Even if you decide to elope alone, that doesn’t mean you can’t include family or friends in your wedding celebration. One popular option for bringing your loved ones into your celebrations is to have a reception party after you’ve eloped. It can be a big event that includes re-creating your ceremony or it can be a casual get together in your own backyard. It’s completely up to you!

An elopement reception is a great way to bring your family and friends into the celebration while still keeping your elopement day an intimate experience.

This is the full guide to planning a post-elopement party!

Elopement Reception FAQ’s

What do you call a reception after an elopement?

The most common terminology is elopement party or elopement reception. But you can call it whatever you want!

Who should you invite to your post-elopement reception?

This is all up to you! Your reception can be an intimate affair with just your family or it can be a big party with 100+ guests. It’s all to the two of you and who you want to invite!

Will my family and friends even want to come to my reception?

You might be worried that your family may not want to come to the reception if they weren’t invited to the wedding. I can’t speak for everyone, but usually people are excited to come celebrate with you, even if they weren’t at the actual wedding. Most of the time the answer to this question is an emphatic yes, they will still want to come to your reception!

How do you invite guests to your elopement reception?

You can invite your guests through an invitation in the mail or through an online invite, depending on how formal you want your reception to be.

When should you have your reception?

Again, this is all up to you! You can have your reception the same day you elope, after you get home from your honeymoon, or whenever works best for you!

Post-elopement reception ideas

Just like eloping, there are no strict rules for what your reception has to look like! Here are a few popular elopement reception ideas, but remember, you can do anything that feels right for you. You can make it as traditional or non-traditional as you want (AKA, do what makes you happy!)

1. Host an Intimate Dinner

Whether it’s on your elopement day at a cozy Airbnb or in your own home after your honeymoon, a great way to celebrate is by hosting an intimate dinner celebration with your closest friends and family.You can cater the evening or cook the food yourself.

2. Rent a Venue for a Ceremony and Reception

If you want to re-create your wedding ceremony for your guests, you could consider renting a venue. This could be a traditional wedding venue or reserving a space at a State Park.

3. Have a Backyard BBQ

If you want to keep things really simple, why not host a BBQ in your own backyard? This is a great way to celebrate with your loved ones while still keeping the event laid back.

Check out this backyard wedding and reception for inspiration!

4. Rent a Private Room for Dinner at Your Favorite Restaurant

Celebrate by taking your closest relations out to dinner. Rent a private room in your favorite restaurant, share stories from your elopement, and maybe even make a few toasts.

How to Plan an Elopement Reception

1. Choose a date

The first thing you’ll want to decide on is a date for your reception. You can have a reception as early as the day of your elopement if you want to celebrate with family on the same day or it could be several weeks later.

2. Decide where you want to host it

After you have a date, you’ll want to choose where you want to host your reception. Depending on the style of reception you want to have, there are lots of options for where to host your event!

Elopement Reception venue options include:

  • Rent a venue
  • At a restaurants
  • In your backyard
  • At a local park or State Park

Check out this Idaho State Park elopement and reception for inspiration!

3. Send out invitations

Once you’ve decided who to invite to your celebration, you’ll need to invite them. This can be with a save the date card in the mail or by creating a Facebook event if you plan on a more casual event.

How to invite guests to your elopement reception

  • Send an invite with the reception date
  • To avoid confusion, don’t include your elopement details on the invitation
  • You can add your elopement date+general location if you want (but you don’t have too)

I have an elopement reception invitation template in Canva you can use for your own invites if you’re looking for an easily customizable design. You can access it for free here.

4. Create a schedule for your reception

If you decide to include any special events during your reception, you’ll want to create a schedule to keep everything on track. If you’re not sure what you should include in your reception, here are a few ideas:

Elopement Reception Ideas:

  • Recreate your first dance
  • Let your family make speeches
  • Play “the shoe game”
  • Re-create your ceremony (if you want to recreate it for your guests)
  • Have dinner and/or dessert
  • Share a slideshow of images from your elopement

Not sure how to create a timeline for your day? Check out my free guide here!

5. Hire vendors

If you have a larger event, you may want to hire a few vendors. This could include:

  • Coordinator
  • Catering
  • Photographer
  • DJ

6. Enjoy your celebration!

All of your planning comes into place and you get to enjoy a lovely time with your family and friends, celebrating the two of you!

Tips for Your elopement reception

Share Photos from Your Elopement

Take some photos from your elopement and get them printed to share with guests at your reception. Share your favorite stories from the day and consider putting together a slideshow of the best photos! This is a great way to share the day with your loved ones after the fact.

Send a Separate Announcement for Your Elopement

You can send out a separate card to your friends and family announcing your elopement. This can be before or after you elope, depending on if you want to keep it a secret. It’s best to keep this a separate announcement from your reception to avoid confusion.

Keep Your Elopement Details Vague

Keep your elopement details vague on any announcements you send out. This is helpful if you plan on sending out any announcements before your elopement. You can include a specific date or a general date, with a general location. That way no one gets confused and tries to show up to your elopement.

There you have it, you’re ready to start planning your post-elopement celebration! I hope you found this guide helpful!

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