How to Plan an Epic Post-Elopement Party Celebration

January 27, 2023

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Are you eloping, but still want to have a larger celebration with your loved ones? Maybe you’re planning a private elopement ceremony with just the two of you, but you ALSO love the idea of the bigger celebration that typically comes with traditional weddings. Well Hannah Montana said it best – you can totally, 100% have the BEST of both worlds: with a post-elopement party!

We know, you’ve probably never heard of that – it can also be called an elopement afterparty, a microwedding reception, or even a “happily-ever-after” party (cute, right?). So in this guide, we’re going to go through what a post-elopement party/celebration even is, why you might want to have one, how to plan one, fun post-elopement party ideas, and sample itineraries + costs. We’ve got you COVERED!

What is a “Post-Elopement Party?”

First off, what the heck even is a “post-elopement party?”

We like to think of it as the elopement version of a wedding reception – a celebration with all your favorite people, your closest loved ones, your best friends & family members, after all the official stuff is over. You’ve tied the knot, you had a beautiful ceremony (maybe in private, or just with a few guests), but you still want to be able to celebrate with a party like couples do at more traditional weddings!

Why have a post-elopement party?

A post-elopement party is your opportunity to do JUST that: get together with all your fam + friends after the big day and have the time of your lives making memories with one another.

The cool thing is that just as we like to say there are no rules when it comes to elopements, there are ALSO no rules when it comes to post-elopement parties. 

Your post-elopement party/celebration/happily-ever-after can be:

  • Small or large
  • Budget-friendly or expensive
  • Simple or intricate

Some couples might want to go all-out on a party if they have a pretty minimalist adventure elopement – big setups, fun rentals, delicious catering + snacks, and an epic venue/space to celebrate in, with 100+ guests. And some couples might want to just have a casual BBQ in their backyard, toasting beers, celebrating with a couple of their closest friends, fam, coworkers, & neighbors!

If you have a private elopement ceremony or a ceremony with just a couple of guests, a post-elopement party is the perfect way to still be able to celebrate with the people who mean the most to you + include them in your big day. 

Whatever your vibe is and however you want to plan your elopement party, it should reflect YOU, your relationship, and how you’ll be able to have the most fun + meaningful celebration with the people you love!

Post-Elopement Party FAQ’s

How long after eloping can you have a reception?

It’s totally up to you!! Your post-elopement party or reception can be the evening of your elopement, after your ceremony. It could be the next day, maybe starting off with a mid-day brunch and lasting all the way into the evening. It could be after your honeymoon, or even on your one-month anniversary!! 

What do you do at a post-elopement party?

You can really do anything you want at your post-elopement party. Go on an outdoor adventure, host an intimate backyard gathering, reminisce on your elopement day through photos & videos, play games, have a cozy cabin brunch, and so much more. But you’re getting ahead of us – keep reading and you’ll find a section with a bunch of fun post-elopement party ideas!

Is it OK to elope, then have a party?

ABSOLUTELY! That’s why we wrote this entire blog post. We hope you know by now (if you’re familiar with us + our business) that we encourage our couples to do whatever the hell they want, be it a big wedding with 300 guests, a tiny elopement with no friends or fam in sight, an intimate wedding with a reception a month later, or ANYWHERE in between. If it feels right to you and your partner to have an elopement, then have a party later on, absolutely, 100% do it!

What do you wear to a post-elopement party?

You already know what we’re going to say – whatever you want! Want to wear your elopement attire and show off to your loved ones? Do it. Want to wear your best garden-party-inspired outfits for your chic backyard gathering? Do it. Want to show up in a t-shirt and shorts? DO IT. 

How to Plan an Epic Post-Elopement Party

Now that you know what a post-elopement party is, how do you actually plan one?! Here are the most important steps to planning a post-elopement party that you’ll want to follow along with!

1. Choose a date

You’ve got endless options when it comes to WHEN you hold your post-elopement party. Maybe you want to have it immediately after your elopement, while all the emotions are flowing – invite your loved ones to join you at your Airbnb or at a nearby restaurant for dinner/drinks after your ceremony! 

Or maybe you’d rather spend the evening together, and meet up with your fam + friends the next day. Set a meeting time and welcome them with a brunch, then spend the day hanging out exploring, playing games, and just being together.

You could even hold the party on your one-month anniversary, or even a YEAR later!! A lot of couples did this in the midst of COVID, when they had to downsize their weddings – they got married, then had a reception/party a year later when everybody could make it. There’s no timeline you need to follow and no date you have to have it by – it’s up to you and when you’ll have the budget, time, and energy to put it together! (Plus, keep in mind when your guests will all be available.)

2. Choose a location

There are soooo many awesome locations you could hold your post-elopement party at!! The options are really endless – you’ll just need to consider how many guests you’re having, whether you want to be able to have food/drinks in the space, what your budget is, how much space you need, what activities you’ll be doing, how long you want the party to be, and where the nearest accommodations are.

Here are some fun location ideas for your post-elopement party:

  • In your backyard/your home (or a family member’s/friend’s)
  • At a big Airbnb/VRBO/cabin
  • On a beach
  • In the woods
  • At a resort
  • In the mountains (An epic post-elopement hike with your BFF’s? Yes please!)
  • At a winery
  • In a private room at a restaurant
  • At a formal venue

3. Invite your loved ones

This is where you get to decide WHO you want to invite! Your party can be as big or small as you want – you could invite ALL your extended cousins, great aunts & uncles, and all your coworkers. Or keep it as simple as your immediate families and a couple of friends each. Invite  the people that mean the most to you, not the ones that you think you “should” invite or feel pressured to invite by another loved one. Think through who’s been supporting you throughout your relationship, who you spend the most time with, who means the most to your lives, and who you’ll have a damn blast partying it up with!

4. Plan fun activities

  • Rent a space with a dance floor & hire a DJ so you can dance the night away
  • Have a party bus take you & your friends around (e.g. from your house to the restaurant where you’re having dinner), and have some drinks + dance under disco lights
  • Read letters from loved ones who can’t be there, or Facetime/Zoom them
  • Watch the highlight film from your elopement day (if you had a videographer)
  • Flip through photos from your elopement day in a physical album, or through an electronic slideshow
  • Sit around a fire and have s’mores + enjoy the simple moments with your loved ones
  • Book an Airbnb for you all to stay in together for the weekend, or book rooms in the same hotel/resort
  • Rent out a room in a restaurant/winery/brewery/etc. for only your group to enjoy
  • Play board/card games
  • If it’s warm out & you’re by water: rent paddle boards/kayaks/canoes and spend some time out in the sun

If you’re getting married at a beautiful resort, why not have your post-elopement party there, too?! If you need some location inspo, check out our recent blog post with the 12 Best Luxury Resort Elopement Packages in the U.S.!

5. Incorporate meaningful touches

If you’re celebrating your marriage with your friends + fam, changes are you value meaningful, intentional time with your loved ones, and want to celebrate how special this season of your lives are. Find ways to incorporate meaningful touches into your party, be it decorating with framed photos of the two of you throughout your relationship, or photos of you and all your loved ones through the years, having your guests sign a guest book or taking Polaroids together, or honoring a deceased loved one’s memory through photos, videos, or a designated seat at the table.

6. Plan your food/drinks

There are plenty of ways you can incorporate food & drinks into your post-elopement celebration, and so many FUN ways to do it at that!! Because you’re not having your ceremony at the same time, you really won’t have to worry about many time constraints or required elements of the day – you’ll be totally free to celebrate for as much or as little time as you want. Use that freedom to have fun with your food + drinks and explore different opportunities than you might have thought of before!

  • Cook a meal all together (e.g. have a backyard BBQ)
  • Have a potluck
  • Bring a picnic to a beautiful, scenic location
  • Hire a private chef or a small catering team (depending on the size of your party) to cook for you
  • Go wine-tasting as a group
  • Eat snacks + desserts off of charcuterie boards
  • Have a dessert bar, coffee bar, custom cocktail bar, etc.
  • Rent a food truck to bring you a meal and/or late-night snacks
  • Hire a bartender + mobile bar to bring drinks to wherever your party is being held
  • Have a post-elopement brunch buffet the morning after your elopement

7. Hire your post-elopement party vendors

Now this one totally depends on what your party is going to be like. If you’re keeping it super casual, without any frills, and you don’t need help from anyone, you could totally host your entire party without hiring any vendors! But if you want some help with decorations, food/drinks, rentals, etc., you may want to consider hiring some parts of the celebration out to experts – if you have the budget for it.

Here are some vendors you could hire for your post-elopement party (but none are required!):

  • Photographer + videographer to document it
  • Food provider: food truck, caterer, private chef
  • Drink provider: bartender, mobile bar
  • Decorator
  • Rentals (signs, chairs, tables, etc.)
  • Planner
  • Florist
  • Venue/space to host the party

Post-Elopement Party Costs + Sample Itineraries

The great thing about post-elopement parties is that they can really cost as MUCH or as LITTLE as you want. You can keep yours super casual, super lowkey, and barely spend money on anything other than gas – or you can go allll-out with an epic setup, fancy food, an elegant venue space, etc. You name it – you can do it!

We know a lot of people learn best through examples, so we’re going to go through a few examples of what your post-elopement party could look like in terms of cost, AND we’re going to include some sample itineraries!

Example #1: Lowkey, low-budget backyard gathering at your home


  • Venue: FREE!
  • Food: chips/crackers/salami for appetizers, BBQ burgers, hot dogs, chicken, etc. for a meal, and boxed cookies/cupcakes from a local bakery or grocery store
  • Drinks: pre-BBQ cocktails, beers, champagne – have everybody bring their own drinks or buy them in bulk from Costco
  • Chairs + tables: borrow from friends
  • Transportation: everybody drives themselves
  • Accommodations: FREE – you’re at your own house!
  • Activities: FREE – just play some fun games and have a good time talking!
  • Decor: None, or DIY

Sample Itinerary:

2:00 – Welcome guests!

2:00- 3:00 – Drinks, appetizers

3:00-4:00 – Drinking games/board games/chill activities with guests

4:00 – Start barbecuing dinner

4:45 – Dinner!

5:30 – Toasts

5:50 – Dessert

6:15 – Watch elopement highlight film + pass around photo album

7:00 – Drinks + s’mores around a campfire

Guests stay as long as they want, then head back to their own places

Example #2: Intricate, high-budget party at a local venue, followed by an evening at a cozy Airbnb


  • Venue: find a local venue that will rent out a space for the day
  • Food: local caterer for appetizers/dinner/dessert, + food truck bringing late-night snacks to your home afterward
  • Drinks: custom cocktails + mobile bar with a bartender
  • Chairs + tables: rent from a local event company
  • Transportation: party bus/shuttle for all the guests
  • Accommodations: one-night stay for you & your closest guests at a cozy Airbnb
  • Activities: wine-tasting brought in by a local winery
  • Decor: beautiful, themed decor pupt together by the planner, designer, & florist you hired

Sample Itinerary:

2:00 – Welcome guests!

2:00-3:00 – Cocktail hour – custom cocktails, drinks from the mobile bar, & charcuterie boards from the caterer

3:00-4:30 – A wine tasting brought to the venue by a local winery

4:45 – Watch elopement highlight film + pass around photo album

5:15 – Plated dinner served by caterer

6:15 – Toasts

6:45 – Dessert 

7:15 – You & your closest guests head to your spacious, cozy Airbnb

8:00 – S’mores + drinks around a campfire

9:00 – Relaxing in the Airbnb hot tub + outdoor sauna

10:00 – Late-night snacks brought by a food truck

11:00 – Star-gazing from the porch

Sounds like an absolute blast to us!!

We hope you thoroughly enjoyed our post-elopement party guide, and feel SO excited to create your own perfect celebration! You deserve to bask in this huge moment in your lives alongside your most special, loved ones if you want to, AND to have a private, intimate ceremony – and with a post-elopement party, you can do just that. Happy party planning!

If you loved this guide, we have others we KNOW you’ll love, too! Check out a few of the ones we’re most stoked about below!

How to Plan an Elopement in 2023-2024: The Ultimate Guide

60 Unique Elopement Ideas for Your Dream Elopement Day

Top 20 Worldwide Mountain Elopement Locations