Sorry for the impending novel. Has anyone here eloped? I know I've seen a few posters mention they've eloped, but I'd like to hear people's experiences of doing so.
Recently, I stayed in Savannah for the evening at a B&B. They had listed on their website the typical wedding reservations but they also had an 'elopment package.'
I'm in the middle of the lifestage in which everyone I've ever met in my life is currently planning their wedding. While I really love the idea of planning and think I'd be good at the creative side and the management of a timeline, etc... I just can't help but think "D@MN That's a LOT of money!!"
I know if I wanted to do a wedding 'my way' the things I would not skimp on would be the truly expensive things; food, venue, photography. Food is hugely important in my family (MrB's side... not so much, lol), we LOFF good food! Venue is really important to me - but being able to strike a mood in other ways (lighting decor etc) would work, too, but also can cost $$$. I know people say they never look at their photographs, but I love photography and am the type to have big, framed photos everywhere, etc. The photo quality IS important to me.
SO it seems, the only way to get out of it without spending too much money, is to only invite a small group. MrB would love this- and he'd be okay with it as he has a tiny, not-very-close family. We don't have a HUGE group of friends, either.
Me, on the other hand,... I have a huge family on my mom's side, huge family on my dad's side (both of which are the type to travel long and far for a good party), AND I have my maternal biological family that I've connected with in the last few years and have become close with. This family is also large.
If money were no object in the invite list, MrB's side would have maybe 12 people, maybe 30 mutual friends (+sig others) and my side would easily have 150 relatives. It would be VERY hard to pare down that list on my side and not offend LOTS of people.
I'm tempted to just say... lets elope!! I've jokingly said we'd elope to my mom and oddly enough (or not, as she'd be footing the wedding bill) was like, "GO for it!" I think my dad would be a little sad, but not if we had a BBQ at some point (which he would of course cook- the man loves to feed people).
MrB's parents- him being the only child, and them being slightly more sentimental than my parents(!)- would probably be horrified if we did that. Hurt, excluded, etc.
Anyone go ahead with getting eloped? What did you do, why did you decide to go that route? What would you change, what did you love about it?
And not to veer off the elopement thread too much- did anyone do a destination wedding in order to avoid the big invite list? Did that backfire at all? How was it?
Hopefully OT weekend won't close the second I post this (probably will!) but if so, I'll bump it up the next chance I can get
ETA- I'm in my mid-twenties and he's in his early 30s if that matters at all
Last edited by bits619; Jul. 5, 2011 at 12:22 PM.
Reason: Took out *some* superfluous details...
My parents have offered me a large sum of money to elope then to make then suffer through the planning and stress of an actual wedding/reception/bridal party/ect. I am not even engaged yet... still haven't decided what to do if that happens, but weddings are SO expensive, althought I do have some girlfriends who have pulled them off for $10k. I don't know how.
The first time I stood as a bridesmaid, I decided there was no way I wanted a big wedding. The bride had a image in mind of how everything was supposed to be... and reality didn't match. There were tears. Lots of tears. And I didn't blame her b/c some of the decor did look like utter crap and didn't match work requested. I didn't want to be in her shoes with high expectations and be let down.
But the even bigger factor was that if I stood at the back of a church, staring at hundreds of faces staring back at me, I wouldn't make it down the aisle. Can you say "runaway bride"?
My dad's side of the family is huge and close. We do multiple family reunions a year. I know many of my fifth cousins. Do you know how few people are able to define a second cousin, much less a fifth cousin?!? It's nuts. The family includes people who pretty much aren't even relatives anymore.
Mr. A4B had already been married and divorced so wasn't interested in a big ordeal. I didn't want the drama. I had just endured my mother's planning of my brother's wedding, and much as I love my mother, our relationship just would not have been the same afterward if she held a major role in my wedding. So we eloped. It was just me, DH, and the judge. And we forgot to take a picture.
Getting back my large extended family, my parents did request a reception, and I agreed on the condition that someone else plan it. My mom took that duty. So two months after we got hitched, we had a nice reception complete with food and cake and pictures and whatnot.
Not all the family could make it. So two weeks after reception numero uno, we traveled out of town to my cousin's house, where she hosted a second and smaller potluck gathering for those who hadn't made it to the first. We jokingly called it our wedding tour.
ETA: We did do a weekend getaway for our honeymoon. Having kids ruled out any type of extended trip. If we had it to do over again, I don't think there'd be any changes. A few months afterward, I was a bridesmaid again and felt the teeniest twinge when I started down the aisle, but it passed about a nanosecond later. All in all, I'd highly recommend the private elopement + big party later route.
Last edited by Aggie4Bar; Jul. 5, 2011 at 01:53 PM.
I didn't elope so much as have a tiny wedding (think immediate family.. 8 of us all together). We had it a B&B on Amelia Island in FL. We still had a cake, I still had a dress, still had photos taken, etc. Then afterwards, at our own home, we had a big BBQ and invited everyone. We considered big wedding, but with the amount we wanted to spend we figured out that by the time we invited the people we "had to invite" we wouldn't have enough left over to actually invite all our friend that we wanted to be there. SO we decided to upset everyone equally instead of upsetting just a few lol.
I am SOOO wanting to elope. Simply just going to the court house or maybe a small, private ceremony in the woods.
My fiance' and I are thinking we may do just that. HOWEVER, my fiance' INSISTS on having a "real wedding" all because of his damn, annoying mother, who absolutely MUST see her son walk down the isle. UGH! (Lets just say my future mother in-law drives me up a freaking wall!)
Frankly, I don't like the idea of walking down the isle, with all eyes on me. Especially since my mother-in-law is going to try and take over the whole thing and i REALLY don't want to have to put her in her place, for the millionth time! I just want to save the money and go on a KICK ASS honeymoon!
My husband and I eloped to Italy with Romantic Italian Weddings, and I would do it again the same way if I had the chance! Everything was perfect and totally stress-free. Our wedding coordinator asked me what I wanted the violinist to play and what I wanted for a bouquet and he took care of the rest. Our photographer was top notch and we spent three hours playing in the streets of Cortona taking pictures with him after the wedding, before walking to a restaurant that caters Milan Fashion Week every year for a five-course reception with four alcohol courses and a full dessert tray. Despite all that, it was not as expensive as it sounds, especially considering our package included a week's stay at a B&B. The best part of all of it was that I was able to relax and focus on marrying my best friend without worrying about flowers, or whether his mother would be happy with everything, or any other petty little thing that, in the end, doesn't matter at all.
When we got home, we had a small, local "reception" (really more of a big party) so we still got to celebrate but without all of the stress. I also got to wear my dress twice!