When I was planning our non-wedding, I did a whole lot of Googling. I hope that this post comes up in somebody's search when they are feeling alone and confused about their choices. Mostly, I just got traditional wedding forums, where "eloping" is a dirty word.
|The legal minimum number of attendees at a wedding in Vanuatu!|
Even in our modern world, where we have endless possibilities for romantic partners, living arrangements, and family structures, eloping is rarely discussed. There are wedding websites where women planning small ceremonies are told not to bother with a dress or flowers, because who was going to see them and care anyway?
Eloping is rarely presented as an option unless:
- There is some sort of desperate situation;
- You're old;
- You're pregnant;
- You've been married before;
- One/both of your families dislike one/both of you; or
- You're broke.
Those are all totally valid reasons, of course! But I was surprised how intrusive some people were when we said we were planning to/had already eloped. They wanted to know which of the above was a factor. Why we couldn't afford a wedding. Why we didn't just have "a cheap wedding". Why we would "do this to our families". Why we would get married at all if we didn't want to have a wedding. And so on.
|Ner ner ner, wedding forums. I had both flowers *and* a dress.|
From an outsider's point of view, I cannot see why having no wedding is seen as abnormal. When a wedding can amount to spending two thirds of the average annual before-tax salary on one day, some perspective is a good thing. Not to mention that nobody has ever died from not attending a wedding!
Some other reasons to not have a wedding might include:
- The bride/groom being completely uninterested in the whole concept;
- A desire to avoid being the centre of attention;
- It is not a priority;
- The geographic locations of family and friends;
- Health/finances of potential guests;
- Conflict between religions/traditions/cultures; and
- Any other reason you like!
Nobody needs to validate their choice, because it is nobody else's business. My advice, if anyone asks why you are eloping, is to simply say "because it's right for us". It's pretty hard to argue with. This answer also works if somebody asks you why you've spent $50k on a wedding!
|Okay, this photo is really just so my sewing friends can see the bodice detail.|
Bonus tip: the people who are cranky about your choice would be cranky about any choice you make. If they weren't complaining about your elopement, they'd be complaining about the guest list, the flowers, or something else.
Have you ever made an unpopular or non-traditional choice? What do you do when somebody asks you a rude or personal question?