Considering how time-consuming and expensive it can be to plan a traditional wedding, some couples may be tempted to consider eloping as a way accomplish their objective in a potentially less stressful manner. But despite the apparent simplicity of an elopement, there are several considerations you should keep in mind before the two of you agree to get married without informing or inviting those closest to you.
|Remember, marriage is meant to last a lifetime|
- Legally speaking, the same rules apply to an elopement as to a traditional wedding ceremony. In other words, you'll still need to apply for a marriage license from the jurisdiction where you plan to marry.
- There may be a waiting period between the time you apply for a marriage license and the time you receive the license. Even if there is no waiting period, there may be other restrictions on your ability to get the license. For example, the office of the government clerk responsible for awarding licenses may only be open during normal business hours on weekdays. So if you decide on Friday night to get married on Saturday morning, you may be out of luck.
- You will need to find someone who can legally perform your marriage, such as a religious official or a justice of the peace. Again, this could interfere with the spontaneity of your plans in the event that you're unable to locate someone who will be available when and where you hope to elope.
- You should anticipate the emotional reactions of loved ones and friends who discover, after the fact, that you excluded them from your plans. Mom and Dad may truly love your new husband or wife, but if they feel snubbed by being left out of your wedding plans, negative feelings could linger longer than you'd like.
- Consider eloping after you have had premarital counseling. Just because you elope does not mean you have to forego this important preparation.
- Remember, marriage is meant to last a lifetime, whether begun during a traditional setting or with a midnight elopement.