Post # 1
Bees, I have never been so indecisive about anything in my entire life, and I have just about driven my FI crazy, so I can’t vent to him anymore, ha!
Elopement vs Wedding. I feel like either choice for us is a compromise and won’t be exactly perfect and with no regrets. Some background- we moved at the end of last year 3,000 miles away from our families. We already had a wedding planned for back home, and only a small deposit (less than $1000) is paid. Save the dates went out, but that was it. I did buy my dress, but it was inexpensive, and I am not 100% I still love it anyway.
FI has always been game for eloping for a few reasons- It’s less expensive, and we are saving for a house and our future, and we our paying for the event 100% regardless. He isn’t the keenest person on family and duty, he loves his family but he feels no need to live his life for them (having a weddding to make anyone else happy). While the wedding event has never been important to him, and he’s a private person, he’s willing to bend on that to make me happy.
I’m of two minds, I seem to want each equally, and I keep waffling back and forth between, let’s elope, and let’s do the wedding! I’m afraid to have regrets, and I can see the pros and cons of each, and they both come with different regrets and different pluses.
In the end I feel like I should go with whichever I will regret less, but how to know which that is? It feels like a no-win situation lately.
If you eloped, why and do you regret anything?
If you thought of eloping but didn’t, why not? Do you regret that choice?
Post # 2
This is definitely a difficult choice and one that my husband and I struggled with. But what the decision came down to was that we wanted all of our family members to be there. That really was it.
Post # 3
stephee: I eloped and I only have one regret, that my Mom didn’t get to see me get married. That is part of why I’m renewing my vows, so she can be there. Honestly though, I wouldn’t change the way we did it. It was right for us at the time, and now I have an excuse to marry him again
Honestly, I never wanted a giant wedding with all the craziness. My vow renewal is going to be small, just our kids, siblings, and parents.
Post # 4
There are options to elope with just a handful of guests. Then your parents can still be there, but you get the perks of saving money. If money is an issue for you, I think you will feel the impacts of a tradiational wedding much longer. An elopement can be special and meaningful if you make it that way, it doesn’t just have to be a trip to the courthouse.
Post # 5
- Wedding: October 2014 - Cape May
We actually just canceled our big family wedding recently. Instead were eloping. For us it was a financial decision and honestly we are both so much happier with our decision. Before we settled on eloping we were scraping by to afford anything but now we can put our money towards nicer wedding bands rather than pay for 40 people that wouldn’t recognize us on a Christmas card.
Post # 6
Why not just have a tiny wedding. With just your, your FI and parents. Or elope now and have a vow renewal wedding on your 5/10 year anniversary when you are a bit more settled in life (house, kids etc).
You can always do both anyway. Elope first and if it didn’t feel right or you regretted something you can have a large wedding with everyone there.
Post # 7
stephee: I chose elopement twice now. While I did regret the unspecialness about the first one (got married for health insurance, it was like waiting for your driver’s license to be prepared), I made sure to really make it special when I got married again to my husband. I even went down the whole planning a wedding route with him, but due to familial reasons it was cancelled and we went on a destination elopement.
I do not regret it one bit! Sometimes Plan B is awesome! Sure I may wonder now and then what a gusted wedding would have been like (having missed that boat twice now!), but really we had a fantastic day with beautiful memories. I guess it really depends on the family dynamics. My family could care less and it was a huge burden to get them to come to a wedding.
What about a small wedding with immediate family only?
I’m of the thought that there are MANY pathways to your wedding day – and more than one option is going to work out just fine!
Post # 8
stephee: We had a very similar situation. We moved from GA to CA over 5 yrs ago and all our families are still back in GA. Neither of us wanted to get married there though, so we planned a 100 person wedding in CA near our home, until it got to be too much and we realized how expensive it would be for all our guests, and us too. We scrapped that idea when we discovered for less than half we could get married in an exotic location with little fuss. We ended up at an AI on an island in Mexico and loved every minute of it! We both love our families very much & would have liked them to be there, but we are both adults and having them there or not there doesn’t affect the seriousness or power of our marriage.
It was easy for me because I never really dreamed about a big huge typical wedding at all. My mom eloped at the courthouse when she got remarried and didn’t tell anyone for two weeks afterwards. So I knew she would be okay with it, and my dad is very practical and was ecstatic we would be saving $$ as he saw such a costly one-day event as a waste (and I decided I agreed). My grandmother took it hard, but I skyped with her the day of the ceremony and let her take charge of the celebration we were planning in their home state after the wedding.
DH’s family wasn’t too happy about it, mainly because they were the only ones with the $$ to spend on attending any wedding anywhere we planned. His mother refused to go to mexico saying she would get kidnapped or murdered. Since we were getting legally married in Mexico they required us to have 4 witnesses and using resort staff would have cost extra, and since DH’s mom wasn’t going to come we decided to go with siblings and their SO’s/wives. We had a nice vacation with them for 2-3 days before the ceremony, then they left the day after and we got a nice honeymoon too.
I don’t regret it one bit, and DH is still amazed a year later that we did it that way- he thought it was only for rich ppl or the movies. I have to say, him being so excited for the wedding (even a year later) is what really sealed the deal for me! I would have liked family to be there, but we figured we made that decision a long time ago when we moved we knew they couldn’t be there for everthing….
Post # 9
I can’t answer your main question, but I’m curious – did anyone make travel arrangements based on your save the dates? I once bought a plane ticket shortly after I received the STD, because flight prices were good at the time. A few weeks later, the couple changed their minds and decided to elope. My ticket was nonrefundable, and I was not happy about being led on to buy it when their plans weren’t completely firm. If there is a possibility that your guests have begun to make arrangements, I’d seriously consider the impact on them. I’m all for eloping if that’s what’s right for you, but once you send STDs, guests assume that’s the set in stone plan and begin to plan accordingly.
Post # 10
goblueca: When we had a full on guested wedding planned where every person had to fly in (we just don’t live near anyone), no one had bought any tickets and the wedding was in 4 months! STDs were mailed out 11 months in advance. Anyway, when we cancelled at the 4 month to go mark, we offered to pay for anyone’s ticket up front. No one purchased anything yet. I think that would have been the right thing to do. I am sorry you were out the $. Did you do a change fee at least and use it for somewhere else?
Post # 11
sienna76: That was very thoughtful of you! I ended up making the trip anyway; I had friends in that city so I just visited them. But still annoying!
Post # 12
goblueca: That’s a great question! Since the weding is local to both our families, there were only a handful of people over an hour away. My sister, who hasn’t bought hers; my Uncle, who hasn’t made plans yet and my friend who might not be making it anyway. With just about 4 months to go, people might start making hotel arrangements, but those should be refundable. We didn’t even buy our own plane tickets yet.
Post # 13
I guess part of my own question is my answer- I realized when I said that FI doesn’t live his life for anyone else that I totally do. And that by doing the bigger wedding we can’t afford, we aren’t living for ourselves.
Having just the immediate family is a possibility. My parents are visiting this summer, but his can’t afford to. We could easily pay their airfare. They aren’t big on flying for health reasons though. We could also go back home and have just the immediate family there, but we have some work constraints that make that difficult as well. I feel like I’m just making excuses to myself though, as if I have already decided on an all or nothing approach.
Post # 14
- Wedding: June 2014 - San Francisco, CA
I eloped. Best decision I have ever made. I regret nothing. My parents were a little sad they couldn’t be there, but they TOTALLY understood. At the end of the day, the most important thing was “making it official” – all the rest was details.
It’s a tough call, but remember that whichever you choose, the end result will be the same.