The idea to elope now & party later has been a big trend we’ve seen in 2020/2021. And while it’s not for everyone, we are here for it! If you want to elope now and have your wedding reception at a later date, that might be a great idea.

But what does it actually mean to elope now and party later? You would get legally married in a small ceremony now, and save your big wedding reception until a better time when big gatherings are safer. It’s a great alternative to postponing your wedding and there are some convincing reasons to consider eloping now and partying at your wedding reception later.

You don’t have to wait to get married

One of the best reasons to elope now and party later is that you don’t have to wait. You can get legally married right now. You’ll have a smaller ceremony, following all local rules for health and safety, but you will be able to get legally married. This is perfect for couples who don’t want to wait.

Whether you’re tired of planning a wedding that might be years in the future, you need to get married for reasons related to immigration or insurance, or you just want to move on with your life, eloping now lets you do that.

If you choose to elope now and party later, you can elope on a mountaintop with Young Hip & Married Vancouver officiants!
by Erica Miller Photography

You get the best of both worlds if you elope now & party later

By choosing to elope now and party later, you get the best of both worlds. You get to have the intimate celebration AND the big party. So you can have the backyard ceremony with just your small circle of witnesses, personal vows and a day that is truly about you two and your love. And you can also have the big dance floor and all-night rager with all of your friends and family.

There’s less pressure if you elope now and save your reception for later

Ask any married couple and they’ll probably tell you their wedding day was super stressful. They were nervous about saying their vows, stressed about getting their photos done on time, and worried when the caterer was running late. But with the elope now/party later method, there’s a lot less pressure.

On your elopement day, all you have to worry about is getting married. You have lots of time to take photos because you’re not rushing off to your ceremony. And you don’t have to be nervous about saying your vows in front of everyone because you’ll only have a small guest list.

And at your reception, you’ll be able to just focus on having a good time. After all, you’re already married!

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LGBTQ couple being married by Young Hip & Married officiant in a helicopter elopement
by Erica Miller Photography

You get to extend the celebrations

Another thing you’ll hear from a lot of married couples? Your wedding day goes by in the blink of an eye. After months (or years!) of planning, your day is done before you know it. But if you choose to elope now and have your reception later, you can keep the party going!

You get to have I Do, Part 2!

This is a great opportunity to keep your wedding day going and to work with vendors who may have been busy on your original date (or to work with your same vendors again, if you loved them). It’s also something to look forward to once the world is a safer place.

There are no rules! 

If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that there are no rules when it comes to weddings (besides the very important health and safety rules, of course). But weddings have looked very different this year and that’s a trend we think will continue for years to come. So you can make your wedding whatever you want it to be.

Your intimate elopement can be just you two (and your officiant!) in jeans and t-shirts at your local park. Or you can wear your full wedding outfits, book a venue and have your guests attend via live stream. For your future reception, you can recreate the ceremony and have a vow renewal, or it can just be a big dance party. It’s up to you!

Whistler elopement couple portait
by Erica Miller Photography

Tips if you want to elope now & party at your wedding reception later

If you’re thinking about eloping now and partying at your reception later, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Have the elopement you want! 2020 has shown us that the future is uncertain, and you never know where life will take you, so make sure your intimate elopement is exactly what you want it to be.
  • It’s okay if you change your mind. You may elope now and realize you don’t actually want the big party. Or you may plan to postpone, but then decide an elopement makes more sense.
  • There is no set timeline. Just because you elope this year does not mean you have to hold your reception next year. You can push it out to 2022/2023, hold it on your 5 year anniversary or whenever you want!
  • If you don’t feel comfortable setting a date for your party, leave it up in the air. There’s no pressure to book right now.
  • On the other hand, you may want to have something to look forward to and lock in vendors. In that case, you can book. Just make sure you read your contracts and you’re comfortable with everything.


Ready to elope now & party at your reception later?

Get in touch to book with us! We’d love to get you legally married in an intimate elopement and we’d be happy to officiate your larger wedding in the future too!