Have your Cake and Eat it, too: Reception Ideas for the Eloped Couple

Skip the hoopla and follow your elopement with an intimate celebration

By Michelle Bolyn

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Many couples plan to elope because of budget restrictions, family conflict or the desire for a private ceremony. When you elope you won't have a traditional wedding reception, but you can still have a great time. There are many things you can do as a couple or with close family and friends if you invite a few guests to be witnesses.


Pick a romantic destination to elope to, such as Las Vegas or Hawaii. This way you can explore the locale for your reception and honeymoon and you won't miss the big party you passed up.

Romantic Dinner

Since you saved so much money by eloping, have an extravagant dinner with wine, appetizers, entrees and dessert. Toast each other with champagne at the end of the meal. Go to a restaurant with a view and watch the sunset while you drink a couple of cocktails.

Host a Party

If you're eloping, you can still invite friends and relatives to come and celebrate with you. Invite your witnesses to an intimate dinner party. Or, if you want to celebrate with a larger group of friends and family, host a casual backyard barbecue.

Spa Day

For a private celebration between you and your new spouse, get married in the morning and then head straight to the spa to get a couple's massage.


Stay in a romantic bed and breakfast the weekend you elope and celebrate together the whole weekend. Or rent a suite at a luxurious hotel and call in room service.

About the Author

Michelle Bolyn regularly writes on weddings and relationships.

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Pick reception venue

Want to keep decor costs to a minimum? Consider a winery or other outdoor setting to provide a natural pretty scene. Hotels, country clubs and restaurants are also popular choices -- some will require more decor help than others. If you have your heart set on an off-site caterer, make sure your venue allows it.

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Wedding Glossary


Catering services supplied by the wedding venue. If a venue offers in-house catering, typically off-site caterers are not permitted.

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