Post # 1
My BF and I have been seriously talking about marriage after I explained to him why it is important to me and why now (we have been friends for 7 years and together for 5 years). Firstly I love him more than life; secondly I want us to be a family. I never had a proper family structure with a mom and dad. My parents divorced when I was 2 and my brother 8 months. My dad chose to not be part of our lives and we grew up with my mom, grandparents and uncle all in one house, I consider this my only family. Of my family only my uncle and brother is left, my mom past away when I was 18, this was 16 years ago now. Having a huge wedding and searching for her in the crowed, will just hurt too much, I still miss her, and this the first reason for my wish to elope! Anyway, I would like to have kids too, but not now, and I would like to have them in a secure family environment. He agreed with me, and said that it was about time. I have to mention that we both have commitment issues, his parents divorced too about 10 years or so ago. This brings me to the second reason to elope, my BF’s mom would use any opportunity she can find to get to his dad and hound him for or about something. A wedding should be about two people becoming one, and nothing ells. The love and happiness of the bride and groom should be the only focus on a wedding, and anyone who detracts from that is selfish. The third reason is money, as with most elopements, we purchased a home a year ago and would rather spend the money on remodeling.
I have been thinking of going to a historical sight to have the ‘ceremony’, arrange a professional photographer, have nice wedding outfits for the both of us (I would like to make my own dress and a waistcoat/vest for my BF), then have a nice romantic dinner and spend 2 or 3 nights there. We are planers and struggle with impromptu events; therefore we will be planning the whole elopement. I would like to tell all family and friends beforehand, and have decided that if my BF’s mom or dad has a very bad reaction to our plans to elope, that I might consider a VERY small wedding (however not sold on the idea). My BF would like to have an e.ring made for me, that’s very special…
Please tell me about your experiences and how to best handle the parents, family and friends. Please include some pictures; I enjoy looking at all the undiluted joy, love and happiness!
Post # 2
I am actually in the same boat as you. My reasons are a little different, I am severely anxious and don’t like the idea of all the formality and attention placed on me. I also don’t like the idea on spending thousands to feed and entertain guests when the wedding is supposed to be about our union and love. I also dont like the idea of kissing my partner on front of his and my whole family.
We are also planners, so this is what we have decided to do:
If all goes well and our parents are ok with us having a private ceremony with just the two of us, we are telling everyone beforehand at out engagement party. We will then go on our “honeymoon” cruise to Alaska(or Canada), on which we will have the ceremony and get married and then enjoy the rest of our honeymoon.
Then we will come home and have a celebratory party for us being married, kinda like the reception but less formal.
I think it is a great idea, since especially in Australia, for the basic, low key wedding I want I would still be forking out 15K, and we would rather put that into savings for kids or our first house or something. 15k is a lot for just one day of memories.
Post # 3
Congrats on your decision to elope. I sometimes wish that I did. Weddings tend to evoke stress and drama from even the most even-keeled people. I was just crying today in regards to money issues. I am not going to go into debt, but I am upset that prices seem to keep “going up” every time I turn around. It is hard to budget when you can’t figure out the costs of certain things… Sigh…
Even if your BF’s parents have an issue with you eloping, do what you want. It is not about them. Maybe you could get a videographer, so that the folks who would like to see the event still could view it at a later date… I have NEVER heard anyone saying that they wish that they had a bigger wedding. I am only having 50 people, and it is a pain in the behind! I wish we would have eloped overseas, but we may do that for a vow renewal, just the two of us! Good luck ladies! I am sure that your elopements will be amazing!!!
Post # 4
GypsieFlower, You plane sounds wonderful!!
Bebelicious, Money seems to govern a lot!
Something ells I was thinking of is, even if we decide to do the whole wedding thing – would it really be the way we want it? Because on a tight budget one can only do that much, and it seems that most settle for a wedding that is ‘almost’ what they wanted. I would rather have what we want and what is comfortable for us financially and emotionally. I imagine myself excited and walking on air while planning the elopement (I am already, and we haven’t even picked out a ring yet!), with lots of special little things happening along the way. I imagine a bubble feeling in my gut from all the love that’s in the air, NOT from my IBS acting up because of all the stress of planning a wedding!
My BF is very sensitive to his dad’s likes and dislikes, so should he not like our idea we will almost guaranteed have a small wedding. Let’s hope all works out for the best…
We have such a special relationship; we are like conjoined twins, strangely we are both strong-willed and hardheaded go-getters that want to be in charge. When it comes to ‘us’ it just works, like a well-oiled machine. Weird, but true…
Thanks BEEZZZZ for your input!
Post # 5
- Wedding: October 2014 - Cape May
Beedoglady: I support your desire to elope and will share our plans that are very similar. We had a formal wedding lined up with 60 guests and a few months ago we cancelled it entirely and will elope instead. Money was a huge factor and frankly my anxiety couldn’t handle planning a wedding all by myself in addition to working and attending college full time. Additionally my dad is very sick and I didn’t want to waste precious time that I could be spending with him. My in laws were completely not supportive of the new arrangement at all, mainly my MIL and SIL. I emailed or spoke to each and every guest personally to explain the new plans because save the dates had already gone out when we cancelled.
We will get married on the beach in a quaint Victorian town about 3 hrs from us. We asked our 2 best friends to be our witnesses and hired the officiant who is doing a very personal ceremony complete with Rose exchange. I am wearing a full on wedding dress and FI will wear his favorite suit. We have shared the elopement details with everyone and let them know they are more than welcome. But don’t expect a wedding reception or anything. It’s just us committing our love to each other.
Post # 6
I completely understand and support your desicion to elope! were eloping not because of finances but we own our first home already but much rather put it towards our mortgage and try to pay it off within 4 to 5 yrs. I have close friends and family members who aren’t very supportive with the route we decide to take. But so be it, they arnt paying for our wedding we are. Our plan is to get married in city hall with 12 close friends who support us. I picked out a simple white dress with a birdcage veil and fiancé is wearing his suit. We’re hiring a photographer for a couple hours during our civil ceremony and after. We plan to have a intimate dinner with our 12 friends then after party in our home.
Post # 7
I am going to make a full on wedding dress too, 50’s tea length with a veil and everything and I would like to make my BF a waistcoat. I am planning to incorporate a unity ceremony. It is not that I do not want a proper ceremony; it is just that I can’t justify the whole event of a reception and all the bells and whistles.
I have a strong believe in love, and value it dearly! My mom instilled that in me. I respect it and what it stands for. To me it’s not about a huge flashy ring, a designer gown or an extravagant wedding reception. I will even go as far as to say it is not about the money ether. To me it is about the true honest companionship that will last a lifetime. Money I can make, but love I can’t buy…
The more I hear about weddings from friends of friends, and listen to what they are worried about and why. The more I am convinced that I am making the right decision.
One day many years from now my husband should look at me and I at him, and we should see our best friend, the most sexiest person ever, a lover, a confidant and an extension of one’s self… Even if it has been 50 years and gravity has set in and hair is growing more on the back than the head and all that…
Post # 8
- Wedding: December 2014 - Maui
Beedoglady: My fiancé and I also are planning our elopement, in Hawaii over winter vacation. Our reasons are:
- Family. My only family in my mind is my mom and my brother. My dad wasn’t around and I hardly know my extended family.
- Location. I live in Japan, away from my mom and brother in the US, and they are too poor to travel anywhere. Mom is not in good enough health to travel anywhere. My extended family most likely wouldn’t have the means to travel either.
- Friends. I’m the type of person who knows a lot of people, and there are some friends I hang out with every month or so, but I have no really close friends near me. My childhood best friend is in the states and my best friend in Japan lives too far away. I pretty much only hang out with my fiancé.
- Fiancé’s family and friends. My fiancé is an only child, but has a huge extended family which he isn’t close to. He also knows tons of people but doesn’t have a lot of close friends either. We talked about it and we could muster up a list of around 70 people we could invite to a wedding if we had one, but my nearest and dearest wouldn’t be able to make it, and we’d just be surrounded by people we know but aren’t super close to or had to invite out of obligation, so it feels kind of pointless to bother with it.
- Japanese weddings. Neither of us really like Japanese wedding style. Casual and intimate is not really a thing here, it is mostly big, gaudy, and expensive. Very traditional, very formal, and pretty much all weddings are the same. Hotels are like wedding factories and they just crank through 3 weddings a day every Saturday and Sunday with very Vegas style set wedding plans. We started checking venues and did find a few laid back places we like, but they were either too expensive for us, or maybe too informal to invite older, more traditional people on his side.
- Priorities. Good wedding photos and my wedding dress were my top priorities, I couldn’t care less about flowers, tablecloths, colors, etc. So picking a package in Japan would be a plus of a wedding here because they take care of every little detail for you, but that also means I couldn’t choose my photographer and I would have to choose my dress from what they have available in their rental shop (rental is standard and still costs average $2000 to rent, you have to pay extra if you want to bring your own dress and not use the venue’s rental shop). I am 5′ 10″, not a size 2 like most Japanese girls, and I don’t want to look like a Disney princess like most of the dresses here. I wasn’t totally sold on the photography/dress choices for the venues we were considering.
- Legality. Kind of related to the above point, but in Japan, wedding ceremonies are not even legally binding. They get married in fake Christian churches by fake ministers because it’s considered romantic and trendy. There are traditional Japanese ceremonies in shrines that do hold some cultural significance, but that doesn’t feel right for us either. The only way to get legally married is at the city hall anyway. So everyone does the legal paperwork first and has their “wedding” weeks or even months later. I think that adds to the showiness of it and detracts from the significance of the ceremony for me. I don’t judge people who have to do it that way, do what works for you, but for me it is important that if we have a ceremony I want it to be legally binding, otherwise I don’t see the point of paying so much for just the “blessing” that neither of us really believe in and in the case of the fake Christian churches isn’t even real.
- Cost. We wanted to save money on the wedding as much as possible, and we really wanted to go on a trip. Flights and hotel for a week in Hawaii, with a legal wedding ceremony by a real minister, with a great photographer and a dress I choose myself, just costs less than the typical big flashy 2-hour Japanese wedding show. Honeymoon and wedding, two birds with one stone.
- Timing. A lot of my friends finish their work contracts and return to their home country this summer, so if we were going to have a wedding I wanted to do it asap so they would be here to be able to attend it. However, my fiancé isn’t doing too well at work now and didn’t feel it would be right to have a wedding until next summer at the earliest. He would be too embarrassed to invite his coworkers if we had it soon (you have to invite coworkers in Japan). He is fine with getting married and I suggested just doing the city hall thing only and being done with it, but he said he still wants to do a ceremony at some point. I didn’t see the point of having a ceremony if we were already married on paper. So we went around in circles trying to set a date.
- Stress. Neither of us want to be the center of attention. I also don’t want to be stressed out worrying about pleasing others and meeting their expectations.
- Parents’ blessing. My mom had only ever eloped and suggested we do the same. His parents said they weren’t planning on having a wedding ceremony but were pressured into it, so they encouraged us to do whatever we want.
- Dream wedding. Honestly, I never dreamt about a big fancy wedding, and elopement had always kind of been my “dream wedding”. I liked the ease and romance of it. It wasn’t until I got engaged and people started asking me about wedding stuff and saying they want to come to my wedding and such that I even considered having one. When my fiancé and I were getting frustrated trying to decide on a place and set a date, that’s when I threw out the idea of doing it just us somewhere tropical, like Hawaii. He was on board, and it was like a huge weight was lifted.
Well that got long, but as you can see we had many reasons to decide a “planned elopement” made the most sense for us. I was still nervous to tell my friends, because I was afraid they were looking forward to our wedding and would be disappointed. Everyone I told was totally cool with it except for my best friend in the US. She got very upset and said she felt like I was excluding her from my life. But she is the type to idealize weddings and considers them the most important day of one’s life so I expected her to react that way. After the initial shock she said she is happy if I am happy and gave me her blessing, so all is good now. The only thing I regret now is not being able to schedule it sooner. We booked everything in May but we have to wait until December to actually go because that is the only time we can take time off!
Post # 9
Me and my SO are younger than you (were 22) but kinda in the same boat. My mom died when I was 11 and my dad died when I was 16. My boyfriends mom died when he was 16 also. We met a couple of months after she died and have been together ever since. He thinks weddings are a waste of money and mentioned eloping first. I wasn’t too thrilled because I’ve always dreamed of my wedding but I decided that planning a wedding with only 1 parent between the two of us would be really hard. I’m an only child and my grandfather basically raised me and he is going to die before I’m married probably so that’s another thing that would make me sad. We designed my engagement ring and it has diamonds from both of our moms rings so I can’t wait to have them with us forever!!
We plan on going on a once in a lifetime trip to bora bora and having a ceremony while were there and have a reception when we get back home!
Post # 10
My FI’s mom died when he was young and his dad doesnt live in the country, my dad has already said he probably wont be able to fly out for a wedding and I was having some issues with my sisters, so we’ve decided to elope and invite my mom and FI’s brother as witnesses, and then will probably have a dinner or something sometime after to celebrate with friends. I just didnt much see the point of spending the money and time planning something I wasnt going to be happy with when ultimately whats important to me is marrying him. The most important people in our lives will be there as witnesses and that works for us.
Perhaps if his parents have issues with your elopement you could ask them to come as witnesses? Most states require them anyway, so if it will make them feel better to be included and also make it so you both can get what you want, its a win win
Post # 11
koiocha: You sound very well organized! Congratulations and all the best! I like you plan… I have a friend that I have had since I was about 4. She is also not sold on the idea of us eloping. However she has a mom and dad and 2 brothers and everybody loves and likes (the important part) each other. So needless to say a full on wedding for her would be perfect. She made a comment of now only my BF/FI will see me in my beautiful wedding dress, my response to that was whether I elope or have a wedding he’s the only one I am wearing the dress for anyway. She then, I think, understood better.
Serey: Thank you!
ksn1219: You are so young yet understand love! Congratulations and lots of blessings!
a_day_at_the_fair: The problem with inviting his mom and dad is they can’t stand each other! That will then turn in to an issue for me, as I will then have to invite my uncle and that will snowball in to having to invite his sister and my brother and so the start of planning a wedding! I think it best to focus on us and do what is comfortable for us. The photographer and a person from the venue are welcome to witness…
Post # 12
Beedoglady: A photographer normally wont count themselves as a witness, just fyi and depending on your venue they might not offer/provide witnesses. its something you’ll have to investigate while planning
Post # 13
a_day_at_the_fair: Thanks for the advice; I will definitely look in to that.
Post # 14
Our photographer was willing to be a witness as what her second shooter (who did not arrive due to being sick though). Best to just ask before hand.
We had a planned elopement as well which was in Canada (neither of us are Canadian). We just really wanted mountains honestly. Something with spectacular views. After two tries to get the family out to us in our state for a wedding and discovering how much of a hassle it really was and how much people really just did not care, we just decided to go somewhere we’ve always wanted to visit and make it a vacation. Best decision ever.
Just this weekend we were at a wedding. The venue was amazing, the food amazing, the views, the party – all of it really really fun. But H and I looked at each other and said, “That was really fun and all but what a pain in the butt!” We were glad we did not go that route. Everyone is different though.
Post # 15
sienna76: I will check beforehand, thank you! I feel the same; to please everyone at the same time will be next to impossible! Spending my wedding day so stressed I lose sight of what is really happening and how tremendously important the event is-is just not worth it! It’s our day, and I would like to keep it entirely about us!