I am not married nor have I been engaged to anyone at this point in my life. Being a bachelor is enough for me at the moment. But over the past few years, I have seen a good number of friends and family walk down the aisle, forever saying goodbye to singlehood. Looking at what they went through, putting on a wedding is incredibly immense, it usually takes a year at least to mount, and it is very expensive to say the least (and that’s just the small weddings I’m talking about). Prospective husbands tend to want to give their wives-to-be the wedding they’ve always dreamed of, but putting that extravaganza of love together seems as challenging as climbing Mount Everest. Even a half year before this momentous event takes place, I see prospective spouses looking utterly exhausted and irritated at how much further they have to go with this. They just want to get the whole shebang over with before they become even more insane than they already are. It’s honestly amazing when the day finally comes, and the bride and groom are not just sharing their love, but also breathing a huge sigh of relief. It’s all over! FINALLY!!
A lot of my friends have come up to me while drowning in endless wedding preparations, and their advice has always been the same:
“Ben, whatever you do, ELOPE!!”
This seems to make complete sense after seeing what people go through. I mean really, do you really have to have an enormous wedding to make clear how deep your love is for the one you want to spend the rest of your life with? Some people stay engaged for years before they walk down the aisle, and by then the whole thing seems anticlimactic. Your family and friends have gotten so used to seeing you as a couple that making it official seems like no big deal. Seriously, what’s wrong with just going to a church in Las Vegas with a few witnesses and just getting it over with? The more intimate the occasion, the more special it must feel. Just you and your significant other sharing your vows and then getting on with the rest of your lives sounds infinitely sweeter than standing on a stage in front of hundreds of people, some who have yet to trust one another.
Here’s another thing everyone should know about weddings, they are EXPENSIVE AS HELL!! I have seen friends of mine go into serious debt over this mammoth event, and that didn’t even compare to the money they lost in the divorce settlement a couple of years later. If you have rich parents, or if you yourself are loaded with a ton of cash, then maybe you should live it up. But what if you are not rich and your significant other wants to be a part of the end all of wedding ceremonies? How deep into your empty pocket does it make sense to bring out? How do you know your friends aren’t taking bets on when your marriage will collapse? Trust me, I have seen people do this.
Think of all the elements that go into a wedding, even one that is surprisingly tiny. You have the cost of flying in all the family relatives who have since moved away from you because they couldn’t stand having you around, and unless you have enough room for the whole dozen in your one bedroom apartment, you will have to set them up at the local motel where the rooms are at least $50 each. What about those stretch limousines? That seems like such a mandatory item, and the drivers usually get paid by the hour. Then there’s the catering bill which threatens to be about the same price as a used Honda Civic from 2008. You can’t just serve the guests stuff from the dollar menu at McDonald’s (In ‘n’ Out Burger is tempting though). Plus, you have the mandatory wedding photographer who will follow you EVERYWHERE YOU GO. They just have to capture even the most mundane of moments when you want just a small moment of privacy. You tell that person that you just want to be alone for awhile, and they still ask if they can go with you to get the best pictures possible.
Seriously, what’s wrong with eloping? You and the love of your life have the whole time to yourself which is just as it should be. Everyone else can join in the fun later. You may still have to deal with a photographer, but it won’t be for as long. It will make the start of your new lives together all the more intimate, and you won’t have to deal with an overwhelming amount of attention from relatives who are overly excited at the possibility of becoming grandparents. Besides, when all is said and done, this weekend really belongs to the two of you. It’s not necessarily mandatory that others take in the pleasure of your big day.
Eloping may prove to be an even better piece of than getting a prenup. Good luck to you, seriously.