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Eloping: Will You Avoid Family Drama or Stir It Up?

 

So you’re engaged and thinking of eloping!  Congratulations on finding your life mate.  As you well know there are a number of reasons to elope:

 

  • Need to get married fast
  • Want to avoid family drama
  • Want to save money
  • No interest or time in planning a wedding
  • There aren’t enough people in your life to make it worth a wedding

 

While we believe weddings are a great way to gather family, friends, and community to celebrate a union, we would never tell anyone to not elope.  Usually they are simply opting for many small occasions where they’ll celebrate a new marriage.


On the other hand, often couples who decide to elope meet reactions and emotions they are unprepared for:

 

  • Anger
  • Shock
  • Confusion
  • Sadness

 

Sometimes to appease the negative feelings, couples have a wedding reception at a later date to gather loved ones.  But they are shocked when a simple reception turns into the wedding drama and stress they were trying to avoid.  All the emotions people have about showing off the new member of the family, about their son or daughter tying the knot, or about their lack of control over your decision to elope may result in madness around the reception.


Whatever the reason you chose to elope, trust that you are not escaping family drama.  It may show up just before you elope, at the first major family birthday or holiday after your elopement, or at your one year anniversary.  Rarely do families accept a new “in-law” without complex emotions and attitudes. 


Wedding planning, on the other hand, is often an extended view of the first years of marriage where every stakeholder in your life comes out to express their opinion about you and your relationship, about everyone in the extended clan, and about your life decisions.  By eloping you may be forcing those bottled emotions to spring forth in surprising ways.  Be prepared!  While some people make horrible mistakes in wedding planning that haunt them for years into their marriage (attacking in laws during a wedding planning meltdown moment, for example), the choice to elope may be an equally dramatic “mistake” in the eyes of your family.


Our book Take Back Your Wedding helps you navigate the landmine of emotions you are about to create or have already created.  It’s really about how to be married as a couple with your families—and things to avoid early in your marriage.  Because no matter how the paperwork gets signed, you are creating a new family for each other and making in-laws out of your parents and siblings with your new mate.


An important tool for any engaged couple is to take Premarital Education.  Many faith communities require it but outside of that arena, too few couples take advantages of this terrific learning opportunity.  We have just the tool for you to get exposed to premarital education.  We offer a premarital inventory called The Couple Check Up, created by one of the nations top marriage inventory companies. For only $30 you will get a personalized report of your relationship, areas of strength and areas of growth opportunity.  I took it with my husband and it was an eye opening experience to see how you "stack up" against millions of other couples.
All our best for your marriage and beyond.