Choosing to elope can come with it's obstacles, from your own doubts and fears, to objections from family and friends. Staying true to yourselves is always a challenge, but hopefully this post can you give you a little extra confidence to embrace your own vision and conquer those fears and objections when planning to elope.
Very few people seem to know exactly what "Eloping" means these days, and honestly, it can mean different things to different people. Most people think eloping is spontaneously running off to get married secretly. While this certainly can be the case, that is not what it has to be. An elopement is a much smaller and simpler wedding, though it does not mean it's any less significant than any larger, more traditional wedding.
For many people having a big wedding is what they have dreamt of their whole life, and it's something they are more than happy to plan with the help of friends and loved ones. But for some couples, a big wedding is just not authentic to who they are. It's easy to feel obligated to plan a big wedding when that is what your family and friends may expect, and it can take a lot of bravery to stand up for what the two of you really want.
Doubts and fears about eloping
There can be a lot of doubts and fears when considering eloping instead of having a larger wedding. Still, it's essential to address these fears and evaluate what will be the most authentic to who you are as a couple.
Fear of judgment from others
You may be worried about what other people are going to think... Why are they running off to get married? Do they not like us? Are they pregnant? While some may feel offended, hopefully, in most cases, they would be understanding and get over it pretty quickly. If they don't, it may be time to re-evaluate that relationship. Unfortunately, we live in a society where people have a lot of opinions and are often not afraid to share them. You have to remember that this is your day and you should do what will make you happy. The ones who genuinely love you should be supportive of what you want.
Concerns about missing out on traditional wedding elements
There is always that issue of FOMO (fear of missing out) when deciding to have a smaller wedding. Think hard about any bigger weddings you have attended and determine if there are elements you would be sad to miss for your wedding. If you love to dance, would you be sad not to have that big reception dance party? Could you still elope and have a dance party later on? In most cases, there are ways to incorporate traditional wedding elements into your not-so-traditional elopement! Not to mention, there are so many unique activities you can do on an adventure elopement that you could never do during a traditional wedding!!
Cultural or Religious Expectations
If you or your partner have grown up in a family that practices cultural or religious traditions, there can be a lot of pressure from family to carry on these traditions. It's important here to have open conversations with family or religious/cultural experts to really brainstorm ways you may still be able to incorporate these traditions into your smaller wedding. Again, it's all about what is important to you, not everyone else, though understandably these conversations can be very nerve wrecking if your family is very passionate about these things. Being true to yourself can sometimes upset others, but you have to remember thats on them and not you.
Worries about not having family and friends present
One of the most significant concerns couples have about eloping is the idea that they will not be able to have close friends and family there. But who says you cannot have your closest friends and family along for your elopement? If having your loved ones present is a priority, there are plenty of elopement locations that will allow for smaller groups. Just make sure only to invite people who are truly aligned with your vision and aren't carrying any other expectations for the day. When it comes to those not invited, just be very open and honest about why a smaller wedding is important to you and hopefully they will understand!
Fears about the unknown or unexpected
Adventure elopements can be a bit more unpredictable, so this can cause some anxiety. The reality is that unexpected things can happen at any type of wedding! The best thing you can do is be willing to go with the flow and embrace whatever the day may throw at you. It's all part of the adventure! Remember that it's your wedding day, the start of your new life together, and nothing can get in the way of the love you share. Vow to make the day amazing no matter what.
How to address these doubts and fears
Talk about your concerns with your partner
It is so important that the two of you are on the same page about everything having to do with your elopement. This day is all about the two of you, so you want to ensure that you both have the most epic day. Be sure to talk over any concerns you have with your partner. Be brutally honest so that nothing is left unchecked.
Seek support from trusted friends and family
If you have family and friends who fully support your decision, don't hesitate to reach out to them about any concerns you might have. An outside perspective can be beneficial in any situation. If you have cultural or religious traditions that you may be expected to follow, talk to an expert in your area to brainstorm way in which you can still incorporate these traditions in your smaller wedding or if there are alternatives.
Seek professional guidance from a therapist or counselor
If you do not have family and friends, who support your choice to elope, talk over some of these concerns with a completely unbiased therapist or counselor. They can help you discuss why this is important to you and if it is the best decision.
Reflect on your values and priorities for your special day
Think about why you wanted to elope in the first place; what is most important to you? What are your priorities for your day? Make a list of the pros and cons of eloping versus having a bigger wedding. Only you and your partner can make the decision that is truly the best for you both.
Finding ways to incorporate loved ones into your elopement
Consider having a small ceremony or reception after the elopement
Just because you decide to elope with just the two of you does not mean you cannot still celebrate with friends and family at a later date!! You can always have a reception later on with your closest friends and family. You can show photos and videos from your elopement at your celebration so your loved ones do not feel like they have missed out on anything.
Involve loved ones in the planning process
If it's helpful, you can allow friends and family to help you plan some of your elopement as long as they align with your wishes. They may be able to give input on locations that they have been to as well as restaurants or hotels in that area. At the very least, I am sure they would be thrilled to help you pick out your attire for the special day!
Use technology to include loved ones in the elopement remotely
Technology is fantastic these days, and it can allow your loved ones to be included in your elopement without actually being there by using Facetime, Zoom, or any video-sharing app !! Of course, if your elopement is in a remote location, this may not be possible, so another idea is to have your family write you letters to read during or after your ceremony.
Choosing to go your own way and do something a bit different for your wedding day is not an easy decision, but hopefully this post has helped give you the space to embrace your own unique vision for your day! Be true to yourself and dream up the most epic day ever; you will not regret it!
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