When to consider eloping

When to consider eloping

For couples who have limited financial means, previous marriage experience, or just a wish for privacy, eloping is an interesting option.

Photo Credit: Kevin Russ
By Alison Faria

Whether or not to get married is one of life’s most important decisions. For couples that have decided to make this commitment, the choice to elope depends on several factors. Factors can include the financial situation of the couple, previous marriage experiences, or simply the wish for a private ceremony.

The choice to elope because of limited financial means is especially prevalent among young couples. Couples who are just out of college and do not want to compound college loan debt with the costs of a wedding consider this to be a wise option. Young couples also tend to be impetuous, and choose a quick, inexpensive wedding over the long engagement that many other couples choose when they wish to save enough money for a more elaborate wedding ceremony.

Couples in which both people have been married before also favor the idea of eloping. In couples such as these, perhaps one or both of the participants already experienced the glamour of a lavish wedding ceremony complete with over a hundred guests. Couples looking to be married again find a reenactment of such a ceremony to be stressful and detract from the purpose of a wedding ceremony in the first place. To be married again signifies to couples such as these a commitment that overrides past relationships, and thus the need to have a fancy wedding seems of secondary importance.

Perhaps the most popular reason for eloping among couples is simply the wish for privacy. Planning a wedding almost always becomes larger than the couple themselves and their own wishes for the marriage ceremony. Family, with good intentions, always seem to know what’s best for the soon-to-be married couple, and many couples end up with a wedding that, although lovely, is not really what they had hoped for. Additionally, the pressure to invite friends of family members twice removed is daunting, and what begins as plans for a moderately-sized wedding can indeed become out of proportion. For frazzled couples, the idea of retreating to a place where they can focus entirely on their vows and each other seems a perfect alternative.

As with any other life-altering decision, it is important for the couple to consider the downsides of eloping. The couple may feel as if they are prepared to make a serious commitment, and eloping provides them with an efficient means of achieving this. However, for couples who have only been together a short time and decide to elope, after the ceremony it is not uncommon for the couple to question their choice to marry. Also, eloping means that family and friends will not be there to see the ceremony, thus it is important for couples who especially want their privacy to truly realize this and feel confident about eloping without any regret.

Eloping is ideally a consideration for couples that have been together for quite some time, truly know each other, and are mature enough to make such a decision. In a society where divorce is prevalent, the choice to elope, exciting and romantic as it may seem, should always be considered carefully. A couple who has not really thought out such a decision may regret it later. Conversely, for the couple who has taken the time to discuss all of their options, eloping is a wonderful way to celebrate their love.

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