It seems as though the second you get engaged everyone starts asking questions about when the wedding is, what the plans are, etc. Normally my OCD, planning self would appreciate this. I would pull out my binder and my planner and go on and on about all of the things I had planned so far. I would go into full detail about the venue and the color scheme and which flowers I would carry. With that being said, I had never been engaged before so I didn’t know what to expect. I thought I knew and I thought I was prepared but I was wrong. I can tell you what Shaun and I experienced the first few weeks after our engagement is what really helped make our decision.
Shaun and I had been thinking about having a small wedding since the beginning of our relationship when we started discussing marriage. We wanted to make sure we were on the same page or that we were open to discussing different options. At first we wanted to elope but after thinking about not having our family there we decided to go back to the plan of having a very small, intimate wedding. We thought we had settled on a plan. We would have a small wedding of 20 people. This was a tough decision for us in itself because I have such a large family and Shaun’s is so small. We also decided against having kids at the wedding. We were set on our plans and we decided to tell our family. The responses were a mixture of excitement, anger, and indifference. It wasn’t really the response we wanted. We thought by putting what we really wanted aside we were doing what (we thought) would make everyone else happy. This proved to us that no matter what we did we couldn’t make everyone happy.
We were so discouraged I wasn’t even sure what to do next. The wind was taken out of our sails and I felt defeated. Our engagement was brand new and we couldn’t really be in the moment and enjoy it because we were worried about what our closest friends and family thought about all of it. After awhile we decided to discuss eloping, again. I’ll never forget when Shaun told me it was the first time he’d seen me genuinely happy since he popped the question. He said my eyes lit up when we talked about eloping. So, I made a list: pros and cons of eloping. I wasn’t very surprised when the pros far surpassed the cons in my eyes.
We are very private people, especially when it comes to our relationship. Naturally, I didn’t want our wedding day to be a huge event filled with unnecessary things. I’ve attended $100,000 weddings that didn’t last and $1,000 weddings that did. At the end of the day your wedding day should be about your marriage, not your wedding. I think weddings have become this big production due to the media and people feeling like they have to spend a fortune to have the best of the best. Let me tell you…I can’t recall a single meal I’ve eaten at any of the weddings I’ve attended but I can tell you which grooms cried when they first saw their bride. I can quote some of the vows verbatim, and I still get chills when I think about the glances I’ve seen the bride and groom exchange when they think no one is looking. That is what your day should be about.
I’ve always done things a little bit differently than most. Knowing this, I wanted to make sure I didn’t make any mistakes because I’m only doing this once. I talked to people who eloped, and I talked to those who didn’t. I talked to my photographer about it, and even my wedding planner. Every single person I talked to that eloped said it was the most beautiful day of their life. Every person I talked to that had a traditional wedding said they had a beautiful wedding but if they could do it over they would change a few things. They either wouldn’t have a wedding party, they would have a smaller wedding, they would spend less money, or they would have a destination wedding just the two of them. My photographer said, ’20 people is 200′. This really stuck with me.
He told me that when he photographs elopements there is just a different kind of magic in the air. So I took this information and I consulted my wedding planner. (Either way the wedding would’ve been out of state so I hired a wedding planner to deal with the details.) I asked my wedding planner and he said, ‘You will literally make me more money if you invite people to your wedding. But I’m still telling you not to do it. What does that tell you?’ We were pretty much set on our decision but I wanted to be positive before we went back to our family to tell them that we changed our minds…again. So I went back to talk to the people who had a traditional wedding with guests.
The common denominator between every single one of these people was that they all reminded me to take time for ourselves on our day, to stand next to each other and appreciate the moment together, not to blink because it goes by so fast, and to make sure we spend quality time together. This is what did it for me. Wait, isn’t our wedding day supposed to be about us? Isn’t that the only thing that matters? What do you mean I’ll have to set time aside to really just be in the moment with Shaun? I have to sneak away to hide from people so I can enjoy it for a minute?
This sounded like our biggest nightmare. We didn’t want to look back on our day and want to change anything. We didn’t want to wish we had spent more time together that day. So, we made our final decision. We were going to elope! Most people were also confused by this so I want to clarify. To some people eloping means buying a plane ticket and running away and grabbing something to wear last minute and figuring it out as you go. To some people eloping means going to the courthouse and sending out postcards later to all of your friends and family. Both of which sounded terrible to me.
I’m a huge planner and I plan my day out by the hour. I make about 5 different lists per day that help me function and ensure I manage my time in the best way possible. I’m not a go with the flow type of girl. I also still wanted to have my fairytale. I wanted my dream dress. I wanted to pick the perfect place for our ceremony. And I wanted to make sure I got the best photographer possible to capture our day.
When I had planned out our wedding for the version where our family would be invited I was planning events to make sure our guests had a great time. At one point our wedding planner was like, ‘Wow, Kyla! Your wedding is small but honey, it is major league.’ Our wedding will still be what we want it to be but without all of the extra things I planned to ensure everyone else’s happiness. And honey, my future husband is major league. Our love is major league. And all of our plans for life are major league. 🙂
So this is our version of eloping. It may or may not be for you. You may or may not understand it and that’s alright. You don’t have to like it because it’s not your day. Plain and simple. We’ve had so much criticism for what we’ve decided to do but we are still 100% happy with our decision. If you have someone in your life who is planning on eloping and you’re not happy about it I hope you realize that you had your day or you will eventually have your day and you can do whatever you’d like with it! Their day isn’t about you so I hope you can support whatever they decide. If you’ve decided to elope or you’re making any hard decisions in regards to your wedding I hope you go with your gut. Your day should be your version of a fairytale so make it that. Your version may look different than mine and that’s okay! Either way I hope your day is filled with more love and magic than you could ever know.