‘Be sustainable. Be bold. Be fulfilled.’
Sustainability…Keep Your Cash
Saving your money is the most obvious reason to elope, hands down. But along with the wise choice of using wedding funds for a down payment, a retirement fund or a spectacular vacation adventure there are some deeper benefits to choosing to ‘marry small.’ I’m sure you got the memo that it’s now 2013. That means there shouldn’t be a single one of you, bride or groom, who remains ignorant to the economic, social and environmental realities of our world. It has become exceedingly challenging to rationalize spending $30,000 – $100,000 or more on a one day party that is expected to define and permanently establish healthy self-esteem when there are so many more important world issues to tackle. The awkwardness that many wedding attendees experience can be palpable for a reason. It feels wonky to be behaving like it’s 1999, because it is wonky to be behaving like it’s 1999!
There are so many more nourishing ways to use the wedding money. You could spend the loot on solar panels for your new home or an adventure to Africa to help build an orphanage or a community well. If that’s not your thing, you could set aside $20,000 and have a killer party every year for the next ten years to celebrate with all your favorite folks. Yes, there will be groans from the peanut gallery but who cares! You’re an adult, last I checked the marriage laws. Stand tall and be part of the solution. Create a wedding that truly stands the test of time for more than one reason.
If on the other hand you are still believing that a one day party with you at the center of it will define you and satisfy your childhood dreams of being the prince or princess for 24 hours there are thousands of people happy to help create that 24 hour fantasy…for at least 23 out of 24 of those hours for the low, low average cost of $27, 021 – rings not included!
Harmony…Keep The Peace
A friend and former director of catering for a major hotel group relayed to me that in the hundreds of weddings that she oversaw there was not a single one that didn’t enjoy major conflicts among the bride, mother-of-the-bride and mother-of-the-groom. The disagreements inevitably resulted in brides and mothers in heaps of tears over decisions to have peas or broccoli, roasted or scalloped potatoes and peonies or pansies. Another commonality was that the grooms were never involved, other than having to deal with a stressed out fiancée during the 6-12 months of pre-wedding preparations. How is that a fun way to spend a year? Nothing like a year of a disappointed and complaining woman to bring a couple closer together!
Personally I have yet to find a couple who share enthusiasm for their long engagement and big conventional wedding. Every husband, without exception, has confided that he wished he had eloped. The most common truth I hear is ‘It’s just not worth it. We had more fights planning the wedding…and then there was the massive let down for her when it was all over the next day. There are so many better uses of our time. Oh well. She got to be a princess for a day.’
Eloping doesn’t have to mean that the two of you are alone in your ceremony. You could arrange a very last minute, impromptu gathering of your most important people. You could show up on the doorstep of your parents with your in-laws in tow and announce that the two of you have decided to get married that day and that you have an officiant arriving any minute. You’ll all be together, truly present and ‘in the moment’ that’s for sure! No one will be wondering if the flowers are arriving on time or if the band is going to show up or if the groom got stuck on a roof in Las Vegas during his bachelor party! The most important people involved will able to enjoy the moment in the moment!
Elope. He’ll be happy. You’ll be happy. Sure the parents may have a nose or four out of alignment for a while but they’ll get over it. You have to set the new tone at some point if you want to have any semblance of harmony in your marriage. You guys are what’s important. Create your new boundaries. You’re the leaders of your own team now. You set the rules. Pursue your vision for your lives together, not the vision your parents have for you. Eloping is a great way to get the new show on the road…literally!
Intimacy…Keep Your Marriage!
Although there may be a few million of you out there who still believe that passion is the result of conflict and tension, I know there are many more who have discovered the treasures of a harmonious relationship. Harmony and unconditional love allows each person to truly fly and be the best they can be without thinking some big drama will suddenly show up and ruin everything. So if you’re dedicated to ‘keeping the peace and finding harmony’ for your wedding, you’ll be setting the stage to experience deep intimacy in your marriage.
When two people are present and no longer find themselves defined by others, there is an entirely new level of relationship available to them. If you can manage to release yourself from the societal and family pressures to have a traditional wedding, to spend months deliberating over peas, broccoli, napkins, flowers, music, the wedding party, the shower, the location…I’m exhausted just writing the list!…then you have a shot at creating a truly custom tailored life and relationship for you and your favorite person.
You’ll be the sexiest woman on the planet if you allow him a year of bliss BEFORE the wedding! And yes, if you elope, you can remind him that you saved him a year of major grief so, YES, you do want flowers every week!!
Remember, your marriage is YOUR MARRIAGE. It’s between two people. Defy the urging to believe that it is a marriage of families. If you, the two of you, are not bonded and unified, you’ll never make it. So why not begin at the beginning. Be honest with yourself, with each other and with all the people who expect so much.