07/23/2013 09:45 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

How to Botch an Elopement


So, you're thinking of eloping. Congratulations! Eloping can be a fun and exciting way to tie the knot. And what with the craziness and cost that goes along with weddings these days, eloping can seem like a very appealing option. But be forewarned, there are ways you can botch an elopement. That's why I'll be using my own elopement as an example to help you steer clear of these pesky little elopement pitfalls.

1. If your soon-to-be husband's entire family piles into four cars and tags along for the elopement while not one single member of your own family attends, this is a sure-fire way to botch the elopement and guarantee that your mother will be bitter.

Granted, I did not "invite" my future in-laws to join in on our elopement. My fiancé called and asked his mother for directions to the court house and an hour later a slew of cousins, aunts, and uncles crawled out of the woodwork. My family lived out-of-state. Yes, you will enjoy having the company of others there. But also be aware that every year your mother will say, "How am I supposed to remember your anniversary? We weren't even invited to the wedding!" You'll get used to this conversation.

2. Choose your attire carefully.

Although you may not have many pictures of the special day due to your lack of a photographer, the pictures you do have will last forever. I chose a sensible thrift store nurse's dress. Some would advise against this as "tacky." I say I got a great deal on "half-off Wednesday" at the Salvation Army.


3. If your families live in different states, not having a wedding may mean lack of opportunity for the bride and groom's parents to meet.

My husband and I have been together for twelve years and married for nine years. Our parents have never met in person. Although, I do not count this as a negative. Everyone gets along sublimely and their phone conversation skills are superb.

4. A spontaneous decision to elope may mean lack of traditional rings.

My fiancé had the foresight to put my ring on layaway and have it ready for our actual elopement. We didn't have a ring for him which meant he wore a friend's ring that looked like a gaudy high school class ring until we saved enough money to go to J.C. Penney to buy him a wedding ring (when going to J.C. Penney and buying wedding rings was still a thing -- wait, was it ever really a "thing"?).


5. If you don't carefully plan the date to elope, your in-laws won't remember that July ___ is your wedding anniversary. They'll only remember that July ___ is "cousin Summer's birthday" (Happy Birthday, Summer!). There will be competition.

Granted, while your parents and in-laws may forget your wedding anniversary, Summer will never forget. That's one email you can count on.

6. Getting caught up in the spirit of eloping, while exciting, may mean that you didn't plan ahead for a honeymoon.

Instead, you may find yourself eating Mexican food (which you LOVE!) after signing on the legal dotted line and then going to your daytime bartending job the next day where you casually let people know, "Oh, yeah. I got married yesterday." They'll most likely look at you confused but then let it go when they realize they're still waiting on a Stella for table three.

So, there you have it. By keeping a few simple tips in mind, you can enjoy a happy and successful elopement. To all you impetuous love birds out there, wishing you a joyful trip to the courthouse steps and years of laughter as you remember, "Holy, sh*t! We really did that."

photos courtesy of the author