The Pros and Cons of Eloping
Thinking of skipping the big bash for a ceremony with just you and the love of your life? Here’s the good, the bad and the beautiful elements of an elopement—from someone in the midst of planning their own.
Pro: You Can Save a Lot of Money
It’s no secret that weddings can cost a pretty penny these days. If you’d rather spend a chunk of change on a down payment for a house or a big trip or just keep your cash comfortably in savings, then an elopement is a brilliant plan. Sure, there are still some expenses, but they are minimal when you cut out catering, renting a venue and fancy floral decor.
Pro: Way Less Planning
Even the best wedding planners know orchestrating a ceremony and reception can be all-consuming and stressful. While we still have details to figure out, we can approach them more casually and not get overwhelmed with decision fatigue.
Con: Some People Will Judge You
It’s really interesting to see the reactions my fiancé and I receive when telling people we plan to elope. Confusion, side-eyes, even annoyance—mixed in with whole-hearted support and even some “Ugh, I wish we did that!”
Pro: You Can Have Your Ceremony Anywhere
If it’s just the two of you, why not say your vows in Paris? Greece? On a deserted island? Under a waterfall? The options really are endless. After you say “I do” you’ll already be on your honeymoon—and possibly checking off a trip on your bucket list.
Our pick? Bali.
Con: It Can Cause Drama
My fiancé and I never wanted a large wedding—I’m an introvert and he just wanted an intimate ceremony where we could truly be together. His family is huge and we couldn’t figure out a guest list that wouldn’t hurt people or blow up into triple digits. Hence the decision to elope. I foolishly assumed this would offend no one. In fact, I thought it was the best way to avoid drama.
Wrong. Despite the fact we are a financially independent couple in our thirties and despite planning to throw a party with family and friends upon our return, people threw fits. From my fiancé’s mother to distant relatives we rarely speak to, we were told we owed a large wedding to the family and community. Believe it or not, the parent’s “reputations” were of great concern. I never knew not wanting a full blown wedding would make us selfish, but that is how some people will view it. A reminder, perhaps, that those people don’t deserve a seat at your nuptials.
Pro: You Get to Define What Eloping Means for You
The definition of eloping is to “run away secretly in order to get married, especially without parental consent.” But these days it can be whatever you want it to be. You can include your parents, your best friends, your siblings. It doesn’t have to be a secret or a spur-of-the-moment Vegas trip. You can invite anyone and put just as much thought and care into it as a “real” wedding if you’d like.
Con: You Will Wish Some People Were There
I can’t say I haven’t had twinges of regret knowing some important people in my life will not be there on my big day. But it’s a sacrifice for simplicity and intimacy—and we plan to celebrate with them over drinks as soon as we return, and for many years to come.
Pro: You Get to Really Be Together on Your Wedding Day
How many couples do you that know barely got a chance to eat much less spend quiet moments together at their wedding? With an elopement you get to really focus on each other and this meaningful step in your lives. It doesn’t get more romantic than that.
Con: It Makes it Less of a Big Deal
I can understand the allure of a full wedding, it makes the occasion feel as momentous as it should. It puts a big exclamation mark on your unity and is a day you and your closest friends and family will remember forever.
Pro: It Makes it Less of a Big Deal
Alternatively, as someone who is very susceptible to anxiety, I love the no-pressure feel of an elopement. I plan to sleep in that morning and get ready at a leisurely pace. To enjoy a cup of tea and get my makeup and hair done with my best friend. Then, as the sun lowers over the rice paddies in Ubud, I’ll put on my dress, walk outside and say my vows to my other half.
–By Tanya Leigh Washington
Original story on Livingly
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