Monday, October 6, 2014

the great elopement debate

It's been established that I love planning and have been envisioning my wedding day since I was a little girl; however, the adult version of myself is here today to talk about eloping.

The elopement debate came into play a little over a year ago. Mr. Narwhal and I were discussing our future wedding on the regular and what we saw as a vision for our wedding. You see, a part of us struggles with how big weddings have become. Something has shifted in the last generation or two, and since the dawn of Internet, Facebook and Pinterest weddings are bigger than ever.
Let's be real. It's a big business. You put the word wedding in front of anything and the price magically increases.

So in the early stages of pre-engagement planning and discussion, I was faced with the realities of the costs of throwing together a wedding. And, it's kind of a big deal. A $10,000 wedding is considered a budget wedding these days, which is a lot of money in my little world.

about right // via A Practical Wedding

To have a small intimate wedding, is in my opinion one of the only ways to get around a larger price tag on your wedding. And there is this thing about my family and that is that there are a lot of us. We're tight. Both sides. I have four cousins in my wedding party. I have about 43 people to invite in my family alone, and that's a bare minimum with a few that won't be included. Mr. Narwhal on the other hand, is comfortable inviting less family, but has a ton of friends, so after including all of our friends and family into the equation the number just grows.

If we were ever to draw the line somewhere, it would be immediate families, because after that it becomes wishy washy, and suddenly your number is at 160 plus children and you're still cutting some important people.

Going into this we knew it was all or nothing. There is no simple under 50 people guest list for us. It's just us, or everyone.

So, of course elopement was discussed. Every time I would research venues or anything wedding related leading up to our engagement I would lean hard on elopement for a week or so.  I would dream about a simple ceremony, just us in California amongst the redwoods.

ahhh yes // Image via  Green Wedding Shoes // Photo by Benj Haisch Photography

California (foreshadow alert) is such a special place for us.  Even though we've never been there ourselves, something we share is a deep desire to take a trip to California. Something about the grandiose size of the trees and forests humbles my heart. It was so easy to think about us hopping on a plane, just us and saying our vows to each other among the biggest trees in the world (hippie much?).

this photo makes my heart skip a few beats // Images via Green Wedding Shoes // Photos by Michael Fletcher Photography

After a whole lot of California dreaming (sorry if I just got Mamas & the Papas stuck in your head), I would snap back to reality and remember why we wanted to have a wedding in the first place.

To celebrate our love with the most important people in our lives. The people in our lives are incredibly important to us, and we want to share the most important day of our lives as a couple with everyone we love. It's a rite of passage! You only do it once.

At the end of the day, we couldn't shake that desire to have a wedding. I couldn't face the possibility of regret, and I didn't want to deny my family and friends the opportunity to celebrate with us. I actually had a few close friends threaten that they would find out and come along. Mr. Narwhal would probably have had an easier time eloping, but had enough of a desire to have a wedding that he agreed to let the idea of eloping go.

how could we deny this goof his invitation? // personal photo

So, after each of us sat on the fence at various points in time, we both have planted our feet in the wedding world, and couldn't be more excited to plan our wedding, our way.

Did you toy with the idea of eloping before jumping into wedding planning? Did you elope?

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