Post # 1
I’m new here but I’ve been lurking for a while and reading all of your wonderful advice. I’ve been asking everyone I know who is married if they wished they had eloped or had a reception (depending on what they did). Most who have said they wished they eloped said so for financial reasons. The finances are less of an issue in the case of our wedding, I’m just concerned with having a great wedding. Those of you who had a traditional wedding, did any of you regret it or really enjoy it? Did you find having many people there made your wedding more special, or did it detract from the event? For those of you who eloped, did you feel like the wedding felt as special and memorable as a big wedding? Did you still get good photos? Did it feel more personal than a larger wedding? Did it cause serious problems with friends and family who felt they had a right to be there?
I appreciate any and all opinions on this topic!
Post # 3
Well, I think it depends on how the people in your family are. Some people have less than supportive family. In hindsight, as people acted exactly as I thought they might but hoped they wouldn’t, I would have rather eloped. I’m guessing there aren’t a ton of people in the same category as me though.
Post # 4
@risingsun: not married yet, but i’m sure i’ll be in the same category as you haha
Post # 5
We almost eloped and now we’re having a very intimate ceremony. If I eloped I wanted to go all out and make it as beautiful as possible. Turns out my dream elopement would have been $6,500. That was just for the ceremony and a dinner as well as photography. That would not have included airfare to the destination, a hotel, money for sightseeing, etc.
We have since decided to do a small ceremony and we’re actually saving money and using that money on our dream honeymoon that we’ll leave to the next day.
I didn’t want to miss out on my dad giving me away (that’s important to him) or my future in-law’s only opportunity to see their only son get married. I also wanted a first dance, cake cutting, and the little traditional things that mattered. What didn’t matter to me was a seated dinner reception.
All in all I decided what was important to me and what wasn’t, and we decided on a family-only ceremony with a cake and wine celebration after.
Take a look at what you like about an elopement vs. what you like about a wedding and make some compromises. There are ways to make both work financially depending on what aspects are important.
Good luck! And just a side note, I feel happy I decided to plan my wedding rather than elope which is funny because I was die-hard “I’M ELOPING” just a month ago.
Post # 6
- Wedding: November 2012 - Oak Tree Manor
I voted for other, because I think the choice of a traditional wedding vs. an elopement totally depends on the couple, their finances (as you mentioned) and their families.
I’m the only daughter in my family (I just have a brother, no other sibs) so if Mr. W and I had eloped with just the two of us, I know my parents would’ve been really sad to miss it. Mr. W’s family is larger, but they’re all really close too, and I think they would be disappointed if we got married without them. So we planned a fairly traditional wedding, and we invited 150 guests, which allowed us to invite all of our family members we’re still in touch with (ones we talk to at least once or twice a year) and a lot of our friends. We chose a fairly inexpensive venue so that we could have as many guests as we wanted – the dinner was $20/person so adding on a few extra people wasn’t a big deal, compared to other places with a high cost per head.
120 people came to the wedding. Even so, it felt very personal – we spent time with every single guest, and it meant the world to be to be surrounded by all of the people I love. The way I saw it, it was the only time we would be surrounded by all of the people we care about – when else do you have such a gathering? It was such a special day – definitely one of my favorite days ever. The memories of the day make me smile and feel so loved.
That said, planning our wedding wasn’t really all that difficult. We had a 10-month engagement, which was enough time to book everything we wanted (Houston is a large city, so a lot of vendors book far in advance!) while not dying of impatience. We have a very democratic relationship, so we made all wedding decisions together as a team. Everyone in our two families gets along really well, so there was very minimal drama. Since we were all on the same page, there really weren’t many disagreements. I think the bees who have had those types of problems – especially dealing with parents – have seemed like the ones who tend to elope (if not for financial reasons).
The other thing for us was, we are fairly young. I’m 24, and Mr. W is 26. About half of our friends are married, so we’ve been to plenty of weddings, but I know we’ll be to plenty more over the next 5-10 years. So I was worried that if we eloped, I might regret it when we went to other friends’ weddings. Having a traditional wedding just made sense for us.
Post # 7
I would ideally have just (and I wish I had- it wasn’t money necessarily complicating things but family members) gone somewhere with my SO private and gotten married in a cool location. I am a very private person and I guess I always felt that vows should be private, totally just me I guess! I am someone that would rather have a big bash to celebrate years of marriage (like 5, 10, 20, whatever.) To me that just makes more sense.
Post # 8
You might enjoy the insights offered in this blog: http://bestplacestoelope.com/why-should-you-elope/
Congrats and enjpy your special day!
Post # 9
I did “both.”
It wasn’t technically an elopment since our parents were present, but we had a tiny justice of the peace wedding, and we’re planning a big shabang wedding in June so everyone can be there with us. It was right for us, and hopefully you figure out what is right for you — why not do both?