Post # 1
To those of you planning to elope…
Let me encourage you. After endless stress, my wedding came off fine, but I must emphasize that it was after endless stress.
I just read a thread over in the reception board about why folks leave a wedding early. Many people responded to say they are happy to leave early if folks don’t give them an endless supply of free booze, if the music is “terrible” (whose tastes are you supposed to please exactly with so many guests of different generations?) The average cost of a U.S. wedding is $28,000, and unfortunately, some of that money gets wasted on guestzillas, who think of the wedding as a nightclub scene, rather than a chance to share in the special day of people they care about.
Elope with just the two of you or a few people close to you. Spend the money you save on your honeymoon or paying off bills or a down payment on a house.
I had a small wedding, kept the costs down, but it still ran close to $10,000 when all was said and done. We are still feeling the financial pinch.
Good luck to all of you.
Post # 3
@Carolsays: I am quite pro-elopement and pro-intimate weddings! Not one lick of stress on our wedding day, and no one to worry or think about! I know I could not have had that if I invited even just the immediate families.
Post # 4
AMEN! I am doing my elopement in our honeymoon destination. Both (including wedding rings) came out to a little under 12k. This is also using miles for flights and staying in Italy for TWO WEEKS.
I can’t grasp paying money for other people to have fun on MY day.
Post # 5
@Carolsays: We eloped in another ciyt because in large part we did not want the wedding becoming about everyone else. Not one regret! Having a cocktail party back at home to celebrate in two weeks, the end. 🙂
Post # 6
I really want to elope someday! I don’t like when I see larger weddings that are tacky and overly cheap and full of people that only come for the booze. I’d rather keep things elegant, and intimate and with only the people closest to our hearts that have been there supporting us from day 1! My SO said he doesn’t care about the details of the wedding and that he would marry me if I was wearing a pair of yoga pants and a t shirt. I’m not THAT laid back and I would still like a designer gown, shoes, cupcakes, and photographer and a nice dinner, but I think we could definitely live without a large party!
I attended a wedding of his cousins during the summer and they had over 100 guests, but they had NO decorations, no catering, and a cash bar, and although they had a photographer there, they did not purchase any prints of the photos and instead just used photos that their friends took on cell phones when the photographer wasn’t looking. She had really rude, mean, and drunk bridesmaids that kept calling her a B and were even drunk before the reception started. They also kept hiking up their skirts to the point where you could see their underwear. The groomsmen weren’t much better, the man of honor was puking in the bathroom and fighting with his girlfriend before he even got to do his toast. Another groomsman was yelling at his girlfriend in the parking lot and she left crying. All of the groomsmen had ripped off their shirts not even half an hour into the dance. One groomsman that was underage and drunk, decided to go for a drive and ended up driving into the middle of a lake a block away from the reception. Once rescue crews and police came, all the guests ran for the hills only leaving the bride and groom, the parents, and my SO and myself at the wedding. To top off the night, while the bride was sitting in the corner crying about everyone leaving and everything going on, the groom was piss drunk on the dance floor by himself yelling, “IDGAD about all that, it’s my wedding day and I wanna DANCE!”
Needless to say, I had dreamed of a big wedding until I saw what it could actually be like… When the night was all over I told my SO, “let’s just elope.”
I’m thinking an elopment in the black hills would be pretty romantic and lovely, and since we’re in MN, it wouldn’t be too far of a drive for us, his family could camp, and my family would fly in no matter where we got married so it might be ideal!
Post # 7
We kinda eloped and it was one of the best decisions we could have made regarding our nuptials. Not a single stress or worry. Big wedding plans are NOT for us.
Post # 8
@Carolsays: We only just got engaged so we haven’t actually started planning yet. I am very pro-elopment. . . however, FI (I love getting to type that!) feels very strongly that he wants our families and people we love most to be with us – which means we’ll be having a smallish wedding (probably no more than 70 people). I feel lucky that both sets of parents tend to be really laid back and try not to give opinions when they aren’t wanted or needed. Fingers crossed we don’t wind up having any issues!
Post # 9
I really wish I wanted to elope. It sounds fabulous! Unfortunately I have quite a few people (aka a LOT) that I couldn’t imagine not having with me at my wedding…the curse of big families!
Post # 10
As a wedding photographer everyone assumes I’m going to have this crazy elaborate wedding.. but nope. I’m getting married in Paris (we are going to France for a metal festival haha), with my closest friends and family. My priorities are us, and our photos so all of our budget goes towards outfits etc, and photography (the girl I booked was rated top 10 in the world and just HAPPENS to be in Paris at that time, so I can only afford 4 hours but that’s perfect haha). I see so many weddings that focus on just the brides wants, like one wedding had a hot pink sequin wall for the backdrop of the ceremony… what guy dreams of getting married in front of a hot pink sequined wall? I want our day to be about US. Not trying to impress hundreds of people, not going in to debt so I can have a blog worthy wedding. Just about our love. My FMIL has offered to pay for the photography, and my boyfriend is paying for the trip to france (flights,hotel and food), since we planned the metal festival trip before, I got a KILLER deal on my dress (a sample for $299 that would have originally cost over 2200+). So after everything is said and done, I’ll probably spend $4000 at the very most, and that includes his $2000 wedding band.
Post # 11
@Carolsays: well said and I cannot agree more…..
The stress, drama, and cost was completely not worth it…..
Post # 12
@Carolsays: I couldn’t agree with you more! My wedding budget is 10,000 as well. We are having a small ceremony on the atlantic Ocean but all I can keep thinking about is how badly I want to just run away with my fiance and elope in Fiji or somthing. If I could do over I would elope forsure!
Post # 13
We are having a small family only reception on our return but yep – intimate is the way to do it and we couldn’t be more excited!
Post # 14
I totally agree with OPs, I’m having a DW in Las Vegas and so far only 4 other people besides me and FI are coming. This in comparison to the 110 person, stress inducing wedding I was planning to do. I ended up having being hospitalized twice because I was trying to please everybody else except us as a couple.
45 days to go, plans are all in place, flights/hotel are booked, cake ordered, dress done…Las Vegas here we come!!!!!!!!
Post # 15
My FI and I are eloping as well. We had plans for a “standard” wedding, but as time went by (and problems continued to mount), we decided to go where are hearts were and do what we wanted for ourselves, not everybody else.
Our entire budget is $2500. That includes my dress, rings, photography… everything.
I have told both of my parents (divorced), brother, and grandmother that they are welcome to come to the beach and witness, if they want (my mom and brother had planned to be visiting from out of town on the wedding day) – but we are not expecting nor planning for anyone to come except my FI’s mom and her SO as official witnesses. There will not be a processional, attendants, music or anything like that. Also, there will be no form of decoration, seating, etc. The only planned celebration is a small dinner that evening with our immediate family to celebrate with them.
I don’t understand why people say that you can only “officially” say you eloped if you run off to the courthouse on a whim. That would mean that you could never “officially” elope in about half of the USA. Most states require a 3-day waiting period, AND an appt. with a judge to have a legal ceremony. To me, a planned ceremony with just you and a few witnesses is considered an elopement as well.
Either way, whatever you call it – an elopement, private ceremony, or small ceremony – you should do what is right for you, not just what the status quo says is correct. Good luck to everyone on your special day!
Post # 16
I agree. My adopted parents and little brother want to be there and I want them there, FI says its okay but I am not telling them until afterwards. If we were to get married and have the big traditional catholic italian wedding his family is known for it would easily cost 40-60,000, there would be drama like no tomorrow, I would be forced to have it in Staten Island, and it’s just way TOO much. We live in PA and are perfectly content to just do our “intimate” wedding with just us, the officiant, and a photographer who has done two different family sessions with us & our dogs, is affordable, and takes AMAZING photography of us. I already have both wedding band and engagement band so that isnt part of the budget but overall I am budgeting 2400 and that includes a lot of extras and DIY projects. We plan to send out really cute announcements afterwards with a petal fold enevelope. I am not interested in gifts as we are both in our early-mid 30s and have owned a house for the last six years so I see no reason to have a huge party afterwards or with his family at all. Mainly we are getting married because we want to start having a family and we both feel like we need to be married before we start trying. We’ve been together 13 years and weathered some really tough times so an intimate wedding that is just about us is perfect.