When I researched “Elopement” these words are mentioned, running away, sudden, secretive fashion, imply there’s a hastiness, that this act shouldn’t be done.
According to dictionary.com, Elopement is a noun meaning, an act or instance of running off secretly, as to be married. Boom! That’s the confirmation. So based on our hasty actions, folks believed that me and my secretive husband didn’t want them at our wedding or maybe they thought I was pregnant. Yikes.
Well hold on, wait a minute, “things aren’t always what they seem”. The decision was fine with us and hurtful to my Mom who kept being asking by people, “Hmmm I heard your daughter got married. I wish we knew.” Ouch.
There is no secret who my husband is and no secret that we love each other and we wanted to be married. This was the real deal, my family and close friends met him and my community invited him with open arms. We dated long distance so seeing each other kept the romance on fire. We still get excited to see each other, sad to say goodbye and awaiting the hours to meet again.
When he proposed the official planning begun, the Pinterest boards were full and my email flocked with Wedding themed products and discounts. Wedding planning took over my entire mental space, and I loathed that. I started to deeply dislike the “W” word. It was suppose to be a small wedding. 25 seemed good then I felt this pressure build and the list grew to 50, 75, 100. Wedding planning was a vulnerable experience, it exposed me, and I learned that I wasn’t as decisive as I thought and I struggled to ask others for help.
Then we asked each other, “Would you like to elope in DC or TN?” We just wanted to be legally married and live together. And we didn’t want to take out a loan or ask anyone to spend their money on a high priced venue and a dress I would never wear again. I just couldn’t do it.
During the planning process, I read forums about women who eloped and had no regrets. I finally felt the excitement again. So I booked a solo visit to a Wedding Dress boutique “BHLDN” and I tried on many beautiful dresses. It was such an airy and heavenly store, I felt so chic being there, so taken care of. They really nailed the fantasy and romance aesthetic.
When I visit my parents in Texas for the holidays, we went to David’s Bridal and had our moment. It was Mom and a close friend. That’s all I needed to create a memorable experience and feel like a doll. The kind woman who attended to me smiled genuinely and placed the veil on my head and I thought “Uh oh, this is it!” She might as well, said “So is it Yes to the dress?” Nevertheless I smiled, and knew that no matter what she said and how beautiful the dress was, the plan was to look and not purchase.
After the dating, traveling, meeting each other’s family, engagement, planning, melt downs, and indecisive movements. We made it a final decision, I would move from Maryland to Tennessee and then we’d officially marry “just the two of us”.
It was a Friday morning in April, the 1 year anniversary of our official start. The weather was light rain and a slight overcast. Still the sky was bright and the rain stopped so that we could hike up the trail to the waterfront. We, as in the Pastor, Photographer, Hubby and I. I decided to ditch the sparkly heels and wore brown laced up boots. My dress was pale pink purchased online from ASOS, it was floor length and off the shoulder, so I popped on a jeans jacket, once owned by Mom and embellished by me. My husband wore an all white linen ensemble. We exchanged silicone rings and said “I do”.
Our parents knew what we wanted to do and they said, just let us know when it’s official. We support you even if we feel that you could’ve gone another route.
We posted no details on social media so people learned sporadically and from word of mouth. Although our choice to elope was a mutual and decisive decision, I have lasting thoughts. If given a time machine, I would do things differently: Such as, share the details via social media so that my family, friends and community wouldn’t learn the details at different times or mail out photo cards of our union.
My choice affected others. The consequence of my actions: People didn’t feel included, they didn’t understand why we did it so quietly.
During the process I was nonchalant and unaware of how my actions made people feel and for that reason I’d like to make wiser decisions about when to share digitally and when not to share. When to ask for help and when to say, we love you all and need to do what’s best for us. There’s is a level of consideration and way to deliver things that shows you care. Still working on that skill.
I’m an individual who does what’s best for me even if people may call me odd or rebellious. Thankfully my husband is the same way.
🌸Through this experience I learned about my own fragility, my faults and my ability to hurt others even when I’m doing what’s best for me. It’s my goal to grow and transform, not remain locked away and stagnant.
🌸 I learned that the expectations of the Wedding Culture are high and people want to attend a wedding because they’re fun and they want to grab your hands and see a ring that appeals to the wow factor. They also want to support you, gift you items and celebrate.
🌸 I learned that you’re not in it alone if you have your family and friends support. If they offer to help, surrender and take it. It takes a village to plan/organize a wedding.
🌸 I learned, things change, people need people, so be kind and sensitive to one another and include people in your celebrations.
🌸 If you’re frugal and you’re living on a budget, you have the option to get dressed up, have a glamour photo shoot and get married at an attractive courthouse and call it a day. Then share the beautiful photos with the people you love. Keep it real, keep it fun, keep it light.
How did you get married? Did you choose to elope? If you eloped, how did it affect your friends and family?