- Wedding: April 2019 - La Fortuna, Costa Rica
No one can tell you what is the right choice for you!
My fiancee and I are eloping in less than two weeks and I am so excited. When he first suggested it I did have to think about it. I’ve never been one want a big wedding but not even having my parents, grandparents and sister there was a big decision to make.. Ultimately I decided it was right for us and the more people I’ve told (with the exception of a couple of family members but remember this is YOUR day and YOUR wedding) everyone is super supportive and alot of married couples have said they wished they did that!
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 for a honeymoon/wedding combo trip). For our wedding day a couple days into the trip, 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. We hired a legal officiant 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 mini table made up with a mini cake to cut and a bottle of champagne to pop/toast. The hotel is arranging it 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 well as having a hand fasting ceremony. Then immediately after in the grass we eat cake, drink champagne and take pictures! Ceremony is 4pm 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). Total for 8 day trip & wedding with food, drink, hotel, transportation ~$5,500.
A month later (June) we’re having 50-60 people for a “dressy casual post-nuptual fiesta” as we’re calling it on the invites at an upscale Mexican restaurant on their outdoor lawn /patio space overlooking a reservior! We’re doing open bar with beer, wine, liquor but no shots or top shelf and heavy apps from 7pm-11pm. We hired an acoustic duo for live music. 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! (Mine is a very beachy, boho, casual type dress but even if it’s not, who cares!)Total for party ~ $3,500.
You can make it however YOU want! I don’t feel I’m missing out on anything- I still celebrated with my friends at a bachelorette, the ladies of the family at a bridal shower they wanted to throw me, and we’re having a party when we get back! If it’s not for you that’s ok- but if you’re on the fence think about how you want THAT DAY to go most. Do you want everyone there to help you get ready and to watch you walk the aisle? or would you rather say your vows to your fiancee with no one watching? Maybe get ready together? Everyone has a different idea of what is romantic and intimate and important. You can also do it as just a small ceremony/dinner or lunch after where it’s parents and siblings are there if you wanted!
I’m looking forward to a fun and relaxing day with the man I love. We did not want the entire day to get away from us with bridesmaids and groomsmen, fuss over a schedule of activities and then the only time we’re alone the whole day to enjoy the moment is when we were at the alter with 100 eyes on us. There’s no right or wrong way to get married but we are doing what’s right for US while saving a TON of money.
Ultimately, I believe you should make your decision based on how YOU want your day to go. If you truly want everyone there smiling at you on your big day, maybe eloping isn’t for you and you should look for inexpensive or free venues, cheaper food or cutting your guest list instead. If you don’t want to spend a lot but want a wedding, there are ways of spending less but if you elope because you want an intimate day spent with your fuure husband, I dont think you’d regret it one bit.