40-Plus Brides

To elope or not elope?

This is a first marriage for both my fiancee and me.  He is an only child with no real family living (parents were immigrants and now deceased).  I have a big family although a bit dysfunctional.  We don't have a lot of time and money to spend planning a family wedding so we are thinking of eloping.  We are going through the Catholic prep program for marriage, and will probably get married in a state like Florida where no other witnesses are required.

The problem is that I have is mixed feelings about not having my sisters and other family there, but I know eloping would be much easier for both of us and on our pocketbook.  The thought of walking down the aisle in an empty church bothers me.  We've thought of having one couple each stand up for us, but I'm sure that will cause hurt feelings with the rest of the clan.  He is very supportive and flexible in whatever decision we decide to make. 

Any advice is much appreciated.

Re: To elope or not elope?

  • Sounds like a hybrid elopement-wedding is right for you, keeping things small. 

    Eloping can be intimate and personal in way that a larger wedding can't. Most people will be able to understand why you don't want a big wedding and no matter how you tie the knot, your friends and family will want a chance to congratulate you and share in the celebration with you if you decide to have some sort of party after the fact. 
    Here's something you might want to read:
    http://www.bluecollarbride.com/etiquette-elopement/

  • In Response to Re: To elope or not elope?:
    Sounds like a hybrid elopement-wedding is right for you, keeping things small.  Eloping can be intimate and personal in way that a larger wedding can't. Most people will be able to understand why you don't want a big wedding and no matter how you tie the knot, your friends and family will want a chance to congratulate you and share in the celebration with you if you decide to have some sort of party after the fact.  Here's something you might want to read  LINK REMOVED
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  • Thought you should know that there's someone in the same boat.  My FI and I decided to do something of a elopement-destination wedding.  I'm not having anyone at the ceremony, invite one the others get mad (you Know).  We are planning a wedding in NewYork.  However, we thought that we would have a dinner at our house to celebate with any friends and family. 
  • ShellD13ShellD13 Can't get there from here
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    You are not alone.  My FI comes from a very small family (his parents are still here but he only has one sibling) I on the other hand have (4 sisters, and 3 brothers)  and my foster father is one of more than 10 children so there are countless Aunts, Uncles, 1st and 2nd cousins on my side.  It is my first wedding and his second.  We knew that we both wanted small for a number of reasons - so we too are doing a hybrid/planned elopement.  Our pastor is performing the ceremony at a local park for us and our guests FI, Myself, his 3 kids, His Parents and Sister, My Foster Parents, and two members of my biological family, along with 2 very close friends.  My foster family is completely on board with the small wedding and we will be having a party later in the summer to celebrate with all of the immediate members of the family that we could not invite.

    It was HARD to tell my closest sister that she isn't invited but I also know that if I were to invite her my other siblings feelings would be hurt to an even greater extent than not inviting any of my siblings.  Same goes for my closest friends - but as soon as you explain that it is strictly parents and children they understood.

    Good Luck with whatever you decide.
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  • We're both pretty introverted, so we decided to do the destination "elopement" with only my teenaged daughter there besides the two of us. We both have extended family all over the world who would be offended if we had a big ceremony and they weren't invited, but it would be a financial hardship to several of them to get here for one. So, this just seemed the best solution for all of us. We may revise a bit and include our parents, but as his live in another country even that gets complicated.
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  • I wish we were eloping. We've started down the path of a somewhat smaller wedding (75 people) and I'm a basket case. I wish we had just gone to Vegas. Sigh.
  • prettysmile40prettysmile40 Wakefield, MA
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    I am going through the same exact thing. I really want to get married in a warm, beautiful place but I dont know if I can stand the thoughts of not at least having my parents there. I am going to ask my fiance if we can invite immediate family only but if they say no (i don't think my parents can afford it..maybe off to pay for their airfare or stay???) then I will need to decide if we do it without them or do a small intimate ceremony  here with dinner then go on a kick a** honeymoon later. 
  • Could you elope, but just have a small, formal get together at some point afterward to celebrate it with both of you and the members of your family that you're closest to?  That way you're fulfilling both desires.

    Also, do you have to walk down the aisle when eloping in this Catholic prep program?  I'm just thinking that having it done in a less formal setting may be easier for you. 

  • My fiance and I are over 40. It is my first marriage and his second. We both have wicked small families. I wanted a small wedding ~50 people but I am beginning to think I should just elope. 
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