Growing up, when I thought of eloping, I thought of two love-struck people who couldn’t keep their hands off of each other and wanted to spend the rest of their lives together but had to keep their love secret from the world.
Now as an adult, when I think about eloping, I think about a couple that just wants to do it their way – in love and unapologetic.
When we discussed getting married, eloping was thrown out there; however, we did not have a deep conversation about it. After a little digging, I found that the cost would have been around the same as our budget. Airfare and hotel for 10 days in Vegas would have cost us about $3,400. If you budgeted for food, transportation, entertainment and miscellaneous items, that would have cost another $1,500.
Also, I was not one of those brides who took a year to plan this day. It took about 7 days to google and bounce ideas off of my mom and make all the calls. To me, it would have taken the same amount of effort to plan our eloping trip because I would have researched and planned activities for us to do for the 10 days in Vegas.
When the thought of eloping briefly entered my mind (and then quickly left), I thought of the following pros and cons:
It is a lot cheaper than a traditional wedding. With the average cost of a wedding (sans honeymoon) being $30,000, eloping is a very inexpensive approach to getting hitched. Some couples just don’t want to spend that much money to get married, or it might take them longer than they’d wish.
By eloping, a couple can save for something else like an emergency fund, a down payment on a starter home, or if they choose – travel the world.
Eloping doesn’t require a lot of planning. You don’t have to worry about color palettes, guest lists, menus, music, rehearsals, and all the other little things that go into a traditional wedding. Not having to plan allows you to be stress-free and actually enjoy the ride.
If the location doesn’t matter, you can get married and have a honeymoon in the same place. You can elope to Las Vegas, Mexico, Hawaii or some other place because the options are endless. Having everything in one location allows you to enjoy it a little longer and you get to experience a different culture depending on where you are eloping.
You may hurt your family’s feelings. When it is just you and your significant other there for your special day, your nearest and dearest may be upset because they were not there to celebrate your union. Although the only feelings that should matter are your’s and your spouse’s, family members will voice their disappointment or tell you how hurt they are.
Now that your family members’ feelings are hurt, you will have to explain yourself. They will want to know why you chose to do it that way. Even though it is totally up to you to not to tell them anything, you should just know people will want an explanation of your decision to not have them witness your nuptials.
Honestly, someone will question your decisions regardless. Eloping, small wedding, large wedding, roses, fake flowers, sit down dinner, buffet, winter, or summer – someone will ask, “why?”.
When you elope, the memories you create are different from those of a traditional wedding. You lose out on having the first dance, cutting the cake, and throwing the bouquet. Also, there won’t be any of your family there to share this moment with you.
That was the main reason why eloping was quickly scrapped because I wanted to have our family and friends there to celebrate with us.
Lastly, know that no matter what you decide to do, you may feel guilty or regret something about the day. We didn’t elope, and a few months after the wedding I felt bad that I didn’t invite someone and wished the reception was an hour longer. However, I got over it because the day was perfect and as everything was happening those two things never crossed my mind. So I wasn’t going to let it bother me after the fact.
At the end of the day, couples decide to elope for a multitude of reasons – Family, money, time, religion, benefits*. But whatever the reason, like everything else there are pros and cons. If you are thinking about eloping, but you’re not 100% sure, just take a little time and list the things that are most important for your special day versus the things you can do without.
*Side note: I am currently watching the Seven Year Switch on the FYI channel and one of the couples eloped because the husband joined the Air Force, so they got married at the courthouse so they could share the benefits. Now they are planning a “traditional” wedding because no one knows that they have been married for the past two years. What?!?!
Are you thinking about eloping? Do you know anyone that eloped? Is there anything you regret or wish you had at your wedding?