If you’ve ever found the idea of throwing a huge traditional wedding about as intimidating as coming face-to-face with a wild bear, you might already be thinking about eloping. You’re not alone! If finding the perfect venue and fitting all of the perfect pieces of your wedding together wasn’t stressful enough, Covid-19 has made traditional weddings a lot harder to navigate. Elopements offer couples a chance to ditch traditional ceremonies and reception ideas to create their own personal experience. Ever wanted to get married in the middle of the woods, on a beach, or even in the Great Smoky Mountains? Guess what, you can elope there!
Elopements are traditionally kept to a small group of close family and friends if you aren’t going completely solo. You still want to celebrate with your friends and family after the elopement is said and done, right? That’s where an elopement party comes in! If you kept your elopement to a small group, this is your chance to celebrate with a bigger group of family and friends. Backpacks and Bow Ties can document your elopement but it doesn't have to stop there, we’ll catch all of the best moments of your elopement party!
What is an elopement party?
An elopement party is your wedding reception! Time to celebrate with your family and friends! Elopement parties don’t need to be right after the elopement; they don’t even have to be on the same day! It might even be easier to plan for an elopement party to be a few days to a few weeks after you elope. The best part? You can keep or ditch any and all traditional reception ideas for your elopement party. Want to cut the cake, but don’t want to have a garter belt toss? That’s totally up to you! The important part of the elopement party is to celebrate your new marriage with your friends and family that weren’t at your elopement.
Why should I throw an elopement party?
An elopement party is a great way to include people who weren’t at your elopement. This is your chance to don that wedding attire again and celebrate with your loved ones and share your elopement with others! If you are a fan of some wedding reception traditions, an elopement party will still be great for getting in that father-daughter dance and a flower toss. But guess what? You can save yourself stress from any traditions you don’t want to have at your elopement party.
Where should I have an elopement party?
Before you book a place to throw your custom elopement party, there are a few factors you should consider. What kind of vibe do you want from your surroundings? Something informal in the outdoors or upscale in the city? How many people do you want to invite? Do you want lots of space for your guests or do you want it to be more cozy? Airbnbs can offer a great location for more intimate celebrations. Backyards and parks could make great low-cost options. Reserve a spot at a club so you can dance the night away with your guests. If you want to go more traditional, you could always book a wedding venue for the party. Think about what you want to do at your elopement party so you get what you need out of your venue.
What do we do at an elopement party?
There aren’t any rules for what you can or can’t do at your elopement party, just like your ceremony! Your venue might give you some clues on some things to do. Here are some ideas for your elopement party:
Have a family-style meal or potluck
Nothing tastes better than home-cooked food. Why not share that with your guests? Better yet, let them help you feast! Throwing a potluck at a park or in your backyard would be a fun way to share in the celebration with your friends and family, and it would save you money too!
Show off your elopement photos
Here’s where you can get creative: Decorate your party with pictures from your elopement! Spread them out on a table, hang them from streamers, or throw them up on a projector for a slideshow! Don’t forget to book a great Smoky Mountain Photographer (like Backpacks and Bow Ties *wink wink*) to photograph your elopement!
Have time for toasts and speeches
Here’s a great way to include your friends and family who didn’t go to your elopement! What’s a good reception without some fun and embarrassing stories? Grab a microphone set, a set of chairs for the new couple, and let your guests give toasts and speeches.
Hire a photographer to take pictures of your reception
Why only capture the best moments of your elopement? Hire a photographer to save precious memories while you celebrate with your guests. Signs and props can make for an impromptu photo booth for your guests! Your first dance, cake cutting, and more can all be captured forever by your photographer.
Hit the dance floor!
If your venue has a flat patio, slab, or floor, you have a dance floor! You could hire a DJ, a live band, or even use your personal playlist for the best 80’s dance jams. Some couples choose to take dancing lessons before their reception for their first dance, but it’s not required.
Hire a private chef, catering company, or food truck
If cooking isn’t your style, you can always hire a local Asheville business to cater your elopement party! Depending on your venue and vibe, you could go with several options. Want high quality food from a private chef? Go for it. Do you just want to be able to feed every single person who shows up to your party? Maybe a catering company is right for you. Check out this amazing steak dinner from Carrasco Catering in Asheville, NC. Finally, if you want a real Asheville vibe, you could hire some of our best food trucks to cater your wedding.
Do some “traditional” wedding things
There is nothing wrong with wanting to keep some traditions in your reception, do what makes sense to you! If you want to cut the cake, have your first dance, throw your bouquet and the garter, go for it! Don’t be afraid to have traditions in your reception, but know that you aren’t required to do any of it.
What should I wear for my elopement party?
Elopement parties can be the perfect opportunity to show off your beautiful wedding attire again! Whether you went with a traditional white dress and black suit or went for something outside the box, your guests will love seeing you recreate the moment of your elopement. Otherwise, maybe your venue will help you decide. Your elopement party can be as formal or informal as you want!
How to make elopement party invitations
Wondering how an elopement party invitation might differ from a traditional wedding invitation? You might want to consider a few things about how you send your invitations. It’s best to let those closest to you know ahead of time that you’re eloping. One of the hardest parts of eloping is not inviting everyone who wants to be at your elopement and support you. Be sensitive and explain that you felt your wedding would make more sense if it was a more intimate setting, but you would love for them to celebrate your elopement with you at your elopement party.
Aside from navigating the uniqueness of an elopement, try using some cute elopement phrases on your invitations!
- “We eloped!”
- “We did” (instead of “I do”)
- “Presenting Mr. and Mrs. ____”
- “We eloped, let’s party!”
Here’s where you can already take advantage of an elopement photographer: you already have pictures of your elopement! If you are sending a digital invitation, take advantage and include photos and videos from your elopement.
Whether you want your elopement party to be as traditional as possible or you want to throw tradition into the wind, you can tailor your experience however you like when you elope. Think about your theme and the vibe you want to have at your celebration and the rest will come! No matter what direction you choose, make sure you have a reliable photographer to capture the best moments of your elopement party.
If you’re stumped on how you want to plan your elopement, no problem! Contact us and we can help walk you through, step by step.
We're offering free hotel stays for your vacation or honeymoon if you book your wedding or elopement with Backpacks and Bow Ties in 2022/2023!
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