The New Elope Etiquette
Elope in the Park
While eloping is simple, there is etiquette on how to handle the important people in your life who may feel hurt by your not including them. In addition, there are also some relevant questions you need to answer before you get married without including those most important to you. Here is a rundown of things to consider when planning your elope wedding.
What are your current family obligations? Will your immediate family be hurt by not being included? Is it better to include them in the wedding or not?
This comes first before money and personal feelings. You may want to consider calling your parents to discuss the idea of eloping before you make this big decision. On the other hand, perhaps you feel it would do more harm than good. Some elope locations make it possible to include them in your elopement. You can still avoid a huge guest list and expensive wedding by inviting a few friends and family members to your elope destination wedding. Many popular elope destinations will offer “Elope Plus” packages that accommodate friends and family members at your elope ceremony and celebratory reception dinner.
Next, there’s announcing your marriage afterwards. Some couples do send a formal announcement, and others host their own “reception” or celebration party after they have wed. This is a great way for family and friends to feel included in your big event. Others send what’s called an “At Home” card, which simply announces that the two of you are now married, you’re home address, and your new names.
A personal note explaining why you eloped can be included if there are any special circumstances that need to be explained.
Lastly, most couples that elope advise that you should do what feels comfortable. This is your marriage and if you want to be private, then so be it.
Should We Still Register and Receive Gifts? This is a complicated issue, because many times people close to you may feel hurt that you did not include them in your wedding but still want them to buy you a wedding gift. Most etiquette experts recommend that you not register for gifts, but if you want to have a reception for your family and friends, you are more than welcome to accept any gifts they may bring. Most family and friends will cheerfully offer gifts to commemorate your happy occasion.
Should We Send Announcements? Eloping, by definition, is an unannounced getaway wedding. Sending an elope wedding announcement prior to your wedding telling everyone you just want to have a private ceremony is uncommon and may complicate matters as your elope wedding date approaches. On the other hand, sending announcement notices following the wedding is perfectly acceptable.
The Internet has many suggestions about where to go if you are planning an elope wedding destination getaway. Many elope wedding destinations have special elope wedding packages that simplify your choice. Use the Internet to search for “elope packages” in your desired destination. Selecting an elope wedding package assures you that your wedding site is ready to provide you with all the necessary elope wedding frills: bouquets and flowers, an officiant, a private wedding ceremony location, photography services, reception dinner, wedding cake, etc. Be sure you research the local marriage license requirements and waiting periods at your desired destination as well.
Even eloping can require some planning it is significantly simpler than planning a traditional wedding. Your planning will all depend on what your image of a “dream day” is. Take that idea, and run away with it.
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