Elopement announcements and/or save the date??

My husband and I eloped last month. Our “real” wedding got pushed back because of some family strife, so as opposed to stressing over it, we did a little romantic thing just the two of us (and a photographer and videographer). We will be honeymooning in April (6 months after the wedding) and having the reception “on schedule” in September 2009 +/- one year of marriage. We are thinking of having a vow renewal at the reception since it will be our 1 year anniversary and no one saw us take the vows originally.

We have just gotten our pictures back, so we are ready to send out the announcements. We were planning on sending them out to everyone regardless if they will be invited to next year’s event or not, but you say that is in poor form. We plan on booking the hall this week or next, so we will have the September date set, but is it really good to send out Save the Dates 11 months in advance? And if we just sort of “skip over” the people that will be invited to the party, I think they may get insulted, particularly since I have changed my name (a pretty obvious sign that we have gotten married and neglected to formally tell them.)

Rebecca Black, Etiquette By Rebecca

Dear Raenstoirm,

Typically we just verbally inform or email others about it unless we are inviting them to our reception, then they receive invitations. The problem I see with your plans is that you are hosting a one year anniversary party, not a reception. Most people really don’t host a one year anniversary party with guests invited. These parties are usually reserved for bench mark anniversaries. Same goes for the vow renewal. So, if hosting a belated reception, it is best to host it closer to your wedding date. Even so, most of the traditional elements appear odd–first dance, cake cutting, etc.

If you still plan on hosting an anniversary party, send the save the dates now or in a couple of months.

Please note that this is not a gift giving event.

Best wishes,