What are the downsides (or upsides) to eloping? Is it worth upsetting family?

posted 3 years ago in Elopement
Post # 2
6784 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: March 2014 - A castle!

IncredibleShrinkingBride:  At first we wanted to elope – after getting totally overwhelmed when we made a guest list that included over 200 family and friends. Then the thought of not having anyone at all freaked us out too. We met in the middle and had an intimate 20ish person ceremony followed by a luncheon. We included immediate family and closest friends. I just ran the numbers, and although it wasn’t as inexpensive as I thought it was, the whole thing cost just over $5k.

Post # 3
6073 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

IncredibleShrinkingBride:  You know my husband also said that eloping would kill his mother.  Then his mother saw all the hardships we were having (my father was dying and ended up passing away 45 days before our “would be” wedding date, which we had cancelled in advance). 

She surprisingly told us, “I would not be surprised if you two just ran away and got married and called us later to update us.”  We were really shocked she was possibly OK with this!  My mom really did not care to see a wedding neither did my sisters.  So the part about upsetting family doesn’t apply to my family.  I really think they were relieved that we eloped (no traveling required on their end). 

H has a sister and she never expressed any interest or anger about not going honestly, so I really don’t know what she thought.  She was going through a foreclosure, her H was laid off, and they have two small children, so I’m thinking the elopement was a blessing for her. 

In the end we had a private wedding/elopement in the Canadian Rockies.  We only invited his parents since they were so incredibly sweet during that emotional time.  The others were not uninvited, it’s just we were sure they would not go (afterall they couldn’t come to our own state for a wedding, so we decided to go where we really wanted).  They were the only ones that seemed like they wanted to be there too.  So they showed up (who else can drive to Canada for a Tuesday wedding with 15 days’ notice but retired people???)

So in summary, A) the parents might not be as traumatized as you might think or expect, B) consider inviting just the parents possibly?  In the end, I really think people will get over it and it won’t ruin their year if they don’t go to a wedding.

As someone who did a destination private wedding, I definitely recommend this route for sure! 

I was married before too and had no family their either.  i thought I would like to see my family’s faces there on my wedding day and now I may  never get a chance at that again, but honestly the amazing wedding day we had that was completely stress free was a nice trade off for me.  I know I would be worried about their comfort and enjoyment level the entire time, not to mention whatever drama my mom would have stirred up. 

It was nice to turn to H’s parents to hug them and get photos, but I do think we would have been fine if they were not there as well.  I am glad that they came.

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 7 months ago by  sienna76.
Post # 4
7013 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

IncredibleShrinkingBride:  I would much rather my children took the path of FutureDrAtkins:  than eloped. I think it’s reasonable for your parents, who raised you, to expect to see you get married. I do not think it’s reasonable of parents to expect you to go into debt paying for the big wedding for every single member of the extended family. I think if you do the small intimate wedding your parents might be a *little* disappointed, but they would be far more disappointed to not be at the wedding at all. As a parent myself, that’s how I’d feel anyway.

Post # 5
328 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: February 2014

IncredibleShrinkingBride:  we originally wanted to elope but started planning a small wedding for family then abandoned that when he surprised me on a trip to elope. It was the best day. We got married in the early afternoon followed by pictures around the area until happy hour and an amazing dinner. We did celebrate with parents and siblings the next day with a great dinner out. I don’t think I could’ve been this happy with a typical wedding. We do have some people that are upset about us eloping but they just mostly dislike they didn’t get to celebrate than us actually eloping. Everyone seemed happy that we finally got it over. I thought I could never do it without some people there but really it didn’t matter in the end. 

Post # 6
382 posts
Helper bee

IncredibleShrinkingBride:  I don’t have much helpful advice but I can commiserate with you because I am wondering the same thing. I don’t think that FI and I would regret it at all because we’ve talked about it and are more excited about committing our lives to one another than the wedding itself. FI is only hesitant because he’s worried that my parents and family will be upset. There would likely be some blowback and disappointment but ultimately I know everyone would get over it. Ultimately, they love us and want us to be happy. If I can get FI on board, figure out the logistics and ways to still make the day special for us we will most likely go this route.

Another bee posted a thread a few weeks ago that encouraged me about the possibility of eloping. I’ll paste it below so you can check it out. Good luck and best wishes with whatever you decide!



Post # 7
2169 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

We’re having “the big shibang” and with 10 days to go… FH and I are desperately wishing we’d chosen to elope or have a super super small, intimate wedding.  Maybe the latter is a good compromise 😉

Post # 8
239 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

We are having a bit of a comprimise between the ‘big’ wedding and an elopement – maybe this is an option for you? We are going away to the highlands of scotland to get married on a beach with 14 guests and staying overnight at a local country house for dinner etc. Then coming back to Glasgow, where we live,  for a big party (not a wedding reception, just a party at a local hall) which EVERYONE is invited to.

The whole thing is costing about £8,000 and nobody seems to be offended by not being invited to the ceremony, to be honest though we are playing the ceremony down quite a lot to wider family members, despite the fact that it’s the most important bit to us!

Our reasons for choosing to do things this way are that I have been married before (big wedding) and Fi has been engaged and had a wedding called off previously as well. I don’t speak to my parents and didn’t want them there or fro them to have any kind of central role, which they might have had in a more traditional wedding!

Could this sort of compromise work for you?

Post # 9
889 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

I would have loved to elope but I know my family would have been pretty upset (every time I’ve gone on holiday over the last few years they’ve been thinking i’d come back married and used to beg me not to do it lol).

We both have quite large, close families (FI has 5 siblings,  i have 3) but didn’t want a big traditional wedding so have compromised by arranging a DW in Italy with about 70 guests 🙂

Post # 10
122 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

I’m doing something similar to FutureDrAtkins. This is a first wedding for both of our families and I know they would be disappointed not to be invited… so we met in the middle, holding a semi-destination for 13 people total and then throwing massive celebration parties later.

From people I’ve talked to, they just want to be able to celebrate the marriage, not necessarily witness it, so we felt this is a good middle place.

Post # 11
248 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

Spin it that you’re stressed/money’s too tight, and get THEM to suggest you eloping… That’s what I did!

My Mom loves to kick up a fuss and the only way to avoid a fight is to make her think it was her idea. So that’s what we did. 

Post # 12
4645 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

sienna76:  Can you ask your grandma how she’d feel? Maybe she’d be perfectly fine with it? I did that the 2nd time and honestly, it was awesome! (3rd time’s a charm for me, lol!)

Post # 13
3828 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

After the wedding DH said “wow, i wish we just eloped or had a bbq”

Honestly, they WILL get over it.  I would suggest something super small instead. Just your very nearest and dearest and go out to dinner. Really looking back to my wedding, it was a nice day, but i will NEVER deal with that drama again.  There is no point.  I wanted a marriage not a wedding. 

Post # 14
219 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

We are eloping. Neither of us wanted the headache of our families or spend the money. We are doing a sandals wedding and can’t freaking wait. Both of our mothers were a bit disappointed but understand. Well, my mom was a bit more than disappointed but she has since made it “her idea.”

What really helped is that we both independently did not want a wedding. So, it was very easy to take any pressure from anybody. And, any pressure or crap we got from people just further solidified our decision to go away, just the two of us.

What’s also great is that we are having what I would consider an over the top honeymoon with a butler room and everything for less than your budget, including airfare.

We are going to make picture books for everybody when we return and are now thinking of sending them a video.  Then they can have the experience if they want it.

Post # 15
7 posts

We are eloping and after having a load of different emotions recently I’ve now came to the conclusion “screw everyone else…….if they don’t like what we have done or how we chose to do it then I dont care”

It’s our day and we’ve done what we want!

Glasgowgirl – where are you getting married? and when? we are doing similar to you! x

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