An Elopement Checklist: Right for You?

Not all couples want a big to-do when they get married – many decide that it’s better for everyone to simply slip away and enjoy a wedding without guests. But how do you know you’re choosing to elope for the right reasons? Is elopement even right for you? Here’s a quick checklist to decide if a private elopement is what you really want:

Are you independent?
It’s not that all independent couples will want to elope, but couples who are particularly attached to the presence of their families may find elopement isolating. If you’d always hoped to share this moment with more than just your other half (and you’re trying to find out how to ship a bunch of people with you on your “elopement”), you may be eloping for the wrong reasons. You can still have a small destination wedding instead if being alone seems like a big loss!

Are you hurting anyone?
While eloping is ultimately your decision, and how you start your marriage should be something you discuss primarily with your partner, family members and friends are usually a big part of the wedding process. Will your parents ever forgive you if you leave them out of the wedding? Will your fiancé’s brother be crushed that he didn’t witness the wedding? Try to discuss your decision to elope with these people before you run off. It’s often unclear how important this process is to people before you ask them about it.

 

Are you going to miss the gifts?
If you elope, you won’t receive much in the way of gifts and pre-wedding parties. If you’re a fan of fanfare and spice racks at weddings, an elopement probably isn’t for you. But if you want a private exchange of vows away from prying eyes, bachelorette parties, and registries, you probably won’t feel like you’re missing anything too important.

 

Are you going to do a “do over” wedding later?
The urge to get married immediately can sometimes overwhelm an excited couple, and they may decide to off and elope before they have a chance to throw a big party – the “real wedding” might be planned for a later date. However, the elopement was their “real wedding.” Some guests are put off by “do-over weddings” (or early “vow renewals”) as they sometimes seem a little gift-grabby. If you want a big wedding, it’s best to hold off and have the real thing when you can do what you want with it.

 

Are you making this decision out of stress/spite?
Wedding planning is overwhelming, and sometimes the culmination of issues and stresses can push a couple to giving up and calling the whole thing off. While these are sometimes viable reasons for more private nuptials, you shouldn’t make these decisions too hastily. Give yourself time to decide what is right for you as a couple – don’t let anyone else make a decision like that for you.