08/19/2013 06:09 pm ET Updated Oct 19, 2013

The 5 Reasons I'm Glad I Eloped


When people daydream about their future wedding (or weddings), a lot of what comes to mind are images from the media and society depicting the "perfect" wedding -- 300 people in formal wear, an intimidatingly large reception hall, and a lot of stressful planning. Some people have big weddings and love them, and for those people, I'm glad -- but for some people, eloping is an intimate, beautiful, and romantic alternative to the hustle and bustle of a large affair. Here are the top five reasons I eloped (and loved it!).

#1: I only had to make decisions with one other person in mind

Do you want to get married on a beach? Perfect. Do you want to get married at city hall? Perfect. Do you want to get married on a boat in international waters? Also perfect. Why? Because as long as your spouse-to-be agrees, you have no one else to please. The two of you are free to do whatever you want, whenever you want. You don't need to please your in-laws. You don't need to make sure your siblings can get a sitter for their newborns. You don't even need to tell your boss you can't stay late on Friday because you're getting married the next day. You can do exactly what you want to do, when you want to do it, and you can eat all of your wedding cake.

#2: I saved money

Weddings are expensive. If you elope, the only cost you have is the wedding certificate. The nice thing about eloping is you can spend as much as you want -- your clothes can be as formal as you want, your flowers can be whatever you want to order, and your food can be as delightfully indulgent as you wish it to be. Eloping doesn't mean you have to miss out on any of the luxury of getting married, but gives you the option of having it be as simple as you want.

#3: I refused to let anyone ruin my day

What if your friends day drink and have a meltdown because they're single and forever alone? What if your uncle misses his flight and needs to know if he can show up half an hour late without it being a big deal? What if your maid of honor's dress is too tight and she bails the morning of? If you elope, you can avoid all of this stress. You remove the opportunity for other people -- even people with good intentions -- to take away from the beauty and happiness of your wedding day.

#4: I avoided my family's disapproving (and hateful) feedback

In my case, my deeply homophobic family wasn't invited to my wedding, whether I eloped or not. For a lot of couples, same-sex or otherwise, pleasing family or close friends can be stressful and has the potential to lead to a lot of guilt. What if your parents bicker with your partner during the reception? What if your parents and in-laws refuse to make polite small talk over dinner? What if your best friend just can't help but mention how the person you dated before your current spouse was just perfect for you, and why did you break up again...? If you elope, all of these awkward moments cease to exist (at least on your wedding day).

#5: I appreciated the intimacy

When my wife and I eloped, everything about our wedding was intimate. We went dress shopping together, ordered coordinating bouquets, and arrived and left NYC's city hall together for our ceremony. The officiant and photographer were the only other people in the room when we were wed and it gave us both the opportunity to concentrate and remember only each other, with no other distractions. We got to appreciate every expression, every word, and every touch, uninterrupted and without needing to explain ourselves to anyone else. Our wedding was intimate, romantic, and very much our own.