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Planning a reception after eloping

By Catalogs Editorial Staff

Planning a reception after eloping is a fun after-the-fact celebration

Planning a reception after eloping is a fun after-the-fact celebration

On the spur of the moment, you up and did it. You and your fiance eloped. Not a soul was present except the minister and it was perfect: private, personal and non-stressful, just the way you had envisioned it to be.

You couldn?t be happier and don?t have any regrets that you didn?t have that big church wedding with 300 guests in attendance that your mother had hoped for.

However, post-elopement you have decided that you would like to have a reception to celebrate your marriage. How do you plan a reception when you are already married? The same way you do when you get married the ?regular? way.


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It may be that you and your partner had planned on eloping all along and your family and friends were aware of that. In that case, when you announce that the deed is done no one is going to be that surprised. They knew that an after-the-fact reception was in the game plan all along.

And, of course, there are always going to be those snoopy types that think you must be in the family way because why else would you elope? Just laugh it off. Who cares?

People elope for various reasons, many of which do not include having a baby on board.


You are essentially throwing a party after-the-fact, which is certainly not unheard of. Lots of newlyweds have done this.


Make it clear on your invitation that gifts are not expected because this is not your typical post- wedding reception. You don?t want it to seem as though your only reason for having an after-the-fact reception is because you want gifts. However, many of your guests will bring gifts anyway.

It?s probably better to have the post elopement reception sooner rather than later. No, you don?t have to have it two weeks after the elopement but waiting six months isn?t ideal either.

And realize that some people may not attend because they consider this a break in tradition and unacceptable. Don?t worry about these fuddy duddies.


Decide what kind of affair you want to have and, of course, decide on the date and the locale. Send out invitations to your family and friends. Let them know that you?ve already tied the knot and now want to celebrate your new life and happiness with them at a wedding reception.

Be creative with your post-wedding-reception announcements. You can include pictures from your elopement and write something clever about already tying the knot and how you want them to join in your celebration on such and such date.

It can be a formal affair or casual, inside or out. You can invite a bunch of people or just your family and close friends. It?s your wedding reception so you should do what pleases you.


If the bride wore a gown or special dress or suit to her elopement, she can certainly wear it to her reception if she so chooses. Or she can wear whatever she wants. If she wants to toss a bouquet, this will require that she get one before the belated reception. If the groom wants to remove the garter and do the garter toss, that?s fine, too. Or the couple may decide not to do any of the traditional wedding reception activities.


Put your wedding pictures on display at the reception so everyone can see that, yes, you did elope and here?s the proof. If you have already been on your honeymoon, display these pictures as well.


Of course, you have to deal with the standard wedding reception details such as the venue, food, music, lighting, decorations, tables and chairs and linens. However, since you do not have to worry about the wedding itself (been there, done that) it is going to be a lot less stressful.

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This is going to be a lot of fun. You will be relaxed because, after all, the wedding hoopla did not precede the reception. You won?t be tired or stressed. The bride and groom, who just happen to be an already married couple for several weeks or even months, can kick up their heels and have a glorious time.Stauer

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