Navigating Family Dynamics to Elope

With the stress and pressure to have a big wedding, couples seek a compromise between their core values and keeping the peace with family. Not specific to this couple, but sentiments I often hear:

  • Our wedding has snowballed
  • We just want to celebrate with those we love.
  • We would be happy with a backyard BBQ.
  • We don’t want to recite our vows in front of all those people.
  • We would be happy with the party, our parents want a full-blown wedding.

Sound familiar? Weddings can take on a life of their own, and fast. A wedding planner is brought in, then your idea to pick flowers from your garden and “call it good” has morphed into a massive floral design for an event you actually didn’t want to have in the first place.

I own and operate three wedding-related businesses, and there are two ways I see this play out.

One, you realize the wedding is no longer yours so you let the powers that be plan your day and just “show up”.

Two, you compromise. You elope or have a private ceremony a few weeks before your actual “wedding day”. This is where you do all the things YOU want to do. In New Hampshire, you only need a Justice of the Peace to get married. TRUE. You don’t even need a witness.

You can tell how at ease couples are when they are genuinely doing what they want to do. In this case a simple ceremony with one parent as a witness (and to watch the dog). The bride knit both their socks, his tie, her garter belt, and they even used yarn as temporary rings! These pieces have meaning and the process of knitting was literally a labor of love. This couple celebrated at a later date with a backyard BBQ.

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