What’s a post elopement party? It’s simply a get together with everyone you want to invite after you have eloped. It’s a more casual affair you can be very selective with the guest list or take the opposite approach of your actual wedding and invite everybody. As a reminder this is a very casual event. There are no expectations on how you do it.
Post elopement parties are great for couples who have had destination elopements, courthouse weddings or when you elopement destination might have been too difficult for people to attend. We think the most popular reason is because you don’t want the stress of financial burden of a full blown wedding or reception, but you aren’t finished celebrating your love yet.
Often people love the concept but are curious how to pull it off without it making it seem like it’s a big ploy for gifts. Here are our tips.
Tips for Planning a Post Elopement Party
- Announce your elopement before hand. You don’t want your guests to feel excluded or like an after thought. They will most likely feel that way if you tell them after the elopement that you already had a wedding, but as a consolation are invited to “the after party.”
- Language is very important in your invites. Your invite to the post elopement party could be the announcement, but make sure to say upfront. “We got married, come celebrate with us.” Especially if you are using evites spend a moment describing the elopement to allow your guests to feel in the know and excited for you. Make sure they aren’t confused that this is an invitation for a traditional wedding which are more standard.
- Think about timing. Are you going to want to party right when you get back? If so send the elopement invites before you leave for your elopement so guests have time to plan. There is an alternative to wait a while even up to a year and celebrate on your anniversary, so that there is ample time to plan something and you can share photos and videos with your friends and family on the day of the party. However, because this is not a wedding keep in mind you really DON’T need a year to plan. It’s really all just up to what works for you and your schedule. A huge plus to this non-wedding party is that you can also host on a weekday evening. Weekday evenings can often be easier for locals who leave town a lot on the weekends. It’s also a smart way to book maybe a nicer venue than you would have afforded for a full wedding, but is now in budget for a cocktail party.
- Booking a venue for a casual event can be tricky. You don’t want to find a very formal or expensive venue, but you still want a space big enough to host everyone. Here in NYC most people don’t have a big backyard to host everyone, if only right?! We recommend booking a venue that is willing to do a minimum spend, so you don’t have to stress about guest count, RSVPs, and meeting the exact minimum number of guests. Those are things you can’t control. A minimum spend package usually offers more flexibility on the food and bar you can offer. Especially if you pick a weekday evening many venues are going to be willing to work with you.
- Have a consumption based bar. Let’s face it a huge reason you did not have a full wedding is the idea of paying for food and the drinks for all these guests is very stressful. A consumption based bar allows you to put a certain amount towards the bar that you are comfortable with and after you hit your budget you can switch to a cash bar. This is completely acceptable for this type of event. Generally people want to pay for the bride and grooms drink, but instead they will just pay for their own. Even better.
- Gifts. It’s important to remember because it’s not a wedding, it’s best not to expect gifts. You can absolutely create a small registry though if people feel so inclined. Word this gracefully in your invitation. “Gifts are not necessary. However, if you do feel so inclined to contribute to our future, here’s how.”
- You can still have a ceremony. It’s your day. If you want to recreate a simplified version of your ceremony with everyone you absolutely should. Guests will swoon over this portion of the evening and be a great reminder of why you are gathered together. You will not need everybody to be seated either if you are just planning on having a cocktail party. This often opens up the possibilities for cool backdrops when exchanging vows.
- Speeches are still allowed and encouraged. Another way to bring guests into intention behind the gathering is to have close friends and family members say a few words or let anyone share a funny story about the couple without too much pressure.
Check out Deity Events for your Post Elopement Party venue. Deity Brooklyn offers expert Event Coordinator well-versed in how to host an awesome Post Elopement Party. Deity Brooklyn offers flexible minimum spend packages that allow you to create a realistic budget and stick to it. Deity Brooklyn also has many additional luxuries you will only get in a true wedding venue and not a restaurant buyout or other venue. We have a doorman and coatcheck many experts in the the service industry dedicated to your special event, AV equipment, optional ceremony space onsite and entertainment if you so chose to expand this Post Elopement Party into a true after party!