Can You Elope and Have a Wedding Later?

Elopement Tips & Advice,
4 min read Sep 14, 2023
Can You Elope and Have a Wedding Later

Are you dreaming of an intimate ceremony but unsure whether you’ll want to celebrate with friends and family later? And can you elope and have a wedding later? The truth is, you can choose to elope and still plan a wedding or reception-style party at any time in the future.

One of the best rules about eloping is that there aren’t any rules! When you’re getting ready to say “I do,” you can plan a romantic private ceremony just for you and your soon-to-be spouse while still looking forward to getting married with a larger wedding or celebration down the line.

In this article, we’ll break down why you may want to elope before inviting all of your loved ones, from immediate family to close friends, to celebrate with you and help you prepare for both big days.

Can You Elope and Have a Wedding Later

The Benefits of Eloping First

Maybe you’ve already planned on eloping, or perhaps you’re unsure because you’ve always dreamed of a big wedding bash, upholding wedding tradition. Fortunately, you don’t have to choose between the two.

Since there isn’t a playbook for elopement, you can have a bigger wedding ceremony or even a more intimate wedding as soon (or as long) after you elope, allowing you the flexibility and freedom to make both your nuptials and your celebration exactly the way you want. As an eloping couple, you don’t have to miss out on wedding cake or the traditional wedding experience. Here’s a look at some of the advantages of eloping first.

#1 A Pressure-Free Ceremony

One major perk to elopement is that you and your partner get to focus on having the ceremony focused just on you, without external pressure around how it all looks to a sea of guests. While your loved ones probably mean well, appeasing everyone else can get in the way of having a ceremony that truly represents who you are and honors your unique love story.

Opting for elopement first allows you to steer clear of others’ opinions and preferences, while still knowing you’ll be able to celebrate with those closest to you in the near future.

#2 More Time to Connect

Some newlyweds describe their wedding day as a blur, spent talking to all of their guests rather than soaking in every little moment with their spouse.1 While there’s nothing wrong with celebrating your nuptials with those closest to you, an elopement day allows you to share your vows and focus on each other before hosting your loved ones.

When you plan a wedding afterward, you can still hit the dance floor and enjoy toasts from your friends and family.

#3 No Time to Lose

Another major benefit of springing for an elopement first is that they take a lot less time to plan and execute than a traditional wedding. This means you and your sweetheart can leap into married life sooner.

While weddings call for details like invitations, place settings, and venue selection, elopements open up a world of spontaneity and adventure.

Let’s plan your stress-free elopement. Start today!

Planning a Post-Elopement Wedding Celebration

After setting off on the adventure of a lifetime and eloping with the love of your life, you can start planning your post-elopement wedding celebration. Just like any other small or large wedding, you’ll want to nail down some key details, including:

  • The guest list – While your intimate elopement may have just been you, your spouse, an officiant, and a photographer, you’ll probably want to finalize a guest list for your wedding festivities. This can help you understand the space you’ll need, the amount of food you want to serve, and other details to celebrate your big day.
  • The venue – When you’re getting ready for your post-elopement party, you’ll want to book an event venue where you and your guests can eat, dance, or celebrate however you envision. Since you’ve already eloped, you have more flexibility with the setting for your wedding, and you may be able to book more non-traditional locations.

Can You Elope and Have a Wedding Later

Combining Elopement and Traditional Wedding Elements

Eloping and having a more traditional wedding later allows you to celebrate your relationship as a couple authentically while still honoring a few cultural or family traditions.

Perhaps your family’s favorite part of a wedding reception is dancing the Hora, or maybe your partner’s family makes the best Italian wedding soup of all time. You can add traditional elements to your celebration that feel true to you and your partner. There are plenty of wedding and elopement dinner ideas to choose from.

Can You Elope and Have a Wedding LaterHave the Best of Both Wedding Worlds With Simply Eloped

When it comes to your special day, you don’t have to choose between a private ceremony and a public profession of your love. If you’re not sure where to begin, check out our elopement packages to help turn your ideas into the day of your dreams.

At Simply Eloped, we’re here to guide you through the elopement process, answer your questions, and provide the resources you need to make memories that will last a lifetime. We’ll help you select the best location, land on an ideal theme or concept, decode the legalities, and much more before we send you off to the beginning of your forever.



1 MindBodyGreen. What It Means to Elope in 2023 & How To Do It Well From Marriage Experts.

Elopement Tips & Advice
Written by Karen Norian

Karen Norian is an elopement photographer and has photographed over a hundred elopements. Karen has also worked as an elopement planner for Simply Eloped. She's been quoted in the New York Times, Brides, Hello Giggles, Bustle, Yahoo, and more.