Best Practices for Post-Elopement and Sequel Wedding Planning

While elopements and micro weddings are nothing new, the rise in intimate wedding ceremonies has skyrocketed in the last few years. More and more partners are celebrating their union in smaller gatherings while shedding the larger venues. For couples planning a small-scale wedding ceremony, many also plan a post-elopement or a sequel wedding. These might be described as delayed wedding receptions or events that invite a larger group of friends and family to celebrate the newlyweds. Whether planning a traditional reception or a more distinctive gathering that is personalized to your aesthetic as a couple, our wedding experts at Griffin’s Floral Design are here to give their professional advice. From announcements and invitations to the smaller details, we want to share everything you need to know to make a truly memorable experience.

Vintage wedding car with just married sign and cans attached

Timing is everything

The timing of your post-elopement or sequel wedding is dependent on why you’re eloping or holding a micro wedding in the first place. Typically, couples who have destination weddings host a larger reception soon after they exchange their vows. Couples who are planning smaller gatherings followed by sequel weddings typically wait until a year or two later and celebrate with a larger group of loved ones during their anniversary.

wedding invitation

The search for the perfect words

When it comes to eloping, writing an announcement goes a long way. When solely writing a save-the-date, it can sometimes make friends and family feel a little left out. By including them in a round of mailed announcements, they don’t feel like an afterthought, especially if they were to first learn about your marriage on social media.

When writing an elopement announcement, be sure to include the date, time, and names of any friends and family who were witnesses. After that, send another round of post-elopement invitations to your guests. Make sure to use clear and transparent wording to help everyone get on the same page about your event. If you’re writing an invitation to a micro wedding ahead of a sequel wedding, plan on writing one similar to that of a more traditional wedding. As your sequel wedding nears, send your second round of invitations to your more extensive guest list at least a few months before the party. Since there will be more attendees, make sure everyone knows what’s happening during the event, including things like vow renewals, readings, official dances, and more. 

Suggestions for invitations

  • It’s time to party!
  • Love made us do it.
  • We got a head start—now help us celebrate.
  • Hayden and Casey exchanged vows in an intimate ceremony at [elopement location] on [elopement date].
  • We tied the knot with a private ceremony and all of you in our hearts.
  • Thank you for your love and support as we start this new and exciting chapter.
  • We have an important announcement to make…

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

Recreating your ceremony

When celebrating your sequel wedding, a common planning challenge is whether or not to recreate your ceremony. While some of the same guests and family members would love to see it all over again, you can give a similar experience in a creative way through slideshows and videos. If you feel like you missed out on sharing other important moments with your friends, like having them listen to your vows, read poems, and watch your first dance, you can recreate those moments by repeating and updating your vows or dance moves.

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

Reception or celebration planning

The good news about post-elopements and sequel weddings is that you can do whatever you want. There are no rules, which means you have the complete freedom to plan whatever you want, as long as it wholeheartedly celebrates your love. Whether you want a more traditional wedding reception or a casual backyard BBQ, post-elopement and sequel weddings come in all shapes and sizes. Whatever style you choose, we recommend you dedicate some time to acknowledging your guests or allowing loved ones to give toasts.

Wooden wedding box for money in table.

To gift or not to gift

Wedding gifts take a back seat during post-elopement or sequel weddings, especially if you’re not recreating your ceremony. Often, this is welcomed news for couples as they don’t have to create registries or update their wedding websites. Gifts don’t even need to be mentioned on the invitations at all. If your friends and family insist on bringing something, make sure to open them in private and then send them a formal “thank you” soon after the party.

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

Should you re-wear your wedding dress or tuxedo?

Wedding dresses and tuxedos often spend lonely lives in the closet after their one day to shine in the spotlight. Post-elopements and sequel weddings are perfect for bringing them back out in their renewed glory. However, you don’t have to feel obligated to plan the same type of celebration. When it comes down to it, wear what makes you feel comfortable and best expresses your love for one another. This can look like flowy sundresses and white button-up shirts. We’d recommend something you don’t typically wear but nothing that makes you uncomfortable. Whatever route you decide to take, make sure it’s communicated on your invites so everyone can dress accordingly.

Post-elopements and sequel weddings aren’t as formal as traditional weddings, as there are no rules, guidelines, or directions. Here at Griffin’s Floral Design, we encourage you to get creative and focus on the most important part of this celebration: you. Our wedding florists and experts are ready to help you create a brilliant post-elopement or sequel wedding event.

how to celebrate when the wedding already happened.