Eloping: Yay or Nay?

evaI’ve heard several brides say at one point or another “We should just elope and forget about all this craziness”. I can definitely understand the part of not wanting to spend all that money, dealing with parents and in-laws and all the crazy drama that sometimes comes along with wedding planning. I know that some families would be hurt that they weren’t included in the wedding but maybe they’d feel differently if the elopement was explained?

I’m not sure about you, but since I was a little girl, I dreamt about wearing the perfect wedding gown and walking down the aisle. I can remember as a kid so vividly the many times I tied my comforter around my waist and walked down the stairs pretending to be a bride. It didn’t help that I was a flower girl to many of my church members. My favorite part was seeing the train drag behind me. Never would I have thought I would’ve wanted to elope. But yet I did…

My husband and I met when we were 19 and 18 yrs old, respectively. After 2 years of dating, we were living together and making plans for our future. I had always told myself that I would never date a guy for more than 5 years and not be married. A few months before our 5th anniversary, we weren’t engaged yet but we were talking about planning an elopement the following year and inviting only my side of the family. See, my MIL is very strict on tradition and since my husband is the youngest of 3 kids, we couldn’t even think about getting married before his older siblings did. In the mean time, they weren’t dating anyone serious and I thought I’d NEVER get married at this rate. But it still wasn’t fair inviting my side to the elopement and not his side.

We were planning a Vegas trip a month out with some of our friends and spontaneously decided to elope during that trip. The only way it would be fair to both sides was if we kept it to our close group of friends. My only stipulation was for us to have a big wedding when the timing was right (or I should say, after his older siblings got married) We told a handful of our friends, bought a dress, booked the hotel and swore everyone to secrecy.

The weekend quickly approached. We drove to Vegas, checked in, went to get our marriage license, scoped out a chapel and headed back to our hotel to prepare for our separate bachelor/bachelorette parties. The next morning, we prepared for the big event. My good friend who was also our matchmaker did my hair & make up for me. We got dressed, met up in the lobby and stopped to pose for a few pictures. Before we knew it, we were married!!

We headed back to the hotel to get ready for yet another night of celebrating. We probably spent at the most $600 all weekend and had the time of our lives. No pressure from families, just pure fun, love and happiness. 3 years later, we had our big wedding. Because we were already secretly married, we weren’t worried about getting married. We were just excited to finally be openly married!

A few years later, I met a few other couples who did the same thing and eloped before they had their big ceremony. Consensus is that it was the best thing they did. It was more about the marriage than putting on the show. This Friday Jan. the 8th, we will be celebrating our 4th “public” wedding anniversary. Would you consider eloping?

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