Planning an Elopement: The Romance Edition.
When women were young, we had expansive and beautiful imaginations. We were able to plan our life in high spirits, dreaming up fascinating stories of living in Paris. A grand duke could sweep us away to a castle, and we'd be left there to fulfill a lifetime of adventure. As the women grow older, suddenly the dreams seem farther and farther away. That is until that woman does indeed move to Paris, or more likely if a little bit of childhood magic is slipped onto her left ring finger. From the moment that beautiful ring slips onto her finger, a bride's spirit soars. There is a sudden excitement looming. Everything she has read about in her books looks a lot easier now, after all, one thing is about to come true. The moment of being wed must capture the spirit of true magic.
Stereotypes: Why listen?
Women are fed interesting notions from the beginning. Why must she have a huge wedding for the celebration to be grand? I remember thinking back to my engagement. My two friends were engaged at the same time, and each were crawling and to an intersection of stressed and craziness. I however was having a difficult time even committing to initial ideas for my wedding. First I couldn't believe the cost, and second the notion of setting a date was terrifying to me. If I were to set a date, I'd have to come up with a list of guests, and that was something that I didn't want to deal with. Already co-workers were inviting themselves, and in some ways uninvited the people they didn't wish to be there. I'd had enough. This was supposed to be my day, right? It seemed it was about everyone but me. This is where I'm sure most woman wonder: isn't there another option?
Is an Elopement Right For Me?
Who are you, and how best would you enjoy your special day? In order to confirm you would like an elopement, it's important to ask yourself the following:
- "Would I be upset if my wedding day had less attention on me?"
- "Am I alright standing firm on my decision to elope?"
- "Am I okay with others not understanding my decision?"
Attention. Some brides crave being the center of attention, and that's okay! With an elopement, a bride is able to feel at one with her partner. I would describe the difference as feeling like a princess for two separate reasons. In a traditional wedding, people fuss over the bride and everything is lavish, making her feel like a princess. In an elopement, a bride feels like a princess in pure bliss.
Certainty. Secondly, the bride must be confident in her decision to elope. Many people will be upset they will not be attending her wedding. Others may try to talk her out of it "It's your wedding day, you have to (insert typical bridal duty here)". It is at times difficult to stand up in a non-harsh way and say "this is what will make us happy". If you, the bride, have decided yes, have no fear: it is easy to stand your ground and you will find ways to incorporate everyone you wish to involve.
Criticism. In the end, the decision should be between the husband and the wife. But sometimes, they are caught up in what others think of them. I was able to shun these opinions, but be aware they will come. For example, a few friends of ours were so offended that they spread a rumor we were only getting married because I was pregnant (I wasn't pregnant at the time). It can hurt, but in the long run these people provided insight into a personality we hadn't seen and didn't wish to be apart of.
Why Elopements are Beautiful
If you have decided yes to the above, congratulations! It gets easier from here. You will not be like the bride pulling her hair out and wishing she could simply sit down and enjoy her wedding. You will be on another level.
The beautiful thing about an elopement: it is solely about your future husband and yourself. You two will experience your wedding in magnificent detail. You will remember exactly how your champagne tasted as it warmed your tongue (ours was Barefoot Bubbly Pink Mascato), and how you felt when he looked at you as you had your first dance. You can incorporate small details of your dating past in the wedding. You can get married ANYWHERE (I saw a couple wed in a field after a picnic and a romantic swim). The options are limitless, your memories vivid, and your hearts leave truly understanding the meaning of your new commitment towards each other.
Where Do I Want To Elope?
The options are limitless! It is very inexpensive to elope as opposed to having a wedding party. Therefore, when choosing the destination, you and your imagination should take a field trip. Now here comes the reason for my title: the romance edition. Take your imagination to the most beautiful place you can possibly imagine with the two of you standing there. Where is this place? Is it a beach, forrest, lake, river, church, sanctuary? Is it an old building in which you have fond memories or is it somewhere you have never been? It's incredible to be able to dream up your own romance story starring you and your future husband.
I feel the best place to start if you cannot imagine such a place is to determine what makes you comfortable. If you are a reserved and careful person, choose a building near the town's heart. If you are daring, choose somewhere with beautiful views you can explore before or after your wedding. If you are somewhat of a country girl choose somewhere with open spaces or a barn decorated with vintage lights. Here I will list some places for some inspiration:
- The bay
- A lighthouse
- A farmhouse
- Lake Tahoe
- The beach
- The courthouse
- A gazebo
- The mountain top
- Another country!
- San Francisco
- A garden
- A waterfall
If you are still having trouble choosing a destination, please continue reading on this page, and consider how you'd like to spend the day!
How Do I Want My Day To Go?
Activities. Another great thing about eloping is the ability to spend the day however the two of you like. There will be no drama, stress, or needing to greet everyone in attendance. This means if you would like to spend your wedding day Kayaking rivers in Colorado with your husband, you very well can. Look for something you two have always wanted to do, and make it so. It doesn't have to be as non-traditional as kayaking, either. Maybe you have always wanted to stay in a nice hotel with room service and a spa. You could follow being pampered with being treated to hair, make-up, vows, then have a romantic candlelit dinner outdoors. It's also nice to speak to your partner to see what he may come up with.
With Whom? When planning the day's adventures remember you may wish include others. It's not uncommon to have a close relationship with family and wish for them to be there. If this is you, do you want time with them the entire day or only part? Do not feel bad if this is not you, and you choose to have a celebration dinner or party with them another time.
Vow content. If you are married at a courthouse, chances are they will have written vows already. If this is not you, you are free to write your own! Google ratings on "Justices of the Peace" in your area to speak to anyone you may be interested in. You may instead wish to include a religious figure, but do remember it may be harder to get them to come to you.
Attendance. Do the two of you wish to include family? There are a number of ways to approach this:
- Invite close family to witness the vows
- Invite no one to the vows
- Invite no one to the vows, but include family by video recording the vows (perhaps including a special necklace from mom, and tie from dad). Distribute these to the family and watch it with them.