We are very happy with our choice to have a destination elopement. The circumstances that lead to that decision were not the happiest. However, there is something to be said about getting married in one of the most beautiful locations on earth and to not have a single person to worry about, cater too or drama to deal with. That in itself was priceless!
I sometimes wish my family could have rallied and been there to witness my wedding. I was offering free room and board if they just flew out for 3 days, but alas they all had reasons why they could not come (no money, no vacation, “I’m scared of flying,” etc.) So we just ended up going where we REALLY wanted – and that was the Canadian Rockies. Why keep it in our current state if 50% of the people (my entire side) cannot show up? It was our cue to dream big really. That had a lot of perks!
1) How did you choose to elope? – Believe it or not, I have eloped twice now. First the first marriage back in 2002, and for my marriage in 2012. I did try to plan a big wedding for 2012, but it did not work out (my dad was dying of cancer and the event could have overlapped so we cancelled it). I guess eloping was the default answer due to situations during each of the times.
2) How did you handle disappointment from friends/family? – There wasn’t any disappointment from anyone. I don’t think I heard once, “Ohhh, we so wish we could have been there/been included/yadda yadda.” Maybe we were lucky? I do not live near any of my family, so it would be a financial burden for them to come to my wedding (plane tickets, car rental, hotels, and restaurants). They were mostly relieved to be off the hook for traveling. I was relieved to not have to put up with all their drama and stress too. It’s a catch 22. It would have been nice if my family saw me get married for once (they missed it twice now), but in hindsight we could not have had such a wonderful wedding and wedding location if we had to include them. Sometimes Plan B can be more awesome!
3) Did you miss not having others there? For each of the weddings, there were two witnesses required by law. I had two friends for the first, and then H’s parents were there for the second wedding. I did like having them there. These people are as drama-free as you can get. They were happy to tromp to anywhere in the world for us. We gave them 15 day’s notice to be our witnesses, and they accepted. It was also their 40th wedding anniversary that same summer so we treated them two very fancy dinners in a row and did lots of hikes together in our 2.5 days together. I would not have been crushed if they did not make it and we were prepared to do this alone. The photographer and wedding planner were gonig to be the witnesses anyway. It was just a perk that H’s parents came.
4) Did you have a reception with friends/family later? We did not have a reception with would be wedding guests. All our good friends and family were out of town. I did not think a party warranted them flying in. We did have a causal potluck about a month after (only for local friends ~ 45 ppl – all of super good friends were out of state). It was more a celebration for my recent graduation from graduate school, the new deck we put on the back of the house, last nice day of summer, and oh yeah we got married. I did not want it to be wedding like at all. We planned it in one day, and sent out Evites 1 week prior. So super casual and low key. I could have done without it, but locals were asking, “When’s the big party???” and H kind of wanted it.
5) Any other advice for us? – Try to figure what is is you two really want. Try to rank 3-5 of your top priorities too. When you get lost or confuse or stressed, revert back to your priorities and ask, “Does this go along with our priorities?”
Our priorities were 1) intimate, 2) somewhere with mountains in sight, 3) somewhere special. #3 really meant a place that was special to our hearts, but we ended up going somewhere that neither of us had never been, so I guess now it is special!