Half way through planning, considering elopement

posted 3 years ago in Elopement
Post # 3
6073 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012



I guess you could first see if your dad’s offer still stands regarding choosing to elope (or if an intimate DW counts as well).


Then you should also price out costs for this DW idea too as well.  DW costs can add up.  A lot of the costs are also transferred to guests who have to buy plane tickets, rental cars, hotels and more.


Did you have a big wedding and regret not eloping? Did you have a similar circumstance? What would you do? How would people react?


This question “regret not eloping when you did a big wedding” might be better in a different forum, as people here did elope.  I did plan a big wedding out of state.  I had the photographer, venue, caterer, officiant, music, cabins all booked and paid for.  The STDs were sent out.  It was set to be in Jackson Hole, which is not cheap at all.


We later cancelled it all 4 months before the date because my father decided to stop all chemo/radiation/surgeries and let the cancer take him.  The doctors gave him 4-6 months left to live – and here we had a wedding planned in 5 months’.  I did not want to have to deal with facing two major events in one month, plus I could now focus on flying home often to see dad. I am grateful we cancelled it.


It was a very emotional time.  I was married before 10 years prior and did not do a wedding.  I felt like this was my chance to do the wedding thing and actually have family present for once.  Then thinking of losing my father at such a young age, fearing I would miss his death (luckily I flew home in time and got to be with him for his last 5 hours of life).


PS – if you’re wondering why we did not do a wedding near him so he could be there – well it was not essential to him (he said he knew and loved H, and don’t let him change our plans) and my sisters openly shared that they did not want to put on “fake happy smiles” so I could get my wedding when we all know what is going to happen.  Everyone and their brother said to do the wedding before he dies, but that is not how my family operates.


I did learn that we are not big wedding material.  We did not have very excited guests/family (this was all before dad’s chemo, etc).  I think they thought it was a huge burden, which it probably was.  I hated spending $$ for a party with lackluster guests!


I don’t think we had a single naysayer in the elopement front.  In fact, I really think they all breathed a sigh of relief when they found out they did not have to buy plane tickets, rent cars, find hotels, budget for restaurants and use their precious vacation time.  Not one person wished they could have been there.  I did try to get our immediate families together as one last attempt (this was after my dad has passed away), but it did not work out and everyone had an excuse.  We had an amazing intimate wedding in one of the most beautiful locations on earth (we could not have gotten this location if we had guests – it was in Canadian Rockies on a Tuesday!).  There was not a single drop of stress, we did not have to worry about tending to others at all, making sure things line up correctly.  It was a day all about us, for us.  It was smoothly and perfectly.  No regrets.


So in the end, I would say do your research, talk to your father about the gifted money.  How much are you two going to be out money wise – of your own money if you follow through?




Post # 4
3667 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I think you should have the wedding you want. However, if you do choose to change things up, I would reimburse those who have already paid out money for your wedding.

Post # 5
2385 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

@nocake:  We were in a similar situation last year planning our wedding. We put the deposits down on the venue, photographer, florist, and were about to put it down on the catering as well when we had a serious conversation about the whole thing and decided it just wasn’t for us. Thankfully most of our deposits we were able to get back, minus a small portion for canceling early (I think it was like 5-10%) so we only lost about $1,000. We started planning for an intimate DW at an all-inclusve in Mexico and the total came up to under 1/2 what we had originally planned back home. We invited a few family members because in Mexico you have to have 4 legal witnesses- my brother & his gf & my new brother in law & his wife. It was minimal expenses for them as well because they would have had to travel across the country anyway for our original plans (we live in CA but both our families are in GA). 

We had a gorgeous day, planning was soo much easier and less stressful, and most of all we don’t regret a minute or cent of it- and I know a huge wedding like we originally planned (while it would have been very nice) would have caused some major buyers remorse later on for us both. We both have hefty student loans and some credit card debt from moving cross-country a few years back so we just couldn’t justify spending what could have paid those off on a single day… 

My family was great with our decision- my mom got married at the courthouse & didn’t tell anyone for a week! My grandmother was a little upset but she’s sensitive & very much into weddings & traditional ones at that so she would have been upset either way as that was never our intentions. DH’s family took it much harder and we had a few rough weeks with his mom, but what it boiled down to at the root of it was that she wasn’t ready to let her 40+ year old “baby” go and had the same issues at every other child’s wedding- which were all quite traditional. We just made the decision to do what made us happy, and make a smart financial decision based on our current situation and future goals. In reality, we are both very rational people so once we realized the only reason we wanted the big wedding was all emotional things we let that go, sat down and really analyzed the reality of the situation and the solution became pretty obvious… 

I hope you two are able to decide what works best for you both- feel free to ask me anything!

Post # 9
6789 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: March 2014 - A castle!

Losing $4,500 is 15% of $30,000. If you decide a wedding isn’t for you, then I think in the grand scheme of things $4,500 lost is not as bad as spending $30,000 and regretting it. Personally, if I were offered the $10k I would 100% take that over a wedding (I’m not having a wedding really, anyways though, so I guess I’m biased?). I would especially take the $10k if FI and I didn’t own our own home. I would put having a house before having a lavish wedding. 

On the other hand, if you have dreamed and pined over this wedding forever, then do it. It’s your one day to celebrate with the love of your life. To me it sounds like you want the wedding and you’re just overwhelmed right now. 

Post # 10
2385 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

@nocake:  We did throw a small inexpensive party for our family & a few friends back in their home state- we just took a flight there from mexico for just under a week before heading back home. We just rented out a bbq pavilion at a state park and our families wanted to bring food as alot of them do not have much $$ to gift with and our families are big on food/potlucks… My grandma went a little overboard with the decorations but it made her happy so we were happy with it (I just had a few tablecloths & single bud vases out but she probably added an extra 100 things that we didn’t really need). We didn’t structure it like a reception though more like a family reunion i guess. We put on some random music, made bbq cooking rotations, put up the laptop with a few pics on slideshow of the ceremony, and just let everyone do their own thing. It worked out really well & everyone had a good time! Wouldn’t work for everyone but it was great for our situation & ended up costing us about $500 (that’s including rental, decor, and 4-5 side dishes for 40 ppl I made with my family the day before). We’re really low-key outdoorsy people anyway- We’d both rather spend a day lounging and bbq-ing by the river than pretty much anything else in the world so it was very “us”…. 

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