K
Just Said Yes September 2022

Eloping and having a traditional wedding afterwards

Karla, on October 12, 2021 at 3:47 AM Posted in Etiquette and Advice 0 15
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Hi there, so me and my fiancé got engaged in March of this year (2021) and we had plans to get married on September 18, 2022 we have the venue set and my dress ordered already. However, I have extremely bad back problems and I might be needing surgery and after thinking about it we are not financially stable enough to plan my dream wedding for next year. He wants a small backyard wedding to help with finances but I want a semi big one with all our friends and family. We’re thinking about eloping with our parents involved and my son but I still want my traditional wedding. I want my dad to walk me down the aisle I want my flower girl and bridesmaids and I want to wear my wedding dress! We don’t plan on telling anyone we have eloped we want it to be very intimate. Can anyone give me any advice, can I still have my dream wedding if we elope a year beforehand? Can I still have my dad walk me down the aisle and have a ceremony? We love each other very much and just want to get married already bc we want me and my son to have his last name already but I don’t know if we should wait or what.

15 Comments

Latest activity by Karla, on October 13, 2021 at 4:37 PM
  • Sarah
    Savvy October 2021
    Sarah ·
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    Yes you absolutely can ! That’s exactly what my husband and I did. We had to postpone our big wedding because of Covid and eloped a year ago. Now we are having the wedding this weekend! All of our friends and family are still very excited and we are doing the traditional ceremony and everything.
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  • K
    Just Said Yes September 2022
    Karla ·
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    Awh really?! First of all, CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!💖🎉 I’m excited for you! Second of all, how are you having a traditional ceremony? I’ve been reading that it’s only a marriage celebration or vow renewal but people say that it won’t be an actual weddings so I’m all over the place haha. I still want it to feel like my dream wedding day even if we have already said our vows to each other.
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  • K
    Just Said Yes September 2022
    Karla ·
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    Also are you having a bachelorette party or a bridal shower?
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  • Sarah
    Savvy October 2021
    Sarah ·
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    We are just thinking of this as our symbolic ceremony where we publicly commit to our vows versus privately which we already did. We also didn’t do wedding rings in our original marriage ceremony so this will be the first time we exchange rings and start wearing them. It’s still going to be exactly how we envisioned our ceremony before postponing, the only difference is all the legal paperwork is done Smiley smile


    It’s actually not uncommon (even pre pandemic) to have a small civil wedding ceremony and then another one at a later date. Please don’t let anyone tell you it doesn’t count as a real wedding!

    I did have a bachelorette last month since we had to postpone that too. We called it a “wifelorette” and it was a lot of fun! I didn’t do a bridal shower.
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  • K
    Just Said Yes September 2022
    Karla ·
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    So what do we tell the officiant when it comes down to the having the wedding? Does it matter to the officiant? Is an officiant used? Sorry I’m advance haha I have a lot of questions! Thank you also!
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  • Sarah
    Savvy October 2021
    Sarah ·
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    So my Dad is actually our officiant, which was always the plan even before postponing. We had the town clerk perform our ceremony when we eloped. My Dad obviously knows we are married already but even if it was another officiant I would tell them. All of our guests attending our wedding know we are already married (we publicly announced our elopement), so we are going to make a few lighthearted jokes in the ceremony about it. But if you don’t want your guests to know you are already married, you should probably still tell your officiant so they aren’t confused when you don’t have a marriage certificate they need to fill out.
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  • Mrs. Coakley
    Master June 2017
    Mrs. Coakley ·
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    I definitely wouldn't lie to your guests. I would be so upset if I was going to a "wedding" for people who are already married. It's completely fine to elope now and then have a vow renewal/celebration of marriage later. Most people would love to attend and celebrate with you. Leave the lying out.

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  • Mrs.a
    Master October 2021
    Mrs.a ·
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    You can do anything you want! Couples do this all the time and especially now with COVID.
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  • Cece
    Super November 2022
    Cece Online ·
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    Agreed. I definitely would not lie about already having gotten married. Be honest with your guests and have the big celebration however you dreamed of it. Just because it’s a vow renewal/celebration of marriage doesn’t mean you have to cut things out- wear your wedding dress, have your dad walk you down the aisle, and anything else you want Smiley smile
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  • JA
    Devoted March 2022
    JA ·
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    We are doing something kind of similar, we are getting married a few weeks before our "big" wedding. Just a small dinner with letters to each other, signing the certificate, and taking photos afterwards. We aren't hiding it from anyone, but we also won't be publicly announcing that we got married on that date (until the 1 year anniversary of course!) We will still be doing the ceremony as planned, but won't have to worry about signing the certificate or anything.

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  • M
    VIP January 2019
    Maggie Online ·
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    I agree with this. There are no benefits to lying about getting married, but there are potentially plenty of cons. Especially because you mention wanting to change yours and your son's names. How would you hide that from people??

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  • Cool
    Super July 2020
    Cool ·
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    I’ve seen a very mixed bag of how they feel after the elopement when it’s planned this way. Some people feel similar to PP who are excited for the big reception while just as many others are happy they got married and don’t want the stress at that point of planning and hosting a wedding. It also sounds like these financial difficulties may not be fully resolved by the time you want your “dream wedding”. I’d find a happy medium, maybe a larger elopement or micro wedding.
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  • M
    VIP January 2019
    Maggie Online ·
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    This is a really good point. I planned a very small wedding deliberately, so of course I was satisfied with it. But we have seen such a range here, of people who originally planned big weddings, then downsized due to COVID. Some are happy with how the small one went and are fine without planning something bigger later. Some still want that big event. Some get halfway through planning that second big event and THEN realize they are "over it" and cancel, letting their original wedding just stand on its own.

    Such a range of experiences, and everyone is different. It definitely makes sense to really think about budget, priorities, etc. when setting out to plan two separate events with a lot of time in between. Tastes, wants, and needs can and do change, once "real life" sets in.

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  • Melissa
    Dedicated March 2022
    Melissa ·
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    This is LITERALLY our story. We just got hitched under cover and only my MOH and officiant know. We will be having our dream wedding next year! Do what feels right for you guys and if it means eloping and then a wedding, that's amazing and you should enjoy both!
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  • K
    Just Said Yes September 2022
    Karla ·
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    Thank you everyone for responding! We’re not lying to anyone or trying to lie to anyone. But we decided if we elope we want it to be intimate not hidden. People will know we’re already married as we plan to have a slideshow of us getting married when we have our wedding! Thank you for your lovely words and encouragement however!!🥰💖
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