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Monique
Devoted August 2020 Saskatchewan

Possibly changing to an Elopement

Monique, on April 18, 2020 at 14:22 Posted in Plan a wedding 0 12
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Hello everyone, we desperately need advice! Our original plan was to have a 50 person wedding on August 21st in the city. Then we thought about a 10 person mini wedding in the city or in our hometown that is 3 hours away from the city. A week ago we were looking up places to elope and the cliffs of Elbow, SK are gorgeous! So now we have these issues:


1. My fiancé and I really want to elope in Elbow, SK. If we could (depending on restrictions), we would like to bring my FHs 2 best friends, his 2 parents, my sister, and my 3 best friends. The issue with this is

- almost all of the guests live in the hometown, which is 4 1/2 hours from Elbow. The hometown is also 3 hours from the city, they were willing to make that drive but the extra 1 1/2 hours seems too long especially with the gas and paying for a hotel stay, etc.

- I don’t want to invite all 8 and have a total of 12 (with officiant, photog, FH and I) then find out that the max group that can meet is 5 and then we have to disinvite people

2. We sent out invitations for the original wedding (50+ people) last October because we were excited, but now

- I don’t know how to tell everyone else that we’d like to get married this year with a smaller group and not have a celebration the year after. We would rather spend the money on something else, rather than a fancy celebration a year later, especially since people would want us to do a vow renewal and that doesn’t make much sense to me since it was a year prior and that makes me nervous


Any advice?

12 Comments

Latest activity by Monique, on May 5, 2020 at 20:16
  • Monique
    Devoted August 2020 Saskatchewan
    Monique ·
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    That’s true and it’s not like we’re moving to Mars after getting married lol. We are working on an announcement card to send to people right now, it’s a howler since we have a Harry Potter theme. Yeah, backyard bbqs are nice plus I’m sure it’ll be more relaxed. That’s a good point, thanks

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  • Eden
    Frequent user August 2021 British Columbia
    Eden ·
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    People might be upset but they will get over it. At the end of the day it's your special day and it's not about spending lots of money on having a big party. You can always send everyone you would have invited a card after of a picture of your elopement. I think we are also going to do a backyard BBQ potluck for our family who won't be at our elopement ceremony, but that won't really cost us anything. I think you can keep the registry up if you want, some people will still want to send you gifts, and it doesn't hurt keeping it up even if most people don't use it.
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  • Monique
    Devoted August 2020 Saskatchewan
    Monique ·
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    Hi Eden, yes we just cancelled the venue today. We considered postponing the reception but ultimately decided to not have the reception. It’s just too much money, too much stress and having a vow renewal didn’t sit right with us. Yeah, it is a good excuse to elope although Im worried that people will be upset that we aren’t having a celebration later. We might do something in our hometown in a backyard or something in a couple years, but definitely not going to push the celebration back and keep it at the hotel. Especially when there’s a big music festival planned for the same weekend next year. It felt really awkward talking to the venue about cancelling because they were asking “oh you’ve got a 50 person guest list? We’re currently helping people scale back their weddings to that amount” and I felt like she was saying “why are you cancelling, it’s not a big deal” or something. Do you think we should take down our registry? We were going to because I figured no one would send gifts which makes sense to me, they’re not attending the reception anymore yknow?

    Thanks! We have a few possible officiants and we were able to keep our photographer as well!

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  • Eden
    Frequent user August 2021 British Columbia
    Eden ·
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    Have you put anymore thought into what you might be doing? We recently rescheduled from August 21st of this year to the same date in 2021. We were already planning a small elopement with just family but as we live out of province we didn't feel comfortable flying in just a few months (or driving for 5+ days).

    I totally understand not wanting to have the larger celebration after. We had planned on doing the same thing but as the expenses just got higher and higher we decided to just forget it and use the money for a honeymoon instead. It really depends on what you want. The pandemic is a great excuse for eloping (if that's what you want) and your guests will understand, also you don't have to spend thousands of dollars on one day to make your guests happy if you don't want the big party. Just send out another card explaining the situation and that you will be eloping. Don't expect as many wedding gifts but I'm sure you will still get some even from people not attending.

    As for your elopement ideas, 12 seems like a reasonable number to plan for. Those who are invited will be well aware that depending on how the situation progresses they may or may not be able to make it, and you will have to think of a backup plan as well. The date is only 3+ months away, it's better to decide sooner rather than later. As it is you may have a hard time finding a photographer and officiant on this short of notice, but you also have the flexibility of moving the date a few months as well if you wanted to give yourself more time.

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  • Monique
    Devoted August 2020 Saskatchewan
    Monique ·
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    That's very true

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  • Amelia
    Master October 2020 New Brunswick
    Amelia ·
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    Or it could be flipped right side up!
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  • Monique
    Devoted August 2020 Saskatchewan
    Monique ·
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    No one has reached out and asked, so I'm not sure. That's true, everything can be flipped upside down in a matter of a few weeks.

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  • Monique
    Devoted August 2020 Saskatchewan
    Monique ·
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    Thank you, we saw photos and thought it would be a great new plan. That's a good idea about putting out feelers! We talked to my FMIL yesterday and she was up for the elopement, but said we didn't have to make any decisions yet which is throwing me off.

    Yeah, I guess we'll just have to be super upfront about it.

    Thank you for that last part, it's really easy to worry about people getting upset/disappointed so I appreciate it! Haha it was very helpful!

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  • Amelia
    Master October 2020 New Brunswick
    Amelia ·
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    It's up to you. Sooner isn't a bad idea, in case people are worried about not being able to afford it or needing to reach you to cancel. Things could get better, but you can also use this as a reason to change your plans if that is what you want.

    If you know you don't plan on going ahead with the original wedding you could tell the bulk of your guests as soon as you like. The latest I would think is June.
    The people you hope can join you on your elopement you could let know of the plan, making sure they realize that a lot could change and you might need to go on without them. We've all seen how much things can change in a few weeks!
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  • Monique
    Devoted August 2020 Saskatchewan
    Monique ·
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    Thank you for the advice! When do you think we should let people know that plans may change? We talked to my FMIL yesterday and she suggested waiting awhile because things could get better. It's not that I think things will get worse, but I don't think people will be able to afford to attend, etc.

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  • K
    Devoted August 2021 Nova Scotia
    Kl ·
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    Sounds like a stunning new location! In terms of the issues you’ve mentioned, I have a couple thoughts. First, the extra 1.5 hours of driving distance. Obviously I don’t know anything about your guests’ financial situations (and gas is expensive - though less so these days!), but this doesn’t strike me as a huge deal. It sounds like your group consists entirely of VIPs (apart from the vendors), all of whom presumably love and care about you and your fiancé a great deal. It’s not as though you’re asking casual acquaintances to make the trip. I personally would not bat an eyelash if my child/sibling/best friend asked me to travel four hours and put myself up in a hotel for their wedding ceremony. Especially if they had to make the heartbreaking choice to cancel their wedding as originally planned - Id be even more inclined to accommodate their wishes and enhance their day in whatever way I could! All that said, it obviously can’t hurt to put out feelers and get everybody’s thoughts on the extra driving time before committing to anything.
    The issue of potential cuts based on gathering restrictions is a little stickier. But really, it’s out of your control, as I’m sure your group will appreciate. I would just be transparent about what your plans are in the event you’re legally required to scale things down. These are your closest people and I’m sure they’ll be flexible and understanding.
    Onto the last issue, I can’t imagine anybody giving you flack about your decision to forego an eventual reception/vow renewal. I’m sure nobody is more disappointed by the cancelation of your wedding than you and your fiancé. If anybody gives you a hard time or makes snide remarks about not getting to celebrate, that reflects poorly on them - not you. Your would-be guests can celebrate your marriage with you in other ways. They can take you to dinner at some point down the road. You could host a casual barbecue. I’m sure any reasonable person will make efforts to celebrate with you in this manner and not add salt to the wound re: your decision to cancel. Anyway, that turned into a novel, so I hope it was somewhat helpful! Follow your heart and good luck.
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  • Amelia
    Master October 2020 New Brunswick
    Amelia ·
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    I think you can make an announcement that is basically "due to the current situation we have decided to elope and spend our wedding fund on our future together. As much as we wish we could have everyone share our special day we simply could not wait until next year to be married". I feel like people are a lot more understanding right now because this is affecting everyone, and no one wants to be the reason that someone they love gets sick.


    As far as your elopement, maybe tell people your plan and let them know that it may change and as much as you want them there if the government doesn't allow it you will have to go on without them. If in the end the people are the most important part you could push the date in the hopes that the gatherings can be a little bigger and elope with a few more people. Prioritize the family, and let the friends know that you really hope they will be allowed to come.
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