(Closed) Has anyone regretted their elopement and wished they had a traditional wedding?

posted 4 years ago in Elopement
  • poll: Elope or Traditional Wedding

    Elope! Have a post elopement party after!

    Traditional Wedding!

    Tiny Ceremony and Reception and have a party for family back East

    None of the Above. Tell me what you think!

  • Post # 16
    554 posts
    Busy bee

    We eloped, had a party after and did it all backwards. But I have zero regrets and look back with fondness and joy. It was a mutual decision though and we both had elopment fantasies. So I think if you’re of two minds to begin with, it may breed regret. An analogy I told my husband, its like over dressing or underdressing for a party. Which way do you prefer to go to make yourself comfortable?

    Post # 17
    2141 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: July 2017

    View original reply
    tatersprout :  but historically elopments have never been ‘no guests’ just a handfull of trusted people – the fact it was secretive-ness was often for reasons that someone would stop it (bride kidnapping and rape use to be a big risk) so trusted loved ones pretty much like a bridal party would stand gaurd to protect the couple (and unrelated its also why the groom traditionally stands to the right so it allow quick draw of the sword upon ambush… a left handed groom should stand in reverse to tradition technically)

    you also legally in almost all areas need witnesses to confirm the marriage and an officiant

    Post # 18
    43 posts
    • Wedding: October 2016

    Almost all cities in the US have wedding planners that specialize in elopement packages which provide a location (most have chapels and outdoor options), officiant, and witnesses. 

    Other options either provided or referred are cake, flowers, photographer…the whole wedding experience–just smaller.

    I know, because I researched several cities as options and it’s pretty similar everywhere and the cost is $250-$1000 depending on what you choose.

    I ended up hiring my officiant from Thumbtack.com after interviewing several of them. It’s kind of like a free Angies list. I could not have been happier and my officiant worked with me in writing my ceremony, helped with the location, and she drove an hour to get there.

    I didn’t do anything “wedding like” and just had a short ceremony at the edge of Niagara Falls. Didn’t want any of the extras.


    My first marriage 30 yrs ago (I’m 52) was a big traditional church wedding and full reception which I paid for myself.

    It was stressful, busy, and I spent more time greeting and talking with my guests than I did actually having fun dancing and such. It was totally done to please other people and not for ourselves. I would have done things differently but really caved to family expectations and did the whole thing in the traditional way. There weren’t really a lot of choices back then on how to have a wedding, like there is today.

    Post # 19
    655 posts
    Busy bee

    I have a friend who “eloped” sort of…they got traditional outfits, and saved up for a wedding but instead of a traditional wedding ceremony/reception, they used all of their wedding money to pay for a badass photographer and a trip to Europe. They dressed up at each landmark/place they wanted to see and took professional wedding photos at each. Just the two of them (plus photog) on a romantic getaway. It looked sooooooooo so so so fun, I’m super jealous! And their pics came out GORGEOUS! So something like that may be an option! Go get your marriage license and do it really quick at a courthouse, then spend what you can on something super fun like that. It’s sort of an elopement, but you get some traditional aspects like the wedding dress and photos. You could have a small, casual get together (like a barbecue or potluck) if family wants to celebrate and just specify no gifts. Seems like it could be the best of both worlds, by having a really intimate but incredible experience with your fiancé in a gorgeous gown, and still appeasing family. 

    Post # 22
    213 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: October 2016

    We got married a couple of weeks ago. We have both been married before and have some members of the family which are high maintence and drama. We didnt want them to turn the best day of our lives into a drama filled shit show. It so would have turned into a day about others instead of a day about us. We went to the UK and got married at a castle in England. It was really a wedding for two (had a lot of special touches). The witnesses that were there (from the venue) said it was the most touching and romantic wedding they have ever seen. We wrote our own vows, our own ceremony with the cellebrant, had beatiful flowers, cake, etc… We still had the wedding, special ceremony, special moments and fabulous dinner. We got to focus our full attentin on each other ALL DAY. For us we couldnt imagine doing it any other way.

    Post # 23
    3109 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: March 2016 - Surfer\'s Beach, Grand Cayman

    No regrets! We took off to the islands for a private ceremony just the two of us, we sent out announcements on our honeymoon and had an at home reception 2 months later with 40 of our nearest and dearest to celebrate. It was the best of both worlds!

    Post # 24
    590 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: March 2017 - Nepal

    View original reply
    wildflowergypsy :  Our family and friends were actually way more supportive than I expected! We have an amazing photographer who is going with us on our trek to Mt. Everest base camp. My mom was a little upset at first but once I shared the details she realized how excited we were and got on board. I will still wear a wedding dress so I’m thinking of taking her with me to go dress shopping which will make her feel like she still gets a big MOB moment. I also caved when she asked if we can have a celebration dinner after we get back. I was really nervous to tell everyone. I don’t know why I was worried about letting other people down on a decision that was ours to make. If you do decide to go this route, get excited and own the decision before telling everyone. If you’re happy and excited with your choice it will make it more difficult for people to be angry with you over it. In the end, I don’t think you will regret choosing what feels right to you. 

    Post # 25
    799 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: September 2015

    View original reply
    wildflowergypsy :  For us it was more of a choice because of our faith. We are strong believers in saving the physical for marriage but well that didn’t go so well.. LOL So we decided it was time to get married in order to be right with God in our walk of faith. Plus we couldn’t afford a wedding at the time, but we both knew we wanted one. We were not going to settle for whatever we could. So we decided to dress up and go to the courthouse. I ended up buying a long glittery white prom dress from JCP for like $60 dollars. and he wore a vest and tie. We took my stepson and Brother-In-Law. It was great. We are married which is what counts the most but we are still planning our dream wedding. For me it consists of wearing a big puffy Cinderella ballgown dress. A fancy sit down dinner (because I’m Mexican and all the weddings I’ve been too are the same traditional Mexican food) and a great dance party lol.

    Post # 26
    244 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: September 2016

    View original reply
    wildflowergypsy :  I think the key is if you do an elopement you need to fully plan it. Having a half-assed elopement because you felt like you had to leave certain aspects out is what causes regret. If you have an elopement you can still have a wedding dress, a photographer, flowers, a cake, etc; you just won’t have your loved ones sitting next to you (and personally at my own wedding I was so caught in the moment I couldn’t have told you who was sitting by me and who wasn’t). 

    But hell, you could even live stream your wedding online if you want people to watch you get married; there really is no right and wrong. But it sounds like you will regret it if you don’t get to go through the “fun” of planning it all–so whatever you decide, don’t shortchange yourself by saying you’ll wear a sundress, or skip the photographer, etc. Do it up right!

    Personally, I loved my wedding….but deep down I really wanted to elope in Ireland. After our lovely wedding…I still wish we had eloped in Ireland πŸ˜‰

    Post # 28
    322 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: November 2016

    Definitely plan something that feels right for you and will make you two happy. We aren’t eloping in the sense that we kept it secret, but we are planning a private ceremony due to logisitics. We live overseas from family and there just isn’t one location that will work for a variety of reason for large groups of our family (due to illnesses, travel costs, fears of flying). And we felt if our parents couldn’t join due to a reason, then it didn’t feel right having anyone else there… so we are having a private cermeony in our country, then having three smaller celebrations over half a year with friends and family. But, everyone and anyone has an opinion, and I’m kinda wishing we secretly eloped and then still held the smaller celebrations. I’m kinda disappointed in people’s comments, and last week we decided to email our families with more background on our decisions (rationale for our wedding date and celebration dates and why our vows are so personal to us). This was well received and we got a lot of support, but the downside is there are some people that are very opinionated about how you should get married. Also, don’t google for help! I fell down a blackhole and learned I’m basically going to hell for getting married this way πŸ˜› I’m mostly excited I get to spend a day with my best friend, like every day we have, and how we can plan to do the things that we want to do and not have to spend the day attending to anyone, a day where we can be in the moment completely. I’m looking forward to it!!

    Post # 29
    29 posts

    I find myself in the same shoe that you’re in! We both don’t want to spend a fortune on a wedding, we both don’t like big crowds of people, and we also both don’t like drama at all.

    We’ve decided that eloping is probably what is going to be best for the two of us. The things that keep popping into my head making me wonder if I will ever regret not having a traditional wedding is that I’m the last kid to get married, my mother (who passed away) her siblings will all want to see me marry, my sister and sister-in-law, future MOL all want to go dress shopping with me. If we elope I will probably just wear a simple sun dress of some sort nothing too fancy, I dont want to let them down on that…but I seriously worry about not having dad walk me down the asile.

    On the flip side…I know I’m so shy in front of even small crowds of people that I don’t want to end up being so nervious on my wedding day that I don’t remember parts of it due to ‘blanking out’ from nerves. There are a few people I’d rather not have at our wedding whom could cause unnecissiary stress or drama, which makes eloping sound that much more awesome.

    We just got engaged just over 2 weeks ago and have yet to ‘pick a date’ heck we just adpoted a puppy too so we havne’t really had time to talk much further about it – but I can see us just going to the local courthouse and getting married there, followed by a backyard bbq or pot luck of some sort to celeberate with our friends and families. This can make it much cheaper on us and our guests seeing as we don’t really need any gifts. This way we can focus our money on the house we own and plan for an awesome honeymoon! 

    Post # 30
    505 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: April 2017

    I know that both of our families would kill us if we eloped!  LOL.  j/k (but not really).  It’s true that it’s about you and your spouse and what you envision for your wedding.  Luckily we both dream of the day of saying our vows in front of our friends and family.  I could never imagine a wedding with my family there, but that’s just me. 

    You can always have a small wedding though with your family on the east coast or his family on the west.  People will have to travel but those that really want to be there, will be.  Lots of ways to have inexpensive weddings too.  Lots of bees could point you to the right direction with that.

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