You said "I do" in private. Now it's time to celebrate with everyone you love.
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Credit: Jacilyn M.

For whatever reason-finances, time, stress, or a lack of interest in a traditional wedding-you and your guy decided to elope. While you're both so glad you did, you may still want to celebrate your new marriage with loved ones at a post-elopement party. So how do you start planning this event? Here, we clue you in.

Who to invite.

The size of the guest list is your choice. Think about who you would have invited if you had planned a ceremony and reception. If the number of guests seems overwhelming, pare it down to your immediate families and a few of your closest pals.

How to word the invitations.

Make it clear you're already married. Sample wording: "We already said I do, so now let's party!" or "You're invited to attend a reception celebrating the new Mr. and Mrs. Smith."

What kind of party to have.

There are loads of formal and informal options (barbecue, brunch, picnic) but two popular choices are a cocktail party or a dinner in a restaurant.

When to have the party.

Plan on celebrating within a few weeks of your wedding. If that's too soon or you want to give people more time, especially those traveling a long distance, it's okay to have it a few months later. But don't wait too long or it'll seem more like a first-anniversary fête!

Who should host.

Anyone who offers can host the party, or you and your husband can do it yourselves. If more than one family member or friend offers to host the celebration, that's just fine, too!

What to wear.

There's no dress code that you need to adhere to. If you want to wear a short white dress for an "I'm-the-bride" feeling, go ahead. If the party's more informal, go casual but chic.

What about setting up a gift table.

There's no need since guests aren't expected to bring gifts. (Write a thank-you note to anyone who does.)


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