Bride and groom walk into their post elopement reception surrounded by friends and family ready to celebrate with them.

Post Elopement Party Ideas for Celebrating Your Day

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. A post elopement party or reception is a great way to include the friends & family you love, while still keeping your vows & wedding ceremony more intimate & private.

What Is a Post Elopement Party?

This isn’t just any party—a post elopement party is your chance to share the joy of your big day with friends & family who couldn’t be there. Whether it’s a relaxed backyard barbecue, a lively beach bash, or an upscale celebration in the city, this elopement reception lets you bring your personal style into a fun, memorable event that can be as formal or as informal as you’d like. Why throw a post-elopement party? It’s the perfect way to keep the celebration going with all your loved ones, and let them share in the excitement of your new life together.

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 in your wedding attire so that everyone can see how good you look. Or you could also get dressed in something more fun or casual. You can wear attire such as a cocktail dress, jumpsuit, slacks & a button up shirt, or you could both wear something really different that’s a bit wild, colorful, & fun! You can rent out a formal reception hall or have a backyard celebration. If you’d like to keep your post elopement party more formal, hire a caterer & have passed appetizers. If you want to keep your post elopement party 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.

What Should You Do At Your Post Elopement Party? Here’s some post elopement reception ideas… 

When it comes to throwing this party after your elopement, there really are no rules or a certain structure you have to follow. Having a celebration after you are married can take some of the stress off of the two of you so that you can just party with your people!

Have a Dance & Eat Some Cake

If your family loves to dance like mine, you should definitely have some dancing! 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. Depending on how into music you are & what your budget for a post elopement party is, hire a DJ to really help kick things off for your celebration. And you should absolutely eat some cake. Or if cake isn’t your thing, pick another dessert! Pies, cookies, or something else.

Send Out Invitations to Your Happily Ever After Party

If you’re having a private ceremony, let your guests know that ahead of time. Then you can send out invitations to your post elopement reception. Depending on when you have your reception or party after your elopement, you can use some engagement or even elopement photos on the invitaions.

Want a free “happily ever after” invitation template? I’ve got you! The below template can be used & easily customized with Canva so you can make it your own.

Show Off Your Elopement Photos & Video

Depending on when you hold your elopement reception, you can show off your amazing colorful elopement 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.

You Can Have a Ceremony for Family

Even though you’ve said your private vows to each other during your elopement, if you want to, you can have a ceremony for the guests you invite to your post elopement party. You can either repeat & reread the private vows you’ve said to each other, or if you’d rather keep those private, you could have a ceremony including traditional or family elements to it.

Play Games & Have Fun

This is your party & your time to celebrate. You can play yard games at an outdoor reception or play other games if you’re having your reception indoors such as trivia about the couple. And just remember to not stress about the small stuff, have fun, & party!

Set Up a Photobooth for You & Your Guests

Set up a photo booth with fun props that match the theme of your elopement or something quirky that reflect your personalities. It’s a fun way for guests to create their keepsakes from your celebration & you will get to have all of those fun photos that guests took throughout your celebration.

Include Some of Your Favorite Foods

Whether you choose to have a food truck bring pizza to your reception, hire a catering service to make your favorite foods, or you have a potluck style meal with your families’ homemade recipes, food is always a must in my opinion! You don’t have to go all out on food (unless you want to!) & serving something that the two of you really enjoy will help make your celebration special.

When to Have Your Post Elopement Party or Reception

Immediately after your elopement. If you want to have an elopement & wedding day all in one & get the best of both worlds, you can have the party immediately after your elopement. Have your reception either later the same day or around the same weekend as your elopement. You could have a sunrise elopement, take a break, & then join your guests in the evening to celebrate. Or plan an all day elopement one day for just the two of you, & then the next day, spend it with friends & family.

Within a month of your elopement. After your elopement, you may go on your honeymoon for a bit. You can hold a post elopement reception like this, 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?!

Within six months to a year of your elopement. You also don’t have to have a party after your elopement so soon. I’ve seen couples celebrate with friends & family anywhere from 6 months to a year after they’ve gotten married. I’ve even seen one couple keep their elopement a surprise for a whole year! Then they told friends & family they invited to their “wedding” that they were actually already married & that this was a party to celebrate.

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

Do things your way, this party is about celebrating YOU!

No matter how you decide to celebrate, focus on the celebration, not the decor, opinions of others, or things that might go wrong. You’re not the hosts, you’re the guests of honor. It’s up to if you want to keep it more affordable or if you want to go all out on this post elopement party. 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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