Wedding Wednesdays Q&A: Eloping – Good Idea or Bad Idea?

Wedding Wednesdays Q&A by Jamie Chang Destination Wedding Planner of Mango Muse Events and creator of Passport to Joy

Q: My parents want this big wedding, but we’re really not into that.  My fiancé and I just want something small.  We’ve been fighting over it and we’re now thinking about just eloping.  It sounds heavenly to just get away and get married with just us.  But, is that a good idea or a bad idea?  Am I just running away from the issue?

So, first off, I totally get.  Eloping is so tempting especially when you can’t agree on the wedding.  And while elopements are great, I think you need to take a step back first and make sure it’s what you really want.  You don’t want to do something rash and then regret your decision and wished you had done something different.

To start, think about what an elopement really means.  It means you won’t have anyone there.

So, ignore for a moment all the stuff that’s going on with your parents.  And think, who do you want at your wedding?  If you had no issues and no budget restrictions and if you could do whatever you want, who would you want at your wedding?

Bride and groom taking a moment alone at their wedding in Maui by Destination wedding planner Mango Muse Events creator of Passport to Joy

(Photo credit: Aihara Visuals)

If the answer is just the two of you, then an elopement makes total sense.  But, if the answer is a few of your close friends and immediate family or more, then you want to rethink it.

Let’s say your answer is the former, then eloping is the route you’ll want to go.  But, consider throwing your parents a bone and have a hometown reception after you’ve eloped.  It’s not your actual wedding, so you should be less attached to it and can let your parents do what they want.

It will also give you a chance to celebrate with the people you care about too.  But, your “real” wedding will be exactly what you want.  So, it’s a nice compromise.

Wedding guests enjoying dinner at an outdoor wedding reception at the Los Altos History Museum by destination wedding planner, Mango Muse Events creator of Passport to Joy

(Photo credit: Bethany Carlson Photography)

If your answer was the latter, then I would stop and consider your other options.  Maybe instead of eloping, you have a small destination wedding instead and another big hometown reception.  Or you consider the bigger wedding but scale it back a bit so it’s not quite as large.  Or you pay for the wedding yourself so you can make all the decisions.

The people at your wedding are the most important part.  So, if you want others there to share in that celebration, then don’t forego it just because of a difference of opinion.  Think through your options first, discuss it with your parents and come up with the one that feels best.

Stern Grove wedding ceremony in San Francisco by Destination wedding planner, Mango Muse Events creator of Passport to Joy

(Photo credit: Jerry Yoon Photographers)

Remember, this is your wedding no matter who is paying for it.  And it’s important that you’re happy.  So, just make sure your decision is one that you feel good about and are happy with.

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