Elopement Party: 4 Post Elopement Party Ideas
Eloping with your partner is a fantastic way to formalize your union privately or with a small group of loved ones. But just because it’s an intimate ceremony doesn’t mean you can’t include more friends and family in the fun after you’ve said “I do.” Elopement packages make this process easier than ever.
Throw a post-elopement party to celebrate your new marriage with the people who didn’t catch the main ceremony. That way, you can still enjoy a minimalist ceremony and share your milestone with the people who matter. Can you elope and have a wedding later as well? Absolutely!
In this guide, we’ll share 4 creative ideas for eloping couples to host a romantic party, as well as some expert guidance on planning and scheduling the event.
Planning an Elopement Party All Your Own
The beautiful thing about elopement is that there’s no strict rulebook you have to adhere to. However, if you’re wondering, “Do you need a marriage license to elope?”, the answer is yes.
Since this type of wedding comes in all shapes and sizes, you can customize every facet of your special elopement day to your preferences.
The same rule applies to post-elopement parties. You could host this event:
- Immediately after you say “I do.”
- After you return from a destination elopement
- Weeks or months after your ceremony
The options are limitless. Post-elopement parties exist on a wide spectrum, whether you’re looking for all-out extravagance or a cozy backyard gathering.
Elopement Parties: Personalizing the Traditional Wedding Reception
Elopement parties are similar to the traditional wedding reception in that they often occur following the wedding ceremony. But that’s about where their similarities end.
Elopement parties, much like elopements, can be whatever you want them to be.
Suppose you’d like to keep the gathering to your closest family and friends in the comfort of your home, perfect! If you’re itching to get on the dance floor and hire a DJ to keep the bass going all night long, you might opt to rent out a venue and include a larger guest list.
The beauty of an elopement party is that you can invent the rules—rather than following the set-in customs of traditional Western weddings. You don’t need to spend your time painting mason jar vases, planning elaborate elopement dinner ideas, or topping 16 tiers with cupcakes (unless you want to!).
And that expectation goes both ways: guests who attend elopement parties won’t expect traditional wedding customs, so you’ve got a blank canvas to express yourself on and host the gathering that’ll make you and your partner happy.
Now that you know the basics of what elopement parties are and why they can be so appealing for soon-to-be spouses, let’s dive into 4 ideas for planning an unforgettable post-elopement event.
Unique Elopement Party Themes
Because elopement parties invite so much creative freedom and room for experimentation, it can take a little time and consideration to land on the right theme for your event.
That said, if you opted for an elopement wedding, then there’s a good chance you’re open to trying things that are a bit more unconventional and less cookie-cutter.
If that’s the case, it’s good news! Your elopement ceremony isn’t the only place you can forgo traditional wedding limitations: you can also get creative and outside the box regarding your post-elopement party.
#1 Destination Inspiration
If you decide to elope so you and your partner can travel and have a sentimental or beautiful destination wedding, make that special location a part of the marriage celebration.
For example, you could:
- Throw a festive luau if you tie the knot in the beautiful Hawaiian islands
- Capture the rustic serenity of the wilderness if you opted for a mountain elopement
- Theme the day around another country’s culture if you had an international ceremony
Your friends and family will love that you went the extra mile to include them in a small piece of your unforgettable travel experience.
#2 Venture to a Venue
From fancy banquet halls to a reserved room at your favorite restaurant, there are countless routes you can take if you’d like to rent a venue for your elopement party.
For the best experience, choose a place where you’ll be able to talk to all of your guests. If you pick a big table, for instance, you may find it hard to catch up with all your loved ones who aren’t seated close by.
Instead, find a spot where you can easily mingle and chat with all your beloved guests. And, if it’s important to you or them to be able to get up and move around, you may want an open or outdoor venue instead of a party room or restaurant.
#3 Home, Where the Heart Is
You can’t beat the accessibility and affordability of hosting a party at your house—especially if you and your partner’s idea of a fabulous Saturday night is on your living room couch cozied up for a movie.
Plus, in the comfort and privacy of your own home, you and your guests can enjoy some boisterous fun without disturbing nearby guests.
These tried-and-true home party activities are always good crowd-pleasers:
- Setting up a BBQ, potluck, or picnic in your backyard
- Playing interactive games centered around the newlyweds
- Using a projector or TV to display a slideshow of your ceremony
An at-home post-elopement party is the perfect way to have hours of fun and make memories in your very own home.
#4 Lean Into Traditions
If your heart is set on celebrating your marriage the old-fashioned way, lean in! You can incorporate as many traditional reception activities into your post-elopement party as you’d like.
Have that romantic first dance, open the floor for guests to make speeches and toasts, or even wear your wedding attire.
One timeless way to infuse wedding tradition into your party is to cut a cake with your partner, even if it’s a small, homemade one. Those little tweaks on the classics are what make your post-elopement party all the more special.
Elopement Party Favors, Invitations, and Decor
The first step of any successful event is a well-executed invitation.
Whether you choose to send out printed or digital invitations, here are 2 elements to keep in mind:
- Giving a heads-up – If there are any invitees that you’re particularly close with, inform them of your elopement before you send out their party invitation. This way, you can avoid surprising them with a sudden elopement announcement, explain why you had a small ceremony, and let them know you’d love to celebrate with them at the post-elopement party.
- Sharing key information – Let guests know where and when to arrive for the festivities, and don’t forget to fill them in on the dress code (if you have one). Include the type of food that will be provided so those with dietary restrictions can plan ahead. It’s also considerate to inform guests about gift-giving. If you’d like gifts, provide a registry; if you’re refraining from gifts, let them know so they don’t bring one along!
Be sure to make it clear what the occasion is celebrating. Some people may be less familiar with the concept of eloping and assume that your invitation is for a full wedding ceremony, so be specific with your language to eliminate any confusion.
Decorating Your Post-Elopement Party
When the day of the event arrives, you may want to decorate your party venue with elopement photos from your ceremony. This is the perfect time to show them off if you have them. Your friends and family will love that you gave them a glimpse into your wedding day.
Hoping to express your gratitude to your guests with a party favor? Pick something your guests will truly cherish. One fun option is to organize an arts-and-crafts activity as part of the event so your attendees can work together to make personalized mementos of this special moment and celebrate the beautiful couple.
Elopement Party vs. Traditional Wedding Reception
Big, extravagant wedding receptions are great for some people. But there are a whole slew of reasons why a more intimate post-elopement celebration and marriage can be preferable.
A post-elopement party could be right for you if:
- You’re too busy to spend months on wedding planning
- You’re trying to celebrate your love on a budget
- You want to do something different and out-of-the-box
Let’s take a look at 2 key areas where wedding receptions and post-elopement parties tend to differ.
#1 Time Commitment
Big wedding receptions come with big responsibilities. Couples who go this route must be in charge of organizing elements such as:
- Extensive guest lists
- Seating arrangements
- Mass food catering
- Attire for the bride, groom, and wedding party
When you choose an elopement wedding, you can prioritize all, some, or none of these elements as you’d like. For instance, you could hire a local band for entertainment or just plug in your phone and let your guests DJ for free.
Traditional wedding receptions can cost a pretty penny, from hiring a wedding planner to the wedding dress. Reception venues can be one of the most expensive elements of a wedding, with the average venue costing over $11,000 in 2022.1
Many couples feel pressured to splurge on their wedding and reception. This problem is so drastic that a whopping one-third of Americans go into debt just to pay for their weddings.2
But there is no correlation between how much a wedding costs and how successful the marriage will be.3 As long as you’re beside your beloved partner, surrounded by close friends and family, your party will have everything you need.
When you choose to host a more affordable post-elopement reception, you can save extra money to spend on your honeymoon, a new place, or your future lives together.
Plan Your Perfect Post-Elopement Party With Simply Eloped
Ultimately, an elopement party is all about personalizing your celebration to be absolutely perfect for you and your spouse. When you work with the right planning partner, throwing a post-elopement party is easy, fun, and stress-free.
Our team at Simply Eloped would be honored to empower you as you plan out this special day.
We are proud to be the largest elopement company in the world. With our trusted network of vendor connections and extensive planning prowess, we make your party a piece of (wedding) cake. From simple packages to all-out experiences, we can help you plan and execute the elopement of your dreams. Just tell us your vision—and we’ll handle the rest.
1 Forbes. What Is The Average Cost Of A Wedding? https://www.forbes.com/advisor/personal-loans/average-cost-of-a-wedding/
2 LendEDU. One-Third of Americans Go Into Unnecessary Debt to Pay For Extravagant Weddings—And Quite a Few End Up Regretting It. https://lendedu.com/blog/cost-of-wedding/
3 Debt.org. How to Avoid Going into Debt for a Wedding. https://www.debt.org/family/wedding/