Unique Dinner Ideas to Celebrate Your Elopement

Elopement Tips & Advice,
7 min read Sep 7, 2023
5 Unique Elopement Dinner Ideas

So, you’ve had your elopement announcement and just tied the knot— Now it’s time to mark the occasion. Whether you’re into an outdoor picnic with a bohemian feel or an intimate dinner at an upscale eatery, sharing a meal with your loved ones is a great idea and can create lasting memories for you and your new spouse.

After your elopement ceremony, you can invite friends and family to honor your marriage by sharing your favorite meal (heartfelt speeches and embarrassing childhood stories sold separately). If after your dinner, you’re wondering “Can you elope and have a wedding later?”, the answer is absolutely! There are no rules to how you want to celebrate.

Before you raise a glass, you’ll want to hammer out a few key details, including the guest list, venue, and menu, to craft an unforgettable evening. In this article, we’ll offer insights on ambiance, location, and cuisine to help you and your spouse plan a meaningful and memorable post-elopement dinner.

5 Unique Elopement Dinner Ideas

Romantic Settings for Your Elopement Dinner

After an unforgettable and intimate elopement day, you may want to invite your loved ones to join the festivities by attending a celebratory dinner. As celebrations go, there are few better ways to bring people together than a shared meal at a warm and welcoming table.

Hosting a dinner after elopement activities can offer your friends and family the opportunity to mingle, make lasting memories, and, most importantly, celebrate you!

So, where should you host this romantic gathering? What you have in mind may depend on your taste, guest list, and love story, so here’s a list of enchanting settings to consider when planning the elopement dinner of your dreams:

#1 Fine-Dining Romance

If you’re looking for a refined, modern dining experience to celebrate your nuptials, look for intimate and upscale eateries in your area. Whether you’re a fan of low lighting and candles or creative cocktail lists, a classy setting to toast your milestone is one you’ll never forget.

This may be the right dinner experience for you if you’re into elegant design styles, classic romance, or experimental, contemporary dishes. Many upscale restaurants specialize in a particular kind of cuisine, so you’ll likely be able to find restaurants that offer exactly the kind of meal you and your spouse crave.

Depending on the size of your party and the number of tables you reserve, you can even have the restaurant add a special touch to the interiors or menu to make your after-elopement celebration personal to you.

#2 A Sentimental Setting

For a unique take on your post-elopement party, consider a location that means the most to you and your sweetheart. You may have had your first date in a tiny local spot or a picnic in the park in your old neighborhood.

Take your friends and family down memory lane by hosting your celebration in a setting that’s part of your love story. If you want to amp up the emotions, create a fixed menu that includes dishes from your first date or the recipes you cooked each other for the first time.

The beauty of the elopement experience is the freedom you and your partner have to create the celebration of your dreams, so no matter what food you serve or bring, the unexpected is definitely on the menu.

Create a day you’ll remember forever! Get a quote.

#3 Laid-Back Locations

If you opt to elope to skip the typical conventions of a Western wedding ceremony, choose a laid-back location for your post-elopement day dinner. Laid-back settings are the best place for those who prefer hiking boots to Oxfords or home dinners to fancy dining rooms.

If you and your spouse are outdoor enthusiasts, embrace your laid-back location as the beautiful great outdoors. Host your dinner at a local park or nature preserve, or if you want to ramp it up a bit, a national park. (Just be sure to secure park permits or food permissions in advance.)

Laid-back environments may also suit you if you’re a family-oriented duo who wants to host the meal themselves. Fire up the grill and get out your s’mores skewers to host a post-elopement BBQ. Or, gather guests around the dinner table for homemade appetizers and endless laughs while you celebrate your love.

Regardless of your ideal location, a casual setting rather than a formal wedding tradition can help you create a fun and carefree celebration where your loved ones can relax, connect, and get to know each other better.

#4 BYOB (Bring Your Own Board)

For a fun take on a trendy dish, consider hosting a BOYB (bring your own board) dinner that allows all of your guests to bring their own charcuterie boards to your post-elopement meal. You can even make and decorate your own wedding cake. If you’re a fan of small bites but want something more formal, you can hire a local caterer or food vendor to create a custom charcuterie board with all your favorite goodies.

Consider choosing a signature vintage wine or cocktail for everyone to sip on while they dig in. Some professionally arranged florals and candles can make a BYOB space feel high-end without breaking the bank.

#5 Fun With Food Trucks

Nothing tastes better after a fun night out than stopping by your local food truck, so why not recreate this experience after your elopement? You can find a food truck for virtually any type of cuisine these days, and they offer a variety of dishes made fresh right in front of you and your hungry guests.

Whether you’re looking for a Mediterranean gyros wrap, wood-fired pizza, or spicy tacos, add some fun to your elopement party with a local food truck. They’re also ideal for offering your friends late-night snacks like mozzarella sticks, crispy fries, or corn dogs if you plan on celebrating your elopement into the moonlit hours.

Looking for libations? Consider hiring a drink truck or mobile bar alongside your favorite eats.

5 Unique Elopement Dinner Ideas

Culinary Delights: DIY Elopement Dinner Menus

While elopement festivities may not require as much preliminary planning as a traditional wedding reception, you can still craft a dinner menu sure to delight. Here are some elopement dinner ideas to consider when choosing between culinary confections for your special day:

  • Hire a personal chef – When you want to keep things low-key but still enjoy fine dining, consider hiring a personal chef to craft restaurant-quality dishes for you and your loved ones. Spend the evening with your favorite people in the comfort of your home while enjoying the culinary finesse of a professional.
  • Honor traditions your way – Even if your big day is a little more unconventional than other marriage celebrations, eloping couples can still pay homage to cultural traditions with the dinner menu they create. Integrate your and your spouse’s childhood dishes or culturally traditional wedding meals into your after-elopement dinner plans.
  • Bring takeout to your table – Who says an elopement dinner has to consist of Michellin-star-winning food? If you and your partner relish in the satisfaction of a Taco Bell Cravings Pack, bring your style to your post-elopement table. Better yet, have all your invitees bring their favorite takeout food for a smörgåsbord of delicious comfort eats.

When creating your post-elopement dinner menu, you’ll want to keep in mind whether you’ll be celebrating with a group of 5 or 25 since this can influence the details of your day, especially if you need to make reservations. A little planning on the front end can ensure your celebration goes smoothly.

5 Unique Elopement Dinner Ideas

Elopement Dinner Themes for Every Couple

Besides the menu, it’s important to decide whether you want to have a theme for your special day. Here are some styles to consider when planning your elopement dinner:

  • Boho-glam – For the eclectic duo, a bohemian vibe may be just the thing for your dinner celebration, complete with soft decor, warm tones, and handmade elements. To master the boho-chic feel, you can incorporate thrifted or vintage pieces like dishware and napkins, adding personality and maintaining a low budget.
  • Elegant romance – What better way to celebrate your love story than to incorporate romance in every detail of the event? With white tablecloths, colorful florals, and candlelight galore, your closest friends and families will be swept away in the classic elegance of your intimate gathering.
  • Adventure elopement Exchanging your vows on a mountaintop is a breathtaking way to profess your love, so why stop the adventure there? If you and your partner are thrill-seeking adventurers, you can make this the theme of your dinner as well, and invite your closest friends and family to join you for a mountaintop picnic.

Themed weddings are all the rage, so you can keep up with the latest trends by choosing a concept or design idea for your post-elopement dinner. With our elopement packages, we’ll help you organize and arrange your celebration down to the finest detail, helping to bring your theme to life.

5 Unique Elopement Dinner Ideas

Plan the Dinner of Your Dreams With Simply Eloped

With an endless array of menu options and venue choices, you may not know where to start when it comes to planning your elopement dinner. Luckily, we’re here to help.

Our comprehensive elopement guide can help you nail down the location, theme, and every detail in between. If you’re wondering, “Do you need a marriage license to elope?”, we’ll even guide you through the process of obtaining your marriage license to make sure you can get hitched without a hiccup.

If you’re still in the planning stages, we hope these elopement ideas will get your imagination unfolding the dinner of your dreams. Whether you want a five-star dining experience or a few pizzas with your closest friends, a post-elopement dinner can help you carry on the celebration long after you say “I do.”

Elopement Tips & Advice
Written by Janessa White

Janessa White is the co-founder of Simply Eloped and has helped thousands of couples plan elopements. As an expert in the field, she has been featured on Martha Stewart, Brides.com, Vox, and HuffPost. Janessa thinks elopements are the ultimate way to tie the knot.