I can’t help but wonder… is it possible to have an intimate, whirlwind elopement without pissing off everyone you love, especially your well-meaning, (yet slightly traditional) parents?
In short, yes. But like most things in life, it takes a helluva lot of compromise...
First, we must ask ourselves this all-important question: “Why am I eloping?”
According to The Knot, in 2016, the average cost of a wedding in Chicago was $60,035 - almost twice as expensive as the national average ($35,329). Yikes. That’s reason enough to ditch the ballroom for the courthouse.
(I like to think I’m thrifty, but my last “camping” trip was spent inside a yurt decked in mid-century-modern decor….so, yeah.)
Maybe your S.O. has a huge catholic family, and your crazy mother-in-law expects every female cousin to be a bridesmaid. Guess what? When you elope - no more bridesmaids! Problem solved.
(Yes, this is a real-life example. The mom I’m referring to was deeply offended that her son and future daughter-in-law even wanted to invite friends to their wedding. SHOULD’VE ELOPED.)
Or, perhaps, it’s to remove all of the Pinterest fuss…
And get to the heart of what a marriage should be: a celebration of the love you share for one another (and, with that, the people who’ve supported you along the way).
Not all moms, but MOST moms dream of planning a wedding with their daughters
...from saying yes to the dress, to obsessing over peonies, to deciding whether you should serve stuffed chicken or glazed salmon, and attempting to replicate the perfect rustic-boho table setting she saw on the Today Show.
Your parents imagine showing you off to their friends and family as they walk you down the aisle, then hugging you goodbye as you leave in a “Just Married” car to begin your lives together with celebratory margaritas in Cabo.
If you’re sure eloping is right for you, but you want to honor your parents (and get them off your back), consider your options...
- Invite your closest family to your elopement.
While many couples opt to go it alone (power to ya), you can always extend your closest loved ones an invite or host them at an after-party.
- Parents typically just want to feel involved, so involve them!
Decide what matters most to you, then let your families take care of everything else. If you couldn’t care less about your after-party decor, for instance, let your mom’s wildest Pinterest dreams come true
- But don’t try to micromanage them - it defeats the point.
I repeat - this is a recipe for disaster. If your elopement goal is to minimize stress, you should embrace the art of letting go. Your aunt’s DIY photobooth won’t kill you.
- If it’s just the two of you, consider wearing something of theirs when you elope.
Maybe wear your mom’s jewelry or your dad’s tie - or you could take something with you, like a bouquet of flowers hand-picked by your grandmother, or a reading from your sister.
- Document everything!
Since not all of your loved ones can be there, hire a photographer and videographer to document the ceremony.
So, what do you think? Can you make your family feel included and still have the elopement of your dreams? You tell us.