It’s more and more common these days for couples to elope. The cost of hosting a wedding can be astronomical and some couples opt to save that money and put a deposit on a house instead. There are many reasons for eloping, and it’s entirely up to the couple whether they sneak off and get married or not. It’s not as taboo as it once was to announce that you’re already married. Even if you were originally planning on having a big wedding, you can still elope if you haven’t done much of the planning or given deposits yet.
So, how do you announce an elopement? It’s really up to the couple. Think about your style. Are you very formal, fun and festive, or a little of both? If your personalities are more inclined to be spontaneous, your friends and family probably will not be shocked if you announce you have eloped. If this is something totally out of character, it might require a little more detail on your part.
Many couples choose to do a semi-elopement. This type of elopement includes the moms and dads of the bride and groom and maybe a sister or brother. It’s more of an acceptable thing to do in some families if you don’t leave out the closest family members. Your third cousin from upstate New York will have to understand that you just ran off, but your mother may never forget it if you exclude her.
If you are planning a semi-elopement, send out a simple announcement. Purchase a nice pack of wedding invitations from a card store or online. They should have a pretty wedding theme. Include wording in your hand written invite to just those few close family members that you’re having a simple elopement and that you couldn’t imagine it without them.
For the rest of the family and your friends, a letter announcing that you’re married is all you really need to send. Type it up on nice stationery and include some photos in the document. You can easily add photos by scanning them into your computer. Everyone will see that it was just the six of you (or however many) and they won’t feel so left out.
Don’t send a letter if you are planning on having a reception at a later date. This is where you will have to use some finesse. You don’t want it to appear that you excluded anyone from the reception, but you want guests to know they’re invited to share in the festivities. If you ran off to the beach you can word it something like this. “Kathy and Ron invite you to share in their wedding reception. They were married in a private ceremony at Laguna Beach on May 11th. They now wish to celebrate with their beloved family members and friends at The Oak Club….”
You don’t have to go overboard with the explanations. Obviously, they will know that only a few people were invited to the actual ceremony no matter how you word it, so get that detail out of the way and then tell them how excited you are to share your good news and new future at a party with them.
You can have your post-elopement wedding reception invitations printed just the same way you would your wedding invitations. The wording is the only thing that needs to be different. You may want to include a casual photo of the wedding ceremony so people can get a look at your wedding day even if they weren’t there.
Don’t feel ashamed or embarrassed that you chose to elope and not invite everyone to a big ceremony. It’s your choice and you had the type of wedding you wanted. Just be sure to mail out your reception invitations a few days after your ceremony so people don’t feel too left out. They can look forward to and plan to attend your reception if you’re having one.