Congratulations, friend!! You’ve decided to elope and now you’re officially a bride after my own heart. Whatever your reason for eloping may be, rest assured that your big day is going to be beautiful and memorable for you and your future Mr!
You’ve pick out the perfect spot for your vow exchange, your dream dress, and you guys have mapped out your honeymoon, so there’s just one thing left – figuring out how to celebrate with everyone when you return. I know you love your friends and family dearly, and though they won’t be present for your vows doesn’t mean that you don’t want to celebrate with them! In fact, one of the main reasons brides hesitate to commit to their elopement decisions is because they don’t want their family to be left out.
Maybe that’s what lead you to this post. You’re thinking that throwing a shin-dig while you’re still rocking your honeymoon glow is the way to go and let me say, I am here for it. Post elopement parties are a ton of fun, so let’s talk about a few things to consider for yours!
BBQ chic or pink and petit fours? You can make your reception whatever you want it to be! For you it may look like a backyard BBQ or brunch at a small, local venue. If you’re looking for something extra sentimental, you can even rent out a room where you and your hubby had your first date!
As for your attire, you don’t have to worry about getting dolled up in your white gown again (unless you just want to, of course!). Depending on how formal your party is, you can wear a white cocktail dress or jeans and a white blouse for a laid back bridal look.
Creating a guest list for your event doesn’t have to be daunting! This will largely depend on where you plan to host your party, but I recommend keeping your list narrowed down to your most nearest and dearest family and friends.
As for sending out invitations, unless you’re opting for a more formal affair, Facebook is the way to go here. Create your event, invite your peeps, and call it a day. For those who aren’t on the socials (usually those of the elderly persuasion), simply give them a call. They’ll appreciate hearing from you regardless!
Creating a gift registry when you have decided to elope has been the topic of many debates in the world of weddings by both brides and wedding professionals alike. No matter what kind of party you’re planning, the goal is to be mannerly and gracious towards your guests. There’s no harm in creating a small registry and directing only those who ask about it there, because chances are someone will want to gift you with something. I highly advise against sending out invites with registry information or including it in your Facebook event. Some people may view this as you saying, “I don’t want you at my wedding, but I do want you to buy me something” so it’s best to avoid this misinterpretation.
Part of the answer to this one is in the very title of this post! Couples that choose to elope typically throw their reception-type get together after vows have been exchanged. If your elopement is local, you can plan it for the same weekend or even later that same day. If you’re going bigger with a destination elopement, you’ll plan it within a couple weeks of returning from your honeymoon. This gives you time to get settled in at home before making your grand appearance as a Mrs!
A post elopement party is perfect for casual mixing and mingling amongst your family and friends, but that doesn’t mean you can’t invest in some extra entertainment! You can bring everyone together for a couple of fun, cheesy games like the shoe game. For a casual outdoor reception, you can pull out the horseshoe and cornhole. If you’re planning a seated dinner, you can place personalized word search puzzles at each table. Aside from games, you can also hire a small, local band to jam for everyone. For more ideas on some fun reception activities, check out this article by Wild Earth Weddings.
The key to planning a successful post-elopement party, as with any event, is to simply have fun with it! As the host, you can make it as formal or low-key, as cheesy or pretty as you like! Once you make the big decisions discussed here, it’s all just filling in the gaps and watching everything come together. Now, go fourth and celebrate!
Pssstt! Are you still searching for a photographer to document your elopement? I’d love to chat with you about what you’re envisioning for your big day! Reach out and say hello! I promise I don’t bite. *wink*