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Elopement versus traditional wedding...thoughts?
Married Life / 11:24 AM - Wednesday August 18, 2010

Elopement versus traditional wedding...thoughts?

I am recently engaged, and in the process of planning a wedding. I have always wanted something small, under 50 people, very intimate. However, I am doing a lot of DIY to keep it cheap, but both of our sets of parents keep trying to add people to the guest list. Well, more people means more money, that I just don't have. I have always thought weddings should be more for the couple rather than distant aunts, uncles and cousins you barely know.

I am at the point where I think it might be easier to do either a quick courthouse wedding or trip to Vegas (I only live about an hour and a half away from there) to elope, and then worry about a fancier/larger reception at a later date.

Thoughts? Anyone here elope and are glad they did it??


- Asked by booknerd258, A Thinker, Female, 26-28, Internet / New Media

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If you are paying for the wedding, then you have every right to limit the number of guests. You could tell them that they will have to pay for extra people above and beyond those on your list...and tell them the price per person. I guarantee they will be shocked!

I had a small wedding -- very limited budget -- but then about a month afterward, my parents held a "reception" in their home for all of those distant cousins, etc. to come "meet the bride and groom." It was informal, relatively inexpensive, and it meant that the invited guests did not have to give gifts -- which they appreciated!

It's difficult but you simply have to be firm with all of the parents since you're paying the bills. You don't want to start married life with a pile of wedding bills to pay. (My friend's daughter did that - $70,000 worth of wedding bills to pay. I think she is still paying five years later!)

- Response by A Hippie Chick, Female, 56-65

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I'm all for city hall weddings.

That being said, this your (you & your fiance's) wedding and you are paying for it.

Please let your parents know that it is really quite rude and unhelpful for them to interfere.

The ability to tell them this and then politely ignore further interference will be a good test of both of your fitness and maturity for marriage.

- Response by trawna, A Career Woman, Female, 46-55, Toronto, Consulting

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Community Rating: Community Star

It was the best decision I ever made - besides to marry him . I was like you planning my own wedding - I wanted the most 75 people - by the time the guest list was done I had about 150 people coming - and then there was still more to invite, because you can't invite one without the other - you know that goes.

We were "supposed" to get married on Halloween I wanted a blue Sleeping Beauty gown - helllllloooo, it's Halloween - I wanted a masquerade bowl - I wanted an evening wedding. what I got was - forced into buying a traditional white gown, costume optional, and the f*ing wedding was at 1pm, reception to follow at 2 - over by 6pm. the only thing I got was the day. nothing else was my choice. it was either my mothers, or my sisters or my husbands family decision. So, two weeks before the wedding I was like this isn't my wedding so I'm not going. I called off the wedding on October 16 -not because I didn't want to marry him but because I couldn't deal with everyone else.

7 months later and $15,000 down the drain - everything was paid for already. We got married by the JP - alone - no one was invited except him and I and the judge and the 2 ladies that worked with the judge as witnesses . they knew we were getting married the marriage license thing gets published in the paper - but no one knew when and if we would do it this time. we did and I hear all these nightmare stories about things that can go wrong during a wedding and I'm sooooo glad I didn't have the wedding. sure it would have been nice, but it was never my wedding. He said down the road we'll re-new our vows in a church and I can have my Halloween wedding then. And this time I will be wearing that damn blue sleeping beauty gown. Bride-zilla here I come. no more push-over bride for me. hahaha.

p.s. best of luck - and go for the Vegas wedding- but make sure Elvis marries you - more rememberable that way . or some other off the wall Vegas wedding theme - you'll love it.

- Response by A Trendsetter, Female, 36-45

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run away with the guy and be happy.
sounds like they want more than you can afford.
gracious, I would elope with you.

- Response by mobysdick, A Mr. Nice Guy, Male, 46-55, Who Cares?

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I had a big wedding .. and you're right -- I think it was mainly for the relatives... and my Dad! My husband and I would have been happy with just a small wedding or eloping but my Dad insisted.

But .. you also might like to have the special memories that come with getting together with everyone to celebrate your BIG day. That's very important to some people.

You should make your wedding what you and your fiancee' want .. not what everyone else wants .. it should reflect the 2 of you!!

If money is tight .. it's probably better to have a small wedding or elope and save your money to buy things for your home and future.

Getting married is special no matter how you do it ... just be sure it's what you want!!! Hopefully, this will be your first and last!!


- Response by mrscleaver16, A Married Girl, Female, 66 or older

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I just find big weddings to be pointless. Nowadays they're becoming very overated. All the traditions seem silly. I can't stand them. People will attend a wedding just because they were invited and I don't think it should be that way. It seems rather odd to attend a wedding of someone you barely know. How would they even know if its true love between the couple or something in vain? I would just go to city hall or Vegas to make it fun. In this economy, I wouldn't even bother having something extravagant.

- Response by bts4life20, A Trendsetter, Female, 26-28, Self-Employed

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Traditionally wedding is a public show of your choice to marry. Eloping isn't. No o ne sees it, it's cheap and you can spend all that money on a beer qand wine reception. Ask everyone to bring a food dish.,

- Response by clueless37, An Alternative Girl, Female, 46-55, Celebrity

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I'm all for whatever makes the bride and groom happy on their own wedding day as long as it is reasonable. And if having the wedding guests number be just 50 for the both of you, then I say you and the future hubby need to be firm and up front with the both of your parents about capping it at 50. Cause it is not only about providing for so many other guests. It is about cementing yourselves as a united, ADULT couple in front of and to both of your parents. Which is very important I think once your married. Cause if you submit to your folks on wedding decisions now, then they might try to make decisions in your actual marriage too. So although eloping seems far easier to do under all the pressure of things. I say stick to what you want and tell the parental units to back off before even they aren't invited to the wedding; least of all a dozen other relatives you don't even know.

- Response by CursedRomantic, A Thinker, Female, 26-28, Columbus, Student

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i'm all for eloping,no big celebration and not spending thousands on one day,i'd rather save the money for a vacation or a home.

- Response by le_gem735713, A Thinker, Female, 29-35, Miami, Who Cares?

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The thing is - you don't have to look at "city hall" weddings as being no frills anymore. I thought it would be until I went through with it. In my state, they no longer marry people at a courthouse. You have to get a marriage registrant to marry you and you only use the courtouse to get your licenses. The person marrying you can go wherever you want them to. They could marry you in your backyard if you want them to. I chose to be married on a lakeside with a few friends and family. I got to wear my wedding dress and say my vows on a beautiful day with the man I love. People that look at the pictures think I went somewhere fancy. It cost us about $15. It was the best memory of my life, hassle free, breathtaking and genuine.

- Response by babysta, A Married Girl, Female, 36-45

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OH MY GOSH. my wedding is 15 days away. We're both students and don't have any money, so my parents are paying for the whole thing. It's turned into this big event (about 75 people, but i originally wanted 30-50), that is totally my mom's wedding, not mine at all. She's a complete bridezilla right now. I've struggled with her every step of the way. It's just not worth it. The only good thing about this is that i got my perfect dress. I wouldn't have wanted a las vegas wedding, but i would have like a DIY wedding in my mom's garden in the backyard, you know? You just have to start saying no, and being decisive. otherwise it will end up being what everyone else wanted, and not representative of you and your husband.

My fiance and i have agreed to have our ideal wedding (which sounds basically like what you originally wanted) for our first anniversary.

- Response by emilykrodgers, A Creative, Female, 26-28, Artist / Musician / Writer

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You try to plan a small intimate wedding, and before you know it, it becomes all about what everyone else wants. Suddenly, it's not even about you anymore, but how you're going to entertain distant family members you see once a year if you're lucky.

I'm not against sharing the joy, but most of them are not there for anything more than the free food and booze.

My husband and I did our wedding very small at the courthouse, inviting only immediate family and close friends. Few were invited to the ceremony and we treated the immediate families and closest friends to dinner.

Even that was stressful when friends reacted with "are you cheating us out of a good party?" And when they were invited to the dinner, they never showed up. It wasn't about celebrating our marriage at all... it was about the party.

Don't even get me started on the person who wanted to invite a distant cousin so she "had someone to talk to." And if that cousin comes, these people have to be invited... and on and on it goes.

LOL I'm still not over how selfish some people can be.

This is YOUR day to be selfish. Screw what everyone else wants. Make this day about YOU and YOU alone.

- Response by mariposa555, A Thinker, Female, 36-45, New York

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I'm eloping. My fiance and I are still bickering whether we want to go to Vegas or get married by the captain on a cruise ship, but we're definitely eloping.

My reasons are: I do not see the purpose of spending thousands on a wedding that I don't really want; also, I dislike the social concept of a wedding--I love my fiance but I don't think I should be forced to swear this in front of all of our family. That feels too much like the traditional "exchange of goods" that the marriage system essentially is: women are "goods" in patriarchal systems that are exchanged between families and the wedding ceremony is where that's supposed to happen. As a result I don't want a wedding ceremony.

We'll have small party for family members only when we return from our honeymoon. IMO, it's the best option and it's still romantic, charming and memorable.

- Response by electragold21, A Thinker, Female, 29-35, New York, Teaching

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