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Eloping and Marriages and such

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
I figured you guys could possibly help with my question. My bf and I have talked about this topic on many occasions and we know that we honestly can't stand weddings, we can't stand the whole dressing up, going to a church, having a pastor marry us and all that. But everyone knows the wedding receptions are usually quite fun. We want to rent out the Great Lakes Brewery in Cleveland here and have a big reception there. But if we are eloping elsewhere, is it inappropriate to have the reception still? We don't even need to call it a reception, just a party to celebrate the whole shebang. How would we word the invitations? Should we say a reception? I am sure someone on this board has eloped, did you have a party or reception afterwards still?

What do you guys think? Thanks so much!
post #2 of 28
As far as I'm concerned it would still be a reception.
post #3 of 28
my brother & his 2nd wife got married [& honeymooned] in Tahoe, then we held a reception for them here after they returned. i don't think there's anything wrong with that!
post #4 of 28
You could say something like this on the invitation:

"The newly married Mr. & Mrs <last name>, invite you to a party in celebration of their marriage."

Then add the date, time and location.

You can also indicate if you are expecting gifts or presentation. If you are not wanting either, then state "no gifts or presentation" at the bottom.
post #5 of 28
I know a couple who recently got married, basically eloped since there were all of 12 people in attendance, just very close friends and family. She wore a dress she already had, he wore a suit he already had, so it wasn't like a dress-up-"real"-wedding type of thing. Of course, they have a different reason...he's going to be deployed to the Middle East in January. Anywhoo, they are having the big Reception/Celebration after he gets back from Iraq (presumably Iraq, that's the orders for now) in 2010.

You can DEFINITELY do it that way!
post #6 of 28
Thread Starter 
oh really? I am so glad. I know nothing about marriage and weddings and how things are "supposed" to be and all that. I don't know how to even do invitations to just a reception. Would I just announce that we eloped and then invite everyone to celebrate? Simple as that I assume right? I am clueless lol.
post #7 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jen View Post
oh really? I am so glad. I know nothing about marriage and weddings and how things are "supposed" to be and all that. I don't know how to even do invitations to just a reception. Would I just announce that we eloped and then invite everyone to celebrate? Simple as that I assume right? I am clueless lol.
I posted a suggestion above.
post #8 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Natalie_ca View Post
I posted a suggestion above.
oops sorry I hit reply and left the computer so when I finally came back and replied you already had answered that question! Thank you that is a great suggestion though! I thought about just keeping it simple and saying "We eloped! Come party with us to celebrate!" lol. I don't know though, I will have to think about this all.
post #9 of 28
I know that these are more traditional wedding websites, but I found sooo much good advice on them when I was planning my wedding a while back! The people on the forums are very kind for the most part too, and VERY helpful with suggestions! The have entire topics devoted to invitation etiquite (for every possible scenario, including yours!) and suggestions on eloping/etc. It should really help you!! Congrats hon!

www.theknot.com
www.marthastewart.com (the wedding section of her website)
post #10 of 28
My Husband went to Reno with his ex wife then had a reception after when they got back.
What you are doing is fine.
post #11 of 28
It's perfectly appropriate to elope and then later have a reception for family and friends. I've never known anyone who eloped who didn't do that; it is a very nice way to share in the celebration with those close to you.

Everyone knows that the reception is the best part, anyway, lol!
post #12 of 28
I have helped out with a few weddings and designed invitations too. I got married at my dad's bedside, in a nursing home just a day and a half before he died. We had a wedding reception two weeks later and it was very nice. On the invitation I announced our marriage, wedding date and then invited people to the reception. It doesn't matter where or how you do it as long as you two are happy with it. As far as wording the invitations, you could put...
(His name)
and
(your name)
were united in marriage
on
(date)
We request your presence at a reception to celebrate our marriage
On
(date)
At
(time)
(place of reception)
Hope this helps you! Best wishes!
post #13 of 28
That's what my hubby and I did. His band was touring Florida and Georgia. I went to visit for New Years. We got married, then when he came home in February we rented a party room and had a party for our friends. In fact it turned out to be a pot-luck - all my friends made and brought the food. My MIL made a "wedding cake" for us. It was great!
post #14 of 28
I agree, it's fine to only invite people to the reception. I recently attending a wedding where nobody (except immediate family) was invited to the actual marriage ceremony. The couple had written their own vows which were deeply personal, and they just didn't feel comfortable sharing them with 100 or so guests. They did invite guests into the church for some additional readings. Then, they had a big reception right afterwards.
post #15 of 28
We eloped in Vegas, and didn't tell anyone until afterwards. Our families threw a reception when we visited (we were living in Southern California at the time). They had a nice get together in a local restaurant. It wasn't real formal or anything though.
post #16 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by spatulahandle View Post
I have helped out with a few weddings and designed invitations too. I got married at my dad's bedside, in a nursing home just a day and a half before he died. We had a wedding reception two weeks later and it was very nice. On the invitation I announced our marriage, wedding date and then invited people to the reception. It doesn't matter where or how you do it as long as you two are happy with it. As far as wording the invitations, you could put...
(His name)
and
(your name)
were united in marriage
on
(date)
We request your presence at a reception to celebrate our marriage
On
(date)
At
(time)
(place of reception)
Hope this helps you! Best wishes!
That about says it all. DH and I got married at my Uncle and Aunt's house and only my Mom, my brother, DH's mother and father and aunt and uncle were there. My cousins were busy at their restaurant where we had our reception. Our invitations indicated that the ceremony would be private but said where the reception would be.
post #17 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jen View Post
I figured you guys could possibly help with my question. My bf and I have talked about this topic on many occasions and we know that we honestly can't stand weddings, we can't stand the whole dressing up, going to a church, having a pastor marry us and all that. But everyone knows the wedding receptions are usually quite fun. We want to rent out the Great Lakes Brewery in Cleveland here and have a big reception there. But if we are eloping elsewhere, is it inappropriate to have the reception still? We don't even need to call it a reception, just a party to celebrate the whole shebang. How would we word the invitations? Should we say a reception? I am sure someone on this board has eloped, did you have a party or reception afterwards still?

What do you guys think? Thanks so much!
That's exactly how we felt. We weren't sure about having a reception but the family kept asking about one. His father offered to pay for the reception, we just had a budget to stay in. Have you inquired with your family.

We didn't have a wedding shower though. We felt that wasn't appropriate and most of the family agreed.

Good Luck
post #18 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jen View Post
oh really? I am so glad. I know nothing about marriage and weddings and how things are "supposed" to be and all that. I don't know how to even do invitations to just a reception. Would I just announce that we eloped and then invite everyone to celebrate? Simple as that I assume right? I am clueless lol.
Your wedding is your wedding.

I got married with 15 people in attendance, and then went to work the next day. My brother spent 150k, and had 650 people attend, and took a month long honey moon. Both were right. We are very different people.
post #19 of 28
If I had a daughter, I'd tell her, "Here's $5,000. Go elope in Hawaii."
post #20 of 28
Its actually not a such a tradition to get married in church anymore.

If i were to get married in Europe, id definitely do it in a church, the architecture and feeling of the place is just magical. And it adds just a good touch to a wedding

Newer churches don't interest me, in fact there are many churches here in Australia that are bland with just a cross on it, there is no magical feeling to it or religious. blerg!

We are having a celebrant, she is marrying us along the Great Ocean road, our wedding date is the 20th of December, it is sort of an elopement just his parents and siblings are there, with 3 - 4 close friends.
Ceremony should not last more than 30 minutes.
So finally I am having my beach wedding, my dress isnt traditional, its white with blue leaves in a 60s style that only costed me 10 bucks. I am making my own wedding fascinator so I am keeping things at minimum costs.

She is then remarrying us next year, just redoing our vows and we are having a big party at a reception because then my whole family and friends from Europe will be there.

So In reality this is your wedding, you can get married where ever you like and it does not have to be a priest, if you want you can even get married in a court house, registry office, in a swimmingpool, on a mountain, ect ect.

Have fun Planning!!
post #21 of 28
It's really not that unusual to elope and have a reception later. My sister and her husband eloped right before he deployed and had a big reception when he got back. I haven't yet found a man my cats approve of, but when I do, I think I will elope soooo much less stress.

Angie
post #22 of 28
If it's just the churchy pop & circumstance that you don't like, one option is to simply have a very low-key ceremony at your reception location.

My spouse and I got married standing in the water at the beach with 10 guests and a notary public watching from the shore. In fact, we did it twice: once where the guests had to climb to get there and once where the guests could just stand on the beach. Actually, we had another audience member, too ... a kayaker in the ocean. We wanted to do a sunset ceremony, but we were in a public park, so I made sushi and we sat around and ate beforehand (the reception, as it where) and then did our ceremony. I'm pretty sure I helped carry the cooler both ways on the about 1 mile trail to get the spot on the beach that we liked.

It sounds like you want to send out formal invitations and have a normal reception, so the other suggestions to get married first and then have a separate reception probably make sense for you. But just do whatever works for you.
post #23 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by fwan View Post
So In reality this is your wedding, you can get married where ever you like and it does not have to be a priest, if you want you can even get married in a court house, registry office, in a swimmingpool, on a mountain, ect ect.

Have fun Planning!!
Exactly! I was once the MOH in an underwater wedding. We were divers and the bride and groom wanted to exchange vows underwater. It was really quite clever...the vows were written on waterproof cards and they showed them to each other. It was kind of scary when the groom dropped the ring in the sand! But it was great! And, of course not everyone could attend the total ceremony because not everone could dive. But those who couldn't went to the reception and it was perfectly accepted. So, you can do anything you want!

One question...are you actually eloping, as in running off and not telling anybody until after your married? Or you just want a quiet private civil service at the court house but people will still know about it ahead of time? Not that it matters either way, a reception is still fine in either case. I was just curious.
post #24 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by calico2222 View Post

One question...are you actually eloping, as in running off and not telling anybody until after your married? Or you just want a quiet private civil service at the court house but people will still know about it ahead of time? Not that it matters either way, a reception is still fine in either case. I was just curious.
Well we have been talking about it for a couple years lol. Everyone expects us to get married but we dont want any sort of wedding. I just went out to LA to visit him (he moved there 3 months ago and I am moving there in 3 months or so) and we had a wonderful perfect day on Venice Beach on Sunday and are kicking ourselves for not eloping then! It would have been perfect! He actually said he was going to spur of the moment propose but we never wanted to do it like that and he didn't think to suggest eloping lol.

So anyways I/we are just thinking ahead here and we know we will elope at some point, and not tell anyone until its done with. He will be coming here for Christmas to see me and we could then. And then plan a reception over the summer perhaps? I don't know exactly, maybe we wont even elope until I get moved out there and then we can plan a reception over the summer when we come back to visit. That might be easier.
post #25 of 28
My hubby and I got married at the courthouse, with no one there except the woman that married us. To me, it was great, because it was just the two of us, together. We were going to plan a party/reception sometime afterwards and invite all of our friends and family then. My son's imminent arrival sort of botched those plans, though!

Do what feels right for you. I see nothing wrong with eloping and having a celebration for everyone afterwards. There's no right or wrong way to have a wedding - just make your day special for the both of you, the way that it should be.
post #26 of 28
My husband and I eloped to Las Vegas to get married to avoid dealing with his family (they follow a strict religion). When we got back we had a celebratory party with all our friends and family, complete with a wedding registry, cake and everything. I would'nt have done it any other way. Go for it! Our invitations simply stated that we were inviting everyone body to join in our celebration of our new marriage.
post #27 of 28
Thread Starter 
Thank you guys so much for all of your help! I think we are just going to wait until the moment feels right to elope and then from there we will plan a big reception party. I just had no idea if there was a right way of doing things. But it looks like there really isn't, we will just have a big celebratory party whenever we are back in town with all our family and friends and stuff.

So thanks again guys! If anyone has any additional comments please continue to reply or PM me!
post #28 of 28

By all means have a celebration reception with friends and family to celebrate, even if you get married somewhere else
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