This is the spring season when couples may be making wedding plans. According to The Wedding Report Incorporated 2011, couples in the United States spend on average $24,066.00 for their wedding.
Perhaps you are considering eloping rather having to incur the expenses of a wedding. First, you should ask; what are the long-term benefits of eloping versus a planned wedding? Please allow me to help you as you attempt to answer this question by telling you my experience having eloped.
During the late seventies my fiancé and I lived in northern California. We planned for months for a large wedding. We both were from the east coast; so we planned to return to our hometown. We began to save, but soon realized how expensive the wedding would be because we made lots of new friends in California, and we thought it was proper etiquette to pay a portion of their living accommodations. We knew we could not afford this arrangement because our guests list continued to grow; moreover, we wanted to buy a home. We had a choice of having a wedding or to forgo our American dream of home ownership. After going back and forth, we finally decided to cancel our wedding plans. We decided to elope.
We did not want to go to Las Vegas. We wanted to go to a more intimate city. For that reason; we decided to get married in Lake Tahoe, Nevada. Once we arrived, I was so excited viewing the beautiful lake and the Sierra Nevada Mountains that were covered with snow. My excitement, however, was short-lived once we arrived at the Chapel.
The Chapel was very small adorned with wall to wall artificial flowers. Displayed for sale in the waiting area were all sorts of marketing materials that included picture frames, wedding photo albums, various hotels that were advertised and countless souvenirs. Once a couple was married, the next couple was rushed into the Chapel. I felt as though I was on an assembly line.
Now it was our turn to go into the Chapel. The minister and an assistant both stood with a fake smile. The assistant instructed us to stand underneath an archway while he proceeded to start the music on a record player. The ceremony lasted less than one minute. Voila! We were man and wife.
There was no family or friends to share that special day, and there was no reception. I felt the entire ceremony was impersonal. Looking back, I would never forgo a traditional wedding. This is a very special day when couples should celebrate with family and friends regardless of the cost of a wedding.