How to Celebrate with Friends & Family After Your Elopement

Elopements are usually a very private event. You might invite your parents or a handful of your closest friends. A lot of times, you might still want to celebrate in some way after your elopement. An after elopement reception is a great way to include the friends & family you love, while still keeping your vows & wedding ceremony more intimate & private.

It Can be as Formal or as Informal as You’d Like

It’s your celebration & how you celebrate is up to you! Feel free to get dressed up again so everyone can see how good you look. Or you can get dressed in something more fun or casual, such as a cocktail dress. You can rent out a reception hall or have a backyard celebration. If you’d like to keep it more formal, hire a caterer. If you want to keep it more fun & casual (and more affordable) consider making your own food or having a potluck style dinner. After all, it’s not about the food, it’s about celebrating with those you love. 

custom wedding details photographed by Shell Creek Photography

Have a Dance & Eat Some Cake

If your family loves to dance like mine, you should definitely have a dance! Create a playlist of everyone’s favorite dance songs. If you’re having a backyard celebration, rent a dance floor & some string lights for an easy, beautiful setup. And you should absolutely eat some cake. Or if cake isn’t your thing, pick another dessert! Pies, cookies, or something else.

When to Have the Reception

After your elopement, you’ll probably go on your honeymoon for a bit. The best time to hold a celebration like this is a few weeks to a month after you get back. This gives you some time to breathe & relax between events while still keeping events close enough together to be part of your wedding. And who doesn’t want to enjoy their wedding for a month?!

Show Off Your Photos & Video

Depending on when you hold your celebration, you can also show off your amazing photos & video from your elopement. Your friends & family will love seeing your photos & they’ll see what an amazing time you had on your wedding day. If any of them had doubts about you guys going a more non-traditional route, they’ll see that you made the right decision for YOU.

View more photos from this Ouray, Colorado wedding where they had an elopement reception

Do things your way, this party is about YOU!

No matter how you decide to celebrate, focus on the celebration, not the decor, opinions of others, or things that might go wrong. Have fun & CELEBRATE!


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  1. I loved reading the amazing ways to celebrate your elopement with friends and family! Beautiful job!

  2. This is well written, and a great way to highlight how folks can truly have both experiences for their wedding day. Well done!

  3. I love all the ideas of how to involve your friends & family after you elope!

  4. Love all the practical advice in this post. Keeping it about you and including your family can be done!

  5. YES. The world needs more posts like this. Having resources for couples who choose to elope but still want to include their families is so vital — love that you wrote this!

  6. Aw this is great advice! Elopements really do seem to be much more about the experience than the production, so keeping things low key (a playlist with your friends favorite songs, a potluck) etc, sounds like a fun way to keep the party rolling without going crazy on the production or costs. 🙂

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