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Wedding Etiquette: Wedding After Eloping?

Q.

My daughter recently eloped with a delightful man. She (and we) have always wanted to have a somewhat traditional wedding. Since she is already married, we want to know if there are any guidelines for this situation. Do you have suggestions for wedding invitation wording? Also, they did not live together before marriage, so they need many of the same household items that are given as traditional wedding gifts. How should we address questions we get regarding the giving of gifts or money?

A.

What your daughter will really be doing is renewing her vows, but you're still celebrating the couple's wedding -- and many guests may assume this is the wedding, right? Here's our invitation suggestion:


The honor of your presence [or "The pleasure of your company"]
is requested at a wedding celebration for
Mr. and Mrs. John Doe [or "Jane and John Doe"]
Saturday, the fourth of August
3 o' clock in the afternoon


Your name and your husband's name could also be listed at the top as event hosts. If the couple will renew their vows in a traditional wedding ceremony, put that info at the bottom of the invite: "Ceremony at St. Thomas Church, with reception to follow at Willow Creek Country Club," or something similar. This type of wording is traditional enough and indicates that this will be a wedding, but it also lets people know the bride and groom have already married. Maybe they'll want to share their elopement story in the ceremony program!

As for gifts, this is your daughter and her husband's wedding celebration with family and friends, so guests will want to give gifts. They should register!


See More: Wedding Planning Advice