Ceremony and Vow Ideas

Elopement

Can anyone who has had an elopement give me some feedback on how it went? I'm trying to decide if this is truly what I want, and if I'll regret not having a ceremony later on. I want to make the right decision now, because I'm def. not doing the PPD.

1. Why did you decide to elope?
2. How did you do it? (courthouse, Vegas, married on vacation, etc.)
3. Are you happy you did?
4. Do you have any regrets about that decision? Or is there anything about a traditional wedding that you wish you had?
5. Were there any elements of a traditional wedding that you included/mashed in? (did you wear a simple wedding dress to the courthouse, have a wedding cake at your house for immediate family or you and your new spouse, etc.)
6. Did you hold some form of reception after?
7. Were any of your family members upset that you didn't have a traditional wedding?

Thank you to anyone who contributes. Also, if you considered an elopement, but decided on a traditional wedding instead, I'd like your feedback as well.
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Re: Elopement

  • I asked my best friend who eloped last year. These are her answers:

    1. Why did you decide to elope? After starting to plan, I realized that it was a lot of "you should be doing this" and that just stressed me out. It also made me realize that I could spend a lot less eloping and still having something meaningful.
    2. How did you do it? (courthouse, Vegas, married on vacation, etc.) Got married at home just before we left for a pre-planned vacation.
    3. Are you happy you did? As we told people, there were a few moments of feeling guilty (especially when we told my parents) but I was firm in my decision that it was what was best for us. I'm happy when I think back on my day.
    4. Do you have any regrets about that decision? Or is there anything about a traditional wedding that you wish you had? I only regretted that my family wasn't there. I wore an off the rack white dress and that was really the only thing I insisted on.
    5. Were there any elements of a traditional wedding that you included/mashed in? (did you wear a simple wedding dress to the courthouse, have a wedding cake at your house for immediate family or you and your new spouse, etc.) We used a marriage commissioner and I wore a white dress. We went out for dinner to our favourite Japanese place and then ate dessert at a cheesecake restaurant. I didn't miss the cake cutting, bouquet or other wedding items.
    6. Did you hold some form of reception after? About 2 months later, we had an open house "meet the newlyweds" and about 40 people came over a 4 hour period of time. We served apps and dessert. I wore my wedding dress (it was short and I like it and plan to wear it many more times).
    7. Were any of your family members upset that you didn't have a traditional wedding? My Mom was a bit sad that she didn't get to witness it but I think she knew that having a big wedding wasn't making me happy.

    KnotYetTiedcowgirl8238SP29Heffalump
  • CMGragainCMGragain
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 25 Answers
    member
    edited January 9
    I can tell you second hand about my grandmother's elopements.

    She was 17 and very pregnant at her first wedding in 1923.  She had to sneak out of the house to jump in the car with my grandfather.  They drove off to the next county where they approached a Methodist minister, who married them.  Grandma lied about her age.  The minister took one look at her baby bump and didn't ask any questions.  She never regretted it, and she never spoke to her abusive, narcissistic mother again.  No regrets about that, either!   Grandpa died of lung cancer in 1955.

    Her second marriage was also an elopement.  In 1960, she and her FI drove to a popular Iowa landmark, The Little Brown Church in the Vale.  The minister married them in his office.  Her husband died, also of cancer, in 1998.  Grandma survived until 2004, age 98.

    Both weddings were religious ceremonies.  An elopement doesn't have to be in a courthouse.  In both cases, family strongly disapproved of the marriage.  In both cases, the marriage was long and successful.  Grandma never regretted either one.  She was disapproving of my mother's weddings, which were showy, expensive, and elaborate, and the marriages were not successful.  She liked mine, which was a modest church wedding.

    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
    SP29OurWildKingdom
  • I had a traditional (very large, very formal) church wedding. It was beautiful and fun, but my H and I both wish we had eloped. So much of what we had at the wedding was because of our families and what they wanted, not as much about what he or I really wanted. I felt like I "had" to do the big, family wedding, but it was stressful and I was exhausted. I wish we had taken a trip just the two of us, gotten married, then come home and seen people after. 
    CMGragainSP29
  • atomicblondeatomicblonde The Shire
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary First Answer
    member
    If I could do it all over again, I would have tried to talk DH into eloping.  I didn't particularly enjoy wedding planning, although certain aspects were fun (cake tasting!!).  And even though we budgeted really well for the wedding, the expense caused massive amounts of stress that I would have been much happier without.  I cried every time we had to pay a vendor.  

    But we agreed to a big fancy wedding because DH felt that too many people in his family would have been "offended" if we'd eloped (I wish I had just said, "Not my problem" to that), and I knew my parents would have been disappointed.

    Don't get me wrong, we really enjoyed our wedding day, and we worked really hard so our guests could, too.  But knowing what I know now, DH and I would have thought much longer and harder about eloping.


    "And when they use our atoms to make new lives, they won’t just be able to take one, they’ll have to take two, one of you and one of me..."
    --Philip Pullman

    charlotte989875Heffalump
  • CMGragainCMGragain
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 25 Answers
    member
    edited January 9
    Two weeks ago, I saw a U tube video of a dear friend's wedding.  If I had another child, I wish it would have been him.  He and his bride were married, standing by the stairway of his parents' house.  He wore a suit, and the bride wore a lovely royal blue formal dress.  Immediate family only.   It was simple, beautiful and meaningful.  I am sending them a gift.
    The bride  didn't want a big wedding where she would be the center of attention.  They are so right for each other.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
    SP29
  • Jells2dot0Jells2dot0 Cowtown
    Moderator 5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its
    mod
    1. Why did you decide to elope? We were both married previously and felt our respective weddings were a waste of money and a ton of unnecessary stress and drama.

    2. How did you do it? (courthouse, Vegas, married on vacation, etc.) We had a beach wedding in Australia (pic in siggy!!) It was a legally binding ceremony. A total dream come true and the perfect wedding for us. 

    3. Are you happy you did? 1000% YES!!!

    4. Do you have any regrets about that decision? Or is there anything about a traditional wedding that you wish you had? The only traditional things I wanted were a photographer, a bouquet, and vows that fit us. Oh, and of course, cake!!  I had all of that. I really wouldn't do it any other way.


    5. Were there any elements of a traditional wedding that you included/mashed in? (did you wear a simple wedding dress to the courthouse, have a wedding cake at your house for immediate family or you and your new spouse, etc.) See above for what I included but I didn't include family or friends in any of it. 


    6. Did you hold some form of reception after? Absolutely NOT. Defeats the whole point of running off and getting married. 


    7. Were any of your family members upset that you didn't have a traditional wedding? Nope. They were all super relieved and very supportive when we got home and announced the big news. 

    I REALLY wanted a private destination wedding the first time around. I got talked into a super traditional luxury affair. It was fun, but it wasn't me. When we talked about getting remarried, both of us felt that having a traditional wedding would be a huge mistake. We travel frequently and tend to be very private, so we got married at the smallest, most remote place we could find that provided a legal option to marry. So, I've had both types of weddings and really preferred the elopement. I recognize it's not for everyone, but for us, it made perfect sense. 

     







    CMGragainSP29charlotte989875cowgirl8238
  • 1. Why did you decide to elope? We were both married previously and felt our respective weddings were a waste of money and a ton of unnecessary stress and drama.

    2. How did you do it? (courthouse, Vegas, married on vacation, etc.) We had a beach wedding in Australia (pic in siggy!!) It was a legally binding ceremony. A total dream come true and the perfect wedding for us. 

    3. Are you happy you did? 1000% YES!!!

    4. Do you have any regrets about that decision? Or is there anything about a traditional wedding that you wish you had? The only traditional things I wanted were a photographer, a bouquet, and vows that fit us. Oh, and of course, cake!!  I had all of that. I really wouldn't do it any other way.


    5. Were there any elements of a traditional wedding that you included/mashed in? (did you wear a simple wedding dress to the courthouse, have a wedding cake at your house for immediate family or you and your new spouse, etc.) See above for what I included but I didn't include family or friends in any of it. 


    6. Did you hold some form of reception after? Absolutely NOT. Defeats the whole point of running off and getting married. 


    7. Were any of your family members upset that you didn't have a traditional wedding? Nope. They were all super relieved and very supportive when we got home and announced the big news. 

    I REALLY wanted a private destination wedding the first time around. I got talked into a super traditional luxury affair. It was fun, but it wasn't me. When we talked about getting remarried, both of us felt that having a traditional wedding would be a huge mistake. We travel frequently and tend to be very private, so we got married at the smallest, most remote place we could find that provided a legal option to marry. So, I've had both types of weddings and really preferred the elopement. I recognize it's not for everyone, but for us, it made perfect sense. 

    Every time I read about your wedding I am so envious - it sounds SO lovely and romantic. A total dream!
  • Jells2dot0Jells2dot0 Cowtown
    Moderator 5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its
    mod
    1. Why did you decide to elope? We were both married previously and felt our respective weddings were a waste of money and a ton of unnecessary stress and drama.

    2. How did you do it? (courthouse, Vegas, married on vacation, etc.) We had a beach wedding in Australia (pic in siggy!!) It was a legally binding ceremony. A total dream come true and the perfect wedding for us. 

    3. Are you happy you did? 1000% YES!!!

    4. Do you have any regrets about that decision? Or is there anything about a traditional wedding that you wish you had? The only traditional things I wanted were a photographer, a bouquet, and vows that fit us. Oh, and of course, cake!!  I had all of that. I really wouldn't do it any other way.


    5. Were there any elements of a traditional wedding that you included/mashed in? (did you wear a simple wedding dress to the courthouse, have a wedding cake at your house for immediate family or you and your new spouse, etc.) See above for what I included but I didn't include family or friends in any of it. 


    6. Did you hold some form of reception after? Absolutely NOT. Defeats the whole point of running off and getting married. 


    7. Were any of your family members upset that you didn't have a traditional wedding? Nope. They were all super relieved and very supportive when we got home and announced the big news. 

    I REALLY wanted a private destination wedding the first time around. I got talked into a super traditional luxury affair. It was fun, but it wasn't me. When we talked about getting remarried, both of us felt that having a traditional wedding would be a huge mistake. We travel frequently and tend to be very private, so we got married at the smallest, most remote place we could find that provided a legal option to marry. So, I've had both types of weddings and really preferred the elopement. I recognize it's not for everyone, but for us, it made perfect sense. 

    Every time I read about your wedding I am so envious - it sounds SO lovely and romantic. A total dream!
    Aw, thanks! It really was perfect in every way. I could talk about it all day long now that the cat is way out of the bag :)

     







  • I want to thank everyone who responded. Your responses were incredibly helpful. My BF and I decided last night that we will be having a small wedding, rather than elope. And really, it probably would have been more private wedding than elopement, if we had chosen that route.

    I realized that if I'm so unsure about not having a wedding, that I shouldn't forego it. Plus, some things my BF has said were starting to make me realize that he wants a more traditional wedding experience, and was likely only going for a private wedding because that's what I wanted. Finally, some in our families were disappointed with the mention of the possibility of a private wedding. I don't want to take away something from our grandparents. I also have this fear that if I don't have a ceremony, I might regret it later on.

    The clincher though, is that when I brought it up to my BF and told him the reasons I had changed my mind, he said that he thought it was the right decision. We're going to plan a modest, small, and simple ceremony with family and close friends only. I'm hoping for less than 100 guests.

    Again, thank you so much for all of your input.


    Good for you guys for finding something that feels right for both of you.

    My first wedding was sort of a mess. We were engaged and planning a traditional wedding that was quickly being taken over by other people. Then some Life Stuff popped up (compounded by his being in the military) and we did the thing that folks 'round here hate: we ran off to a Vegas courthouse, got married, and kept it quiet (YES, I KNOW, WE WERE BABIES). My mom was the only attendee and we told immediate family and close friends, but were asked not to tell everyone because my grandma "would just die". We did the traditional wedding 7 months later, and it was really beautiful, but far too complex and formal, and just... not right for either of us. (Neither, it would turn out, was the marriage.) I didn't realize it at the time, but my sister, whom I was and am still very close to, was very hurt that she wasn't there for our actual wedding. Knowing now how hurt she was just breaks my heart to this day.

    Anyway, I'm writing all of this to say that I think it's wonderful you two know yourselves enough to have identified the kind of experience that will feel just right for you. Not everyone does, trust me! 
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