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To think about eloping and also asking for no gifts/cash?

(167 Posts)
PirateTrophy Sat 11-Jun-16 09:17:43

My AIBU is two-fold although relating to the same thing..

DP are unofficially engaged i.e. we've discussed in length getting married (we have 2 kids together) and know we will at some point. It therefore seems a bit pointless for him to "officially" propose with a ring. It will be my second marriage and his first.

We've discussed the type of wedding we would have and it just seems to grow arms and legs and is costing more and more the further we discuss it! If we go ahead with this type of wedding it will take us YEARS to actually get there as we have other priorities at the moment as we're saving for a house deposit.

The reason the wedding we've been discussing has been getting bigger is due to the size of my family (divorced parents) and also DP would like to invite his aunts/uncles so I feel I would have to invite mine etc etc so it's turning into a usual run of the mill (expensive) wedding which we have both said we don't want (nor can afford).

We have started discussing eloping and telling no one. We broached this subject before but as it's DP's first marriage he feels his mum would be upset not to even be informed never mind not seeing us get married (understandable) so we changed our minds. However due to our recent talks about a wedding with family it's just not doable for many years to come. Plus I don't think my parents would be too happy for us to elope either, also it does seem quite quite sneaky keeping a secret like this then coming back and telling them. I think a lot of people would be upset.

If we eloped we would go away for a couple of days to our favourite place, get married just the 2 of us and spend a lovely evening together having a nice meal. That sounds blissful to me! No pressure to have an expensive engagement ring, what the venue is like, what the meal is like etc etc. I've been there, done that and I really do not want to go through all that planning again never mind wasting all that money. DP is not keen on that type of wedding at all either.

Additionally, we would have a type of reception/party afterwards once we've told everyone we are married however we do not want any gifts or cash... how we would go about letting people know this without sounding rude?!

So WWBU to elope and, if we did, to ask for no gifts/cash?? Any other suggestions greatly appreciated!

I guess I'm looking for validation that we're not being selfish to elope...

PurpleDaisies Sat 11-Jun-16 09:21:20

If you want to elope, do it. It's your wedding. You could put in the party invites that people don't need to bring gifts, just themselves. You might get some any way which you should accept with good grace (and send to the charity shop!).

WeAllHaveWings Sat 11-Jun-16 09:25:01

We eloped, but were lucky that although our parents would have loved to be there, and I could tell afterwards they were slightly upset, they also understood and respected our decision.

RuggerHug Sat 11-Jun-16 09:25:09

Do it. Sounds great to me! Although if he wants his Mam there would you consider just having patents as witnesses nearby? Just a thought, although I love what you've suggested smile

RNBrie Sat 11-Jun-16 09:26:33

I'd just do it. We talked about it but ended up doing the big expensive thing and it was a wonderful day but I do regret spending so much money on one day.

I love being married but the wedding wasn't necessary!

Friends of ours recently did it, second marriages for both of them, it did ruffle some feathers (they didn't even tell their kids!) but people being happy for them overrode any negative feeling. They are having a party in a couple of weeks. Very happy for them!!

TheNotoriousPMT Sat 11-Jun-16 09:37:59

People will give you presents. They will want to, it will make them happy if you accept them gracefully.

Honestly, I do feel a bit sorry for his mum. If you do have an (admittedly blissful-sounding) elopement, you need to prepare for the possibility that she may be deeply hurt.

Any chance you could invite your parents to join you for a nice meal out, and have the wedding as a surprise? That way you avoid the big build up and faffing but get to share it with them too?
(It is possible I have seen the episode of Parks and Recreation where April and Andy get married a few times too many)

Oh, and congratulations flowers flowers flowers cake wine

PirateTrophy Sat 11-Jun-16 09:47:02

I feel bad for his mum too... sad They're very close. So we may to rethink what we do about that. She was deeply upset to find out her nephew got married in this country and she found out when we saw it on Facebook! She was very close to him when he was growing up.

Where we want to get married is a couple of hours away so having the parents there isn't ideal as it'd turn into a mini wedding iyswim. Plus with my parents being divorced I'd be stressed out about them being together again in the same room. Then i'd feel guilty my siblings didn't know..!

I couldn't really have DP's mum there and not my own! And so it goes on....

CMOTDibbler Sat 11-Jun-16 09:51:16

How about doing a very relaxed wedding - hire a village hall/ sports club/ church hall and invite everyone to bring a dish of food to share instead of a gift. Theres loads of online signup websites you can use to make sure you get a variety of things. No more hassle than a normal party
Then get married at the registry office, go to hall, have fun. IMO no one ever judges a couple choosing to throw a low key affair, and it makes everyone relaxed

DoinItFine Sat 11-Jun-16 09:54:19


Do you ever have to tell them you are married?

Genuine question, I know a few peolle who got married on the quiet and kelt it quiet.

Would also solve the present problem...

CodyKing Sat 11-Jun-16 10:01:07

Friends invited guests to a meal out and married in the hotel - then the meal - no over the top flowers cars outfits etc

You could say it's and engagement meal - and for both families to meet

Enjoy the meal and some generous person could take the kids away while you enjoy a quite hotel night

1horatio Sat 11-Jun-16 10:08:08

Eloping isn't selfish.
Or what about being honest here, inviting your closest family members (explain the situation) get married and then go to a nice restaurant (where maybe even everybody proceeds to pay for their own meals? (if it's only immediate family and you explain it properly that should be doable...).

You won't have to pay for music, flowers, a venue and (if you really can't afford it) not even for food. But your parents would still get to see you get married, have nice wedding pictures etc.

PirateTrophy Sat 11-Jun-16 10:12:31

Hmmm. Maybe we could have an "engagement" party and actually just get married then! Keeps the costs down, has everyone together and gets it over and done with! smile

My concern would be people from further afield wouldn't bother coming for "just" an engagement party but considering we are thinking about doing it with no one there we'd still have the most important people in our lives there. Plus our children would be there as opposed to eloping and leaving them with the grandparents.

PirateTrophy Sat 11-Jun-16 10:14:28

The meal in a restaurant would be okay but it's the whole divorced parents on my side that's the issue... a sit down meal with them would be uncomfortable with only a few people present. I wouldn't be comfortable with that..

confusionis Sat 11-Jun-16 10:17:07

In this situation, I always think it is analagous to a written, official rental agreement with a landlord and a verbal unofficial agreement.
You have two kids together, are going to buy a house together. The legal document you want doesnt require a big wedding, you have other, more pressing requirements. Take the kids out of school for a wednesday afternoon, and go down to the registry office. document signed!

PirateTrophy Sat 11-Jun-16 10:20:10

I know. The thought of a "surprise" wedding is stressful... We can't be bothered with all that faffing around. We just want to be married, on our terms, but don't want to upset anyone at the same time!

CodyKing Sat 11-Jun-16 10:26:05

Yep to the most important people being there - for you!

I'm sure your parents have thought about your wedding day but a least this way there would be no 'I'm not sitting next to X' etc

Why not even more informal - wedding in a room - standing room only - or even outdoors - then a BBQ or hog roast -

ohidoliketobe Sat 11-Jun-16 10:38:29

Do it do it do it.

My parents did it. It was a massive weight off their shoulders when they finally did it. I was a witness (19 yo!). Some friends did it too and had a big evening reception a few weeks after they got back. It was lovely.

They explored all the various options, some of which people have kindly suggested on here, but in reality be it a surprise meal, an "engagement party", whatever, it always comes back to the same issues - the planning, the numbers, the cost, the attendees and just the general faff of it all. It gets bigger and bigger and you end up with something you didn't really want when all you want is to be married.

My Nan (Dad's mum) was a bit upset, but she got over it. My mum's parents were actually delighted as yt was stress l free for them! I think it's in how you tell them. Go straight to parents houses when yo get home and tell them first, face to face. Don't put something on Facebook while you're still away.

JanTheJam Sat 11-Jun-16 10:42:11

We eloped. My first marriage. DH second.

It was bloody wonderful. We got round to a "party to celebrate" about a year later. It was very casual, just a meal in a pub with a short menu agreed with the pub (3 courses, 3 options, decided on the day). No decorations. People were invited by phone or email. We didn't mention gifts. If people asked about gifts we said there was no need.

It was great.

PirateTrophy Sat 11-Jun-16 10:48:40

With my first marriage I wanted the wedding but with this one I want the actual marriage!

I just hope people will understand and it won't be overshadowed by their disappointment to have not been told hmm

AnecdotalEvidence Sat 11-Jun-16 13:28:19

We eloped - it was wonderful. I loved every unplanned moment.

Yes there were a few people disappointed that we hadn't invited them to a party, but they weren't expected to pay for it were they!
The disappointment didn't last either, they were just happy that we were happy.

It is easy to regret spending too much on a wedding, I have no regrets about eloping.

leelou905 Sat 11-Jun-16 13:34:03

Just go and do it.

We had plans to elope, but it wasn't a secret and we told my DH parents (bad idea!!) they basically bullied their way into an invitation.

So we had a small wedding - just his parents and our daughter. Which makes me feel bad because my parents didn't come, they appreciated that we wanted a private wedding.

If you decide to do it, don't tell people, it sounds bad, and maybe they will be a little upset, but it's about you after all.. smile

lalalalyra Sat 11-Jun-16 13:37:35

What about having a very small wedding with your kids, parents and siblings then going straight into the big party? You could have a late ceremony so that your families have eaten a good lunch then have a generous buffet slightly earlier than the normal evening buffet rather than a full on sit down meal.

We went to a wedding a few months ago where the couple and their parents went to the ceremony (was held in a teeny tiny place where the bride's late father used to be the minister so was v.special to them) and then everyone met them in the hall for a big afternoon tea. The sandwiches, snacks and cakes were plentiful, there was a big party and it was lovely. In the evening they had a hot buffet of chilli or pasta and everyone was stuffed all day. She hired a hall and brought in a little local catering company and it cost considerably less than the usual sit down meal.

BackforGood Sat 11-Jun-16 13:41:57

I think what my logical, reasoning head says is different from the way I know I would feel if my ds didn't invite me to his wedding. I think that is the crux of the matter really.

Why not (as suggested above) book the registry office. Invite everyone to some kind of community hall / social club / sports club / village hall type place, and put on the invitations, rather than giving us a gift, we'd like everyone to 'bring a dish for the table'. You then have the catering done and resolve the issue of a formal sit down plan, and resolve the issue of not wanting gifts.
I've been to a couple of 'dos' like this and thought they were lovely.

KindDogsTail Sat 11-Jun-16 13:45:48

I have not read the full thread but completely understand why you would like this.

I agree with Ruggerhug I saw near the start though about you considering one possible compromise: would you invite his parents and your parents, to the ceremony followed by a very nice lunch, then go off by yourselves.

friends123 Sat 11-Jun-16 13:49:13

We eloped, invited no-one but told them first. We had the ceremony filmed so they could watch it live and then a had a blessing and party on our return. We never asked for gifts/cash etc because I find it really cheeky. Generally speaking most people gave cash or a voucher anyway .

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