So you had a covid elopement, but still want a wedding… do you need an officiant? #Advice#Invitation advice#coronavirus wedding#eloping#getting wedding#invitation wording Posted Feb 8 2021 Offbeat Editors Photo by Laura Diliberto Photography We recently got this question from an Offbeat Bride named Samantha: Hello, I was wondering about tips for people who don't want to have an officiant. As in, we get married legally beforehand, and then we're having the wedding afterwards. In this Coronavirus era, where many couples are choosing to elope or have microweddings out of concern for not wanting to gather in large groups, we're likely going to be seeing lots of these kinds of questions. There are going to be lots of folks who get legally married in 2020 for all sorts of reasons, who then are looking for ways to celebrate with their communities once it's safer to do so… hopefully that's this year! Here at Offbeat Bride, we've long had a word for this kind of thing: GETTING WEDDINGED! This is the cheeky phrase we use for having something that looks like a wedding, after you've already gotten legally married. A few of our favorite examples of "getting weddinged" that we've featured over the years… Related Post Stacy & Mike's nerdy after-the-legal-wedding party Stacey & Mike had a post-legal-wedding handfasting. Stacey had her mom, whom she described as her best friend, be one of her bridesmaids and she wore a beautiful long red… Read More Related Post Zillah & Jon's handfasting picnic wedding in a field Zillah & Jon wanted a simple wedding. So they rented a field and had a picnic/mini-festival wedding. Even though it was in a field they were still able to have… Read More Related Post Avalon & Daniel's gothic faerie wedding Avalon (her awesome faux-hawk) & Daniel got weddinged at a mansion. They had a gothic faerie, victorian theme and were married by the powers of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Read More Related Post Lilana & Eric's Doctor Who vegas elopement and victorian wedding Up next for elopement week is Lilana & Eric. Eric surprised Lilana with a treasure hunt that led to a Doctor Who themed elopement in Las Vegas. You may remember… Read More As you can see, there are a ton of different ways to "get weddinged." Technically, these events are really just a wedding reception… Samantha is right that you don't need an officiant in any legal capacity. That said, couples who decide to have a ceremony component at their celebrations often choose to have someone acting as an officiant, but it's more just to have someone MCing the ceremony. Whoever is officiating does not need to be officially ordained… nor do you actually need to have a ceremony component at all! Really, "getting weddinged" can look like anything you want it to. You could structure the day just like a wedding, but with a friend officiating instead of an ordained minister. Alternately, you can structure it more like a reception — you're just hosting the big party part of the wedding, without the ceremonial part. The only real etiquette issue is being clear with guests about what the event is and what to expect. Some folks are very sensitive about thinking an event is a "real wedding," only to later learn that the legal ceremony had already happened. This gets into some weird cultural baggage around legality, what "a real wedding" even means, and the whole ugly concept of gift grabs… but the main thing you need to know is that it's important to be very clear in your invitation about what the event is. If you need advice on that, we've got it! Related Post How to write honest already-married wedding invitations (when you're already legally married, but having a wedding anyway!) We sent out our Save the Dates. We're having a pretty relaxed, but pretty big, picnic wedding in a park. I'll wear a white dress, he'll wear a suit, there… Read More PREVIOUS How to have an affordable destination micro-wedding NEXT Unique wedding hashtag ideas NOT about last names Show/Hide comments [ 0 ] Join the conversation Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Sign me up for your offbeat awesomeness newsletter! No-drama comment policy Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. Make sure you're familiar with our no-drama comment policy. Biz owners & wedding bloggers Please just use your real name in your comment, not your business name or blog title. Our comments are not the place to pimp your website. If you want to promote your stuff on Offbeat Bride, join us as an advertiser instead.