Kari
Master May 2020

Covid-19 Brides Who Are Eloping Now and Having a Wedding Later

Kari, on May 11, 2020 at 5:41 PM Posted in Community Conversations 5 18
Saved
Reply

For you Covid-19 brides who are eloping now and doing your wedding and reception later, how are you going to change up your wedding ceremony to honor the fact that you are already married? Will you keep the same vows? Will you exchange gifts instead of rings? Will you walk down the aisle together at the start of your ceremony instead of a more traditional procession? Compared to what you originally planned, what will be the same about your day and what will be different?

We had to cancel our wedding due to Covid-19 and are considering eloping on our original date if the weather cooperates. We've postponed our wedding and reception by an entire year, but don't want to wait to be married. However, if we do elope, I'm a bit stuck as to how to make the wedding ceremony next year feel like a wedding with many of the wedding "moments" when we are already married. It is really important to me to get to have the wedding we never had without it feeling like wedding theater. I know we can make it a meaningful and memorable event that feels just like a somewhat traditional wedding ceremony but honors the fact that we have already been married, I just haven't come up with how yet. What creative ways have you brides in this similar situation - who are eloping now but planning a wedding later (not just a reception or party) - come up with?

PS: If you feel the urge to refer to the wedding I describe as a vow renewal, just don't!


18 Comments

Latest activity by Kari, on June 16, 2020 at 9:20 AM
  • M
    Dedicated August 2021
    megan
    • Flag
    I am honestly here to see the responses. I have the exact same questions. Sorry I can鈥檛 be more help 馃槶
    • Reply
  • Kari
    Master May 2020
    Kari
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment
    It鈥檚 ok! I hope we get some responses. I鈥檓 so torn between doing something now and just waiting. I want to get married but am worried the wedding next year won鈥檛 feel special if we elope beforehand, and we really planned everything around being able to do a full ceremony, cocktail hour, reception, etc.
    • Reply
  • Amy
    Just Said Yes July 2020
    Amy
    • Flag
    We are in exactly the same situation. We have decided not to get married/elope now because I didn't want it to feel pretend or like a redo at the party, and I didn't want it to be a vow renewal at all. We had a week of feeling sad about it, but now it's okay. We still will be married eventually, and for me, one year out of hopefully 50+ together won't mean that much in the larger scheme. Plus, we have more time to save and tweak the plan to make it even more like what we want. (Trying to focus on the positives, haha)
    • Reply
  • V
    Dedicated May 2021
    Vall
    • Flag

    I found this article, maybe it can help.

    https://www.brides.com/story/civil-ceremony-wedding-etiquette-question

    • Reply
  • J
    Just Said Yes July 2021
    Jade
    • Flag
    We are doing the exact same thing... Wedding pushed out a full year, and planning to elope this year & still have full ceremony next year. I have not figured out the details yet either though. Honestly, every time I think about it, I get sad & frustrated, so all I've accomplished so far is rescheduling the vendors to the new date. 馃様 Sorry I don't have more advice, but just know you're not alone.
    • Reply
  • Ziggy
    Just Said Yes July 2020
    Ziggy
    • Flag

    Like you, we have just made the difficult decision to postpone our wedding by a year. We are still trying to decide whether to elope with a very low-key civil service on our original date and then have the proper wedding day (ceremony, cocktail hour, reception and all) on our new date; or whether to just postpone entirely. We have the same concerns that if we elope, the actual wedding day won't feel as special or genuine. That being said, we've become rather attached to our original date and we don't love the idea of turning this 7 year engagement into an 8 year one. I'm sorry that I can't be of any help, but do know that your feelings are valid and you're not alone!

    • Reply
  • Kari
    Master May 2020
    Kari
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment

    Yea, I'm having second thoughts about eloping now and leaning more towards just waiting. Most of the reasons getting married soon (like being able to start a family) are not possible (or at least not advised) right now because of the pandemic anyway. I'm nervous about pushing it off because I have been so stressed and upset and really don't want to drag out the suspense of "will it happen, won't it happen" for a full year but also feel like a rushed elopement misses the marks that are really important to us and the only thing we gain by having one at this point is a year of marriage. I'm trying to just accept that whatever we end up doing it won't be the way we planned it, and at this point we just can't hold onto those ideals anymore. At least we were able to find a date that worked for all of our vendors just a year and a couple weeks after our original date and they are all honoring our deposits and original estimates. There were also a few people important to us that couldn't make our original date that might be able to come if we reschedule, including two of my friends close enough to be bridesmaids, so I ended up settling on just having a MOH for our original date, but now maybe I can ask them and have a 2-3 person bridal party instead of just one person. I'm still worried that things will still not be improved enough to feel like a real celebration, that people who would have come will lose jobs and not be able to travel, that our parents might get sick (they're older) and what if they don't survive a full year, etc. but it's just out of our control. I'm trying to focus on the positive - we're healthy, our friends and family for the most part are safe, we have each other, financially we are doing okay - but my mind and emotions wobble back and forth between being okay and diving down a dark hole. It's super helpful to know a lot of brides on here who have been contemplating something similar are also struggling with whether to elope or just wait, and hearing others perspectives does make me feel better!

    • Reply
  • Kari
    Master May 2020
    Kari
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment

    Thanks! That didn't really solve anything for me - since we already planned out a full wedding, had a friend become a JP, etc and the current situation limits what we can do now anyway - we don't really save ourselves anything or gain much (other than a year of marriage) by doing a civil ceremony. An elopement right now with the current situation just feels like a compromise. I kept trying to frame it as "what do we gain" but the only thing I can figure out is a year of marriage, and everything else is just a watered down version of what we would have wanted our wedding day to be. I feel like this would have been much more helpful if we hadn't been so far along in our planning process - we had nearly every detail figured out by the time we had to cancel. I do appreciate you sharing and hope it can help other brides though! There are definitely going to be brides rescheduling their weddings planned for later this summer or even fall that have not figured out all of the details yet and switching plans now could save them time and money and allow them to have a really unique and special civil ceremony experience.

    • Reply
  • Kari
    Master May 2020
    Kari
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment

    I do appreciate this! In trying to figure out what it would look like I'm second guessing eloping now. Originally I was thinking about framing it as "how do we make each event unique and special and what can we gain by having two events." Stuff that wasn't going to be a part of our original wedding plans - a breathtaking view on top of a mountain, a private romantic night together just the two of us, ice cream at the place we went on our first date - would have made our elopement seem special and like a unique event it itself, but those things aren't possible. My FH wants his parents there (understandably) and they aren't exactly fit and mobile so we'd need to resort to the same accessible venues we had to choose from for our actual wedding, my mom would need to come from out of state and hotels and short term rentals are all shut down so she'd need to stay with us in our super small home which would be a romance buzzkill, and the ice cream place isn't open because of Covid-19 restrictions. I feel really defeated and honestly don't want to plan/throw together another event that just feels totally compromised at this point. Plus because we'd need to elope outside for safety reasons and don't have access to an outdoor space with adequate shelter to have the few people we need there while maintaining social distancing, we'd have to make a decision just days before, and that is just added stress waiting and staring at the weather forecast. As of right now, I'm leaning towards just waiting a full year for the wedding and hoping things are better by then, but I go back and forth about it all the time and it's really stressful and frustrating, like you said.

    • Reply
  • Kari
    Master May 2020
    Kari
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment

    I appreciate this so much! I cannot imagine waiting so long for my wedding only to have this pandemic roll along and ruin your plans. I really hope you can have a beautiful day, whenever that ends up being and however you decide to make it happen.

    • Reply
  • Adrianna
    Dedicated June 2020
    Adrianna
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment

    How funny, I was literally JUST reading it before coming to this thread!

    • Reply
  • Adrianna
    Dedicated June 2020
    Adrianna
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment

    OMG SAME!! I am very tied to my date, June 20, 2020. That is the date I want to be my anniversary - not some alternative date that we were forced to change to. We just yesterday finally decided to elope on June 20, 2020. I want the civil marriage to be super low key as well. I don't even want to walk down the aisle. I won't even be wearing a wedding dress. We may not even exchange rings. I just want to sign the papers and be done with it. I want to save it all for my wedding. I don't have a new date for my wedding celebration yet, but whenever that is, I do plan on walking down the aisle in my wedding dress, reading our vows, and exchanging our rings and doing the whole wedding experience. I want our wedding day to be like the real thing. That is why I want the civil marriage to be super simple. I just don't know how I will tell my guests and everyone that we eloped. Because as of now, I want to see it a secret.

    • Reply
  • Adrianna
    Dedicated June 2020
    Adrianna
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment

    Honestly, I felt the exact same way since March when this pandemic first hit us hard in Los Angeles and everything got shutdown. I wanted to have the full wedding experience, so I wanted to postpone the wedding (marriage included). I didn't like any of the dates available later this year, so we had spoken to our venue about postponing for June 2021. But we couldn't even do it on the same date because June 20, 2021 is fathers day and my venue won't be hosting any events that day.. So that really got to me. If I can't even get married on my June 20th date but in 2021, then why am I even waiting another year to get legally married. (I am very tied to my date that's why). That's when I realized (after many tears and many conversations with people) is that I truly just want to be legally married on June 20, 2020 because I want that to be my anniversary date. So now, it doesn't even matter what date I choose later this year for our wedding celebration because we will have already gotten legally married on our original date. But whenever we do plan our wedding (ceremony walking down the aisle, cocktail hour, reception, etc), I know it will still feel special because our civil marriage will be super low key in order to save up the special moment for our wedding celebration.

    But trust me when I say, I did NOT want to elope. Ive posted discussions and many comments about it and even have told other brides on here that we've postponed for 2021. But I think I just finally had my ah-ha moment, and I think it will all work out. Given that we are in a pandemic, guests will understand that we wanted to be legally married on our original date.

    • Reply
  • Jessica
    Beginner July 2020
    Jessica
    • Flag

    I am wondering the same. our wedding isn't until July but we are having a hard time finding a reasonable officiant and we thought about going to the courthouse and then having a wedding later on.

    • Reply
  • Giustina
    Just Said Yes November 2020
    Giustina
    • Flag
    So my fiance and I are torn right now between posting or not. We were already planning to "elope" beforehand to save us the hassle of having our friend who's performing our ceremony get ordained beforehand, so that's not a problem for us. We just don't know if we should have faith that society can pull itself back together and the illness will go away in time for November this year or push it a year back. Everything is already aligned for this year so we would just have to call the vendors to have those pushed back a year, but I just don't know how to feel about either situation, and neither does my fiance. I'm sorry I could offer any help, but I'm so confused about all of this myself.
    • Reply
  • L
    Savvy August 2020
    Lee
    • Flag
    We are 鈥渆loping鈥 with immediate family. I honestly find comfort in this decision by watching the Pam and Jim wedding episode of the office. Their boat ceremony was for 鈥渢hem鈥 and then the wedding was the fun and the stress was gone and they could enjoy their loved ones. I really do suggest watching that episode for anyone struggling with this decision!
    • Reply
  • Crystal
    Devoted October 2020
    Crystal
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment

    THIS!!!!

    We had to cancel our big wedding plans. Recently I got an idea to do a tiny wedding on a boat and this episode was so much comfort.

    • Reply
  • Kari
    Master May 2020
    Kari
    • Flag

    We ended up eloping (my mom was diagnosed with cancer just 10 days before our original date) and it definitely was not the wedding it should have been, but I'm really glad we did it, and am also really glad we have the option of a "redo" wedding next year so our day can be a bit less stressful and more of the celebration we wanted it to be. I'm still looking for ways to have the ceremony but change it slightly to honor the fact that we are already married.

    • Reply

You voted for . Add a comment 👇

×

Related articles

WeddingWire celebrates love ...and so does everyone on our site! Learn more

Groups

WeddingWire article topics