Skipping a traditional wedding in favor of a luxury elopement doesn't automatically mean forgoing a celebration with friends and family. We tapped brilliant East Coast event planner Cassandre Snyder of Cassandre Snyder Events & Design to give us an inside look at post-elopement receptions, including the key points you ought to know before you opt in or out of this type of revelry.
1. You can combine your elopement announcement and reception invitation.
"If you're having a reception, I don’t feel it's necessary to send out a separate elopement announcement," says Cassandre. "I recommend that my clients simply state in the invitation that they were married on a previous day and wanted to celebrate with loved ones on a new date."
2. You can go as elaborate or low-key as you like.
Unlike a formal wedding, there are no rules you should feel obligated to follow. "For an elopement reception, the most important part took place way before the reception, so traditions don’t necessarily have to be honored," says Cassandre. "Your celebration can be a cocktail party, an outdoor gathering with food trucks, or an elegant five-course sit-down dinner. I always tell my clients -- elopement and non-elopement -- that you get one day for everyone to come together to celebrate your union, so you should do exactly what you want."
3. You can host your post-elopement reception at home.
"Typically clients that have chosen to elope are the type that aren’t into the big to-do that comes with a formal wedding, so when they choose to do a post elopement reception, they want a more intimate feel," Cassandre says. "If they have the space, they will typically host something at home, or rent a private location."
4. You can hire a planner to handle everything.
Securing a professional to coordinate the reception takes all the stress away from the couple, which is why many have eloped in the first place. "The exact reason many people elope is because they don’t want to get into the details of a wedding,and I find that to be even more the case once they are already married. They just want to have a good time!" Hiring a professional also takes all the guesswork out of planning the party. "A professional has done this many times before, whereas it’s usually the client's first time. A knowledgeable pro will steer you in the right direction every time!"
5. You can share images of your wedding at the reception.
Screening video footage, projecting still images onto the walls, and/or dislpaying framed photos are all great ways to incorporate moments from your wedding ceremony into the reception. "I ALWAYS recommend that clients share elopement photos if they can," Cassandre says. "Guests will feel as if they were included in the actual ceremony."
6. You can include a theme.
If you went somewhere amazing for your elopement, you can work the destination into your event, or you can simply choose a theme that reflects the two of you as a couple. "One of my favorites was a couple that eloped to Paris," Cassandre shares. "They met while they were both traveling, so the theme of their reception was a travel theme. They sent out luggage tags as part of the invitation and incorporated their love for travel throughout the night. Guests took home customized passport covers with their initials as favors."
Photo courtesy of Cassandre Snyder Events & Design
With both a social-event and corporate-planning background,
Cassandre Snyder began her company on the premise that all
parties demand a special touch and every bride deserves her
vision to come to life. Cassandre Snyder Events & Design has
specialized in all events for more than a decade, from weddings
and birthday parties to bar/bat mitzvahs and corporate functions.