If you’ve chosen to have a private elopement with solely your partner or perhaps with a small group of loved ones; having a post-elopement party can be the perfect way to incorporate both the intimate elements of an elopement, as well as having that special celebration with family and friends. It’s the best of both worlds!
Now, you might find yourself asking, what exactly is a post-elopement party?
A post-elopement party is essentially foregoing the celebration with friends and family on your actual elopement day and having it at a later date once you’re already married. Perhaps you had a destination elopement, or have decided to have something a little bit more private for your actual day. Whatever the case, a post-elopement party is a perfect way to gather all of your loved ones together and share in the celebrations of love at a time that suits you, as a couple, best!
The next question I’m usually asked is, but why do you need to have one? What’s the point if you’re already married?
Firstly, there is no need to have one, but there definitely is a want to have one. If you’re completely content with having your own elopement and don’t see the need to have a post-celebration, that is completely fine! The beauty of elopements, especially to me, is that there is no rulebook. You can do what feels right to you, and your relationship! There simply is no right or wrong way to celebrate your love.
For me, there is something so magical about bringing together all of your loved ones and spending time basking in the pure joy and happiness of newlywed bliss. I can guarantee you that the excitement, that butterfly feeling, doesn’t go away simply because it isn’t your actual wedding day. Post-elopement celebrations are a beautiful way to share the stories of your elopement, view any photos or videos of your big day, or simply just be present with those you love. Again, there are no guidelines for a post-elopement party, it can be as grand or as intimate as you desire!
If you’re interested in learning more about where to start in the planning process for your post-elopement celebrations, keep reading below.
1. Pick a Date.
Now, this definitely won’t be as daunting as choosing your wedding date, I can assure you. However, there are some things to keep in mind when deciding on your party date. Firstly, if you’re intending on having a viewing session at your party, it’s important to remember that your photos and/or video won’t be available immediately, with wait times sometimes being upwards of 6 to 8 weeks for the perfect final product. It’s best to have a conversation with your photographer about this prior to opting for a specific date. Secondly, having a number of guests in mind is important when you’re considering venues. If you have your heart set on a particular venue, then that might be the deciding factor for the date of your party.
2. Selecting a Venue.
As I previously mentioned, it’s important to have an idea of how many guests you will be inviting to your post-elopement party as this will have an influence on your venue choices. Something I often remind my couples too is that a post-elopement party doesn’t have to be as big or grand as a traditional wedding reception if that’s not something that you’re interested in. It can be as simple as a BBQ lunch at a relative’s house, or a picnic in the local botanical gardens. It could also be at your favourite restaurant, or someplace that has significance to you as a couple. Another popular idea is hiring an AirBNB and hosting your celebration there (with permission from the homeowners, of course) The beauty of it all is that it’s completely up to you!
3. Send out Invitations.
Once you’ve selected a date and venue, it’s the perfect time to send out invitations! Now, depending on how you’re announcing your elopement, your invitations could cover a few different things. If your loved ones are aware of your intentions to elope, your invitations could be more of a ‘save the date.’ If you want to announce your elopement as well as your post-elopement party, your invitations could act as a “surprise, we’re eloping, please save this date to celebrate with us.” Finally, if you’re not disclosing your elopement until after the fact, your invitations could be more along the lines of “to celebrate our marriage, please save this date.” It’s completely a personal preference, one size doesn’t fit all relationships. Regardless, it’s important to get some form of invitation out to ensure everyone is ready to celebrate with you!
4. Share your Elopement.
Having a post-elopement party is the perfect way to not only celebrate with your nearest and dearest, but it’s also a beautiful way to share your wedding photos and/or video with your loved ones. Whether you keep these a secret from even yourself until your party and experience your photographs and video for the first time altogether, or simply share these with everyone in attendance, it’s the perfect opportunity to be present together as opposed to simply sharing something online. You could bring a physical album that people can look through, print out physical copies to decorate your venue space, or you could even set up a projector and host a viewing party! I guarantee there is no better feeling than watching and experiencing everyone’s reactions and emotions to your magical day. If you’re feeling a little unsure about how to go about sharing your images/videos from your elopement, definitely reach out to your photographer.
5. Consider Entertainment.
As I’ve said, this party can be as extravagant or intimate as you’d like, but it’s important to consider any details that might be important to you. For example, if you’re wanting to show your wedding photos and/or video, it’s important to ensure that the venue has the equipment available. Do you want live music played? Perhaps a photo booth to capture the day and provide little mementos for everyone to take home? Food trucks are also a great idea for catering! You could even incorporate your favourite wedding traditions into your party such as a first dance, a flower throw or a guestbook for everyone to sign their love and well-wishes! There are so many little elements that you could include to make your day extra magical.
6. The Desired Attire.
Whilst some couples might opt for something casual and comfortable, others might choose to go for a particular colour scheme or theme. There is so much freedom that you really can choose whatever you like! You can even bring out your wedding clothes again to not only show your loved ones but to also feel that magic that you experienced on your wedding day. It could also be a lovely gesture to arrive at your party in your wedding attire and surprise your family and friends. After all, I’m a huge believer that if you can get more than one wear out of your wedding attire, definitely do it!
There are truly so many options at your disposal to create one of the most memorable and magic post-elopement party! Eloping is such a beautiful and personal way to say “I do,” but it doesn’t mean that you need to forfeit the celebrations that follow! If you have any questions about timing or post-elopement parties in general, please feel free to shoot me a message and we can chat further!