Wedding planning is the best thing ever for some – and the worst for others. Not every bride and groom are smitten by the idea of a big celebration with a hundred or more of people around them. Your personalities, priorities and your lust for adventure might just make it more sensible to elope as opposed to arranging a traditional wedding.
Perhaps you are a bit shy, favor independence or possibly have complicated family relations, or for any other reason -such as a sense of fun, romance, or practical or budget reasons- feel like eloping is more up your street. If you have a tendency to get stressed out, or simply cannot understand what the big “fuss” is all about – an elopement might be your answer.
It could be simple reason that you prefer to do something purely for yourselves, or something a bit different, and you might find that it suits you better to create your own wedding day layout as supposed to following a line of conventional traditions, that you might not feel any connection to, or find irrelevant or unnecessary to you.
Is elopement for you? Or are you determined to have the traditional wedding day, where you and your groom are the king and queen of the day? Which option would make your wedding dream come true?
The advantages of a traditional wedding:
- The buzz and fun of the preparations (some love a challenge of this kind!)
- It is a once-in-a-life time event (supposedly…)
- It is a big get-together where 2 families can get to know each other better and celebrate together as one family
- A chance for all your friends from all walks of life to meet and mingle
- The traditions: cake cutting, garter toss, bouquet toss, first dance etc – some brides have looked forward to this all their life
- The reception party with food, dancing, guest book, favours, centrepieces etc
- The opportunity to design and decorate your dream day with flowers, decor and colours
- Photographs with lots of family members and guests
- Significant memories for family members and friends
- The shared joy amongst all attending
- “Celebrities” for a day, being the centre of attention
- The registry – people will most likely give gifts or cash and you can wish for anything you like
The disadvantage of a traditional wedding
- The cost of renting a venue, tent, feeding people, wedding party, hair and makeup etc
- The pressure and stress involved with planning and coordinating a big event, such as guest list, invites and RSVP management
- People management – bridesmaids drama, flaring up family feuds, grumpy step-cousins who did not get invited and so on
- Nerves – not everyone is built to handle stress well
- Stage fright – not every person enjoys being in the spotlight
- Loud and “crazy” – not everyone likes dancing or being at a big party
- The more people involved, the more opinions and personalities are in the mix
- The build up to the wedding can be exhausting, especially the week before when all final details must fall into place, and out of town guests start to arrive
- The need to find good vendors and people you can rely on and trust to do a good job – you have to be comfortable with putting your fate in their hands
- It might put a lot of pressure on the bride to look great, loose weight, have perfect hair and makeup etc
- Dress, shoe and accessory hunting (not just for for bride, but bridesmaids, groom and groomsmen too) is actually pretty confusing and hard mental work, not to mention pricey
- Liaison and negotiations about costs and contracts with vendors – not everyone is cut out to be a business woman/ man
- Lots of small and big decisions to be made, which can prove overwhelming especially if your nature is anxious and indecisive
- Planning details such as seating chart, choice of music, wedding colours, even choosing the wedding party – some think these aspects shadow what the wedding truly should be about – the newly weds
- Depending on how lucky/ resilient/ multi tasking genius you and your groom are – the months of wedding planning could be a stressful nightmare. Not everyone is up for it
- It is all about you, your love and your commitment to each other
- There is nothing else in the way for the 2 of you to enjoy each others presence
- Less risk of mishaps – except missing the plane I suppose
- No paraphernalia (flower girl’s nappy needs changing, bridesmaid broke her stiletto, escort cards blew away in the wind..) to worry about
- It will most likely be a lot less expensive (unless you decide to travel far and wide with a luxury honeymoon)
- Can save the money for something long term which is perhaps more worthwhile than a few hours of party – or splash it on that luxury honeymoon
- Less people= having to rely less heavily on others
- You can be more in control of your own wedding
- Manageable size = less stress = easier to achieve
- Can be planned sooner = shorter engagement
- More spontaneous and “wild” (Las Vegas, anyone?)
- Some say it is more romantic
- Great excuse to travel to your dream destination
- You can still have the dress, the flowers, professional photos and cake, at a smaller and more cost-effective scale
- Could spend more money on your wedding dress (- hello Grace Loves Lace!)
- Can create a completely unique day, choose an unusual ceremony spot (nature, city, unconventional locations and buildings not normally used as a wedding venue)
- Can get amazing wedding photos in a wedding destination that would probably not have been possible otherwise.
Disadvantages of eloping
- If keeping it secret, you will not get much help from others, unless you still hire a wedding planner
- It foregos certain aspect of wedding preparations (dress hunting with mum and maid of honour, getting ready with the girls, or bachelorette party for example) – which you might feel like you missed out on
- Lonesome – perhaps you do want to have near and dear around you when you make the promise of a lifetime
- Possibly regretting not arranging the “big day” afterwards
- Family and friends might feel left out and get resentful
- You probably wont receive many gifts
It is basically personality and a list of preferences that should determine your choice. Remember, just because you got engaged, it does not automatically mean you are destined to have a wedding with all the traditional aspects that comes with it. Modern weddings are completely flexible events and you can plan it to suit both of you perfectly.
Do give elopement a thought if you are daunted by the prospect of arranging a traditional wedding day, or simply feel a desire to do something “different” and being adventurous with your groom. In the end of the day, you are marrying your husband and not anyone else or a tradition you are not bothered about – the most important thing is that you as a couple both are doing what feels most natural to you.
Torn? The perfect compromise: An Intimate Wedding!
Final tip: it is best to decide if you are eloping or not BEFORE you invite people to your wedding or pick a bridal party – in order to not making people disappointed 🙂