@ontbride: Yes I eloped for my first marriage AND my second marriage! I cannot find anyone else on the internet who has a same story. The two weddings were drastically different though.
My first marriage (2002)- he needed my health insurance to get some life saving surgeries. So we went to the county clerk’s office, she stood up from her desk and we did it right there. We didn’t dress up (kind of like church attire, but we don’t go to church). We had no rings, and that was awkward when she asked in the middle of the ceremony for the rings. Uhmmmm, we don’t have any. The paperwork took longer than the actual ceremony. In a goodie bag that they gave to us, it included info on pregnancy, a sleezy romance novel and laundry detergent sample. So odd and random. We went to lunch and then we went back to work. Very uneventful. Price tag: $40 for license, $30 for lunch for four people.
My ex had his surgeries (turned out to be three of them, he also go addicted to pain killers and more for the rest of our marriage!) and then we had celebration parties at his home state and my home state 4 months later. My family had never met him before even though we’d been dating 2.5 years at that point. The parties much resembled my high school reunion – very laid back.
So I did not like how any of that went down. At all. I felt slighted. Maybe it was more because I married a jerk.
This time around, I wanted something more of a wedding. I wanted it to represent my new H and I. I wanted it to be in the mountains outdoors. I tried to plan a DW – that was not good. I tried to do an immediate family only wedding – they were not interested. Luckily my H was very supportive and was on the same page as me for our wedding. He was also starting to lean towards and elopement. It was his first marriage.
Alas, it was time to elope again. But we were going to do it BIG and how we wanted! We wore full wedding attire – I had a lace Casablanca gown, H wore a suit. We got married while on a weddingmoon up in Canada. We used an elopement package that was part of a historic Canadian lodge overlookng a glacier lake in a national park. It was just spectacular and it was perfectly us! Who goes hiking the morning of their wedding? We did! PM me if you want to see photos.
Now, it is a little odd that my family has never seen me get married – twice now. But the freedom, the flexibility, the lack of stress – I have to promote eloping now. It was really the way to go. Turned out better than anything that would have included my family. We did host a very casual local party one month later. Very casual as in no family was invited – they all would have had to flown in. It was not that fancy of a party to warrant flying in – more to celebrate my recent graduation, our new deck, and the marriage. I tried to not focus on the wedding part and just make it a party. Plus we only planned it all in one week.
The wedding and all things wedding related (photographer, officiant, three course wedding dinner, flowers, etc). turned out to be about $3300. The 11 day road trip to Canada was about $3700. We did both fancy lodges, regular hotels, and camping all in that trip.