It’s one thing for a couple to elope and head to Reno or Las Vegas to get married, but it’s something completely different when children are involved. In the early 90’s, I knew a couple who were dating for a few months.
The woman was a single mom with two young children. The man was single with no children.
On a whim one weekend they drove to Vegas to get married. Upon the couple’s return the new wife introduced her husband to the children as their new stepdad.
As you can imagine things didn’t go well in fact they are no longer married. I’m not saying elopement isn’t an option for creating a blended family it has to be done after careful consideration. At a minimum, the future stepdad needs to have a solid relationship with the children before even considering elopement. Please read what author John Keefe has to say about elopement.
Elopement Versus Large Wedding
At some point in their engagement, every couple asks the question, “Why don’t we just elope?” It might be something uttered in desperation, but it’s a question everyone should consider.
Eloping has some advantages, but weddings shouldn’t be ruled out either. Neither option is perfect, but hopefully this post can help you decide which one is right for your situation.
Eloping allows you to avoid the craziness of planning a wedding. You skip almost a year of work, and thousands of dollars in expenses for the ceremony.
Eloping also allows for a new couple to bypass the waiting period that comes along with planning a wedding.
One common tactic is to have a small reception after the elopment is over, but this can remove some of the advantages that come with eloping. Plus if you elope you can go straight to the honeymoon!
It’s socially expected a couple will have a wedding ceremony, and some family members, especially more traditionalist ones, may be upset by your decision to skip the ceremony. Couples who elope are statistically more likely to get divorced later.
The odds of a divorce only increase if you decide to go without a honeymoon after the eloping. This isn’t a guarantee, but when the data is this significant it’s something to consider.
Eloping doesn’t mean you don’t have an anniversary, but it can make it feel less special. Without the ceremony, eloping can feel less like the massive start to a new chapter in your lives.
There’s a lot of statistical data out there showing couples who have a wedding involving a large number of guests are more likely to stay together. It also fulfills social expectations, and, it may sound shallow, but don’t forget about the number of gifts guests will bring.
A wedding registry at a large wedding can cover a lot of expenses on things for your home. On top of that, the wedding and the reception is a massive party to celebrate you and your spouse.
It’s like the ultimate birthday party. The wedding also represents a major milestone. Every anniversary you and your spouse can reflect on the pictures and video from the event together.
Despite the evidence a large wedding is good for relationship strength, there’s also data to suggest the more a couple spends on their wedding, the more likely it is that they will get divorced. Planning a wedding is also a major source of stress.
There are countless things that have to be accounted for and planned. The actual expense is also something to consider. Even cheap weddings can cost thousands of dollars, and that can be a massive source of stress on a new marriage.
Whichever option you wind up choosing, the important thing is you and your partner are on the same page. This wedding is for the both of you – it needs to be a joint effort for it to be successful.
If you have children and decide upon a tradition marriage ceremony here are some ideas for incorporating your children into the ceremony.