Etiquette Tips for Planning a Post-Elopement or Sequel Wedding

The wedding trends of elopements, destination weddings, courthouse weddings, and small, intimate, or micro ceremonies have been around for decades. However, over the last three years, there has been an incredible rise in these types of weddings, creating buzz and further popularity. Many couples who take this route also plan a post-elopement or a sequel wedding to celebrate with a larger ground of friends and family, whether that looks like a traditional wedding reception or something creative that directly reflects the couple’s style. Here at Flora D’ Amore, our wedding experts are sharing everything you need to know about planning your post-elopement or sequel wedding, from announcements and invitations to traditions and formalities and dress codes.

Vintage wedding car with just married sign and cans attached

When to Hold a Post-Elopement or Sequel Wedding 

The timeline for holding a post-elopement or sequel wedding largely depends on your reasons for eloping or planning a micro wedding. Those who have destination weddings are more likely to have their post-elopement soon after they say, “I do,” while couples planning a sequel wedding after a small ceremony tend to wait until their first or second anniversary.

wedding invitation

Finding the Right Words for Invitations

If you plan on eloping, consider sending elopement announcements rather than save-the-date cards to friends and family. This is a great way to include your loved ones without them feeling left in the dark or like they were an afterthought, especially if they learn about your elopement on social media. Share photos and wedding details such as your elopement location, date, and if any close friends or family acted as witnesses. Then, send a fresh round of invitations to guests for your post-elopement celebration. Use clear and concise wording so everyone has a strong understanding of the event.

If you are having a micro wedding prior to a sequel wedding, plan to send save-the-date cards and invitations as you would a traditional wedding. As your sequel wedding date approaches, send the second round of invitations to your more extensive guest list a few months before the celebration. For this second round, you will want to indicate whether you plan to exchange vows or recreate your ceremony, as well as the date you officially tied the knot, to avoid confusion.

Suggestions for post-elopement and sequel wedding invitations:

  • Please join the newlyweds for a happily ever after party.
  • Please join us as we exchange our vows.
  • Please join us for the wedding reception of…
  • Please join us in celebration of our first anniversary as newlyweds.
  • We invite you to a reception celebrating the marriage of…
  • We request the pleasure of your company at a reception celebrating our new life as newlyweds.
  • Hayden and Casey request the honor of your presence at an after-party celebrating their marriage.

Beautiful place made with wooden square and floral decorations for outside wedding ceremony in wood.

Deciding to Recreate Your Ceremony 

One of the most challenging decisions when planning a sequel wedding is whether to recreate your ceremony. Since some family members would love to see you walk down the aisle or share your first kiss, you can create a slideshow highlighting these moments from your ceremony or even play your wedding video. If you and your partner feel you missed important moments with family and friends, holding another ceremony with readings and poems, repeating your vows, and reliving the magic of your first kiss and newlyweds is certainly appropriate.

Wooden welcome table board sign at the wedding on the beach with welcoming romantic words during destination wedding marriage ceremony, invitation for the guests

Planning the Reception or Celebration

The beauty of a post-elopement or sequel wedding is that there are no rules, only suggestions. This gives you the freedom to plan your ideal celebration, whether formal and traditional, laid back and creative, or a mix of both. We have heard of couples planning post-elopements and sequel weddings in ballrooms, at Airbnb fiestas, in a backyard, at a “glamp site,” or in a dreamy garden. While some couples enjoy moments like their first dance, speeches, cutting the cake, and a formal meal, others prefer a relaxed buffet and games without a timeline or seating charts. Whatever style speaks to you, we recommend setting aside a few moments for a short toast and to thank your guests for celebrating your love.

Wooden wedding box for money in table.

What About Wedding Gifts?

Wedding gifts tend to take a back seat during post-elopement or sequel weddings, especially if you are not recreating your ceremony. This is often good news for couples since they no longer need to worry about including a wedding registry on invitations or updating a wedding website. You don’t even need to mention gifts in your invitations. If guests insist on bringing wedding gifts, open them in private and send a formal “thank you” note in a timely fashion.

Modern bride. Attractive young woman in wedding dress putting on sports shoes and smiling while sitting on the sofa

Re-Wearing Your Wedding Dress or Tuxedo

Wedding dresses, tuxedos, and other attire purchased for your big day often become “one-hit wonders” that live in the back of a closet forever. Post-elopements and sequel weddings are great excuses for bringing those expensive, once-in-a-lifetime outfits out for a second spin! However, don’t feel obligated to plan another formal event. You can also wear another white outfit that makes you feel fabulous and comfortable, like a white sundress, slacks and a button-down t-shirt, or something you wouldn’t usually get to wear. Whichever route you take, indicate it on your invitations so guests can dress properly.

The etiquette for post-elopements and sequel weddings isn’t as cut and dry as traditional weddings. Without formalities, these wedding celebrations seldom come with rules, guidelines, or direction. Here at Flora D’ Amore, we encourage you to think outside the box and make your event a reflection of your style, personalities, and relationship. Our wedding experts and seasoned florists are ready to bring your post-elopement or sequel wedding to life.

How to celebrate when the wedding already happened.