Post # 1
We are in the midst of planning our big, fancy wedding for next fall, and we keep finding ourselves fantasizing about eloping! Or at least just scheduling something very low key a month from now.
I’d love to hear from anyone who has done it, or is planning to do it. Do you regret it? Do you wish you had done it? Do you have tips? Blogs? Pictures?
We have already sent out Save the Dates, but I feel like people will totally understand if we say, ‘hey, the economy is in the tank, and we really just want to be husband and wife.’ We could kill the registry and start a charity registry for those who insist on getting us gifts.
Would love any input …
Post # 3
When things start to get crazy I wish I had. What stayed me was the fact that those people that I would really want to be there would not be able to see me exchange vows with my FH.
If you really want to elope do so, and take pictures and send out a great card after the fact saying, ‘We tied the knot’ include pictures and make it personal for them too.
Post # 4
In the beginning, I had a little bit of your fantasy too. We had to look at our priorities and decided what mattered most to us about our wedding. For us, it ended up being celebrating the moment with our family and friends (which meant a larger venue than an elopement)… but the great thing about life is that the answer is different for each and every one of us. It keeps things interesting, right?
If your gut feeling keeps bringing you back to elopment and you have a sense of peace about it, then maybe it is the right choice for you. Keep in mind that you should decide before anyone books a plane ticket or makes arrangements…
Please let us know what you decide!
Post # 5
I had always dreamed of eloping (because I am not a wedding person), but my husband insisted that we do the whole big fancy wedding thing for his family. He has a huge family and they all live nearby, and they always have huge family weddings, so I agreed (although he didn’t really want a big wedding either). I really didn’t enjoy planning the wedding, so I thought of eloping a lot.
In the days after the wedding I was really glad we had done the big wedding, but now that its been a month, I would much rather have back $30,000 and just had just eloped with parents and sibilngs along for the ride. Our wedding day was awesome, but now that the excitement is over, I still wish we had eloped.
Post # 6
My hubby and I ended up going down to city hall with my bestfriend and getting married on a Thursday 3 weeks before our wedding. I loved that it was just us and the process was quick and painless unlike planning our wedding. The city hall ceremony was a secret of ours and we ended up just having our friend take 2 pictures of us before and after.
Post # 7
We eloped and kept it secret! No hassles, no big puffy dress nor overpriced cake…few years later we’re doing the big wedding thing mostly for my SO who really wanted one and our parents (we’re both the first borns)…
My theory on this as a first hand witness with a couple of my friends is that people who elope as the years go by and more $$ is available or have children who are getting married…change their minds…have fancy anniversary parties or in some situations live vicariously through their children’s weddings.
My friend’s mom wanted the wedding she never had…needless to say it was a disaster. At the time, she eloped as a way to "avoid the hassle and stickin’ it to the man" (wedding industry 60’s)… she regretted it a few years later but didn’t do anything about it…come her daughter’s wedding… she went planning crazy trying to fulfill what she missed. It created friction with her daughter and their relationship, a year later, it’s still a little strained.
With that, all I have to say is Good Luck!
Post # 8
So, when did you secret-keeping elopers come clean?
Post # 9
lol, to his parents (since they live out of the country and wouldn’t tell MY parents) 6 months or a year later…to my parents…3 yrs later! Some relatives a friends still don’t know.
Why? because we were poor and too young college students and according to some traditions it wouldn’t be "proper" to get married before education, $$ and house…bit materialistic..yes.
Post # 10
Think about other situations in your life where you have had to make a big investment in order to get a desired outcome. When the going got tough, did you dream about throwing it all away and starting fresh and easy? Like in the midst of finals, did you dream of quitting college and getting a job where you could support yourself (and pay back all that student loan debt)? Or when your significant other is driving you crazy, have you ever secretly dreamed of being single again?
What determines whether you will follow through on these dreamed-up plans is the importance to you of the goal sacrificed versus the goal attained thereby. But it’s hard to separate whose values are influencing your decision. Everyone will tell you nothing is more important than going to college, but college is not right for everyone. Others might say, "at least you have a boyfriend, keep him!" but not every relationship is worth staying in. Similarly, big fancy weddings are not for everyone.
It seems you’re grappling with wedding size, so let’s address that first. Big-wedding folk often want their friends and whole family to witness their wedding vows. Elopement folk might place more value on intimacy and simplicity. Who do you want to see your vows? Who can’t you live without? There might be various guest list "cut points"—like, in a small wedding you would invite only your immediate families, but the minute you invite great aunt Mildred you have to invite all 50 other aunts, uncles, and cousins, effectively tripling your guest list count. Determine where these cut points are and it will give you an idea of the types of wedding you might have.
The next area to examine are the details of the wedding itself. But here’s a cautionary tale: I think when lots of us got engaged we started to care about all these things we might not have known existed prior to their engagement. I found that if it didn’t matter to me before the engagement (especially if I did not know it existed), it ceased to matter to me completely afterward. I had a smallish wedding and in retrospect I know I would have been happy with so much less. I am seriously jealous of my friends who had a tiny wedding (parents and siblings only at ceremony, small reception weeks later with food bought at the supermarket and board games at their house). They just bought a house with the "wedding money" their parents had saved for them. I wish I had the money for a house!
So if you’ve dreamed of your wedding your whole life and have a detail-perfect day envisioned, then I would think twice before abandoning that dream. But if elopement-onset wedding lust caused you to schedule the big fancy wedding with all its entrapments, I would definitely reconsider and explore what a small wedding in two months might look like.
Post # 11
- Wedding: September 2009 - City Hall
We’re considering it. We have two options, really.
The first option is the big family/friends affair. It won’t be too fancy, and will be pretty "homemade", but it will be expensive, because weddings just are. We would do this mostly for everyone else – our families who want to celebrate with us, and to experience ‘our wedding’.
The second option is the court house. Both of our sets of grandparents went to the court house. Both of our parents went to the court house. It’s practically a ‘tradition’ in our families to NOT have a wedding. After the official engagement, we’ll probably speak with our parents and other close relatives, and ask them what they would prefer. If they’re not set on having a party, it’s very tempting to skip it – save the money, time and resources, and use the money on a house downpayment instead.I don’t know if that really counts as an elopement or not, but it’s an option.
Post # 12
Why not do a small destination wedding? you can get a week’s stay at many resorts and they will throw in a complimentary wedding for you or you can opt for some of their packages which are imho, very reasonable?
Many of the packages come with photos, cake, flowers, reception, etc.
Check that out!
You could even probably swing the amount for immediate relatives(mom dad sis or bro’s) or b’maids or groomsmen and still have the wedding for a lot less than a traditional large wedding.
Best of both worlds!
Post # 13
I totally have an elopment fantasy!
We have a big group of family and friends who are very excited for our wedding, and they’re the reason that we’re having a big wedding and reception. Sometimes I really feel like we’re throwing someone else’s party, but at the end of the day we consider ourselves lucky to have so many wonderful people in our lives who are so excited to celebrate with us.
I think I could do it either way and be perfectly satisfied, but at the end of the day you just have to go with your gut.
Post # 14
It’s very common to have elopement fantasies during your wedding planning, so I think the trick is not ignoring those feelings, and instead exploring them, to figure out why they’re coming up.
Personally, I’ve have them every once in a while, but only because we originally were going to elope and I changed my mind. My sister decided to do a destination wedding in Hawaii for her wedding (six months before my own). Some family members were heartbroken, including myself when I thought about the possibility of not being at my own sister’s wedding. That’s how I came to realize that no other part of my wedding desires were worth the risk that someone incredibly important to me, like my sister, couldn’t be there.
When I most recently started hating on wedding planning, and fantasizing anew about elopement, it was because I had gotten totally sucked into wedding porn, and couldn’t see straight anymore. I had let all the details take over my life, and started treating it like this big, choreographed event where certain things had to happen. Basically, it became the antithesis of what I originally wanted! Once I owned up to those feelings, and started making cut backs on my expectations, and reconnecting with my original wedding desires, my excitement for our big day came back in full force:-)
Post # 15
That’s great advice, West Coast Bride!
Post # 16
If a big wedding is seriously more than you want to handle, then I would do a small destination wedding before I would elope. Most parents would feel very sad not to witness their child’s wedding. A small destination wedding could include on a limited number of family and close friends. Last resort – elope – but invite both sets of parents to go with you.