The pandemic has forced many brides to change their plans. Lavish ceremonies are being trimmed down, and elopements are on the rise. It’s not surprising; eloping can be a way to save money, ease stress, or simply have an intimate ceremony with the one you love.
If you’ve recently gone this route and spoken your vows in private, you may still wish to observe the event with all the friends and family, near and far, that you would have liked to invite. Just because you’ve signed the marriage certificate and exchanged rings doesn’t mean you can’t continue to celebrate! As restrictions ease—and they will—planning a celebration of marriage with your friends and family can be the perfect way to party after the fact.
How to Plan a Celebration of MarriageThere are plenty of options when it comes to this type of event, from a formal dinner to a suave cocktail party or laid-back, family-oriented barbecue. So, how do you plan and what do you need to know? Here are a few basics:
Invitations can be printed or sent out digitally. The important thing is to make it clear that you’ve already done the deed. Word it just right so your great-aunt won’t be offended that she wasn’t invited to the initial ceremony. And give your invitation the vibe you want the event to have.
Going casual? This wording might do the trick: “We’ve said I do. Now it’s time to party!” Celebrating in a more formal fashion? Consider phrasing your invitations this way: “You’re invited to celebrate the marriage of Mr. and Mrs.”
The Dress Code
Again, there are no hard and fast rules for these celebrations. If you’d like to recapture the feelings of your wedding day, you can wear a white dress. Otherwise, your dress code can run the gamut from cocktail party chic to backyard casual.
If you choose, you can serve dinner to your guests or keep it casual with an assortment of appetizers and desserts. Some people choose a taco bar or barbecue for a less stuffy event. Like the ceremony, what you serve is entirely up to you.
Activities to Include in Your Celebration of Marriage
Some couples who plan this type of ceremony aren’t sure what to include from the traditional main event of a wedding and what to leave out. We think that it’s important to entertain your guests, commemorate your marriage in a small way, and keep it as true to your style and personality as possible. Here are a few activities to consider as you plan your celebration:
- Everyone loves speeches and toasts! We think they’re one element of a celebration of marriage that shouldn’t be forgotten.
- Cutting the cake is a great way to incorporate a bit of your wedding into the celebration.
- Another way to keep a “wedding” feel to your event is to play your favorite song and invite guests to watch your first dance as a married couple.
- Music is a way to make any event special. You can still hire a dj or make a playlist of your own to get friends out on the dance floor.
- If you eloped or had a private ceremony, share the pictures from your event. If not, you can share pictures of your special moments as a couple in a slideshow that will celebrate your union.
- Playing games is another way to bring everyone together. Consider inventing a “how well do you know the couple” trivia game.