Since 2020, the elaborate wedding ceremony and reception trend have changed in favor of smaller events, like an intimate elopement. If you are engaged, you may want to have a big celebration with friends and family, but you might also feel it is best to wait due to the current state of the world.
You might ask yourself, “Can you elope and have a wedding later?” The short answer is yes.
Not only is it a good idea to get married during a small civil ceremony at city hall and have a large gathering later when it’s safe. This method also comes with several benefits that you can’t get with a typical wedding and reception event.
Reasons To Elope And Celebrate With A Big Party Later
There is no need to wait, just elope
Instead of putting off your marriage until you feel you and your partner are ready for a wedding, you can marry now and work on the celebration later. It is similar to a vow renewal where a married couple recommits themselves and has a big celebration. There is no need to have a long engagement unless your ultimate desire is to get married during the wedding.
If you don’t want to wait, you can elope and get legally married with your supportive family members by your side. Elopement is perfect for couples ready to move on with their lives and reap the benefits of a marriage like a joint household and family insurance.
Share an intimate moment with your partner
Some couples believe exchanging vows and becoming husband and wife are private moments to be shared with their closest friends and family members. Not everyone wants to have that intimate moment in front of a large crowd. By eloping, you and your partner can focus on the day’s significance and your commitment to each other.
Instead of focusing on your guests’ comfort, you and your partner can pour all your attention on each other. Marriage is a significant, life-changing moment. Eloping can give you the private, sentimental experience you will cherish for a lifetime.
Planning weddings is stressful, and it can be overwhelming if couples don’t have the help of a professional wedding coordinator. Not only will you get married at your wedding. You will also have to coordinate a photo session with a photographer, ensure the caterer is feeding everyone, greet guests, make sure the DJ or band is playing the music, and so on.
You can minimize your stress by eloping now and taking your time to plan a party for a future celebration. You will have less to worry about when you elope because the ceremony will have fewer guests and festivities. After making your union official, you, your partner, and your guests could celebrate at home or dine at your favorite restaurant.
By the time you plan your reception, you’ll be less nervous and less stressed. You can take the time to build up your budget to have the large celebration you want. All you will need to focus on is having fun with your guests because the wedding is already over.
Extended wedding celebrations
Elaborate weddings and receptions take much planning to make the event perfect, but many couples are surprised when the day flies by quickly. With so much happening in a short time, the entire event can seem like a blur.
However, you can keep your celebration going by breaking up your wedding and reception into separate dates. You will have more to look forward to, such as wearing your beloved wedding garments for both events.
Spread the cost of the reception
It is no secret that weddings and receptions are expensive. You have to book an officiant, vendors, venue, and more, so the costs quickly add up. Some couples don’t have enough money to have their dream weddings when they get engaged, but that does not mean you cannot get married and have the reception you want.
Eloping with a small, intimate group of guests is substantially cheaper than throwing a big bash. You and your partner can take as long as you need to plan your ideal post-elopement celebration. By spreading the cost of the wedding and reception, you can participate in two special events that include all of your must-haves.
3 Tips For Planning A Civil Wedding Ceremony
Research wedding requirements from your local city hall
People often assume they can go to city hall the day they want to get married and have their ceremony right then. That is not the case. Every state has requirements to obtain a marriage license, including fees, documentation, and waiting periods.
Before you head to city hall to elope, research the requirements you’ll need to make before saying, “I do.” For instance, resources for city hall marriage assistance in New York state that couples need to have their marriage license a minimum of 24 hours before the ceremony begins. You might also need to bring a witness or two in some states.
Select an officiant
If you choose to marry at city hall, you will be married by whatever officiant is working in the building at that time. A legal official like a notary public, county clerk, or justice of the peace generally presides over civil ceremonies.
Choose your witnesses
Depending on your area’s city hall marriage license requirements, you may bring a few select people with you to witness your marriage and offer support. Most states require couples to have two people over the age of 18 to witness the exchanging of vows.
Since this is an intimate event, you could invite immediate family, like parents and siblings. Another option is to have your best friends bear witness. The key to making the occasion as memorable as possible is only to invite those closest to you and your partner.
So, can you elope and have a wedding later? The answer is yes, and City Hall Wedding is the best place to find planning tips for your civil ceremony. Check out our blog to learn how many people to invite to your wedding.