What’s Better: Elope and Save Money or Be a Regretful Bridezilla?

ElopeI believe in big weddings. Not ridiculously massive ones. Just family and friends celebrating love in a reasonably priced affair that doesn’t require stadium seating or a high-powered microphone. It’s ostensibly a one-time affair, like your prom or sweet 16, and is therefore deserving of all of the pomp and pageantry that a bride and her co-visionaries (namely her mama, bestie, and planner) can conjure.

Plus, I can’t think of too many occasions in adulthood where it’s acceptable to rock a massive white gown and not look like a psycho doused in crinoline and beading. 

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As much as I like the idea of the full sha-bang, I can see the benefit of running away, just you and your boo, to an exotic faraway location — or maybe across state lines, depending on the budget — and escaping the worry of place settings and venue deposits. I think sometimes people get lost in the wedding and forget to focus on the relationship that will be around long after the I do’s in blessed anti-Kardashian longevity.

That’s one reason why a lot of guys (and, to be fair, some women) say the heck with the big fluffy stroll down the aisle and just elope.

Foregoing the big to-do doesn’t mean settling for a shotgun wedding in a little clapboard chapel somewhere with a bad Elvis impersonator playing officiant. That’s the mental picture I used to get, but turns out locations are as swanky and picturesque or as kitschy and unique as two lovebird imaginations can come up with. Acapulco or Amish country? Virgin Islands or Vegas? The possibilities are endless, so long as the joint has a courthouse or a chapel and an at least semi-normal person to conduct the ceremony and point y’all in the direction of the nearest bedbug-free lodging.

Aside from all the money saved and the headache spared, eloping puts more focus on the couples’ happiness and total smitten-ness with one another immediately. A bride and groom who’ve survived the big brouhaha of a big wedding typically don’t get to enjoy that until after the thank you cards have been sent out. According to many a frazzled episode of Bridezillas, there’s a heck of a lot of strain that goes along with the planning process — and unnecessary relationship drama — that can be avoided by just picking up and running off with your man.

Granted, your family may not be too thrilled. And c’mon, that’s totally understandable. The same people who were there to celebrate your toddly first steps and your awkward 8th grade dances and your high school graduation want to be there to see you off into holy matrimony. But if you start making your wedding plans about them, it sets the tone for a lot more flagrant manipulation and guilt-tripping for other stuff, especially since it worked once. Run away and elope if you want to. The billion-dollar wedding industry will surely survive without your contribution.

Did you or would you elope? What’s the best thing about it? Any regrets?
 

Image via cayobo/Flickr

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