The Pros and Cons of Eloping
Sometimes, engaged couples find that there's something about the big wedding and all that leads up to it that just doesn't sit well with them. It could be the expense, the long wait for the first opening in the reception hall's calendar, the family feuding that sometimes erupts during the planning stages, or a dozen other things. Before the two of you hop the next flight out of town, carefully weigh the pros and cons of taking a powder.The Advantages
There's a definite upside to leaving all the planning behind and getting on with your life. Consider these things:
Generally speaking, eloping tends to be a lot less expensive than throwing the huge church-ceremony-and-reception-for-two-hundred shindig. Even if you go all out when you elope and stay in the best hotel, eat gourmet meals, and go for all the bells and whistles in the wedding chapel, you will probably spend far less than you would on a traditional wedding.
Your family doesn't like your bride, or maybe her family doesn't like you. Why put yourselves through months of tor-ture, listening to your respective relations trying to convince you that you're marrying the wrong person? Once you're married, you're married. They'll either accept it or they won't, but once you come home married, they'll realize you're committed to your spouse, which is a strong statement.
Some couples either don't have time to waste (if one of you is leaving town on a job assignment, for example), or simply find it ridiculous to wait around for a random Saturday two years from now, when the
Eloping ratchets the romance factor way up. You're striking while the iron is hot. You can't live one more day without being married. Your bride will be the envy of her friends, having chosen a guy like you who just
Escaping your immediate family is one thing. If you or your bride is completely uncomfortable being the center of attention, your big wedding could turn out to be nothing short of agony. It doesn't make sense for either of you to be uncomfortable (kissing and greeting all of those strangers/guests; doing the Hokey Pokey; posing for picture after picture after picture) on one of the most important days in your lives together. If either of you sense this will be a problem, start packing.
Do a side-by-side comparison of the big wedding vs. eloping. You'll spend months (maybe years) planning the big wedding; you'll shell out big bucks; you'll inevitably fight with someone over the guest list; and by the time the whole thing rolls around, you may feel as though you've been through the wringer. Conversely, eloping entails very little planning; far less cash; and dealing with your family only after your marriage.
Eloping is sounding pretty good at this point? Don't pull out those suitcases yet. You've only considered half of the information on the topic. Keep reading.The Disadvantages
So … you're sold on the idea of eloping? Not so fast. There may be a few reasons to stick around and do things the traditional way.
If she's always dreamed of being Princess for a Day, of wearing the big white dress, of having twelve bridesmaids, chances are you're not going to talk her out of it. Women can be very connected to their wedding fantasies, and attempting to talk her into eloping might be like trying to pry that engagement ring off of her finger. Her fantasy, like the ring, is there — and it's not going anywhere. In fact, eloping might result in a lifetime of her telling her friends, “I never had the wedding I really wanted …”
Men are often reluctant to admit that they've been thinking about their wedding day since way before they met The One. You might have certain ideas and dreams about a big wedding day (you know which of your friends will be standing up in the church with you; you know the perfect band for the reception; and you're thinking about renting a convertible for the big getaway at the end of the night). Remember: You only get to marry this girl — and be the groom — this one time. If it's a big deal to you to have a big wedding, say so.
Difficult as they can be to deal with, sometimes it's for the best to let your families attend your wedding. If eloping would set you and your bride up for a decade of hard feelings and accusations (her family will think that you “kidnapped” your fiancée; or your family will say that your fiancée “trapped” you), then it may be best to stick things out and get married where both families can see that there was no coercion involved.
As much as the two of you want to get away from every stress of planning the big wedding, guilt may creep down the aisle with you, especially if either of you are reluctant to get married on the sly, without the family present. Eloping should be about fun and romance. Make sure tears aren't going to be part of the trip.
Couples who elope are sometimes forced to face intense scrutiny — not just from family members, but from friends, coworkers, neighbors — anyone who's bold enough to question your marriage. Is your bride pregnant? Does your mother hate your bride? Did your bride's family threaten to boycott a big wedding because they hate you? If you're thick-skinned, this will be no big deal to you. If you're not, it will.
As easy as it seems, eloping