andreab216: We had a wedding, actually, in our hometown, with all of our family and friends, on August 15th. I knew I wanted to do something like this but I also knew it would kill my family if we did. So we had a big traditional wedding. Our 90 year old grandparents got to come (they wouldn’t have likely been able to travel to Jamaica), all our cousins and close friends, my sister (who is living in England), and everyone important to us – they were all there. It was a big wedding and it was a bit stressful, but the whole time I kept thinking, “You have your own wedding planned in Jamaica – so don’t worry!”
Then, on our honeymoon we had this wedding. And it was beyond perfect. There was absolutely no stress and it was just the most perfect day I’ve ever had. From start to finish, amazing. BUT, when it was finished, I knew that if I had not been able to share any of my wedding with my family, I would have been sad. I was happy that we had a wedding with everyone. But I was ecstatic that we listened to our hearts and did this small wedding for ourselves.
So to answer your questions:
– How did your family feel about you choosing to elope? Early on in our planning process, when I mentioned wanting to do this, my mom was NOT happy. Our family and friends wanted to share in our special day with us. They would have supported us, but they also wanted to be there to make memories with us. Later, after we had planned most of the wedding in our hometown, I told my friends and family that we were still going to have an elopement-style wedding on our honeymoon, almost everyone thought it was really romantic and a great idea – except my mom and sister. I think they’ve come around now that they’ve seen the photos, especially my sister. She actually asked me many of the same questions!
– Are you going to have a celebration with everyone? We had already done that!
– Pros: No stress, low cost, stunning setting with no effort, my flowers were better than our other wedding (and stayed alive for a week after!), my dress was so comfortable, intimate and personal, the hotel handled everything, we had bare feet!
– Cons: No one to share it with, the coordinators were close by helping out – those are the people you share your wedding with, flowers were more expensive than at home, planning from far away and over email rather than in person is tough, it was so hot we poured sweat though it’s not too noticable. If this was my only wedding, I would have wanted my parents and sister there at least…
All that said – if you decided to elope, and it was the right thing for you, then go for it! Listen to your heart and what you want 🙂 We are so happy with our decisions!