When I was working for Catering Affairs just out of college, I saw my fair share of weddings. I am sure to the guests, they went by without a hitch, however, the insider view left something to be desired. On multiple occasions, I watched the brides toss their cookies before they even made it down the aisle. I got to witness the parents of the bride flip their lids over stupid details and more than anything I noticed the bride and groom were just so darn stressed out they really couldn’t enjoy their big day. I was a single girl back then, but even then, I thought to myself, “Maybe I should elope.”
Elopements have evolved over the years. The original term “elopement” is described as to run away secretly with the intention of getting married usually without parental consent. However, due to an over abundance of budget-savvy brides and couples that are saying “Ain’t nobody got time for that,” elopements can mean forgoing the big wedding and inviting just a few friends and family to a wedding on a whim.
Of course, with any big event (no matter how small) there will be pros and cons. First off, a few pros.
- The wedding itself will be significantly less expensive. No need for decorations, a cake, a dress to show off. You can take the money that would have gone towards all these things and splurge on the honeymoon or a great videographer to document your elopement.
- More you time and less family time. Not that I don’t love family, but once the ring is on the finger, everyone will want a hand in the wedding preparations, down to the day. Once you have gotten down the aisle, you will be pulled from one family member to the next until all you have left of your special day is a blur…and maybe the bouquet if you’re lucky. Having that one on one time with your new spouse, in my opinion, is crucial on the wedding day, not just the honeymoon.
- It’s easy! You could literally decide to elope on a Monday and be married by Saturday, depending on how long it takes to obtain a marriage license. You don’t have to worry about dates being booked for that posh (yeah, I said posh) venue down the way, you don’t have to go through caterers….just sign and seal with a kiss.
Then there are the cons. The things that are keeping me from ever eloping even though I am pretty much sold on the idea.
- People are going to be p-o’d. Especially if it’s just the two of you, that family I mentioned earlier is going to be raising Hell for not making them a part of your special day. Friends could be even worse. Of course, you may get lucky and have friends and family who understand but I can’t promise they won’t feel a tinge of hurt for not inviting them along.
- You won’t have that “big white wedding” all girls are expected to have. I am a fan of small weddings but there is a little girl inside who really, really wants that big wedding with EVERYONE you ever knew gathering around to witness your awesome love for your new spouse. I blame it on the commercialism and glorification of weddings but still, it does look like a ton of fun.
I am sure you can come up with more pros and cons, and maybe even offer a few tips on eloping (for those of you who have). Tim and I have a well-set three year rule in place so I have plenty of time to change my mind several times before we actually go anywhere with this but he has already let me know he really wants a quiet beach wedding. Home girl can’t afford beach wedding with everyone. Maybe eloping wouldn’t be such a bad idea after all? Hm. Ah well, plenty of time to think on it.
A new trend that has come up is the elope now, party later fling. You elope and then you have a “reception style” party with all your friends and family there to congratulate you. You get the best of both worlds. You get your wish of it just being the two of you on your wedding day and then you have a big party with everyone you love. I have attended an elopement party before and it was a ton of fun. I get to attend another one in August and the excitement is palpable even in March. I am not too torn up that I don’t get to see the ceremony. As a supportive friend, all I want to do is party down with the happy couple. Key word: happy. When it comes to the most important decision of you life, the happiness of you and your partner should be at the forefront.
Check out these happy couples who elope:
Dorie and Justin’s Elopement Music Video
Courtesy of OffbeatBride.com
Laura Beth and Jesse’s Gatlinburg Elopement
Password is laurabeth2011
Courtesy of Offbeatbride.com
Book Store Elopement
Courtesy of Vimeo.com
An Elopement in Paris
Video Courtesy of TheKnot.com
Over the next few months, I will pop in a few etiquette tips as well as special ways to commemorate an elopement long with the traditional wedding posts. Until then, what are your thoughts on eloping? Have you done it/considered it? What are your pros and cons? Leave comments and blog posts in the box below!