Is marrying without being surrounded by family and friends right for you?
couple embracing on cliff
Credit: Maddie Mae

At some point in the wedding-planning process, the stress of organizing such a large event gets to the bride or groom (or both), and they wonder if eloping wouldn't be easier-no figuring out where to seat feuding relatives, no going over budget three months before the wedding, no writing out dozens of invitation envelopes. Maybe that's you right now? Before ripping up your work-in-progress guest list and booking two seats on the next flight to Vegas, consider elopement's upsides and downsides. For some couples, it's a great choice, but others may find a wedding surrounded by friends and family is what they really want.

Pro: Eloping is incredibly intimate and romantic.

Whether it's just the two of you or with a few of your closest loved ones at your side, the experience will feel deeply personal in a way it wouldn't with 100 pairs of eyes watching you.

Con: All the family and friends you've had the honor of seeing get married will miss out on seeing you do the same.

That includes your parents and his, who will likely regret that they weren't front and center on one of the most important days of your lives.

Pro: No wedding planning!

Your weekends are free to have fun, not scout out wedding venues and discuss centerpieces. And you'll never have to pick a color or theme, have the fondant versus buttercream debate, or explain to Mom again that you can wear red stilettos and still look like a bride.

Con: Wedding planning can be fun!

Who doesn't like a cake tasting?

Pro: Your bank account won't get depleted.

Sure, you'll have a few expenses when eloping, like the marriage license and officiant's fee, but it's nothing compared to the tens of thousands you'd spend on a typical wedding. And you can put the money you're saving towards a down-payment on a house.

Con: Years from now, you may regret that you didn't make more of a fuss.

While no one ever regrets not spending a gazillion dollars on a one-day event, they may wish they had made more of a thing of getting married. If you do end up eloping, plan to throw a casual party when you get back from the honeymoon, which will give your nearest and dearest a chance to celebrate with you.


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