(Closed) Another "Should I or Shouldn't I?" for eloping. I am lost.

posted 5 years ago in Elopement
Post # 3
4495 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

I completely understand the appeal of eloping – FI and I highly considered it ourselves. I think since you already sent the Save-The-Date Cards out it might be a little troublesome to cancel everything now. Also, depending on how much of a deposit you gave your vendors it might not be worth the loss. I wouldn’t be afraid of hurting feelings though – it is your wedding. Its not a family reunion, a party for someone else or any other event thrown in anyone’s honor except for you and your Fiance. It shouldn’t hurt other people’s feelings because you choose to go a different route. I know FI’s parents would not have been thrilled with us eloping, but if you have solid reasons (which you do) then I think most people will be understanding. They may not like it, but they should understand.

It is hard for me to fathom how much money is being spent on our wedding. My parents are covering most of it, thankfully. If we had to pay for it ourselves I think I would 100% elope. I’d rather save that money to put toward something in our house or a trip. I feel like we’re putting so much money and effort into little details that I love, but that hardly anyone else is going to appreciate.

If you’re willing to accept that you will lose every cent of what you have put into the wedding thus far and you’re okay with it, then I think that alone says a lot and that you should elope.

Post # 4
6123 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

@BruderLove:  Hi there, I had a Destination Wedding planned and mostly paid for.  We cancelled it 4 MONTHS before the big day.  I was just about to put the deposit on the cake and flowers.  The venue, officiant, photographer, caterer, music was all booked.  Save-The-Date Cards were sent out already.  I had a graphic designer work on my invitations.

We had so much drama from my family.  Everything from, “That place (our venue) is not that fancy,” to “What else is there going to be besides a wedding – that’s a long way to travel you know!”  It was just tearing me apart emotionally.  The guilt – GUILT! Crying every day because of stupid shit my family was saying about my wedding that was suposed to be a happy event.  They were just guests, they were not part of the planning!  I was hosting a three 3 day event to make it worthwhile and killing myself along the way!

Then my dad was given 4-6 months to live.  The wedding was in 5 months.  It was the ticket out of this wedding.  We cancelled it; everyone was very relieved, I was relieved.  I got to spend my money flying home often to see my dad and made it home on the day he died too. 

This is my second marriage.  I did not have the wedding the first time – I went to the court house on a week day and went back to work.  Didn’t even dress up.

This wedding had a LOT of hopes and dreams into it.  The marriage and wedding were to be everything I didn’t have the first time.  I thought I had to have a wedding.  I think my family often forgot I was married (when I was the first time), so I thought if they witnessed my wedding, they would remember I’m married now.  Silly reason to throw an expensive party!

We eloped to Canada on a road trip and it was fabulous!!!!  It wasn’t the first option, but over time we can see it was the best option.  H’s parents were our witnesses and the only guests.

No one’s feelings were hurt, well maybe just mine!



With 4 month to go and Save-The-Date Cards already sent out, we emailed everyone on the list (25 households) and said that we cancelled the wedding, a family emergency came up.  We’ll marry privately at a later date.  (Well a little more wordy than that!)

Anyone who did not reply to the email got a phone call to be sure they heard the update.  It was not that hard.  Many people were supportive.

We also offered to pay for anyone’s plane tickets that were already purchased.  No one bought tickets yet.  One person did book hotel rooms, but they were refundable.

The venue gave us our money back.  120 days was the magic refund date.  The photographer, we had ti use her later, her deposit was not refundable.  We used her for engagements since we were married in another country.  Officiant had no deposit.  The venue came with the caterer.  The music was going to be free.

We were really out $300 in cabin rentals.  We bought six cabins up front, three nights minimum required (like $3500 upfront! OUCH) but we cancelled it with a $50 penalty fee per cabin.  We had hoped guests would want to stay in the cabins as it was walking distance to the ceremony and reception – not to mention looking right at the Teton mountains.  So all in all, not that bad!

Post # 6
2550 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

@BruderLove:  WE cancelled our big wedding with around 4 months left as well… It’s caused quite a bit of drama with my FI’s mother but whatever… We had to do it for the same reasons you outlined, we have alot of debt that we have been trying to pay off and I really hated spending so much money on a single day when our goal for the past 5 years has been to pay off that debt; We plan to purchase a home in 1-2 years & need the $$ we would have spent on the wedding to lower our debt ration & save for a downpayment; the amount of $$ we were budgeting for the wedding would have paid off nearly all our major debt aside from our truck & student loans; our families would have had to shell out a min. of $1,000 a person to travel to our home state for the wedding; my grandfather was diagnosed with cancer which led to my grandmother falling into depression as a result of her being bi-polar, which sent him looking for drugs and battling addiction…..

We just sat down one day after talking about the budget and started asking ourselves what the point of the big wedding was- for us it was so we could spend time with family. Well, the wedding was getting so huge with so many people that we really had no way to spend quality time with anyone, if that was really what we wanted then it could be accomplished much cheaper & less stressful with an elopement and reception back in our families home state. We looked over our deposits & discovered we’d get nearly all of them back (aside from our photog, but she did our e-pics for free so it balanced out) and were still early enough to cancel without any extra fees. We also called up the family & friends to test their reaction & make sure no-one had purcahsed plane tickets or hotel rooms as we didn’t want anyone stuck if they paid that out already.

Once we established that 1) what we really wanted could be had much cheaper, less stressfully, and really better for everyone; 2) the majority of our deposits was refundable (we got back a little over $1,000) and our contracts cancellable without extra fees; 3) no-one had made any travel purchases or reservations; 4) we would actually be saving anywhere from $5-8K and be getting married on the beach in an exotic localle
I hope that helped! I think ya’ll two just need to sit down and write out the pros/cons, check your contracts/despsits, and speak with your family…. WE felt a huge weight lifted off our shoulders as soon as we made the decision. The weight was put back again by my FI’s mother guilt-trip/hissy fit, but whatever, you can’t please people that have a fundamentally diffferent idea of a wedding/marriage than you and your Fiance have… She believes it’s about the family offering up their support not the two people getting married…. 

Edited: forgot to add we also sent out save-the-dates a little over a year before our date, really it was never an issue, we just called or e-mailed everyone and they all were okay with it and many expressed that they wished they would have eloped rather than the huge wedding they felt had nothing to do with them… 

Post # 7
26 posts

I completely understand where you’re coming from. Although the only person who truly knows what’s best here is you, and your FH. Don’t worry about other people’s feelings, they should undershould your choice to elope, and be supportive in the fact that you are putting materialistc wants aside to doing what will benefit you and your FH more in the end. Go with your gut girl. And best of luck 🙂 

Post # 8
3039 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

Elope! You’re having concerns & so does you Fiance, better to listen to that gut feeling saying that it’s too much money for one single day & make it a weddingmoon instead. If I were you, I would send out a cancellation note asap – here’s a previous thread discussing different way of letting people know:


Hope it all goes smooth!

Oh, & I should add – you can always have a small reception once you’re back. We’re having a Destination Wedding but will have an informal reception at our house for our Canadian friends. I’ll wear my wedding dress for that one, so perhaps your bridesmaids could wear their dresses for that if you decide to do something similar.

Post # 9
601 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

Elope! We are eloping on our 4th anniversary of our first date. Our venue was great since we did a hotel and transfered our deposits to one of the restuarants that is allowing us to have a small reception on our original date. We get a private dining room without a minimum and we didnt lose any money. It was orignally planned to be about $18,000 but I couldnt do it so with our flight to do a mini trip and get married, with photographer and the mini recpetion on the original date we are only spending $6,500!!!

We decided to elope after just a few months of planning because it came too stressfull and I felt I couldnt go through with that type of an event. We also sent out save the dates but decided to elope. We are sending out a cute mini card saying we have a surprise and directing everyone to our wedding site. We are having a wedding “commercial” of the elopement made for everyone to watch. 

It doesnt matter if these people planned on it, you want to be happy with your choice and not feel stressed with the planning and tight funds. Elope and it becomes about you two and the marriage versus everyone else in attendance. You will be happier once its done and there will be less stress. Just dont forget a photographer, even if a college student. 

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