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.
). 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,