Efficiency is extremely valued in this modern age. We want our hamburgers in less than a minute, our internet to work immediately and our commutes to avoid any delays or interruptions.
But should efficiency be valued above all else in every area of our lives?
There are some aspects of life that just shouldn’t be rushed — such as quality time with an elderly relative, a walk in the woods and trips to the beach.
But what about weddings?
Even the age-old practice of getting married cannot escape this wave of efficiency. Some couples now choose to elope in exchange for a more traditional wedding ceremony and reception. This option is certainly more efficient when it comes to time, money and effort.
But is it worth it? We’ll let you decide.
- There is no reconnecting with family and friends. Weddings accomplish what few people can achieve in their lifetimes — bringing together all the people who mean the very most to you. An elopement eliminates the opportunity the catch up with old pals, spend time with family you haven’t seen in a while and introduce friends to each other.
- Some of the people you love will be disappointed. Because weddings are the norm, opting for an elopement will surprise many people. Your mother may be a little upset that she doesn’t get to plan your wedding and your friends may feel a little hurt that they weren’t included in this big life change.
- You miss out on wedding traditions. Some wedding traditions are really just a waste of time, money, effort and stress. But there’s nothing like dancing with your dad to say farewell to your time as his little girl, or smashing wedding cake in your hubby’s face amidst cheers from your audience or partying the night away with your closest family and friends.
- Your wedding photos will be less bridal. Even if you decide to hire a photographer for your elopement, the pictures captured will be vastly different than if you held a traditional wedding. There will be no photos of you and a bridal party, you and your parents or you and your guests. The photos, featuring only you and your husband, will exist more like upgraded engagement photos than blissfully bridal ones.
- No one can reflect back on your big day. Down the road when you’re hanging out with good friends, you will not be able to reminisce about the awful weather, hilarious speeches or other memorable moments that inevitably take place at weddings. When you elope, you share those moments with the person who means the most to you, but you lose out on the camaraderie of others.
- There is less accountability. Inviting guests to a wedding is about more than just having a good time. Your loved ones serve as witnesses to the commitment you and your spouse made to each other until death do you part. An elopement without guests eliminates the intimate support system that you can rely on through the ups and downs of marriage.
- The number of gifts will be reduced. While the purpose of a wedding is not to acquire as many gifts as possible, it is a bonus! Some close family and friends may still send you some cash or small gifts. But you won’t have the experience of adding items to a registry and them magically appearing on your big day.
- There are only two opinions to consider. You don’t have to worry about offending great-aunt Martha with your wedding dress or pleasing your high school best friend with your bouquet. Any decisions take only you and your fiancé’s opinions into consideration.
- Transportation is not an issue. Since you and your man are likely the only ones traveling to the location of your elopement, you have complete freedom when selecting that location. You can hold it in your hometown, across the country, or on the other side of the world! The only transportation needs you must consider are your own.
- It’s more relaxing. The flurry of the big day can at times distract from the beauty and meaning of weddings. The bride and groom barely get time together as they must interact with and entertain their guests. With an elopement, you can take your time to relish the exchange of vows, choosing to head off to your honeymoon whenever you feel like it.
- It’s cheaper. You can buy the wedding dress of your dreams for an elopement… or you can don a simple white number already hanging in your closet. There are no guests for which you must provide drinks, hors d’oeuvres, entertainment or favors. All your money can be spent ensuring that you and your soon-to-be husband have the best day ever!
- Focus on your relationship. Weddings can easily get out of hand as a bride gets distracted by all the decorations, friends and festivities. The real purpose of your big day can quickly get lost in all the commotion. The simplicity of an elopement strips down the affair so that you can focus on yourself, your new spouse and the future you have to look forward to together.
- Say goodbye to rules. Eloping is already a step away from wedding tradition. Therefore, you should feel no obligation to stay in line with the typical rules and regulations of getting married. The only thing you must do is get your marriage license signed. Otherwise, you’re good to go!
- Enjoy more intimacy. When it’s just you, your spouse and the officiant, you can focus on the serious step you are taking while saying your wedding vows. You are not putting on a production. You do not need to worry about how you look, what you say or how you act. Treasure every word exchanged and strive to live out your married days with those vows in mind.
We can’t make this decision for you. You will have to weigh the positives and negatives and determine if an elopement is appropriate for you, your relationship and your situation. Take your time to consider all your options and stick to your decision once you make it. Good luck!