When you begin to sit down and plan the nitty-gritty of your wedding, and especially when you start looking at the cost of things, you may start to think about eloping. While that is certainly an option, you should keep in mind what you’ll lose by eloping. For one thing, getting married in front of your friends and family is one of the most sacred and profound experiences you will ever have. For a half dozen other reasons things, read on:
1) Money Is The Root Of All Evil
True, you will save money if you elope, but haven’t you ever heard the classic song by P. Diddy, “Mo Money, Mo Problems?” You don’t want mo problems, do you? Indeed, you might realistically expect to save $30,000 if you skip a wedding. But remember what happens to the average person who suddenly wins the lotto? Their life is ruined, that’s what. So go ahead, and purge that sinister stuff from you bank account and discover what true happiness is: paying off debt with someone you really love.
2) It’s Always A Good Time To Heal Family Trauma
Yes, we know your cousin is very annoying, and for that matter so are your aunt and uncle. Your whole family is kind of crazy. But if you elope, you’re just running away from these lifelong conflicts. How will you ever heal these simmering neurotic family dilemmas if you don’t gather all these lunatics in one place? What better place to resolve conflicts than in the middle of your wedding weekend?
3) Slow Down And Smell The Roses
Perhaps you were considering eloping because you are in a rush, due to something like a pregnancy or military deployment. Those things can wait. A marriage isn’t something to rush through. A wedding is a life-changing moment. It shouldn’t be scheduled around little things like war and babies. Besides, it’s not like the US Army is going to get uptight if you don’t show up on the first day. (Not true. They get very uptight.) And while most pregnancies last nine months, from what we’ve read, you can often make it last up to two years if you practice yoga the way Sting does. (Also not true. Sting has never carried a pregnancy past nine months).
Maybe you feel like weddings are just rituals, and therefore meaningless. What you are totally missing is that the whole meaninglessness is what gives them meaning. Why do you think we have funerals, instead of just throwing people into a garbage bin when they die? Ritual allows us to find transcendence from the inevitable and mundane. In community we find wholeness. In other we find self. In weddings, we find lots and lots of wedding gifts.
5) You Need More Friction
You are obviously head over heels with your girl, otherwise you wouldn’t be considering eloping in the first place. But don’t forget that a little bit of conflict keeps things exciting. Planning a wedding is an excellent way to get the fire burning: you will have to make a lot of fraught decisions together, you’ll need to handle opposing points of views, discuss things like money, religion and your parents—before you know it you’ll have an enormous argument, she’ll be in tears, and, after a sufficient amount of apologizing, you’ll be having the best make up sex of your life.
6) You’re Not A Selfish Bastard
What makes you think getting married is all about you? What about your friends, the one’s who stood by you when you wept like a baby over what’s-her-name for weeks on end? Don’t they get to see you being happy for once? Yes, this marriage is between you and your fiancée, but it’s also a chance for your family and friends to witness a sacred bond based on true love, and also enjoy some ice sculptures. Also, your parents will be deeply offended if you elope and your mother-in-law will want to kill you.
7) Keep It Real
While it is true that you can certainly get legally married by eloping, in another, more romantic sense, your bride may not consider eloping as “real,” as an official wedding. We know that sounds totally old fashioned and gender biased, but there have actually been studies which show that the more people you have at your wedding, the less likely you are to divorce. If you have massive wedding, according to this study, with 200 or more people, you’re 92% less likely to divorce than if you eloped.