(Closed) On the fence: Wedding vs. Elopement

posted 4 years ago in Elopement
Post # 16
471 posts
Helper bee

We initially wanted to elope (mid 30s, second marriage for him), but I folded because I knew my mom would be crushed.

But now, after spending so much money (relatively, nothing like some spend), I really wish we would have. No matter your budget, all the little things add up. Earrings to go with the dress. Shoes to go with the dress (because they’ll show), and it’s all. SO. expensive.

If I were to go back to a couple of months ago when we got engaged, we would stick to our guns, have our closest friends and family join us at the courthouse and go for a nice dinner. Easy.

Post # 17
275 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2016

MiniMeow:  I would recommend eloping especially if you are on the fence about it.

As one PP said, my Fiance kinda pushed for the big wedding, so we started planning and now are too far in to go back and guess who didn’t want the big wedding (but wanted 21 people on a beach and a nice vaca) but is planning everything, this girl!!!

I am having fun, but after all the stress, money and crap we have endured, Fiance admitted we should have just eloped and had a nice party when we got back at a house that we bought instead of paying for the wedding.

I think the worst part for him, was he got a lot of slack from his parents for not doing a big wedding, now that we are, his parents moved permantely out of state and have been nothing but a headache, all the “family and friends” that his mom claimed would come to parties, showers, and plan stuff for us from his side have dropped like flies drastically, only 6 people are coming to the bridal shower (his mom didn’t even RSVP and is not onlucded in the 6) he now has like than 15 people from his side coming to the wedding (this inludes his parents and brother and sister) and mine is taking up the whole list because I come from a big family.

Best advice, elope and have a nice BBQ get together when you get back and make it all about the family. It will be well received

Post # 18
1241 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2016

I had a beautiful 100 guest wedding last March, and I wish I would have eloped.

Both of us hate attention but decided to have a big wedding celebration mainly for our parents, but also because we didn’t want to regret no getting to have “the wedding experience”. We felt like our parents wanted the whole wedding experience on their side, too- to bond through helping us plan, to be part of the ceremony, to invite all of their friends and family to share in the joy, to have nice pictures from that day, etc. We spent 17 months and about $15,000 planning our wedding. That’s a crazy amount of time and money to spend on a party. Don’t get me wrong, our wedding day was just about perfect and we had the best time. I will always treasure the memories and pictures, and we did bond with our parents throughout the whole process and made them very happy. I don’t have any regrets, but if I could do it again, I would probably just have a civil ceremony and a small party afterwards for just close friends and family only. No dj, photobooth, cake, or crazy amount of time spent obsessing about every detail and just put the money I would have spent on a big wedding towards the honeymoon and a house.

All that being said… I can’t say whether or not I would have regretted eloping if I had chosen to do so. I would have never gotten to feel like the most beautiful bride in the world with my gorgeous dress. I would have never gotten the feeling of being overwhelmed with joy because all the people I cared the most about were in one room, together, simply because they love me and my husband. I might have ended up in a big dramatic mess with my parents and in-laws over wanting a small and casual wedding or elopement. And, let’s be honest, I probably wouldn’t have ended up with all the presents that come with having a wedding! 😛

If you do decide to have a wedding, my advice would be to try to keep a wider perspective on the whole thing. It’s so easy to get caught up in the wedding madness. Our culture (and this website especially) makes us believe our wedding must be a huge red carpet affair and the most important moment of our lives. Don’t fret over every small detail and don’t feel like you have to do 100 Pinteresty DIY projects and spend loads of money in order to have a successful wedding. At the end of the day, what’s important is that you are married, happy, and surrounded by the people that you love.


Post # 19
3 posts
  • Wedding: May 2016

My wedding is 15 days away and I’ve been wishing we had eloped for the past few months! I have a lot of social anxiety so that is playing a big role in it. But also all the money! And the stress. It’s turned into something that is less about us and more about the people attending, making sure they are happy. I can’t wait for our honeymoon so that we can finally be done with it and on to something that is focusing on us and not our families.

HOWEVER! After the wedding, I will post again. Part of me is thinking I will be happy to have had the experience, stress included! It’s a once in a lifetime thing. So maybe it will be magical and worth it? ^_^ Good luck deciding!

Post # 20
10 posts

Just my two cents 😀 But I’ve done both. 

and I have to say while eloping was exciting , the wedding felt far more real. we only had 125 people, it was an afternoon tea reception so kept it as simple as we could but ultimately being with family and friends celebrating our commitment… Not to mention the pictures!… It was awesome. 

now did I imagine eloping again all through the wedding planning process ? Absolutely ! But I don’t regret having a wedding for a minute. And neither will you. Congrats by the way!!

Post # 21
693 posts
Busy bee

jelly3:  Gah… are we the same person?! Haha! 

Just got married within the last couple months. It was beautiful… but planning was miserable. We had a 100-guest wedding, and it was still a lot to deal with. Elope, elope, elope. But make it beautiful with a dress, pictures, and family if you want them there. I think there’s something really romantic about running off and eloping!

Post # 22
62 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: September 2016

I wish I would have eloped or spent the money on a vacation! I honestly can’t find any fun in planning lol, I wish we would have just eloped and went on a nice Italian vacation instead! Good luck deciding !!

  • This reply was modified 3 years, 9 months ago by  tcw87.
Post # 23
17 posts
  • Wedding: March 2014

We went to Las Vegas. At the time it was perfect for us. We didn’t have a lot of money to spend and decided we would rather have a trip then a big wedding with ceremony and reception. My husband would have been happy just going to the courthouse, but I was absolutely against it. We just lost my mother in March. I got the call that she was in the hospital on our anniversary. She passed away 2 days later. After her funeral my hisband asked me if I regretted the way we did things. Yes and no. On the one hand, it was what I wanted then and we had a great time with a nice 9 day vacation. In hindsight though, I still could have had the fancy dress and a honeymoon either in Vegas or anywhere within budget…and had my mom present, along with my sister. I know they would have been happy to be there had we done things that way. We could have had the small private wedding and gone to have lunch/cake afterwards. And while we did a photo tour and got decent pictures, we could have had the amazing St. Louis photographer we had already chosen take pictures and likely with a smaller pricetag. Only you can decide what is right for you, but I would recommend having a small private ceremony with the people most important to you present. But save your money for something like a vacation, house, or whatever you want.

Post # 24
132 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2017

I did not want a big wedding at all – it just seemed like a large expense for what is essentially a party, but Fiance wanted one so I relented.

Well after seeing how little a budget of $15k for 80 guests can get you in Miami, Fiance changed his mind! Now we are having an intimate wedding ($5k, 36 guests) and putting the rest of our budget towards a deposit for a house!

An intimate wedding is a great alternative – you will still have a weffing but without the expense – it will be us, our parents, siblings (and their SO’s/children) and our closest friends. We’re having a beach ceremony followed by dinner at a nice restaurant. This way, we really get to focus on the actual ceremony & marriage with the people that mean the most to us. All for 1/3 of our budget!!

Post # 26
537 posts
Busy bee

MiniMeow:  I wish we eloped. Sadly everyone around us has made this such a shitty time for us. I’m so over it. People are selfish and horrible.

What the day should be about isnt. Everyone males the day about them. There will be drama. You’re spending money for what 5 hours?  

Post # 28
1810 posts
Buzzing bee

We wanted to elope, too. But my mom was pretty bummed out about that. So we changed course. I am really glad I did (although we only had 32 people including us–so it was a compromise). The main reason I’m glad is because my mom passed unexpectedly right after the wedding–so I know both her and I have that precious memory forever.

But in my quiet moments, I sometimes admit to myself that I didn’t really enjoy the planning as much as I thought I would and it brought on a lot of stress and expenditures I really didn’t want. I do echo pp’s pointing out that a small wedding isn’t much easier than a big one seeing as many brides still get the dress, flowers, makeup/hair, pick out the food, any entertainment, etc.

If I could hit the rewind button, I would have eloped with just our parents and 2 sets of best friends who have been there through thick and thin. And I would have involved my mom in all of that planning. 🙂

Post # 29
260 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2016

MiniMeow:  we had the exact same dilemma, we ended up going with the wedding as I very much wanted my family there. From about6 months to the wedding to the day before, we were on and off wanting to elope, but deposits were sizeable and paid… The two week run up to the wedding, we both absolutely just wished we had. It’s been a week since the wedding now and whilst I enjoyed my wedding, my mum cried, my dad was emotional and he made a point of putt my hand in my husbands hand after walking me down the aisle, there were a number of things that didn’t go as planned and I think I would have been happy to have eloped still. My husband and I have spoken about this again since we got married and both agreed that it wasn’t amazing, but we got married, and to us, that was what we wanted most!

I think its down to what you could live with if you eloped, for example not having those family moments. Thinking about them now because of this topic just warms my heart, and all the other nice things that happened on th day. I think if we had eloped I probably would have regretted not having my family there, but hey, we could have done a destination wedding for less money!!!

Post # 30
294 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2016 - Backyard

We were going to have a 25 guest wedding with both the ceremony and reception at a nice restaurant. There wasn’t going to be a DJ, photographer, florist, shower, rehersal dinner, favors, programs, etc. The whole thing would have cost us $5000. Simple enough, right? Nah. Still requires time, energy, and money. There were extra setup/breakdown fees, minimum food purchase, cake cutting fees, ceremony fee, and chair rental fees, etc. We decided it wasn’t worth it.

We are getting married in about 7 weeks at the courthouse. Just us and both sets of parents. I won’t wear a wedding dress just a nice dress. I will get my hair and nails done and spend time with my mom. Afterwards, the six of us will go out to a nice dinner.

After we buy a house in a few months, the 25 people who were going to be invited to our wedding will be invited to our home for a picnic. We were have it catered and it will be nice. It will cost about $2000 for everything I mentioned. That’s $3000 extra we can spend on furniture and time/energy spent on house buying. 


  • This reply was modified 3 years, 9 months ago by  submart.

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