Post # 1
Hey everyone! So I’ve been poking around on this board for a bit. My fiance and I got engaged in October and we were in the midst of planning our March 2015 wedding. We booked our venue/catering, photographer, and I got my dress pretty early on. Our vendors are working with us with payment plans because we booked so far ahead of time.
However, we’re starting to feel the crunch. Our budget is around $15K and we’re starting to get concerned that it may be more than that. We have other bills we need to pay and I would much rather use that $15K to pay off our credit card/medical debt before we get married and start off our marriage on solid financial footing. We are paying for the wedding ourselves, without help from family. I will be starting a new job soon (with a big pay raise, yay!), so that may help, and we are moving into a bigger place with my mom soon which may also help us out financially.
Anyway, sorry for the long rant. Bottom line: we are considering elopement. He wanted the wedding at first, and I never wanted to spend an insane amount of money on a wedding. When we first got engaged, the first thing I asked him was “so..can we elope?” I’ve gotten caught up in our planning and I do want the fabulous party and celebration and want our friends and family there, but I don’t want to go into debt over ONE day. I’m so torn! I plan on doing some soul-searching over the next few weeks.
My question is, how did you and your FI come to your decision to elope?
Post # 3
I haven’t actually eloped, BUT I did entertain the idea a bit myself as well, and it was for the same reasons you listed….to save money. It somehow seems to make so much sense to go away to a resort and be married with just the two of us (or two witnessess) without blowing thousands of dollars. And I also just got back from jamaica 3 days ago and while we were at the resort we watched several couples get married right there on the beach, and each time it was just the two of them.
Your reasons make perfect sense. And I’d totally do it; the only thing that would hold me back is knowing how upset some of my family members would be knowing they had missed out on the ceremony (my mom would be piiiisssssed).
Post # 4
- Wedding: June 2015 - Malibou Lake Mountain Club
i so want to elope. Even have like a mini/intimate wedding (immediate family only). Found packages for below $5K in California. Only reason we arent is because my FI feels obligated by his side of the family; which I understand (they are VERY intimate, supportive, loving of us). We are feeling it, BUT, i know i may regret not having everyone there. but i feel you have good reasoning, and fear of going above the budget is scary
Post # 5
@thefuturemrshartley: We talked it over and decided that, for our families, it makes the most sense to elope.
This is not the first marriage for either of us; we’re both in our 40s and he has children. Our lifestyle is pretty casual, and very busy. We decided that eloping, just the two of us, was the best for us.
We can go get dressed up (I have a short khaki lace dress; I’ve got a coordinating outfit for him, and I’ll throw together a bouquet from grocery store flowers en route), go to city hall (license $40, ceremony $50) with our photographer ($50) and then go take photos afterward at an outdoor location our photographer has chosen. Then we’ll go to dinner, just us, at a restaurant we love. We’ll stay in a hotel overnight and relax.
Assuming our dinner will cost as much as $100, our elopement will cost under $400. My birthday is around the same time, so we’ll have our immediate families over for dinner shortly after and we’ll confess then. His 13yo daughter will be making my birthday cake, and I chose a small two-decker model–so that will be our wedding cake. That night we’ll stroll over to our neighborhood bar and invite (via facebook) our friends to join us there for a drink.
We’ll have a pig roast in late summer or early fall for a larger crowd, something very casual.
It just fits us, and we’re very happy about our choices. Intimate, serious, and not missing everything we want in a wedding.
Post # 6
@thefuturemrshartley: We were both married previously, so a large wedding felt weird for us personally. Also, my partner is very much an introvert and planning even a small wedding was giving him major anxiety. Even a small wedding just didn’t make sense for us. I started having major anxiety trying to please everyone – which just isn’t possible. Also worth noting for us that we had planned a wedding before and it didnt’ work out. Once we started jokingly discussing eloping, it started to make sense for us and felt less like a joke. We lvoed it, and it was the perfect choice for us. i will say that it isn’t the right choice for everyone, but from the moment we started seriously dicussing it, anxiety started to go down and we felt wonderful about our choice.
Post # 7
Maybe keep it low key and only invite the most important people in your lives e..g parents, siblings. Have it in city hall or somewhere similar it costs roughly £200-£300 to pay for the lisences and ceromony in the UK which is the minimum, not sure about America. You could probably marry for $1500 in total?
Then go for a meal at a restaurant and ask your family if they could pay for themselves, the same way they would if they were celebrating a different family occasion, like a birthday. They would understand why and probably won’t mind.
Besides, once you have paid of your debts you could re-new your vows for those who missed out or just host a reception style anniversary party.
Post # 8
We’re kind of doing a cross between an elopement and a wedding. We’re going in the early afternoon with our officiant and photographer (and witnesses) to the butterfly house, having a quick ceremony, and doing some pictures (butterflies! yay!). Then we’re meeting our families for a celebratory dinner together. The following evening, we’ve rented out a private room at a bar and have invited our friends to come join us for a small party.
I’m glad we get to get married privately, but I’m also glad we still get to do something else that was important to us: getting our families together. We came to this decision after several months of being engaged and waffling around about actually wedding planning, and realizing that it wasn’t making us happy. As soon as we decided we’d do the ceremony privately, we both felt happier and relieved. And we’re saving a buttload of cash.
Post # 9
You situation is very similar to ours. We’re looking at £15,000 for the day, we’ve found an amazing photographer and an amazing caterer and are ready to pay the deposits…
However, that budget is an elopement plus a downpayment on a house. It’s an elopement plus a car. It’s an elopement plus a high interest savings account and an easy move to the States in a year’s time. There’s just too much we could potentially spend the money on.
So I’ve been more and more tempted by the prospect of eloping, encouraged by some bees. A few days ago, something just completely snapped in me. I stopped worrying about potentially regretting not having the big day and actually stopped wanting it at all. Now I just want to have an amazing read trip with FI and get married somewhere along the way. We’re making the rings in three weeks. We can go a lot sooner than we could get married. I’m ready. He’s not convinced, though, and he’s concerned about his family being upset. He’s pretty open-minded, and I think this really suits him and us, so I’m hoping he might just be where I was a week ago!
Post # 10
@thefuturemrshartley: How smart you are to thiink about what else you could do with that money!
I had a wedding of about 50 people, and it still cost $10,000. Not to mention the stress! My day turned out great, but leading up to it was unbearable stress. I often thought about just eloping instead.
We did not go on a honeymoon – or rather we delayed it until a year later because the cost of doing everything at the same time was too much. I often wondered why I didn’t use the money we were spending on the wedding on a fantastic honeymoon instead.
An elopment or very small wedding. Those of you willing to choose those options are very smart indeed. You could get married much sooner among the many advantages.
Post # 11
@thefuturemrshartley: We just eloped this past week and it was the best decision. We had the wedding planned and everything but it just wasnt working for us so he suprised me with eloping. I dont regret it and even though our families werent there I didnt mind, I got to spend the entire day with him and not get pulled around doing other things. Our wedding was going to be small (under 50) but eloping was the best thing we couldve done. It was nice just being together the entire day and take in each moment.
Post # 12
@thefuturemrshartley: We came to the decision to elope for a few reasons. For one thing, we’ve both been married before. We didn’t feel the need to go through the hoopla again. And for us, just getting married was more important than a party. We also loved the idea of it just being the two of us – so no stress, worry, crazy money to spend. We loved that it was secret and nobody knew – so when we drove down to where we were eloping, I can’t even describe the feeling – it was like a secret mission. We weren’t having to think about guests, food, vendors, etc. Just us.
Also, it’s a great story to tell people! 😉
Post # 13
We decided to elope and are still having a reception back at home. For us, it’s not really going to end up being that much less expensive (because we are going to Europe) but it fits our personalities much better. Plus, there is just something so romantic about just being with each other as we exchange our vows.
You can def do it on the cheap but I’d just point out it’s really easy to still end up spending a significant chunk of change, particularly if you have a party when you return.
Do what is right for you! I haven’t looked back!
Post # 13
thefuturemrshartley: We decided to elope because it really made sense for us as well. This is a second marriage for both of us and like a previous poster we are in our 40’s. We will be having a private ceremony with just the two of us. I found an elope package for $350 that includes the venue, minister and a photographer. We will go out to dinner afterwards and stay at a hotel overnight. We will be having a big BBQ right before we leave for our Honeymoon to Jamaica a few months later and invite our closest family and friends to celebrate!!! I will admit that I did buy a pretty dress and I also splurgled and got an additional photographer to take pictures after the ceremony. I am so happy that my FI was totally on board with this idea. We decided that we would rather buy a house.
Post # 14
Thank you all for your replies! You definitely have given me a lot to think about. We’ve decided to take a little break from everything wedding for a little bit, think things through, and regroup. As of right now, we are only inviting around 80 people to our wedding, but I may be more comfortable with having a very small ceremony/reception limited to close friends and family. My family is really supportive of what we decide to do, whether it’s eloping or having a traditional wedding. So that’s really cool.
@waitingforthering2 – CONGRATULATIONS to you and your husband! That’s really cool that he surprised you with the elopement. 🙂