two breakfasts at $25 each.  That adds up to $1,005, leaving $900 for the photographer.  Seems reasonable but not a screamin' deal.  The amount to which it is a "deal" also requires the supposition that you would want to purchase all those things independently.  
    eileenrob
  • Elopements do not have receptions because there are no guests.

    You can certainly have a party to celebrate your marriage at any time, but it will not be your wedding reception.  No wedding traditions.  No registry.  Gifts are not expected.   You may show off the pictures from your wedding day and honeymoon, though.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
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