One of my favorite unique elopement ideas: have a post-elopement party! It gives you the best of both worlds – a small elopement plus a larger wedding-type celebration.
What even is a “post-elopement party?”
Let me preface this by saying that a post-elopement party can be whatever you want it to be! I am not here to dictate what you can/can’t or should/shouldn’t do – I’m here to guide you and give you ideas that you can take or leave. So don’t feel pressured to do anything that might not fit what you and your partner want!
In short, a post-elopement party is, well, just that: a party after your elopement. It’s sort of like the “reception” that traditional weddings have. You do all the official stuff (read your vows, have your ceremony, sign your marriage license, etc), and then you celebrate with your closest loved ones.
The thing is, when you elope, you might not have any sort of reception after the ceremony. If you and your partner elope on your own, you’ve chosen not to invite anybody and to keep it intimate with just you two. Or maybe you did invite a few friends, but only to witness your ceremony, and then you’re going off to do your own thing. Whatever it may be, elopements typically don’t have a “reception” at the end of the night like traditional weddings do.
But many couples do love the idea of getting to celebrate with their loved ones, whether it be on the day of your elopement, a week after, or a few months after once you’ve settled into married life! That’s where a post-elopement party comes into play: you and your partner can plan a party/celebration for after your elopement, where you celebrate with your family and friends.
You could have a beautiful + adventurous destination elopement (take some inspiration from the photos in this blog post!), and then celebrate later on with your favorite people by your sides. You get the best of both worlds of the intimacy of an elopement + the party aspect of a traditional wedding!
When should you have it?
There’s no rules for this – just like there are no rules for what you decide to do for your post-elopement party! Choose whenever is best for you and your partner. Maybe you want to celebrate when your elopement is fresh, the day after or the week after. Or maybe you’d rather get settled into married life together and then celebrate a few months after you officially tie the knot. Maybe you even want to wait till your one-year anniversary and move your celebration to much later (hey pandemic, sound familiar?) on. Whenever you and your partner feel like you’d like to celebrate and be with your loved ones!
Where should you host it?
Wherever you like! You could hold your post-elopement party somewhere local or in your hometown, or invite your guests to join you for a destination celebration. It could be a part of your honeymoon, or a new destination later on!
Here are some ideas for specific places you could hold your party, no matter where in the world you do it (see an even bigger list of ideas further down in this blog post!):
- Your favorite restaurant
- A relaxing resort for you + your guests to stay in
- A boat cruise if your hometown/location has water
- On a warm beach
- At somebody’s house/in a backyard
- In an Airbnb/VRBO you rent
- A wedding or event venue – some wedding venues allow receptions to be held separately from wedding ceremonies!
Who should you invite?
Whoever you want! Your post-elopement party can be as big or as small as you would like, the same as your elopement. Invite a few of your best friends, your immediate families, a big friend group, your extended families, whatever you want. Whoever is the most special to you and your partner and who you truly want to celebrate with – not just the people you feel obligated to invite!
Fun post-elopement party ideas
Here’s a list of some super fun post-elopement party ideas that will hopefully help you brainstorm for your own! Remember, choose wherever/whatever will feel most special + enjoyable to you and your partner – consider weather/climate, travel, food/drinks, costs, etc.
- Rent out cabins in a favorite state/national park for you + your guests (Autocamp has a bunch of awesome stays across the country!)
- Throw a beach party somewhere tropical
- Have a picnic at a park pavilion
- Throw a local backyard party at your home or a special relative/friend’s house
- Show your elopement photos + video on a projector for your loved ones who weren’t there, to see
- Hire a food truck (or two!) to provide your favorite foods/desserts
- If you have a destination party on your honeymoon or sometime after – invite guests to join you on a trip
- Rent a cool Airbnb in a beautiful place (make sure to check the rules on parties/events first!)
- Go to a favorite restaurant, bar, or winery – you could even go wine tasting if that’s your thing!
- Wear your elopement attire
- Re-read your vows
- Hire a band
- Play games (lawn games, board games, etc)
- Have your guests do speeches + toasts
- Include dancing! – hire a DJ, have a dance floor, etc
- Ride around with your guests in a party limo
- Rent a boat/go on a boat tour/cruise if your party is somewhere with a canal/river/etc
There are endless possibilities, so don’t limit yourselves when brainstorming ideas! Now enjoy the rest of this beautiful gallery of elopement photos + get all your Hawaii elopement inspo!
Vendors for this Hawaii elopement shoot:
Hair + makeup: @karla.anahissa.mua