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Destination Weddings

I wasnt sure where to post this. Elopement vs wedding/reception

Ok so my FI and I will be paying for most if not all of our wedding ourselves. It has a pretty strict budget and we are now debating just using that money to elope and go on the honeymoon. We have thought about going to Italy or Greece or some South Pacific islands. The reason why I am really contemplating this is I have maybe 30ppl tops I would invite, I am not incredibly close to the majority of my BSC  family. His guest list easily would take up the remaining 70 slots for our 100ppl guest list. Of course I sit here wondering "Would I regret not having that traditional wedding and reception?" We live in California, his family/friends are mostly in Illinois and mine in Arizona. So either way people would be traveling to our wedding in some way. Seeing the cost add up for quickly and what it actually costs for the type of wedding venue we want(outdoor) I am put off by throwing this wedding/reception. 

Ok back to the point.... Have any of you done the elopement/honeymoon instead of wedding/reception because of above reasons or others? Did you regret not having a wedding with family and friends there? 

Side note- His mom even mentioned if we had thought about this as an idea, she herself did this with her current husband. So she wouldnt not be upset if we chose this. As for the few family members/friends I would invite they really wouldnt care much either way.







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Re: I wasnt sure where to post this. Elopement vs wedding/reception

  • We eloped to Australia. We didn't tell anyone we were doing it- they just thought we were going on another vacation. So, it was a true elopement in that it was a surprise for everyone but the two of us! We spent almost 3 weeks there for the wedding and honeymoon and did not have any type of AHR when we got back.

    Getting married there was quite easy. There was some paperwork that had to be done ahead of time, but nothing needed to be taken care of once we arrived there. It is fully legally binding and I used my Australian marriage cert to change my name once we got back.

    There has been absolutely ZERO regret over what we did. We would not change anything for any reason. We didn't have any financial concerns, but it was second marriages for both and we learned during the first go-around that our families can't handle these types of events. My family is in NJ; his in NE and we live in AZ. My parents are divorced and his eloped when they got married, so they didn't have much of a right to say anything. Due to being scattered across the country, just choosing a location would have caused unneeded and unwanted family stress for us. We also travel quite frequently, so a DW just made sense for our us as it suits us as a couple. Most of my friends assumed that is what we'd do anyway.

    If it's what you really want to do and your "VIPs" are on board with it, then do it! We created a spreadsheet of destinations we considered for our DW. We had columns for approximate travel costs, pros, cons, etc. We then eliminated it based on if we felt strongly about returning to somewhere we had been, weather, and if the marriage could be legal. We narrowed it to the Cook Islands or Australia and chose Australia in the end

     







  • You could also have a very small private ceremony/reception at a destination. That's what we're doing. Only inviting 20 people. Our parents, siblings, and closest friends (and all their significant others). Neither of us want a ceremony or reception with everyone we know (or even everyone in our extended families). It's a risk still because some people may not be able to travel to a destination wedding. But if you're not loving the idea of a larger ceremony/reception (100ish) or eloping, I think it's an option you might want to consider. 
  • You could also have a very small private ceremony/reception at a destination. That's what we're doing. Only inviting 20 people. Our parents, siblings, and closest friends (and all their significant others). Neither of us want a ceremony or reception with everyone we know (or even everyone in our extended families). It's a risk still because some people may not be able to travel to a destination wedding. But if you're not loving the idea of a larger ceremony/reception (100ish) or eloping, I think it's an option you might want to consider. 
    With that option I am quite positive even less would show up or even contemplate it, more so than just a small wedding say in Arizona or in Chicago(where 90% of his invites are). I like the idea, but realistically it wouldn't happen. I appreciate your idea as another option to think about.

    We both have alot of family/friends that just couldn't afford or make accommodations for their kids to be able to attend.







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  • WinstonsGirlWinstonsGirl The Cold North member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    DH suggested eloping.  He didn't like the idea of a big wedding, or being the centre of attention.  For me, it was super important that my parents and family were there as well as my best friend.  I couldn't imagine getting married without them there.  You need to decide what is important for you.  We had what I consider a big wedding - 40 guests.  DH was very happy we did have the wedding with friends and family.  

    If it's important for you to have family and friends there, look for budget friendly ways to do so.  Normally, I'd suggest a cake and punch reception, but f the majority of your guests are travelling, I find it not as cool to not feed people properly.  Could you do a backyard wedding, cater some BBQ or similar to cut down on costs?? 
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  • Kate71421Kate71421 member
    Seventh Anniversary 10 Comments Name Dropper
    edited November 2014
    After going to several traditional weddings, it wasn't too hard for us to decide we wanted something a completely different than that, which is why we're doing DW. Our parents are completely supportive (since coincidentally enough both eloped) but my mom always suggested that whatever we decided just make sure we did what we wanted and wouldn't feel bad not having the opposite. Hopefully that advice can help you too!! You can still have a low-key reception at home if you'd feel like you were missing out on the party. That's something we're debating now too.

    We absolutely love the idea of having only a small amount of people but it WAS difficult trimming the list and casually reminding family that it was only immediate family and some friends. 
    One suggestion could be having your # of people at wherever you want for the destination, and choosing somewhere very close for the honeymoon (e.g. rome wedding, amalfi coast honeymoon, or something only a short train or plane ride away) You'd be surprised how many guests get excited about traveling- more than I anticipated at least!

    However- BOTH types of weddings (destination and at home) can add up very very quickly. Just because it's destination doesn't mean you can't spend $20k and above. That said, the easy thing (at least for us) with DW planning was that instead of a million little choices for flowers or venues or whatever, once we picked the place we only had a few decisions to make (like choose one of four bouquets unless you want to custom order). trip advisor forums were also AMAZINGLY helpful to answer all the silly little questions you have along the way. Good luck planning!! :)
  • glitch104glitch104 member
    10 Comments Name Dropper 5 Love Its
    edited November 2014


    DH suggested eloping.  He didn't like the idea of a big wedding, or being the centre of attention.  For me, it was super important that my parents and family were there as well as my best friend.  I couldn't imagine getting married without them there.  You need to decide what is important for you.  We had what I consider a big wedding - 40 guests.  DH was very happy we did have the wedding with friends and family.  

    If it's important for you to have family and friends there, look for budget friendly ways to do so.  Normally, I'd suggest a cake and punch reception, but f the majority of your guests are travelling, I find it not as cool to not feed people properly.  Could you do a backyard wedding, cater some BBQ or similar to cut down on costs?? 
    I wish we could do a backyard style reception. I dont know anyone who has a large enough backyard. We still havent really decided what to do with this elope vs wedding. But we have plenty of time. Wedding is 2 years off.







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  • Like I mentioned above inviting people to a far off DW where we would honeymoon is not realistic. Both his side and mine are not able to spend that kinda of money for a vacation. We would want to go to Europe for a honeymoon or the South Pacific so thats just to expensive for them.







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  • WinstonsGirlWinstonsGirl The Cold North member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    glitch104 said:
    I wish we could do a backyard style reception. I dont know anyone who has a large enough backyard. We still havent really decided what to do with this elope vs wedding. But we have plenty of time. Wedding is 2 years off.
    My parents backyard is about 30x30, with a 25x15 deck on one side (guessing).  They threw out a couple of tables along side the garage for food and drinks, and put a couple of coolers underneath the table too.  I think we had about 40 people total, but since they came and went on their own time, it was never crowded.  It not a huge yard though.  Comfortable, but not big
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  • We are still struggling with this. I thought we had settled on an elopement but he gets excited when talking about it and has verbally told his BFFs that he wants them and their wives there. Fortunately for us the MOST we'd invite is 30 and our venue doesn't need to be booked until 30 days out (state park). The only thing we have to really worry about is finding a nice restaurant to feed our guests if we so feel inclined to inviting guests to the wedding. We are using our DW as a mini-moon and are completely ok with that. We just need to figure out guests or no guests. Good luck!
  • FWIW, an elopement is having a wedding that is kept secret from others until after the event, regardless of location. A private wedding is a wedding with just the bride and the groom present, regardless of location, but others are aware that a wedding is taking place.


    I just have a pet peeve over the use of the term elopement.

     







    Kate71421
  • esstee33esstee33 Pittsburgh member
    Ninth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer

    FWIW, an elopement is having a wedding that is kept secret from others until after the event, regardless of location. A private wedding is a wedding with just the bride and the groom present, regardless of location, but others are aware that a wedding is taking place.


    I just have a pet peeve over the use of the term elopement.

    Then why are you saying "If it's what you really want to do and your "VIPs" are on board with it, then do it!" to her? 

    If it's a secret, that sorta negates the OKing it with VIPs first situation, does it not? 
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  • Yup. I eloped with my first marriage (nobody knew for a looooong time after - dumb, party of me). This time around people know we're getting married just not when. Hell we don't even know exactly when. Therefore we don't know if we'll elope or have a small wedding. But I think it's leaning towards a small wedding because he keeps inviting people verbally.
  • Jells2dot0Jells2dot0 Cowtown mod
    Moderator Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    edited November 2014
    esstee33 said:

    FWIW, an elopement is having a wedding that is kept secret from others until after the event, regardless of location. A private wedding is a wedding with just the bride and the groom present, regardless of location, but others are aware that a wedding is taking place.


    I just have a pet peeve over the use of the term elopement.

    Then why are you saying "If it's what you really want to do and your "VIPs" are on board with it, then do it!" to her? 

    If it's a secret, that sorta negates the OKing it with VIPs first situation, does it not? 

    Because I knew the OP didn't mean she was truly eloping. The OP admitted she already spoke with family about potentially  "eloping":

    Side note- His mom even mentioned if we had thought about this as an idea, she herself did this with her current husband. So she wouldnt not be upset if we chose this. As for the few family members/friends I would invite they really wouldnt care much either way

    As I watched how others were responding, I decided to point out the difference. 


    edit- added info

     







    glitch104
  • esstee33esstee33 Pittsburgh member
    Ninth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    esstee33 said:

    FWIW, an elopement is having a wedding that is kept secret from others until after the event, regardless of location. A private wedding is a wedding with just the bride and the groom present, regardless of location, but others are aware that a wedding is taking place.


    I just have a pet peeve over the use of the term elopement.

    Then why are you saying "If it's what you really want to do and your "VIPs" are on board with it, then do it!" to her? 

    If it's a secret, that sorta negates the OKing it with VIPs first situation, does it not? 

    Because I knew the OP didn't mean she was truly eloping. The OP admitted she already spoke with family about potentially  "eloping":

    Side note- His mom even mentioned if we had thought about this as an idea, she herself did this with her current husband. So she wouldnt not be upset if we chose this. As for the few family members/friends I would invite they really wouldnt care much either way

    As I watched how others were responding, I decided to point out the difference. 


    edit- added info

    But... where? I mean, I've read and reread her posts in this thread, and I don't see anywhere that she says she broached the subject with them. She said his mom mentioned it, but not that they discussed it any further. Did she mention it in another thread that I missed? 
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  • esstee33 said:
    esstee33 said:

    FWIW, an elopement is having a wedding that is kept secret from others until after the event, regardless of location. A private wedding is a wedding with just the bride and the groom present, regardless of location, but others are aware that a wedding is taking place.


    I just have a pet peeve over the use of the term elopement.

    Then why are you saying "If it's what you really want to do and your "VIPs" are on board with it, then do it!" to her? 

    If it's a secret, that sorta negates the OKing it with VIPs first situation, does it not? 

    Because I knew the OP didn't mean she was truly eloping. The OP admitted she already spoke with family about potentially  "eloping":

    Side note- His mom even mentioned if we had thought about this as an idea, she herself did this with her current husband. So she wouldnt not be upset if we chose this. As for the few family members/friends I would invite they really wouldnt care much either way

    As I watched how others were responding, I decided to point out the difference. 


    edit- added info

    But... where? I mean, I've read and reread her posts in this thread, and I don't see anywhere that she says she broached the subject with them. She said his mom mentioned it, but not that they discussed it any further. Did she mention it in another thread that I missed? 
    You're really going to make a deal out of this? I felt like she misused the term and then others who responded did as well. A lot of people do. I felt like sharing my opinion on it. I'm allowed to have an opinion.

     







    glitch104
  • esstee33esstee33 Pittsburgh member
    Ninth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer


    esstee33 said:




    esstee33 said:



    FWIW, an elopement is having a wedding that is kept secret from others until after the event, regardless of location. A private wedding is a wedding with just the bride and the groom present, regardless of location, but others are aware that a wedding is taking place.


    I just have a pet peeve over the use of the term elopement.


    Then why are you saying "If it's what you really want to do and your "VIPs" are on board with it, then do it!" to her? 

    If it's a secret, that sorta negates the OKing it with VIPs first situation, does it not? 



    Because I knew the OP didn't mean she was truly eloping. The OP admitted she already spoke with family about potentially  "eloping":

    Side note- His mom even mentioned if we had thought about this as an idea, she herself did this with her current husband. So she wouldnt not be upset if we chose this. As for the few family members/friends I would invite they really wouldnt care much either way

    As I watched how others were responding, I decided to point out the difference. 


    edit- added info


    But... where? I mean, I've read and reread her posts in this thread, and I don't see anywhere that she says she broached the subject with them. She said his mom mentioned it, but not that they discussed it any further. Did she mention it in another thread that I missed? 


    You're really going to make a deal out of this? I felt like she misused the term and then others who responded did as well. A lot of people do. I felt like sharing my opinion on it. I'm allowed to have an opinion.

    Oh, by all means, correct people who are misusing the term. I just don't see where she did, unless I've missed something. That's all I asked, so I'm not sure why you're taking it so personally. Have opinions all you want.
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  • OK OK OK LADIES!!!!!! Please stop with this back and forth non-sense!!!!! i was just asking opinions!!!!

    My FI mother in law.... just simply asked if we had thought about the elopement thing!!! I have no significant family to invite.... so MY FUTURE MOTHER IN LAW. ASKED IF WE HAD THOUGHT ABOUT ELPOMENT!!!







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  • please stop fighting over me HAHAHAHAHLOLOLOLOL







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  • its just a simple question i asked







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  • @glitch104 no problems here. In fact, my original statement didn't even come from what you originally posted. As I saw other responses, I got a bee in my bonnet and wanted to express my opinion on something that happens to be a pet peeve of mine. So, it was not meant to correct you specifically, but rather a general statement. I just assumed you had spoken with family about it and made the assumption that they would be aware of your plans. But, again, it wasn't your post specifically that caused me to post what I did. Sorry I drug it off track! LOL

     







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