Tell me about your elopement

posted 2 years ago in Elopement
Post # 2
412 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2016

We had planned a “normal” wedding, but decided 4 months out that we were just done. So we called and canceled our vendors. The photographer agreed to shoot, and we found an officiant online. I bought a dress off the rack and left it for alterations. Went and got a marriage license, picked up the dress, called the MOH/BM and asked them to come over. We got married in our apartment, changed into sweatpants, ordered Chinese food and watched Netflix, then we called our family and friends to tell them. Easy peasy. The whole thing was planned and carried out in 3 or 4 days.

We eloped mainly due to financial constraints, so we never did have an after-party. We had discussed it, but it never ended up happening. If that’s what you want though, I think it’s a great idea. For what it’s worth, we’ve been married just over 2 years and DH has recently expressed that he’s disappointed we never threw a party.

All in all, I only lost one friend because of it. My dad was disappointed, as were my in-laws, but ultimately they were happy for us. We got MARRIED. If somebody is legitimately pissed at you for getting married, then I’d seriously re-evaluate whether that’s a person you should keep in your life.

If you think there’s a chance that YOU (not your families) will regret not having a traditional wedding one day, don’t elope. But if you’re really sure that it’s right for you, then do it. 

Post # 3
183 posts
Blushing bee


View original reply
jas15 :  Congratulations on planning your elopement!  My husband and I eloped in the Redwoods a little over two years ago.  We had just an officiant and a local photographer (we weren’t from the area so we went with a local who had lovely photos on her site, and it worked out nicely because she knew exactly where to take us).  I also had a woman there to do my hair and makeup in the morning, but no friends or family who knew us.  We were also concerned with upsetting our families, so we told our parents a few months in advance but only because we trusted them to keep it a secret.  If you have chatty family and want it to remain a secret then don’t tell!  This allowed for my mom and dad to go with me to a dress shop and we had that experience together even though they weren’t at the wedding.  My mom was pretty upset at first, so telling her a few months ahead gave time for things to cool down and for her to decide if she wanted to at least come see me try on dresses.  We called our grandparents the day after we got married and told them we were in California and what we had done.  Then, after we got back because we got married right before the holidays, we were able to take cakes to family gatherings that announced our marriage.  It was fun for us to do it that way, we brought some bubbly and cake and surprised everyone and got do something kind of cute with them to celebrate. 

There will be some friends and/or family members who will be angry or feel excluded…in our case, a family member who was getting married the following year got mad at us because she was angry some attention was on us very briefly instead of on her wedding, but you’ll have that.  So be prepared for some mixed reactions, but for the very most part everyone who loves and cares about you will be very happy for you.  If they aren’t, they aren’t that great of a supporter.

Hubby got a nice suit and new shoes/accessories for the day of, I got a regular gown and new shoes too.  I made a bouquet for me and a pin for him, so we still had some traditional things and accessories for the photos, but we didn’t need much because the Redwoods provided a beautiful setting and background. Our photographer took some nice pics on her phone for us an texted them to us that day as well so that we had a few good photos way ahead of our wedding pics to share with family when we announced it.  I took one of the photos and put in on a small printed annoucement I made online to send to some extended family and friends who we didn’t see at the holidays, so that the annoucements were all done promptly after the elopement.

I think the elopement was the best choice for us, and would do it again the same way in a heartbeat.  But I agree with the previous poster, if you think YOU would have any regrets then defintely keep thinking on it.  

Post # 4
1512 posts
Bumble bee

I am all for doing whatever the couple wants  wholeheartedly. However, my cousin and her husband did this and it rubbed a large portion of our family the wrong way, myself included. 

She (and her twin sister) did the whole wedding shebang like the bridal shower and bachelorette party, but then let little to no people when they were actually getting married. I think of you host pre wedding events and expect people to come and contribute, it is rude to decide they aren’t worthy of knowing your general wedding date/location. Not assuming that you are doing this, but just giving my own experience with this. I am also of the opinion that you cannot and will not please everyone, so you do you!

She and her husband I think are now wanted to host a delayed home reception, which I think is great and I can get behind. 

Happy planning! I would think on it more if you two aren’t completely sold on it yet

Post # 5
571 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2018 - City, State

We eloped before Christmas- everyone was stunned and wanted to have come but my family are in another country and they understood that since we couldn’t have everyone we went with no one and- no one was offended. 

They do want a celebration though so there’s that coming up ! 


Ours was just the 2 of us at city hall 🙂

Post # 6
1 posts

jas15 :  My (now) husband and I eloped late last year to a different state in our country.  We flew down, splurged on a boutique accomodation, got married in a beautfiul national park just us 2, our 2 witnesses and celebrant. There is a one month notification of marriage required in our country, so it wasn’t “spontaneous”, but all planning relatively quickly (1 1/2 – 2 months from idea to marriage day) Quiet, relaxing day.  We’d been together for 6 years and engaged for 1 year.  Due to family drama, anytime I thought about planning a “traditional’ wedding day, I just felt sick to my stomach and apphrensive of what kind of day it would be – I envisioned a lead up and day of s***-stirring, drama, selfishness and opinionated pushy inlaws.  I kept putting off booking or planning, I was looking forward to being my Husband’s wife but the thought of a wedding held no joy.  It’s also alot of money for one day, when you think of what average wedding is (I read an article today that average wedding is $33,000.00) My husband is also a quiet, reserved sort – he is not one for being the centre of attention at a party, hates photos & smiling (self-concious about his teeth/jaw), or big fusses.

I raised the possibility of eloping to him and he agreed to it with no reservations – I knew his family (in-laws) would not be happy so we agreed that telling them was his responsibility.  My close family knew beforehand and were fully supportive (slightly disappointed to not be there, but respectful that it was our choice and happy for us).  A fair chunk of the in-laws were offended/angry/sad. Husband has had a massive falling out with his brother over it (who has had badmouthed me and run me down to the in-laws behind our backs for years, so I think we can infer that he was just angry we got married at all!)” One sister said they all felt “ripped off” to not have a chance to welcome me into the family. 

I felt like they didn’t know their own brother at all, to think he would be comfortable or what a wedding being centre of attention – it’s just not him.  Not once did they actually ask if it was what he wanted, they just presumed that we were being selfish and that I made Husband to elope, criticising photos saying that he didn’t look happy, did he even want to be there etc  (my name is mud with the in-laws now – but that’s not really a drama cause we barely saw or heard much from the main Offended ones anyway!)

No regrets at all about our elopement from either myself or husband.  The day suited us perfectly.  Due to the family issues, we felt no matter what did or how we did it, even a traditional wedding day, someone would find something to whinge about.  At the end of the day, you have no control over what people think or their feelings.  Some of them will be sad, angry, disappointed.  You’ll need to gauge what is genuine, justified hurt over not being at your wedding, and what is selfishness.   You can hope for the best, but you need to prepare for the worst (reactions wise).  Be prepared some people may guilt trip or gaslight.  Be prepared that no matter what you say or do, some people will still not be happy and you will just have to let it roll off your back.  It is your marriage and your choice.  Unless they are paying or contributing, you don’t “owe” them a wedding.

You could soften the blow a little by a party afterwards,perhaps with a photo or video show of the day. 

Know that your family and friends who truely care about you and your happiness, although they may be sad to miss it, they will be genuinely happy and supportive of you and respectful of your decision.  Bar some of the inlaws, all other family friends etc were happy for us, and not at all surprised we eloped due to my Husbands personality.  Focus on the positives and those happy for you 🙂

Post # 7
9 posts
  • Wedding: April 2019 - La Fortuna, Costa Rica

CONGRADS on the engagement!! 

My fiance and I are eloping in two weeks and can’t be more excited! Our breakdown is what I think is a great mix of elopement and sharing with our loved ones..


We fly out to Costa Rica for an 8 day trip to travel the country just the two of us (both beach and rainforest/volcano areas). Our wedding day is on day 3 and we are getting married at the base of the Arenal volcano with just the beautiful landscape behind us at a hotel that is on 27 preserved acres of grasslands, forest and gardens. We hired a legal officiant (a bit pricier since it’s another country but worth it to us) and a photographer with their “elopement package” which is 3 hours of photos including “getting ready” photos, ceremony photos and after photo session. This way we have plenty of pics for us and our families! We are having a small table made up with a mini tres-leches cake (Costa Rica’s national desert) to cut and a bottle of champagne to pop/toast. The hotel is arranging that for us as well as a bouquet for me and a boutonniere for him. We’re getting ready together (except he can’t see my dress until the ceremony- I still want to walk out in it as a surprise) and then having the officiant marry us as including a hand fasting ceremony. Then, immediately after in the gardens we eat cake, drink champagne and take pictures! Our ceremony is 4pm in hopes of nice sunset and good lighting pictures since sundown is 5:30 there so after we’ll probably have a drink at the hotel to kill time and then have dinner at a special restaurant in town (hotel booked for us).


A month later (June) we’re having a “dressy casual post-nuptual fiesta” as we’re calling it on the invites cool at an upscale Mexican restaurant on their outdoor lawn /patio space overlooking a reservoir! It’s basically an extended cocktail party because we’re doing just drinks and heavy appetizers. We hired an acoustic duo for live music because we’re trying to keep it casual and party-ish vs wedding-ish so a DJ didn’t really fit our vibe since we don’t want any announcements, first dances, entrences ect. Because we chose a restaurant they provide everything- staff, tables, chairs, cleanup, even the dance floor they happen to have. Our families can dance, drink, eat, look at all the pictures from our trip that we will have out and I’m even wearing my dress again! My dress is a very beachy, boho, casual type dress so it’ll fit the party vibe!


At first some family members didn’t understand for sure. But TBH most people were super supportive when we told them by stressing we wanted to save money and that we’d still have pics to send! plus  a party after made them feel better but we’re not paying for sit down meals, catering or an expensive venue.. restaurant was way less money and stress! Also, alot of people have said they wished they did that and how stressful their wedding days actually were with a big wedding.


Don’t worry about other people’s opinions! 20 years from now you’ll look back and be glad you did what was right for you and your Mr. laughing

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