Our elopement that people were invited to attend: re-thinking what "eloping" means

By on Jan. 14th

This is what an elopement looks like.

Our elopement was attended by 60 people… 60 people who were all invited. That's not an elopement you say? I say, well then maybe it's time to change your definition of elopement! It might actually make your wedding planning way less stressful.

I'm an extrovert with a capital EX, while that guy I married HATES the limelight. I wanted a big wedding guest list with everyone I've ever known or loved in attendance. And the thought of all those eyeballs made Aaron want to cancel the wedding. Instead of canceling the wedding all together, I suggested we elope to Maui, with the caveat that anyone who wanted to see us get married was welcome to do so.

Once we started looking at our wedding as an elopement to which people were invited to attend, it began to relieve a lot of pressure.

  • A destination wedding meant we could invite all the people I wanted (Megan says "yay!"), knowing that most of them wouldn't be able to attend (Aaron says "phew!").
  • Invites weren't that hard to figure out — all people needed to know was the date and the location. We listed the time as "around sunset." Fuck it, we're eloping — you want to know more details, you'll find out when we do.
  • We didn't mess with booking a block of rooms because… you know… eloping! If you want to show up, you can, but that's as far as we're worrying about your travel plans.
  • No rehearsal necessary. It didn't matter if there were just three people, or fifty-three people showing up on the day we chose to get married — the plan was the same: we show up, we meet our officiant, we make it official, we eat dinner.

Framing our wedding as an elopement meant that I could keep my comfortable laissez faire attitude about the whole event because it helped me focus on the whole point — gettin' hitched. But it also meant that we had a lot of loose ends flapping in that warm island breeze.

For example, no one knew where Aaron and I would be standing along the beach (hell, neither did we until we just… ended up somewhere). And my dad and I had to just wing him walking me down the "isle" (get it? When you walk down a non-aisle on an island, you walk down the ISLE?! HAR HAR!) — giggling the entire time at how unorganized the whole event was, and how wonderful it was that it really didn't matter. And did our photographer that I didn't waste much time worrying about totally suck? Absolutely.

But all those last-minute confusions and problems didn't really stress us out. Because framing our wedding as "an elopement that people were invited to attend" let us keep this in the forefront of our mind:

As long as we end up married at some point during this trip, that's all that matters.

Well we did, and it was.

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About Megan Finley

Megan Finley is the Associate Publisher for the Offbeat Empire. When she's not slaving away for the Empire, she's sharing her dork side on her own blog, Twitter @meganfinley, and Instagram @meggyfin.