Do you know that it’s only three steps to learn how to have a wedding ceremony after eloping? Planning a wedding celebration, reception, or even a ceremony itself after the elopement is not as hard as one might assume.
You’ve already tackled the legalities that make weddings “difficult” to plan, so you’ll only be focusing on handling the guests and other ceremony needs. This is why it’ll also be helpful for you to read what is elopement wedding to check if you’ll have it smoothly.
How To Have A Wedding Ceremony After Eloping In 3 Steps
Step 1. Announce the elopement celebration
- Start with sending your wedding announcements to notify your friends and family that you already eloped
- If needed, sit down with your closest friends and family and explain why you eloped; be prepared that some might feel bad that you didn’t include them or that you chose to elope as a way to get married
- Use this opportunity to mention that you want a celebration, reception, or the wedding ceremony itself, and they’ll be invited
- At this point, you can assign who will be the members of your wedding party, similar to planning a wedding
- You can send your guests save the dates or hold an announcement party
Step 2. Plan the elopement celebration
- Set a post-elopement wedding budget and decide on a wedding venue and date
- Book the wedding venue and source your wedding vendors such as a photographer, caterer, DJ, and florist
- Find a wedding officiant or ask a friend to officiate a wedding; since you’re already legally united when you eloped, even a celebrant can conduct your post-elopement wedding ceremony
- Create a wedding ceremony timeline according to the events you want to have
- Secure your wedding attire, makeup, travel, and accommodation like what you would’ve also done with an actual wedding ceremony
Step 3. Hold the ceremony
- Get a wedding coordinator to oversee the vendors on the day of your wedding ceremony
- Make sure to abide by the schedules to ensure that each segment will happen on time
- You can still have a processional, a ring exchange, vow exchange, and wedding exit
- Have your photos with the wedding photographer to capture each moment
- Continue into the wedding reception as you would with any wedding ceremony
How To Plan A Wedding Reception After Eloping
There are no rules on what you must do for your reception after eloping. It can have any activity or tradition that you want according to your budget or what you wish for the guests to experience.
For example, you can have a simple dinner for your wedding reception or even a backyard barbecue. For couples who love parties, it can also be a cocktail event.
But of course, you can have your usual wedding reception traditions such as the bouquet or garter toss or even the wedding dances, especially if your guests want them. And if you have the budget, why not have a wedding reception outside of your hometown?
Tips for planning a post elopement party
- Decide on a post elopement party budget and stick to it
- Simplify a guest list
- Choose a date according to what works best for your desired guests
- Book the venue, decorator, caterer, and other party needs in advance
- Plan a timeline of activities
- Send the party invitations on time
How much does a post elopement party cost?
Many factors influence how much a post elopement party will cost. The grander it is and the more guests you have, then the bigger budget you’ll need.
The venue, catering, guest list size, theme, and activities will affect the budget you must have for a post elopement celebration. So if you’re limited, there’s nothing wrong with having a quick backyard get-together versus renting a hall for a themed party if you have the budget.
Read how much a backyard wedding costs for ideas.
Elopement Reception Timeline
This is just an example of what you can do for your post-elopement reception. Feel free to modify it accordingly and make the event as long or short as you want.
- Transfer from the wedding ceremony venue to the reception venue
- Have a retelling of your elopement to the guests while showing photo slideshows
- Have toasts and eat
- Have your chosen wedding traditions and activities like the tosses
Vow Renewal After Eloping
You can also plan a vow renewal after eloping anytime you want. For example, perhaps you and your partner chose to elope because of budget and time constraints.
You might also have had issues with family, which is why you eloped. Therefore, holding a vow renewal ceremony allows you to celebrate with more people and reaffirm your love for each other.
There are no legalities needed for vow renewal compared to an actual wedding, so it’s easier to plan. You only need to find an officiant and venue, and of course, you may want to wear wedding attire and decorate the place accordingly.
Here is when to renew your wedding vows if you want some date ideas.
And that’s it! To recap how to have a wedding ceremony after eloping, you will plan it as you would a wedding.
It’s best to talk with your friends and family first to explain why you eloped. Then, secure your other wedding needs like the venue, officiant, and other wedding vendors.
From here, the reception can be as simple or grand as you want.