Eloping was once thought to be a wild and random act of teen-hood when a young and inexperienced couple against all odds and all parental wishes decided to assert their independence and marry the “love of their life” at the local justice of the peace. Since laws and other formalities have been put into place, this happens less often under the age of 18; however, statistics report that eloping among people 25 and over is on the rise. In actuality, it all makes a whole lot of sense. Not only can you save the immense stress of planning a wedding but you can also save a boatload of money and headaches along the way.
For many couples everything starts out with the perfect engagement ring and plans of an elaborate white wedding fit for a king and queen. Then suddenly, the harsh realities of life cave in and they realize that everyone they know thinks they should have input into their wedding. It becomes one headache after another and family feelings get hurt, decisions about where to seat and what to eat have dangerous circumstances and out of frustration, the bride and groom decide to just take matters into their own hands. Sure, some people will be disappointed, namely your parents ~ but in today’s world you can actually plan an elopement and invite just a few pertinent guests along or none at all. A wedding is about the joining of two people and while many folks like to think it brings together two families, this very often is not the case. No matter what the focus of a wedding should be on the bride, groom, and nothing else! If that doesn’t seem like it will ever be a reality than many engaged couples are doing themselves a favor by bringing back the intimacy and personal feel of the event by running off and eloping.
Marriage being what it is today and with the probability of success being so low it seems like common sense to marry the first time under humble circumstances. This saves money and time and for the vast majority of couples who divorce in the first few years of marriage, will save all that guilt and remorse over having such a big wedding. People today are different and many are choosing to get married when they are over 30 and have already fairly successful and independent lives. Similarly, many couples live together for years and eloping is just a way to sign the dotted line and make their cohabitation the real deal so to speak. The older we get, the less fantasy we mix into the whole wedding ‘dream’ and spending 20K to wear a white dress, eat cake and finally get permission to have intercourse seems a bit over the top. This isn’t to insinuate that traditional marriage ceremonies are ridiculous, but that perhaps they have gone a bit over the top. Consider that the marriage planning and consultant business is a billion dollar industry and that many people spend more on one dress they will wear for 2 hours than they do on their entire wardrobe. The whole thing is pretentious to say the least.
The other thing to consider when thinking about eloping is that there is a good chance not all of your 100 closest friends and family members really want to be there anyways. Have you ever been invited to a wedding that you wanted to attend? Weddings are a formality in life and the majority of people sitting in the pews are thinking about the ignorance of your decision to get married, the waste of money that is going on, and wondering if you have any clue what marriage will bring anyways (at least the married ones are thinking that). Suffice it to say, that the biggest day in your life does not necessarily make everyone else want to pause and celebrate. Eloping can be a good way to surround your self with the people that truly care about your wellbeing, that truly support your relationship and to ensure that your wedding is for and about the right reasons…you and your partner. If you start out trying to make an impression and outdo your sister or cousin or just create the most grandiose event of the year, you aren’t thinking about what the day clearly means to you either. Sometimes, the excitement and frenzy associated with the wedding is just a way to avoid the real issues of the relationship and it can bring out sides of you and your partner that may make you realize you aren’t truly meant for one another.
If you have been thinking about eloping, than you should know that it isn’t like it once used to be. You are not stuck with waiting on the courthouse steps and there are plenty of vacation packages that can allow you and your partner to sneak away and tie the knot. When you are done with the personal part of the marriage, you can come home, throw a big informal party with gifts, and still be able to smash cake in each other’s face. Instead of ruining a thousand dollar dress, you can be wearing jeans and a nice shirt. It is probably fair to discuss it with your folks and close family ahead of time just to make sure that your decision won’t cause a breach in that relationship; however, the reality of it is that it is your decision. It seems that in these economically unreliable times where marriage is often a short stint in people’s lives that starting out modest and having a renewal of vows celebration at the 10-year mark is a better idea. Perhaps eloping now and celebrating later when you have made it as a couple to a point that most don’t, will be more of a reason to celebrate anyways.