Is Marriage a Trap? Insight From an Elopement Photographer

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Calling all self-proclaimed free spirits... is marriage the end to all things “free” as we know it? Ok, I know how melodramatic that sounds. But, really — it can start before you’re even engaged!

A few months (weeks, if we’re being honest) into your relationship, your well-meaning friends and family members can’t help but follow the same, mind-numbing script:


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“So, are things getting SERIOUS…??” (Yes, we’re serious about how much we love shoving popcorn into our faces while binge-watching Stranger Things. We take that very seriously.)

When you’re finally happy with someone, the universe insists that you start to check off the relationship to-do list… introduce your partner to friends and family (√), become Facebook official (√), get engaged over the holidays with “adorable” notes about being each other’s best friend (wait, what??)


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Just like that, you’re planning the massive wedding that you never wanted and inviting your mom’s childhood friend’s parents. How did this happen? When did love become so formulaic? I mean… maybe it is a trap. (If you’re curious as to how marriage originated, read this super unromantic article from Big Think.)

When did we start letting society’s soul-crushing relationship checklist take over?


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This may sound cheesy, but YOUR LIFE IS YOURS. And, let me tell you something: there’s no post-wedding guidebook. If you do decide to get married, and you get used to being told which boxes to check and at what point, well…. you’re in for a rude awakening, post-honeymoon.

Not giving enough time or acknowledgement to your own wishes for a wedding could not only be detrimental to your own happiness, but also your partner’s.


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Here’s my biggest piece of advice, from one elopement photographer, to, well, you: learn to work as a team from the very beginning. Build a list of your individual wants and needs pre-ceremony, for the actual ceremony, and for wedding/elopement weekend. Taking the time to acknowledge your truths may hinder immediate and future regrets.


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Then, there’s the aftermath. Even if you aren’t having delusions of grandeur for life after the “big day,” the post-wedding blues are pretty dang common. Most traditional weddings absorb 9-12 months of your life — planning, splurging, and being surrounded by close friends and family... all building up to one day. How could you not feel blue once you’ve returned from sipping Mai Tais in Maui?


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Let’s check in - are you investing just as much time and energy into strengthening your relationship as you are planning your wedding day? It’s all about re-shifting your focus from the wedding to your actual marriage. Yes, they’re two different things!


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If you’re loving wedding-planning luncheons with your soon-to-be sister-in-laws, then imagine the lifetime of boozy brunches ahead! If your honeymoon was amazing, maybe you and your partner agree to make traveling together a priority. During post-wedding blues, it can be easy to forget about future life events (both big and small) on your horizon. Even lighting a few candles for a date night at home is something to look forward to.

TL;DR? Throw away the checklists and take a timeout from wedding plans — you both deserve it!!


Rebel Rose