To Elope or Not

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BooBishaBride Posts : 120 Registered: 1/31/08
To Elope or Not
Posted: Apr 29, 2009 1:53 AM

Hey everyone, it's been a long while since I posted, it's been really busy around here ;) I'm facing a little issue here.

My parents eloped when they were married and my mom has always hinted that this is really the best way to tie the knot. My parents (esp. my mom) would love it if me and FH were to elope. Further, my FH himself would say (even before we got engaged) that he though eloping was the most romantic thing. Now, he has become an very-po elopement as well. What could be romantic than just us and our love he says, without all the extra fluff. FH's family are somewhat slightly in favor of us eloping as they think it be less hassle and perhaps would suit us better. They didn't have much of a traditional wedding either.

The problem is I want a small (less than 60 person) wedding that is informal. Ideally in an outdoor setting, maybe a garden or forest. I don't think this is unreasonable, but at this point I feel like a bridezilla for even wanting a wedding at all. I would like select friends and family to be there to share the moment and joy and have celebrate the moment together. I have been very quite about this. I mostly passively agree about the benefits of elopement (less planning, more honeymoon time, etc). I've been seriously putting off the planning because I'm not sure how to handle it.

I feel like if I was vocal everyone would go along for my sake, and I don't want the wedding to be just about me and what I want. But I feel like we would miss out on the whole process and experience of the wedding by eloping (cake tasting, sisters as bridesmaids, looking for a site together, wedding showers, friends and family being there, dancing, etc). I'm just not sure what to do.


Bally Posts : 355 Registered: 9/25/08
Re: To Elope or Not
Posted: Apr 29, 2009 5:59 AM Go to message in response to: BooBishaBride

I am sort of in the same boat as you. My parents eloped and always told me it was the way to do it. FH thinks eloping is the way to go (or else super formal, chapel wedding with huge reception but only cause his parents would poo poo anything less) , and to some extent so do I, but I want to celebrate with family and friends and I think we may regret not having some sort of wedding like affair. So pretty much how you feel.

If you feel you will miss out on the whole experience, voice this to your FH and see if you can meet half way. It can be very casual but you can still have your bridesmaids (thats important to me too), your dress etc

We are getting married in a conservation area, with max 45 ppl, having either high tea or a BBQ, serving Pimms and cake and possibly some dancing, cause we love to party!.. I would like to set up croquet games and maybe a cricket game (working on FH on that one!). So it will be ultra casual and hopefully a good bit of craic for everyone, yet the wedding elements are there, just a bit different, so we won't feel we missed on the 'wedding experience'.

Don't feel like a bridezilla cause you're not, I think you're being very considerate but you should be able to have your experience too so I reckon there is a way to handle both your and FH's wishes to make you both happy.

Good luck!



TigerBride515 Posts : 482 Registered: 10/15/08
Re: To Elope or Not
Posted: Apr 29, 2009 9:56 AM Go to message in response to: Bally

Not to be a downer on elopement because I do think it is very romantic but I personally think that the wedding planning process serves a very important purpose. It can be a great exercise for your couple skills. I know that it has saved me from a bad marriage. My first engagement cracked under the pressure of the wedding planning and thankfully I found out that I could not be married to that person. And I also now know that FH and I are closer than ever and have learned how to compromise better and more importantly we have learned a lot about each others family's that we probably would not have otherwise.

I think that weddings are about more than just the couple. They are about the couple and all the people that love and support them and who have made them what they are, the person you love most. So for me it was absolutely necessary to include them in our wedding.


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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: To Elope or Not
Posted: Apr 29, 2009 11:21 AM Go to message in response to: BooBishaBride

dear BBB,

I agree with a PP that the process of wedding planning can be a good "shakedown cruise" for the marriage. If a bride and groom get into knockdown-dragout fights over cake flavors, they are best advised to rethink the entire idea.

Lot of people, not only your parents, would tell you that elopement is the way to go. My SIL eloped 40 years ago and she is still happily married.

But, there are also lots of people who would tell you that they would never elope. (I would be one of those.) I really wanted my family and friends there when I got married.

There are only, really, two votes that count: Your vote and FH's. The two of you need to have an honest conversation about the upcoming wedding, budgets, expectations, etc. It's possible that he has become pro-elopement just because he thinks that's what you want.

Talk to him. Conduct this conversation over a few days, if necessary. Then, once you have come to an agreement, present that agreement to your parents.


traveler Posts : 18 Registered: 6/17/08
Re: To Elope or Not
Posted: Apr 29, 2009 8:47 PM Go to message in response to: auntofthebride

Personally, I wanted to go to Europe get married at a quaint church and start our honeymoon. I was up for inviting immediate family members or anyone who wanted to come (all paying their own way, of course). Well, I got out voted. My fiance wanted a big wedding and so did his parents (he's the first of his family to get married). My family didn't care as I am the third child to get married. That was last June.

Now it is close to four months until our wedding and I wish I would have insisted on what I really wanted. Especially since I ended up stuck with all of the stress and planning for the wedding I 'compromised' for. Don't get me wrong, my fiance has tried to help the best he can.

So, it's your wedding. You should plan the wedding YOU want. Trust me, there is going to be some one unhappy with what you are planning no matter what you do!

I think Tiger's post above is right. It really helps you work together and face life challenges together by going through the wedding planning process not to mention dealing with family issues.


auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: To Elope or Not
Posted: Apr 29, 2009 9:33 PM Go to message in response to: traveler

Dear TL,

"Personally, I wanted to go to Europe get married at a quaint church and start our honeymoon."

Well... that might not have been all that easy. Various countries have various residency laws for to-be-married couples. Churches have pre-marital counseling requirements. In many parts of Europe, one has to have a civil marriage in the town hall before a religious wedding in a church. I know for a fact that in some countries, clergy members are prohibited by state law from officiating at religious weddings without a preceding civil ceremony.

You can't just fly into Europe, drop by the first cute church you see and tie the knot. I don't mean to rain on your parade, but there are hassles and troubles with your alternative to the local big wedding.

" Well, I got out voted. My fiance wanted a big wedding "

His vote is the only one that counted. The others only offered opinions.


HappyGirl13 Posts : 1,298 Registered: 4/21/08
Re: To Elope or Not
Posted: Apr 30, 2009 3:16 AM Go to message in response to: auntofthebride

I feel like a broken record telling my story on here sometimes (apologies to anyone who'd heard it a few times already), but I really wanted a smallish casual wedding, like 60 people like you're talking about, but allowed it to balloon to 160 because I wanted to make everyone else happy and didn't want to just "make everyone else go along with what I wanted." So I've been in your shoes. I was happy with my wedding in a lot of ways, but I will always have some regret that I caved on MY vision of the wedding to make other people happy. It was MY damn wedding, too!

I agree with Aunt that what counts most is yours and FH's opinion. If he likes the idea of eloping but is totally fine with your vision, too, then I think you should move forward with it and forget about whether anyone else is fine with it, your mom included. Conclusion: If you decide to elope because you decide you really do want that, you will be happy with your decision. If you do it because your FH thinks it's a good idea or you're trying to satisfy other people, you will probably regret it later. If you really want friends and family there, you have a right to ask for that.

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Edited by: HappyGirl13 on Apr 30, 2009 12:59 AM


JJsWifey08 Posts : 272 Registered: 12/5/08
Re: To Elope or Not
Posted: Apr 30, 2009 10:00 AM Go to message in response to: BooBishaBride

We didnt elope but we prefered a small wedding (5 people) and the JOP in his home. It took too much to plan such a big wedding (which we are going to do later as a vow renewal). However you prefer to marry is up to you guys no one else. All that matters is that youre spending your life with the one you love
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futuremrscampbe... Posts : 9 Registered: 4/28/09
Re: To Elope or Not
Posted: May 2, 2009 7:15 PM Go to message in response to: BooBishaBride

you don't seem like a bridezilla at all for wanting a wedding ceremony. Every woman has always dreamt of their wedding since their were little girls. If that's what you really want then just sit down and talk with the whole family and tell them in a polite way and I'm sure they'll understand because they all care about you.


ThePhotoBride Posts : 48 Registered: 11/29/08
Re: To Elope or Not
Posted: May 3, 2009 8:17 PM Go to message in response to: BooBishaBride

I think an intimate 60-person wedding is not too much to ask. It might be different if you wanted a 300-person grand affair. :) You need to talk to your fiance about it. He needs to know how you feel.

My husband and I eloped on New Year's Eve. We are planning a wedding for June 2010 after he returns from Iraq to celebrate with family and friends. We both really wanted to put more emphasis on the June wedding, but now that we are married, we consider New Year's Eve our truly special day. I can't help but be more sentimental about it because despite the fact that it was so extremely informal, it was the day I became his wife and he became my husband. If we weren't planning our June wedding, however, I would probably regret not having the "party" for the rest of my life.

So...that's just my perspective...not sure I helped at all, but I hope you do what makes you happy. :)


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