Relationships

Would You Elope?

Cat and Ash eloped in Australia. Here, Cat tells their sweet story…

Why did you decide to elope?
We were both reluctant about being in the spotlight. There was also real excitement in eloping and creating that memory for just the two of us.

Were there any funny parts of the day that you hadn’t expected?
We wanted to have lunch in the country town where we got married. But the day passed by like a dream and we weren’t keeping track of time, so we were too late for lunch, and too early for dinner. We were both starving so we ate some fries in the car—our first meal as husband and wife! We laughed so much.

What was one of your favorite parts of your wedding?
My sister and nine-year-old niece picked my bouquet—and they didn’t even know! I had always wanted them to be part of my wedding but since we were eloping, I had to be tricky. I’m a jeweler, so I asked them to pick some beach grass (we call them “bunny tails” in my family—I don’t actually know what the proper name is!) for a project I was doing. Then one of my best friends, who trained as a florist, put them together for me. So I felt the bouquet was full of love and friendship and I was carrying them with me.

How did you tell your family?
We phoned our immediate family after the ceremony, but no one was answering their phones! So I called my brother, who lives in the UK, where it was the middle of the night—at least I knew he’d be home asleep in bed! We did get to everyone eventually. Our whole family was super excited. When we rang my parents, I could hear my mom dancing around the kitchen in happiness, announcing it to the dog.

What about telling your friends?
We posted a cryptic photo of this Scrabble board on Facebook, and it was fun to read all the delighted and shocked messages from friends the next day.

Congratulations, Cat and Ash!

P.S. An American elopement, and a Swedish island wedding

(Photos by Love Katie & Sarah. The venue was The Convent, Daylesford, Victoria, Australia. Cat’s vintage dress was from etsy)

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  3. Me and my husband eloped in the Uk.
    I only have one regret that we could not afford a photographer.
    WE decided to elope for money issues and also the fact that my husband is British and I was Australian and I didn’t feel it fair that my family should miss out and since my brother was getting married a few weeks later. I’d be gutted about it all.
    But we had a great day in the end.

    But I rang my mum the next day, and it turns out that while we were having drinks with our witnesses in Windsor my mum was dreaming about being in the same location. So that was spooky. I can’t wait for Christmas to see my family again.

  4. Sugatek says...

    I eloped on August 9th, 2012. My husband and I said, what are we waiting for? We picked the 9th, researched marriage license rules locally, bought wedding bands the days leading up to that Thursday and called an officiant to meet us at the courthouse. We got married in the courtyard of the courthouse, flowers surrounding us, while holding hands and looking into each other’s eyes. It was everything I ever wanted. We’re planning a renewal on our 2nd anniversary, with a church blessing and party. But this is what was best for us.

  5. Nicole C. says...

    I would be really sad to elope. My family is really close, probably due to us experiencing a lot of death throughout the years, so I don’t think I could ever get married to someone without them experiencing that monumental moment with me.

  6. Eloping appeals to me plus taking our children, keep it simple. I watched how my sister stressed over her very large and elaborate wedding, 350+ guests, her husbands family have a very large family and his Mother invited everyone! It still was a beautiful day, however knowing how much it cost, lets just say the equivalent of a good deposit on a house, I feel it was too over the top to spend that sort of money. Eloping looks even more appealing to me… (end note: together with my partner for 18 years and not married that’s why I can consider this option!)

  7. When I got married, it was a big elaborate event with lots of food and dancing and a 12-piece swing band. Five months later, he cheated on me (among other things) and I filed for divorce. I learned a hard lesson very quickly that I’d MUCH rather have a dream marriage than a dream wedding.

    The idea of eloping appeals to me even more now. Even if I don’t elope, it will be a far simpler gathering with only my closest family and friends. I want to enjoy the day, not run around trying to juggle a thousand things at once. But most importantly, I want the MARRIAGE to be more successful than the WEDDING!

  8. I’m not sure about Eloping but the idea of a wedding somewhere far away like Italy or some beautiful island sounds amazing!! But I think I would still want my family & friends to be there.

  9. Anonymous says...

    We eloped, but took my dad and two best friends with us. I think that my dad really enjoyed giving me away. We had a wonderful time and it was perfect, but made the mistake of celebrating exhaustively with everyone when we got back. In hindsight, I think it is perfectly OK to just elope and share the photographs with loved ones over coffee later.

  10. My husband and I eloped. We got married at the courthouse in NYC with just our immediate family present and had a celebratory lunch after. It was perfect for us.

  11. I like the idea of eloping – very romantic!!! But what about your family and friends? Don’t you wish for them to see you share in this happy moment?!

  12. I like the idea of eloping – very romantic!!! But what about your family and friends? Don’t you wish for them to see you share in this happy moment?!

  13. We are seriously thinking about eloping!
    We got “legally” married two years ago, have alteady two kids. So I d like tO do now , something a little
    More spiritual. I do not need the fancy stuff now, and
    I like the idea of sharing this moment , just the two of us.
    I m not sure my husband is really ok with it, he is
    Really more traditionnal and want the big
    Party and family gathering. So we wait and im sure
    That this will end the way I want it ;)

  14. Dawn, UK says...

    Thats what we chose to do. We live in England and got married in Central Park. We got engaged in NYC and it felt very special for us to come back to NY for our big day. It was such a wonderful day, filled with beautiful memories. So many lovely New Yorkers congratulated us throughout the day, came and took our photo and made it such a special day. Our witnesses were on holiday from Australia and South Africa, unfortunately in all the excitement we didn’t get their details to email and thank them, but we have some lovely photos.

    Unfortunately not everyone was happy with our decision to do it this way- but we wouldn’t change anything.

  15. I joked that it would’ve been easier to elope when we were having to plan our wedding, but I’m glad we still had our wedding where our families and friends could be included in our special commitment to one another.
    This is ESPECIALLY true for me after my brother eloped two years ago… I was devastated when he told my parents and me two days later – we had never even met the woman he married! We felt completely excluded from his life, and it definitely hurt. He really didn’t get why we would feel that way, and he refused to let us have any kind of celebratory reception many months later when our extended family all got to meet her. It was an inconsiderate way to start a marriage for the family, considering she is now a PART of our family.
    We have no qualms with her personally – just the way everything started…

  16. I just read this article (see link: http://goo.gl/zsHjL) in the NY Times and thought you might find it interesting given the timing of this post!

  17. My husband and I bravely eloped in Southern California in March of 2010. For the most part, I’ve never regretted it. My mother in law was a bit sore about it for a short while, but she came around to it in no time. We had two parties at home! Our friends through us a surprise reception as soon as we get home from our elopement. It was at a pub in Philadelphia and we had mac and cheese as wedding cake. It was a blast. We then had a huge reception a month or so later.

    A big wedding was never really an option for us– too many messy religious issues to reconcile. And no one wanted to spend a ton of money. I knew that even if we had a big wedding someone’s feelings would get hurt at some point over something, so the whole parents or family not liking the elopement wasn’t much of an issue for us.

  18. If my mom wouldn’t kill me, I would totally elope! :P

  19. If my husband and I could do everything over we DEFINITELY would have eloped. We enjoyed our wedding but wish that we had made it more about us and less about the people we felt we *had* to invite, or doing things my parents way since they were paying.

    Looking back, I would have rather hired a photographer to capture our day and had our own private ceremony, followed by a relaxed dinner with all of our friends and family later on.

  20. I really really wanted to elope. The thought of spending that much on ONE day just sickened me (and I only had a $6000 budget, which is most brides flower budget), plus I am not a fan of being the center of attention. At the same time, I do think that there is beauty to having your closest friends and family, the people who have and will continue to love and support you through the years, standing up and saying that they will help you on this journey. Plus, I don’t think my mother-in-law would have forgiven me. So we had a relatively small wedding (which was still stressful, but whatever), and made up for it by having a long honeymoon in Scotland. Rough, huh. Haha.

  21. My fiance and I were pretty set on eloping after our wedding plans (a non-denominational outdoor ceremony, a 100 person guest list) were met with massive drama and disapproval from one set of parents. Apparently, not getting married in a church and not inviting 300+ extended family members is a tragedy in an Italian family.

    We ultimately decided against it, because eloping would mean that all those wonderful people who had supported us (and our wedding plans) and nurtured our 8 year relationship wouldn’t be there to celebrate with us. The nay sayers will just have to deal with it.

  22. We eloped to San Francisco a few months ago and it was the perfect way to celebrate our marriage! Everyone is always so shocked when I reveal how we got married – because I’m a wedding planner! :-)
    I LOVE big, beautiful, styled weddings, but for us, it just felt right to keep it low-key and intimate. It was just us, our parents, his brother and a photographer. I don’t think I’ve ever smiled so much in one day! Photos are finally up on my blog!

  23. I’m torn. My boyfriend and I have been dating several years and toyed with the idea. Planning a big wedding almost gives me anxiety and a nice elopement would be so stress free for me. Yet I know how much it would hurt my family if I did. We already threw them for a loop when we decided to life together and now we both live halfway across the country so planning a big wedding back home would be difficult. When do you draw the line between choosing for yourself or respecting your roots?

    Thanks for letting me share :) Joanna I love your blog!

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  25. really sweet story! looking back, eloping may have been a good idea for us :) my MIL became quite the stressful figure and we were on the verge of eloping. wedding planning yes takes a lot of time, but when someone takes some of the fun out.. another option may have been a good choice :) either way, i ended up with my soulmate! xo

  26. 1st marriage, eloped. Nothing to write home about, sort of a downer.. I realised that part of the joy that might have been was sharing it .
    2nd .. a few people were there, it was not religious but was solemn and full of love and it has lasted many many years now ..