6 things to consider before eloping
Posted June 1, 2016
Eloping with your love may sound super romantic, and even magical. But a simple, sweet ceremony may leave some sour feelings a big mess in its wake.
Consider these six things before your big day:
1. Quick decisions
Eloping isn’t always a quick decision for fiery new couples who want a jumpstart on married life. For those who don’t just want the brouhaha, eloping can be a well thought out choice for a stable, long-term relationship. If you’ve been together for less than a year, big wedding or not, you may want to think about your long-term goals in life and love, not just what adventures and excitement you’re seeking right now. Eloping probably means you’re moving too fast if you just met. Take some time to make sure it’s right, and then get swept away.
2. Wedding or reception?
Eloping might not be a bad idea and could possibly be well received by friends and family if you skip the ceremony and cut straight to the party. Your union could be small and intimate, on a special date or in a special place. Then send out invitations for the rager that is your reception. It is important to note however that your close family, like your mother, father, sisters, brothers, and those of your spouse, may not like being excluded from the ceremony.
3. Family matters
Be prepared for backfire from your family. If you come from a traditional and community oriented culture that places high value on ceremony and symbolism, eloping may anger, hurt and disappoint those closest to you. Your father or father figure won’t be able to give you away. Your mother won’t witness your special moment. Your siblings won’t be bridesmaids or groomsmen. No, your union is not built on the feelings of your family members, but weddings do create new family ties. They just might want to be involved.
4. Friendly fire
Your friends may express more shock and confusion than hurt at your elopement. They may be happy for you but that doesn’t mean they’re not concerned. They may be curious about the motivations of what seems like a rash decision. All their questions may be answered eventually, but the one they may be too afraid to ask is, “Are you sure that was the right decision?”
5. Precious moments
The modern age most likely makes eloping as romantic and non-intimate as it could ever be. At a time when people are choreographing and posting their proposals online for the world to view, eloping could be just as public an experience. If you want the important people in your life who won’t witness those special moments in person to still feel included, you may have to invade your own privacy and film the whole affair. It kind of negates the whole goal of getting away from the world, but could save you from an angry mob when you return home.
6. Keeping secrets
Eloping doesn’t have to be a secret. It can be a part of your well executed plan. It may seem strange to let all of your friends and family know they’re not invited to your wedding, but this could save a lot of heartbreak and tears in the end. There will be plenty of celebrations and dinner parties through the years, but your union is just for the two of you.
Ultimately, your wedding day should be about what makes you and your spouse happiest. But every day after that will be spent in the community of your loved ones who will want to share your new life and all of its adventures. Give them a little thought too before you make a hasty move.
Georgia D. Lee is a University of Miami Alumna who seeks to empower, inspire, enrich and educate anyone with an open mind, heart and spirit through her most treasured medium - black and white!