It’s been a busy few months over here, and now the cat’s out of the bag… we’re not having a ‘proper’ wedding. And, if you didn’t know that, suprise! This has been met by a few reactions – usually either complete confusion or complete encouragement. We’ve heard both ‘I wish I had done that’, to ‘Why are you doing that?’
Let me say, it’s definitely not for everyone – but it’s definitely for us. Although an elopement traditionally means running away to get married, it’s now a bit of a catch-all word for intimate and semi-private wedding ceremonies. For us, eloping means our immediate family, an officiant, and a simple but pretty location. It’s casual and lovely, while still not losing the special feel. It’s what feels perfect for us, and that’s the most important thing to remember whenever thinking about weddings, I think!
We chose elopement for a few reasons. Firstly, the cost of a wedding averages about $35,000, which is a lot of money (and that’s not even including a honeymoon!) Admittedly, when we saw numbers like that, we were already pretty sure we wanted to elope, but it helped cement our decision – that’s just too much money for us to spend on one day, and on one experience, when it could so well be put towards things like travelling and vacations (and, let’s face it, more reasonable things like rent and groceries).
Our second reason was stress – especially if you’re putting so much money into an event, the level of stress goes up, up, up. Trying to organize bridesmaids, venues, best men, fine dining meals, bouquets, floral arrangements, and clothes for 15 people just seemed like so much unneeded stress. Especially with most of my family and female relatives halfway across the world, trying to get bridesmaid dresses fitted and organized seemed like an absolute nightmare. For us, keeping it simple means we’re having our elopement for our wedding, and then a party a few days later to celebrate. If you’re looking into elopement, I would definitely recommend this – it lets everyone in on the celebration, while taking away many of the stressful elements of a wedding (like trying to organize 6 bridesmaid, 6 groomsmen, a flower girl, a ring bearer, extended family, etc…)
Lastly, and most importantly, it feels right to us. We don’t want a big wedding – it seems so much more special to us if it’s just us and our families. Obviously, for other people, this may not be true; but for us, it seems better to share a special day and moment with the people who matter to us most, and just those people. Having our celebration a few days later lets us celebrate our joy with everyone, while still letting our ceremony be private and uncomplicated. It lets us have a small, perfect day that is filled with joy and love, and has minimal stress.
So many people have met us with understanding and happiness, and even told us they wished they’d done something similar for their wedding. We definitely understood going in that it isn’t something for everyone – some people love their huge weddings and getting to be the star of a big show, and that’s great! For us, however, it just wasn’t right for us. And, since we’re saying we’re right for each other (forever!), then it only seems correct that our day feels right for us, too. It lets us celebrate our love simply. I think weddings can lose their focus sometimes, and become all about providing the perfect guest experience. By doing that, we lose sight of what’s most important – two people who are committing to each other for forever, and who love each other so much that they want to show the whole world.
If you’re considering eloping, there’s lots of lovely ideas on Pinterest about how to make it special and original, and lots of blogs with their experiences surrounding the big day. The internet is full of great resources on how to go about it in your state, and lots of lovely people who are starting up companies to assist with planning your elopement, and making it even less stressful!