Though what I would say is whatever you do to actually get married, make sure it's what you both want. E.g. have the day/venue you want. Have the people there who you want - so if you wajt just friends then have just friends all day. If you want to elope thrn elope.
Sit down with your DP and think about what you both really want from a wedding. Do you need all your family there? Or are you not that fussed? Don't think about how other people will take to your decision, just make it about you and DP.
We had a big wedding booked, that I cancelled 3 months before the date. It occurred to me that I didn't give a damn if those 150 people were there or not. I was stressed with people asking to bring plus ones that I hadn't given plus ones too, stressed trying to sit people away from people they didn't get on with, stressed trying to cater to everyones needs with the menu. I hated it and felt like I was booking our wedding for everyone else rather than us! I don't recommend booking and cancelling a wedding as we lost a lot of money lol but do make sure you sit down and really talk about it before you jump in at the deep end. We had ten guests at the registry office in the end, went for a meal at our favourite restaraunt, went for drinks, and spent the night in a hotel. It was wonderful and what we should have planned from the beginning.
Do you want the marriage or the wedding? If it is the first, then stress free slip away where everyone has fun. After that, celebrate with groups who get on over various occassions. Don't bring drama into your life.
The other option is to announce your engagement, throw a party, then turn up and announce you did it at the registry office that day. No time for people to cause a fuss, ruin the wedding, etc, boom, done.
Yep definitely agree with doing it whatever way makes you less stressed and more comfortable. I know quite a few people who have gone off and done their own thing with their weddings and they all have great memories of stress free occasions.
We had a similar situation of horrendous families who were likely to ruin the day for us. We eloped to a registry office having asked the neighbours to be witnesses the night before. Absolutely the best decision we've ever made and I don't regret it for a second (23 years and still going srong).
We did exactly this, still married nearly forty years on. My only regret is that all we have as a reminder of the day is a couple of not very good photos - no mobile phones in those days and no-one to take them. So invest in a selfie stick and take lots of pics of your wedding so you can treasure the memories of what will be a wonderful day!