By now, many couples who planned to get married in the spring & summer have already made the tough decision to postpone their weddings. For a second there, it looked like fall weddings may be able to happen as states began reopening and larger group gatherings were being permitted. Buuut in true #2020 fashion, COVID cases continue to spike throughout the country, the possibility of fall weddings is almost more unclear than ever. Which brings you to the question: should I postpone my wedding and elope?
The fact that you even have to ask that question is 1) stressful and 2) unfair. But take a deep breath and hang in there, you’ll get through this! I’m here to help along the way <3
I’ll break this down into two parts:
1. Should I postpone my wedding? and
2. Should I elope before my wedding?
Should I postpone my wedding?
I’m sure I don’t have to tell you this, but there are a lot of things to consider when deciding whether or not to postpone.
State and local regulations
This one’s pretty obvious, but are you even allowed to have your wedding?! And to what extent?? Most states/counties have some sort of limit on gathering sizes and venue capacities. This article is super handy and gives an updated overview of state regulations.
Read the cancellation/reschedule/refund/retainer clauses in your vendor contracts closely. Hopefully your vendors are working with you to secure a new date, but the contract dictates what they’re obligated to do in these circumstances. This includes refunds! Remember, vendors are people too and they may issue a refund (if that’s what their contract allows) or be able to accommodate your new date. The key here is clear communication and transparency! Vendors will appreciate it SO much if you’re upfront about everything & they will try their best to return the favor (:
Now that you’ve figured out how many guests you can have, you’ll want to consider if any of them are considered high risk or otherwise might not feel comfortable attending a wedding. Is it someone you can’t imagine having your wedding day without (a parent, grandparent, or your bestie)? That’s something you should weigh into your decision-making.
Last but certainly no least, you have to think about yourself (and your partner, obviii)! This is supposed to be one of the best days of your life! Sure, wedding days tend to be a little stressful, but this whole pandemic adds a whole new layer of stress. If you think you’re going to spend the entire day stressed because Aunt Sheila won’t stop hugging people and Joe keeps sharing his drinks with everyone…is it worth it? No one can make that decision except you & your partner.
Should I elope before my wedding?
If you decided to postpone your wedding, the idea of eloping before the wedding has probably crossed your mind. The word ‘elope’ can mean different things to different people, but my definition is: “when you decide to prioritize what you & your partner want over what others expect. It’s the ultimate low stress, big adventure, perfectly you wedding day.“
With that definition in mind, here are some things to think about to help you decide if eloping is for you:
Is there a reason you need to get married?
It may not be romantic, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do! If one of you are about to turn 26 and get booted from your parent’s insurance, you may not be able to wait for your wedding a year from now to get legally married. Other reasons you may consider getting legally married before your big wedding include: if you’re not living together until marriage, taxes, medical concerns, children, etc. These things aren’t sexy or romantic, but that doesn’t mean they’re not important!
Eloping can help you process
It’s so important to let yourself go through the rollercoaster of emotions that will inevitably arise during this crazy time. This article offers expert advice to people planning/postponing a wedding in the midst of a pandemic, including what the coping process may look like. As you process your emotions, eloping may help you cope with the loss of your original wedding plans because you still get to be married, and it gives you something to look forward to!
Do you WANT to?!
Maybe you’re just ready to be freaking married!! Whether that’s a trip to the local courthouse or park, or a road trip to the mountains or desert, deciding to elope is an adventure. And maybe an adventure is exactly what you need right now.
Eloping is sounding like a pretty good option, isn’t it?! But you may be wondering…
Would eloping make my wedding less special?
If you’re hesitant to elope before your wedding because you think it will make your big wedding less special, I think it’s the opposite! You’ll have fond memories of eloping in the middle of a global pandemic. I mean, just think of the stories you’ll tell your grandkids! Other people will be excited to finally be able to celebrate your commitment to each other, even if the legal part happened a year ago. We’re living in unprecedented times. People don’t expect you to put your life & plans on hold. And they’ll still be excited to celebrate your marriage when it’s safe to do so (:
Being faced with the question “should I postpone my wedding and elope” isn’t an easy or fair choice.
I hope this helped you realize you have options, and you don’t need to wait another year+ to get married. Remember, eloping is about you deciding to prioritize what you & your partner want over what others expect; it’s the ultimate low stress, big adventure, perfectly you wedding day. If you’re ready for your next adventure…