Ditch and Hitch
By Anna Sachse
I suppose that last one is on the list because nervous men think a major holiday will automatically lend the “asking” some extra significance. Or it might have something to do with drunk men who stress out about the fact that they’re getting fat, so they ask their girl to marry them in order to avoid dying chubby and alone with their own crazy family, and really—what does the cost of a diamond matter when your accounts are already overdrawn from plane tickets, presents and purchasing all that holiday food and booze?
Anyhow, once the deed is done, the next step is to start planning the wedding. But let me tell you friends, if you think the holidays are hard, hold on to your holy matrimony. Although weddings truly can be romantic, meaningful and fun, sometimes the experience is akin to being drop-kicked off a cliff into a world of hurt. I say this as someone who writes extensively about weddings and who planned her own deeply personal wedding on a farm that she helped remodel. Which is why I am going to offer you four very good reasons to elope:
1. It’s more efficient. This is the simplest reason. Although you can certainly pull together a wedding in a matter of weeks (think Khloe Kardashian and Lamar Odom), the standard timeframe is about 12 months! That’s one whole year of essentially maintaining a second job while also fighting with your spouse-to-be over a thousand details that don’t matter in the long-run. By eloping, you get to be married right now. You also don’t have to constantly communicate with a wedding planner, venue, caterer, florist, baker, deejay or band, etc., as well as coordinate travel and lodging for all your nearest and dearest. Which leads to . . .
2. It’s far less stressful. You might think you are the mellowest bride ever, but once you open just one bridal magazine, it is frighteningly easy to be sucked into the vortex: Do you invite out-of-towners to the rehearsal dinner? What if it rains during your outdoor event? Are your hotel gift bags and reception favors good enough? Did you even know that you’re supposed to have gift bags and favors??? And then there’s the matter of family. Maybe they all have an opinion, maybe they think it’s all about them or maybe they won’t or don’t get along. Eloping avoids this issue altogether. Any parent that would be truly pissed at you for doing so is probably the type of parent who would also make your wedding suck. BTW, your friends will probably secretly appreciate not having to spend the cash. Speaking of money . . .
3. Eloping is cheaper. The average cost of a wedding in 2009 has been about $21,000; that’s down from about $28,000 the year before. Eloping can cost under $100—the price of your marriage license and a licensed officiant. Or you can fly away to Vegas or somewhere exotic, get married and have the ultimate luxury vacation for about $3,000 or less. Enough said about that.
4. It’s more personal. With all the spectacle, choreography and worries about others’ well-being involved in modern weddings, sometimes couples forget why they are standing at the altar in the first place. When you elope, the only stuff that matters is each other and the wide-open and wondrous future ahead of you.