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Wish We’d Eloped (should we?!)

My fiancé and I have been together the best part of 10yrs. Meeting as students and then both working in poorly-paid industries, we never felt like getting married was an option until this year, when we have felt more settled and learned that parents might be willing to help out.

However, being together a long time, we had already done a lot of planning for how our wedding would be, and it felt uncomfortable to make getting engaged a surprise that only one of us (him!) was in control of.

We booked a trip away and decided he would propose during the holiday - which he did! Although, I spent the morning of our engagement day in tears, feeling such overwhelming pressure that had built up over the years. I felt like our half-egalitarian (both knowing it was coming), half-traditional (him surprising me with the exact time and place) plan was failing on both counts. But we did it, it was reasonably romantic, and we told our loved ones who are over the moon excited.

Now, a few months into wedding planning, we have realised that all our ‘plans’ made pre-engagement couldn’t ever have prepared us for the stress. We are overwhelmed by ‘excited’ friends and family trying to muscle in on the planning, be ‘helpful’ (ie enforce their ideas), and making assumptions about what sort of wedding we might have. We’ve had multiple folks ask outright if they can be bridesmaids, and get pouty when we didn’t choose them. I’m struggling to find the sort of dress I’d like within budget. We are both very introverted, and the idea of saying our vows in front of a crowd, and spending 12+ hrs surrounded by guests is starting to feel incredibly daunting. I’ve also recently had to take some time off work for stress, which is partly caused by multiple family bereavements this year: I’m mourning the fact that my grandparents won’t be there to see me get married, and my one surviving grandparent is in a care home and won’t be able to attend which is confusing for her and making my mum feel guilty.

It’s become very obvious that in order to avoid all this mess, AND get the egalitarian feeling we wanted of BOTH making the decision, we ought to have just eloped on our trip rather than going down the traditional engagement route. Then we could have had a reception later to celebrate. But that didn’t occur to us at the time.

The question is whether we now cancel our venue, tell everyone we are postponing, and then elope further down the line. Or should we persevere with the wedding and find ways to make it less of a complete stressful disaster, eg making the ceremony part of the day more private (although this may be difficult as several guests have decided to stay at the venue the night before, and it’s not a big place!).

Any and all advice welcome!


  • MrsCToBeeMrsCToBee Posts: 2,957 New bride
    As someone who's been through all this and come out the other side...elope if that's what you want to do. I wish we had. 
    It will probably damage a few relationships telling people, but so will going through with a wedding you don't want and dealing with people's demands and behaviours - and that will only ramp up the closer you get.
  • BooshBoosh Posts: 35 New bride
    I feel for you feeling so pressured especially as it sounds like well intentioned in some instances. 
    Why not just elope and keep the 'wedding date' for the celebration? If you wanted to keep the ceremony element have a blessing or have a friend 'officiate'? 
    My friends did some thing similar they got married at the registry office just the 2 of them and a couple of witnesses  a few weeks before and then their 'wedding date' their son conducted the ceremony and it was just one big party - it was a great day and they did it just how they wanted. 
    What you need to remember is that it about the 2 of you, your decision to make a commitment to each other, it's about your bond as a couple, by all means listen to peoples opinions and 'advice' but ultimately it's down to the two or you! x 
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