- 3 years ago
- Wedding: August 2015
It’s a loaded question to ask strangers on the Internet, but I’m willing to take the risk. Here’s what’s going on.
After quickly deciding that neither of us wanted a wedding (mostly because I had no desire to plan one and he hates the idea of having a ton of extended family members and other people we’ll feel obligated to invite), my fiance and I began seriously thinking about eloping. When I brought this up to my parents, both were supportive, and I casually mentioned we might do Vegas. This got my Dad all excited, and one thing lead to another and now both immediate families are expecting to come out to Vegas to watch us exchange vows, which I was completely stoked over.
Until it hit me recently that maybe the reason I wanted to elope wasn’t just because I didn’t want to plan a wedding, but because deep down I really just want it to be the two of us. I was just at a friend’s wedding and I realized how intimate it seems to stand up there and exchange vows. I kept trying to picture us in Vegas with our closest family members and it still doesn’t feel right. I found a package where you can elope in the Valley of Fire park and fell in love with the idea of just the two of us, standing in a desert, promising our love and lives to one another.
But I feel incredibly guilty because I’ve discussed this intimate Vegas wedding enough with my parents that they really think we’re doing this (my dad is offering to pay because he paid for my sister’s wedding). After hearing how excited my dad was at the idea of coming out to Vegas, I don’t want to hurt his feelings or anyone else’s feelings. The other issue is that my FI’s grandmother expressed disappointment when we first brought up eloping (Note to all brides: NEVER ask how someone would feel about what you think you really want to do — just make a decision and stick with it. Asking how they’d react to something you might do just gives them an opportunity to push you away from what you really want and make you feel guilty if you follow through with it anyways). She said she and my FI’s grandpa would be willing to travel to Vegas, but they would have to take a train (because she doesn’t fly) and I think that’s a very long train ride to ask of two people with health problems in their 80s.
So I went back to the drawing board and tried to come up with a scenario that everyone would be happy with. Something in the Midwest (where we’re both from and reside), that’s inexpensive and easy to put together. I’ve looked up everything from going to the courthouse, to picking a park, to even thinking about a backyard wedding at my parents’ house (which the FI vetoed). I can’t find any idea where I’ll truly be happy with what we do. But I can’t seem to stomach the fact that I’d have to tell our families that they can’t come along. There’s this part of me thinking, “It’s about you and him. Who cares if your family is there and it’s maybe at a courthouse instead of a beautiful park? It shouldn’t matter because you love each other, so why not make everyone happy?”
I feel selfish that I can’t say “Let’s just do whatever because at the end of the day, we’ll be married and that’s all that matters.” I’m really wondering whether I’m a terrible daughter/sister because I don’t want them to watch me make the most important commitment of my life. I should add that it’s not that I don’t want to include them at all — I have every intention of getting our immediate families together for dinner, dressed up with cake and everything, for a more intimate/not-as-formal reception if we do elope. It means a lot that I celebrate with them…but not that they witness the event.
So what do you think? Am I being selfish? Will I look back on eloping and just feel guilty that our families weren’t there? Or will I wish that I had stuck to my gut and eloped with a celebration dinner afterwards? Anyone been in this situation and any tips for figuring out what I should do?