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Wedding Recap and Withdrawal

For the "Should We Elope?" Couples...

I've been feeling particularly awful about something for sometime now, and I haven't any idea where else to go. Maybe I just need to vent? I suppose I want to share my story with other people that were/are in my shoes. I just want to let people know that they're not alone. And I guess I'm looking for comfort, too.

When my husband and I were originally engaged, we started planning the  traditional wedding everyone always has: the 70-100 person guest list, elegant poofy dress, vendors, etc.--"the whole nine yards." Months into the planning, we realized we were not happy. Members of our families and our friends kept putting in their two-cents, and we quickly realized that no matter what we did, we would be "disappointing" somebody, somewhere. We realized our day was becoming less about us and more about everyone else. We were both miserable. It was a horrible time--instead of being happy and delighted about planning my wedding, I was crying and wishing everyone would just leave us alone. Eventually I popped the question to my then-fiance: What if we just eloped? We decided "yes." We told our parents and everyone was fine with it. (We woudln't have cared anyway, because it was what we wanted and everyone did continously say, "Do what you want.") For the next two months, I was delighted, excited, ecstatic; I wanted to plan every detail of our tropical wedding and honeymoon. I finally felt how you're supposed to feel when you're about to get married. 

Needless to say, our Hawaii wedding and honeymoon were perfect, and neither of us regret it (I do wish our photographer took better photos.Tongue out ). And after we did get married, we sent "just eloped" cards to family and friends. His mother threw a reception for his side of the family (which was fun and everyone had a blast) and my mother is throwing one in the summer for my side, as well. All seems great, huh?

But it wasn't all roses and daisies. When we decided to elope, I told many people (family, friends, co-workers) and received A LOT of: "Why would you do that?" and "Are you going to have a real wedding afterwards?" questions.  A "real" wedding? I thought, "So my wedding isn't "real?" I was devestated, and the comments and cast-offs got worse because another girl in my office happily married in October, too. But she had a "real" wedding. She got all the attention. My mother also told me it was pointless to wear a wedding dress since no one would be around to see it. You can bet that was like a blow to the chest.

Extended members of my family also brushed off my elopement as "fake" and "not real," as well. After we were married, extended family offered casual, half-asked "Congratulations" and "How long will that last?" was a common whispered phrase. Immediate family constantly dropped phrases like "I wish I was there" and "Well, do you regret it?," etc. Believe me when I say a lot of people honestly believe that my wedding wasn't "real" because I didn't do the big dress and the 100-person guest list wedding.

It makes me feel horrible that people don't seem to care or acknowledge my happiness and wedding just because they don't agree with elopement. I know I shouldn't care about everyone else and I should just be happy that we did what we wanted, just how we wanted. But it's so hurtful to walk about as a married woman and have people turn their noses up at me. My wedding and marriage don't "count" to them, and I'm not sure why.

I am just writing this because I feel bad for the girls and guys out there who want to elope, and are getting the same backlash that I did/am. I'm sure after reading my story you must think "OK, then why bother eloping? Forget it." Here's my answer:  even though my husband and I received (and are still somewhat receiving) all the backlash, we do not regret eloping for one second. No amount of rudeness from others will make us less happy about what we did. My feelings are only hurt by it; I do not regret anything, though. For you girls and guys wondering about eloping, there is absolutely nothing wrong with it. In fact, if you discuss it with your sweetie, you both may find it is the better and happier choice for you two.

I guess I really want to tell all the "torn on eloping" brides and grooms out there that if you want to elope, then you should. I know a lot of people tell you to think about everyone else. Well, honestly it doesn't matter what they think: it's what YOU TWO want. If you want your family and friends there, then invite them. If you don't, then you don't have to. Take it from someone who hates having people upset with her: you are not going to please everyone. Someone is undoubtedly going to be disappointed. It's hard, but you might have to admit that you can't fix it. It ultimately comes down to what makes you and your fiance happy.

And remember that you can have your wedding anyway you want it. If you elope, you can still go to David's Bridal and pick out your perfect dress, you can still go on wedding websites and look for party foods and share photos of your destination wedding place. Your wedding still matters if you elope, and it is very much a real wedding. Just remember that you aren't marrying the thousands of people who have to butt their noses in about your wedding plans; you are marrying the love of your life, and the day should celebrate just that.

Whatever your wedding plans are, I hope you all are doing what you want, in your heart. Remember to sit down with your fiance and discuss what really matters to you. My husband and I did just that, and even though the rest of the world is still giving us a hard time about it, we are still so thrilled we shared our special day with just each other. Your wedding day is yours and should be yours alone. And if your dream wedding is a trip to Town Hall or the opposite: a huge Cinderella wedding in cathedral, I hope your day is magical and you and your fiance remember that the day is about the love you share.

Love and best wishes for you all,

Jenny
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Re: For the "Should We Elope?" Couples...

  • Thank you for sharing this. 
  • I'm sorry to hear what people are putting you through but I applaud you and your finacé for going through with what was right for you.  We chose to have a very nice wedding with only 60 guests (just family and close friends...no co-workers or acquaintances) instead of something typical with 200 and we got a lot of backlash too.  It's amazing how hurtful people can be when giving their opinion about weddings.  
  • That is very suprising that people acted so ridiculous about your nuptials. EVERY bride I've ever talked to about weddings say if they could do it all over again they would elope!
  • I was in the group of people that was angry with an eloped couple. My brother was engaged to a girl that we didn't like (really really long story). My brother called, said they were getting married after being together for two weeks. He gave me a severe guilt trip about how I HAVE to be at his wedding, even though he was wanting to marry in February. I live in Michigan and would have to travel over an hour to the airport to make it to Kansas. February where I live is a very very bad winter month. It is often dangerous to drive due to the massive amount of snow and ice. I'm talking literally risking my life to make it to the airport IF they don't cancel all the flights.

    I tell brother that I will do everything in my power to make it. He is my only brother. One week later, he texted me. Turns out his fiancee had a fit and wanted to be married NOW. So they ran off and eloped. I was incredibly angry that I was not there to see my only brother get married. Especially after that guilt trip!

    Unfortunately, they are now divorcing. Their marriage lasted about 5 months.

    Eloping is great sometimes, but you DO need to be prepared for backlash.
  • My sister and BIL eloped. He proposed after being together 6 weeks, and 2 weeks later, on a road trip to California to look at grad schools, they got married in Vegas. My mom put on a happy face for them and even drove 4 hours the week before to meet him in a neutral space, as we have never even met him before. She took my sister shopping at VIctorias Secret since she didn't want a wedding dress. However, it hurt her deeply. It also hurt my father, who was separated from my mother at teh time and living across the country on a very tight budget. My younger sister and I were disappointed, but we quickly got over it.

    Now, 12 years later, they are still very happily married. However, when I got engaged, my dad was made very sure that I understood that I could get married whenever and wherever I wanted, as long as he was there. My mother made the comment. "are you going to let me plan with you, its such an important mother/daughter thing?". My first cousin even asked if I was going to be inviting family, since my sister eloped.  Those comments don't really hurt me, but they do give me the sense that even though everyone loves BIL, they still harbor resentment about her not having a traditional wedding. I am being pressured to invite EVERYONE  in the world because no one got to see her get married. I know we are different people, and I am holding my gound. SHe is there for me now and is so excited that I am planning a traditional ceremony and reception. SHe is helping me deflect some of these sentiments and I appreciate that.

    I just wanted to share my story and let you know that elopement does not always = short marriage, or bad marriage. However, it can have some implications for your other unmarried siblings Wink
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  • Thank You so much for putting up your story.  I'm going thru the same thing even to the point of individuals saying that my finace and I wont be happy.  People are made bc i want to elope and everyone is mad bc i am not doing the whole church thing.  So thank you for putting this up!!!!!!
    I wish you all the happiness in the world
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_wedding-recap-withdrawal_should-elope-couples?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:12Discussion:28e15975-efd7-4162-8c81-309a843490f7Post:c01f6416-0371-4c8d-ba4b-d553c37907fd">Re: For the "Should We Elope?" Couples...</a>:
    [QUOTE] I live in Michigan and would have to travel over an hour to the airport to make it to Kansas. February where I live is a very very bad winter month. It is often dangerous to drive due to the massive amount of snow and ice. I'm talking literally risking my life to make it to the airport IF they don't cancel all the flights.
    Posted by jkmcnamara[/QUOTE]

    Are you serious?  What do you do, lock yourself in the house for the entire winter?  Your brother made a rash decision.  Completely different than the OP.  You had every reason to be concerned but your post is ridiculous.
  • Yes, thank you for sharing.  My fiance and I are thinking about eloping to a beach somewhere but I had not thought about the flack we'd get.  It would be a bit of a scandal in my family, which is part of the reason I want to do it.  You can never make everyone happy.  Thanks again.
  • Thank you for your post. I don't think that I personally could ever go through with eloping, but I am glad to see that my fiance and I are not alone in experiencing serious stress over wedding planning and trying to please everyone. It is good to read reassurance that we should do whatever we want to despite the flak we sometimes get. Who knows, maybe it will come to the point where we do decide to elope, although I hope that we manage to happily pull off a slightly more traditional wedding. I'd love a destination wedding with a few guests (not-quite-elopement), but then I don't know how I would choose just a few. Congrats to you on going through with and standing by your decision. I've never heard that perspective on elopement and it is somewhat eye-opening. Best wishes to you in your future together!
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_wedding-recap-withdrawal_should-elope-couples?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:12Discussion:28e15975-efd7-4162-8c81-309a843490f7Post:30e5df73-9089-47ce-8f81-66263e197403">Re: For the "Should We Elope?" Couples...</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: For the "Should We Elope?" Couples... : Are you serious?  What do you do, lock yourself in the house for the entire winter?  Your brother made a rash decision.  Completely different than the OP.  You had every reason to be concerned but your post is ridiculous.
    Posted by FutureMrs.McC[/QUOTE]

    Just a question, but where do you live?  Because I, in fact, live in the UP of MI and travel is very difficult at times just to get to the grocery store. So to have notice to just be there in two weeks can be ridiculous and roads and airports are close ALL the time it seems. So back off her case.  Seriously.
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  • cukimerrydollcukimerrydoll member
    1000 Comments
    edited January 2010
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_wedding-recap-withdrawal_should-elope-couples?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:12Discussion:28e15975-efd7-4162-8c81-309a843490f7Post:30e5df73-9089-47ce-8f81-66263e197403">Re: For the "Should We Elope?" Couples...</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: For the "Should We Elope?" Couples... : Are you serious?  What do you do, lock yourself in the house for the entire winter?  Your brother made a rash decision.  Completely different than the OP.  You had every reason to be concerned but your post is ridiculous.
    Posted by FutureMrs.McC[/QUOTE]
    Hmmm... I live in MN.... similar weather to MI...
    When you have temp spikes that go from 35 degrees down to 4 degrees (we did here 3 weeks ago and again just before Christmas), the snow melts and refreezes - but not as snow.  My alley is still an ice rink 3 weeks later.  This can be VERY common in February, because it's just starting to get warmer. 

    Do you have to put at least 300lb of sand bags in your trunk to balance the weight of your car because it is very difficult to drive on roads coated in ice?? 

    And the airports DO close down.  Regularly.  Especially if you have a connecting flight through Chicago - with the wind there, they have more annual closings than any other airport.

    Oh, that's right.  You live in Baltimore.  If there is ice on the road, you don't leave your house.  Work closes down, schools close down, and you didn't even think there would be any other uses for the sandbags in my trunk.
  • cukimerrydollcukimerrydoll member
    1000 Comments
    edited January 2010
    ...

    Sorry if that came off a bit hostile.  I was hit in my car by a truck 3 weeks ago.  HIt some black ice.  If they had hit the other side of my car, I'd be dead.

    This winter has been especially bad.
  • Don't feel bad for sounding hostile. She was being a major 'zilla. Glad someone said something.

    And glad you lived through that!!! Be safe!
  • FYI, Baltimore winters do not count when it comes to winters.  What do you guys get out there, freezing rain?  Big whoop.

    My son's birthday last December was snowed out due to 25 ft of snowfall.  We live in MN.  That snowfall repeated itself again and again last winter.  So chill it.  You do NOT understand winter. 

    Newb.
  • Thanks Jenny so much for posting our story about eloping. It's inspired me to real think about what my FI and I want to do. It's hard because I know so many people that are engaged or getting engaged and are planning a huge wedding.

     Personally, I rather have it a really private cermony( My FI, His mother(she's the mother that I never had), his brothers and his uncle). I'm not close with my family. All I really want is our day to be special; a  day where we commit ourselves to each other,but this time saying our wedding vows. We love each other and that's all that matters to us. 

    I don't see it necessary to plan a huge,lavish wedding or any type of wedding that will cost a lot of money. I would rather not have to to invite a bunch of hyprocrites that didn't support us either. Plus, we would rather save up money for a downpayment on a house instead of wedding. That's just how I feel....it's right for us.

    I'm so glad that I'm a member of this site. I'm glad that we can all give each other advice and support. I hope that everyone enjoys their special day, whether it's eloping, having a small wedding or a huge lavish wedding. Happy planning! :)

    -Erika
  • Thanks for sharing your story.
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