My fiancé and I are struggling big time with picking a venue. Here is the backstory:
When my fiancé and I first got engaged we said we wanted a very small wedding (like 10 people). I am a relatively private person, and I couldn't bear to pour my heart and soul out via my vows in front of more than just my immediate family (and even that is pushing it, to be honest...). So then our wedding grew to 10 person ceremony, 25 person reception. Which grew to 25 person ceremony and reception, which grew to 50 person ceremony and reception, which is now at 70 people... We are also torn between two cities, 1.5 hrs apart (Scottsdale vs Sedona). Visiting our first choice venue in Sedona was a total fiasco and tainted the idea of having a big celebration at that resort, but not to worry because we really do love our venue choice in Scottsdale.....but.... it's not in Sedona, and we REALLY want to get married in Sedona....outside, in the Red Rocks, on a cliff....which my sister and mom think is insane and they want us to get married in Scottsdale because it's closer to the airport (all of our guests will be flying in), the resort will go out of their way to make things perfect for us, it really is a beautiful resort...the venue we would use in Sedona was an awful experience and 'why would we want to get married there if they were so rude' yadda yadda yadda. My fiance and I have no time to go back out to Arizona for another Sedona venue trip because everything is booking up so quickly and I am FREAKING OUT now!
So I had a light bulb moment yesterday: maybe my fiance and I should just elope on a Thursday, on a cliff in Sedona and say our personal vows in a spiritual ceremony in spiritual Sedona, like we have wanted all along. Then a little dinner for the two of us at previously mentioned fancy-pants resort that kindof irks us but is just too beautiful to ignore, and we stay the night in a beautiful hotel room. Then we drive down to Scottsdale on Friday, to the resort my Mom and sister want us to have the wedding at, we have our rehearsal dinner with our families and bridal party (my sister and his brother), and then Saturday we have another ceremony, and our cocktail hour and reception and all that fun stuff! We get the private, beautiful ceremony that we have wanted all along, my family gets what they want....
So....am I totally insane?
Do we actually get "married" during the elopement or do we just do it as a sort-of ceremonious, spiritual thing and actually be "married" at the ceremony with all our friends and family? I honestly don't care either way.
Are our parents going to hate this idea? (A question for those who may have taken this path before)
Should we include our parents in the elopement?
Is it going to take away from the special "we're married!" feeling at our Saturday wedding?
Are our guests going to be pissed?
This idea has nothing to do with budgeting, nothing to do with getting insurance, really doesn't have anything to do with actually being married--it's really just the way we want to celebrate our love and our lives together. I should also note that we have been dating for almost 9 years (almost 10 years by the time we have our wedding), we own two houses together (that we bought together), we have two dogs, we renovated a home together (great relationship test right there!), so we pretty much have created a life together and now we just want to celebrate it! We would be planning both "weddings" at the same time, so the big wedding is not an after-thought or a do-over in any way.
Any thoughts? Has anyone done this before?