Today I’ve got a guest post from Mrs. PoP who writes about money, happiness, and kittens along with Mr. PoP over at Planting our Pennies. You can follow the PoPs on Twitter and Facebook too. Enjoy! - Mo’ Houses
Wedding bells have started to ring here at Mo Money Mo Houses, and so far it seems like Jessica’s opting for a pretty traditional wedding. But since she’s off enjoying her vacation, I thought this would be a pretty good time to talk about an alternative to all the traditional wedding hype - eloping.
How We Eloped
Mr. PoP and I eloped while on vacation in Mexico about 3.5 years ago. How did we do it? Well, we found a local boat captain to take us out on a private wedding and snorkel evening on his catamaran. The captain officiated using the vows we wrote, while his wife and two small kids served as photographers and witnesses. After the ceremony, we slipped on snorkel equipment to hang out with some sting rays for a while before the captain called everyone back on board so he could release the sails for us to (literally!) sail off into the sunset. It was breathtakingly beautiful. But if that weren’t enough, when we got back to land, we went out to dinner at a local restaurant where we found a pianist who was providing live accompaniments to old-school silent films. He played along and we laughed until we cried, and just enjoyed every minute of our wedding night. Total cost of our wedding: $235!
Why Should You Consider Eloping?
- Money - (This is Mr. PoP’s #1 reason!) It’s hard to ignore that we spent less than 1% of the average wedding spending for a North American couple. Instead we rolled that money into buying real estate and we had more than enough for a 20% down payment on our first home as a result.
- Avoiding Family Drama - (This is my big reason…) Many of us have family members we’d rather not deal with on our wedding days. So rather than letting it become an issue about how you can politely NOT invite those people, by not inviting ANYONE, you ensure you don’t have to deal with them!
- Less Stressful For the Shy and Introverted - Not big on being the center of attention? Neither are we! Then why on earth would you want to add all the extra stress of playing a role you’re not comfortable with on what’s supposed to be one of the best days of your life?
- Easier To Be At Your Best And Open To Love - When $20K or more is going out the door in a single day, it’s no shock that people can get really worked up about making sure everything is perfect. But when you’re stressed about perfection, it can be all too easy to snap at others. Is snapping at your soon-to-be-spouse (or their family) really how you want to start your married life?
- Less Time, Less Stress, More Simplicity - It seems like a typical wedding these days takes a year or more to put together. That’s a boatload of time and opportunity to stress about silly things like if you’ve missed your window of opportunity on booking *the perfect DJ*. Imagine what you could accomplish if you didn’t have to worry about that for a year!
- You’re Not Asking Or Demanding Anything From Anyone - Last year I spent $1000 being a bridesmaid for my best friend, and I’ve been told that I got off easy as there was no big bachelorette party or requirement to buy an expensive outfit I would never wear again. I don’t fault my BF for this money, but it’s worth asking yourself before “inviting” people to be part of your wedding party. Do you really realize how big of an expense you’re asking them to take on?
- Your Family Probably Cares Less Than You Think - Many people talk about how disappointed their families would be if they eloped, but are you sure? Mr. PoP’s mom had really looked forward to wedding planning and our wedding when we got engaged, so we anticipated disappointment when we eloped. But that really didn’t happen. Her journal that day just reads, “[Mr. & Mrs. PoP] got married in Mexico today. They sound so happy!” Any disappointment she had was so quickly overwhelmed by being happy for us. Too sweet, right? I love my MIL.
- Be the Envy of Many - So this wasn’t actually a reason that we considered when we eloped, but it has definitely been an interesting by-product of our elopement. We have an amazingly heavenly story about our special day, so now when friends get worked up over planning their own weddings, they’ll tend to say things like, “You guys really did this wedding stuff the right way…” Never once have we met someone who has regretted eloping, but we’ve met many who regretted the stress and spending involved in a traditional wedding.
So there you have it. Our eight reasons to consider eloping. If you’re recently engaged, or know someone who is, print out this list and ponder it. You might just be surprised at what a reasonable choice eloping can be for a wedding!
What type of wedding did you (or will you) opt for? Do you think you’re more likely to consider eloping now?