(Closed) Can't Afford Dream Wedding. Elope Instead?

posted 5 years ago in Elopement
Post # 2
302 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

Elope then when you return have a party for your friends and family at someones nice house it doesnt have to break the bank! I had a small wedding and planned it to fit the budget and make it everything we dreamed of.

Post # 3
1408 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2005 - A Castle

I’ve had the big white wedding and I’ve had the small intimate affair. While my second wedding (the small one) was wonderful and we did it with a very small budget, I would have 100% eloped if my husband was okay with it. It was his first marriage and he wanted a wedding of sorts, so we went with a small one. Ten years later, I still would have eloped but I loved our wedding. It’s one day; I was more excited about all the days that came after it. 

That said, if it’s always been your dream to have the elaborate affair, I don’t know that you’ll be able to talk yourself out of it. Only you and your man can determine what’s important to you in terms of a wedding and what you can do without. 

  • This reply was modified 5 years ago by  dracarys.
  • This reply was modified 5 years ago by  dracarys.
Post # 4
1887 posts
Buzzing bee

If you truly want family and friends there, I don’t think you have to give up on that vision just because you can’t afford an elaborate reception. Check out the book and site A Practical Wedding, they have lots of examples of weddings under $10k and even under $5k. You could have a potluck picnic reception in a park, with an iPod DJ, and Trader Joe’s wine. You would still be just as married as the person with the $3 million Waldorf-Astoria wedding.

If you want to elope, I think that’s great, but I wouldn’t do it just because you can’t give your guests a three course meal.

Post # 6
112 posts
Blushing bee

You know what’s worse than eloping if you can’t afford a nice wedding? Having a largely DIY wedding on a tiny budget where you don’t get anything you want. Some PP have given some great starting points on how to have a cheap wedding but if you’re not into it, if you can’t bring your wedding “vision” in line with your budget, then I definitely vote for eloping. Ask yourself this: would I rather have my dream dress or for Aunt so – and – so to attend? If you elope, you will most likely be able to afford more of the elements you want, other than the number of guests in attendance. If it’s more important to you that certain people attend, you will most likely have to give up part of that elaborate wedding you have in mind. 

Post # 8
4 posts
  • Wedding: December 2014

Being financially responsible is being smart; you’re already on the right track.

Can you describe some of the things you envision as part of this elaborate wedding? I like a good challenge…maybe it can be done with a smaller guest list? I really enjoy working the numbers and coming up with alternatives. Sort of my hobby…I’d like to try and help! 

For what it’s worth…we had a destination wedding. There were a lot of components I really wanted, and others I absolutely didn’t. We still ended up spending a small fortune – just getting there was a big expense. You may want to price out a small, “elaborate” wedding vs the elopement to see how they compare.

Lastly, not having my parents there was basically a non-starter, so it was small but classy. We’d have never been able to afford the details if the guest list was 100+. However, many of our close friends weren’t able to attend – people we’ve known for a decade+. That is still hard to look back on and know they weren’t with us. How will you feel if you don’t have your siblings, best friends, etc?

On the other hand, the day goes by so quickly. If the food and booze are good and you have a photographer to capture the big moments, it will be a beautiful day even if it’s a simple picnic! 

Good luck with this difficult decision!

Post # 9
733 posts
Busy bee

Have you asked your parents what they want? My sister eloped. She didn’t tell anyone for almost a year that they were married. It really hurt my parents. When it came time for me to get married, I didn’t care at all about the wedding, but it was very important to my father that he get to walk one of his girls down the aisle, so he said he would pay for it so he could have that experience. My father has since passed, and one of the things he left me was the tie he wore to my wedding. It meant so much to him. And those memories mean so much to me. Even moreso now that he is gone. Maybe your parents want to help you more than you think they do.

In the end, my sister regretted her elopment. She did it for similar reasons, she couldn’t have the wedding she wanted, so they went to a courthouse and got married in secret. But every woman is different, and you may not feel that way.

Post # 11
183 posts
Blushing bee

View original reply
ladyvictoria:  So….does it have to be black and white? I know you mentioned “

if I can’t have the wedding I’ve always envisioned, I don’t want to try to cut corners” but sometimes working around things will give you an even better result. 

I say this because i dont believe in doing something you regret- especially your wedding day.

My aunt didnt have the funds for a big wedding and she didnt want to get eloped- so they came up with a solution that in the end was the most beautiful wedding ive ever attended! She wasnt happy with it AT ALL in the beginning but now she is soooooo happy we forced her to do it that way! She didnt feel in the end of it that she cut corners.

They cut the guest list into immediate family and best friends- it came up to 30 people. The wedding was held in our backyard and they rented a tent, musicians, and photographer from people they knew or people looking to expand their portfolios. It was decorated so nicely but with dollarstore type decorations.

It was so elegant!! Everyone headed to a restaurant they had booked afterwards for the reception. I know its still a lot but it came out to $7000 BUT the restaurant really ripped them off and tricked them. Without the restaurant the cost wouldve been $2000.

It can still be the beautiful day you dreamed of. There are so many excitiing details you can add to personalize things. Heres a photo of their wedding for you to see that it can still be beautiful without being the lavish wedding we all dream of when we’re younger:

Post # 12
109 posts
Blushing bee

I feel your pain, OP, I really do. I would love to have a $40,000 wedding but it’s just not realistic at our current stage in life. Additionally, the practical side of me is saying it’s smarter to put that $40,000 to a house, so why not just spend several hundred to do a courthouse wedding, have a nice dinner with the immediate family, and call it a day? I hope the answer comes to you soon!

Post # 13
7679 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

My daughter’s wedding cost $5000, for 65 people, it definitely could have cost less, I think that included absolutely everything but the rings, I do think it looks like we spent much more.  wedding_2132

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