For many, the purpose of eloping is to keep the moment much more intimate and personal. For some, this is a moment that they want to keep strictly between themselves and their partner. However, this past year, Covid has also played a large role in encouraging couples to elope. No one wants to wait on starting their life. I understand how extremely difficult the decision to elope during a pandemic might have been on some couples as well.
The main reason why family and friends might not want you to elope is the fact that they want to help celebrate you on your special day. They want to support you, cheer for you, and send you off into this new journey in life. They may see you eloping as them not being invited to celebrate you, which is obviously hardly ever the case.
Whether it was Covid that made you decide to elope or the fact that you simply wanted that special moment to be small and adventurous doesn’t change the fact that you can still host a small post-elopement party. It doesn’t need to be as formal as a wedding, and it helps your friends and family feel included in your special day.
Choosing a Party Location
You already told everyone you’re eloping, which truthfully might have been the hardest part. Whether you mentioned a party after or not is up to you and if you truly want to follow through on it. A couple of things to keep in mind is that while we are on the tail end of covid, we are not quite free of all the mandates (depending on your region of course).
The first decision would be deciding where to host the party. To keep it simple and cost-effective, perhaps your backyard or a local park would be a great option. You could also look into venues, again, being aware of what their covid restrictions might be. You also should think about what rules you might implement for your party if you choose to host it outside on your personal property. Would you want your guests to mask up or not? Will you provide hand sanitizer, so on and so forth.
There is potential that you may not even need to worry about covid rules and what to implement or not. Much of this depends on where we are at in the pandemic. However, it is wise to think ahead and plan accordingly.
Announce Your Elopement
Now that we’ve knocked most of the covid thoughts out, let’s discuss planning! Remember, everyone simply wants to celebrate you and your partner’s huge journey. So what are some things you’ll need for your post-elopement party? The details are up to you- this can be as simple or as complex as you would like.
First things first- set a date and send out the invites! Use an epic photo from your adventure elopement announcing that you’re married and you want to celebrate! If you are planning on having the party extremely close after the date you elope- talk to your photographer about getting a photo to use early. More times than not, the editing process is going to take a few weeks. Be aware and give them a heads up if you absolutely need the photo asap.
Food and Entertainment
Next is food! You know how many guests you need, but how will you feed them? You could provide appetizer trays, catered food, or Costco often times has party platers of sandwiches that are great for parties! Look into what’s local and see if you could have a food truck cater! Talk about a fun way to feed your guests! Planning on keeping it casual? Perhaps a BBQ is the perfect dish to serve. The point is, you have options! So pick something that works for you.
For entertainment, you could make the party similar to a wedding reception. You could go through the first dance, garter toss, bouquet toss, or anything that a traditional wedding reception would include. Or forego the traditions! Make the evening fit to what you and your partner want. You could have a small bonfire and roast s'mores, have a movie night with a projector
Register for Gifts
You may already be married, but you can still create a registry! Again, this party is to allow your friends and family to celebrate you! Some may bring gifts and some may not. How and where you register depends on the size of your party. If you are planning on keeping it small, then you can send your registry in an email link. For larger parties, you may need to create a wedding website. Also, stay mindful of what you are putting on your registry. You do not want to overwhelm people with too many options. Pick what you really want/need and list those items.