- We got officially engaged. Yay!
- I immediately started getting inundated with advice
- Advice quickly turned to demands
- I started to get stressed out, even with only hearing from friends/family and googling wedding stuff
- Stress created tension in myself, job, relationship
- Decided stress was not a desirable outcome
- Decided to plan an elopement for next fall instead of a wedding
- Immediate relief for myself and fiancee
- All but a couple of people were happy for us and celebrated
As a few of my older friends have pointed out, this isn’t a “true” elopement. Our union is blessed and celebrated by family, and nobody is holding any shotguns (not that it would even been necessary, for goodness sake, it’s 2017!) This is more of a “running away to get married” thing. Without anyone there.
As I said, like 98% of our friends and family have expressed the following sentiments:
- Good for you!
- That sounds perfect.
- Saving money- smart!
- I wish I had done that.
- It’s YOUR day. Do what YOU want!
- Take lots of pictures! We can’t wait to celebrate when you get back!
Now almost everyone expressed a little sadness along with their overwhelming joy and support that they won’t be there for the actual vows. I get that. My BFF and her husband eloped and had a ceremony later and I was sad that I missed the vow moment. But ultimately, I am so happy that they did it their way, they’re happy, and started their life together on their terms. And there is a little residual static from a few people, but they love us and want us to be happy and will figure out in time that this was the best move for us.
So why? Why would any American woman forego the taffeta orgy that is HER BIG DAY!?
It’s like, 75% due to money. My mom can help some, but 2017 is the debt repayment year and we are working really, really hard to do that. We live well and enjoy ourselves, but we definitely are making big payments on cars and credit cards so that we can start our lives together without debt (except for the house, of course.) And weddings are friggin’ expensive. Just starting to price things out for a wedding we wanted and I was at like, $15k easy. We don’t want to go into debt for what essentially amounts to a party.
The remaining 25% comes down to me not wanting the stress while running my normal life of work, personal goals, and eventually grad school. Add to the fact that our guest list was already flirting with 100+ people and that thought was overwhelming, then finally realizing that really, it’s our wedding. It’s about us. As long as our friends and family approve and support us and will enjoy our union along with us for the rest of our lives, I don’t see why that first moment is so important. That’s our moment. We’ll gladly share countless moments in our lives together with everyone else.
I will say that of course I was raised like every other American girl, watching movies and reading Seventeen magazine and fantasizing about my wedding day. If $15k dropped out of the sky and landed on my desk, I’d consider throwing a wedding. But honestly, the pure relief and joy I have thinking about NOT having a wedding is worth more and I’m sure after talking with the groom-to-be, we’d probably use that cash for home renovations.
I love weddings. I am always glad to be a guest, am honored to have been a bridesmaid four times, and a maid of honor once. But this is the right choice for us and I haven’t doubted that for a second.