Three experts share their opinions.
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Credit: Fabien Courmont

Eloping is a great option for couples who yearn for privacy and don't want all the hustle and bustle that comes with a traditional wedding ceremony and reception. But what about in the months leading up to your big day? If you're eloping, should you still have pre-wedding parties like an engagement party and a bridal shower? That begs another question: Should you also create a wedding registry? Creating a gift list ahead of your elopement is something of a hot-button topic, as some people believe it's entirely acceptable while others see it as rude. Even expert wedding planners are divided on whether or not it's considered well-mannered for a couple tying the knot in private to register for gifts at all. Here, we share their thoughts-though the decision to register or not is ultimately up to the bride and groom, their opinions might help you decide.

Don't Register If You're Only Sending a Marriage Announcement

If you intend to let family and friends know of your elopement with an announcement card in the mail, that's wonderful, but it should not be accompanied by a registry list, says Isabel Rokeach, a wedding panner at Michelle Leo Events. However, if you're sending an announcement as part of an invitation to a post-elopement gathering, feel free to include a gift list. "If you're sending an announcement, and are hosting a reception later on, then it is acceptable to register," Rokeach adds.

Do Create a Small Registry Just for Family and Close Friends Who Ask for It

Whether or not you're planning a post-elopement party, Jacin Fitzgerald, planner and owner of Jacin Fitzgerald Events, says a small registry for your closest loved ones who ask about a gift list is entirely acceptable, especially if it includes just the items you really need, not wish-list wants. "If you have an inkling of what you might actually need, it doesn't hurt to create a registry," she explains. You don't have to shout it from the rooftops, she says, but if you've created one, it's easy to provide if someone asks.

Don't Register If You Won't Be Celebrate with Anyone

"Couples who elope unfortunately should not register for gifts," says expert wedding planner Laurie Arons of Laurie Arons Special Events. A registry is intended to help invited guests find the perfect wedding present for the couple; therefore if the couple is not inviting guests to their wedding, it is in poor taste to register for gifts, she explains.

Do Register If You're Hosting a Post-Elopement Party

"However, if you plan to follow up the elopement with a party or celebration for friends and family, you may register for that reason," says Arons. However, she suggests that it's important to remember that registry information should never be printed on an invitation. Spread the word through friends and family to only those guests invited to your follow-up reception instead, she advises.


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