After arriving in D.C. this afternoon, I was excited to find out that my girlfriend with whom I was meeting up had invited two of her friends who live here in the city to have dinner with us. It's so nice to be with locals - I just love going to big cities and hanging out and eating where the locals and NOT the tourists hang out and eat.
Sitting on the rooftop of The Washington Hotel, over looking the city, somehow we got on the topic of getting married. Note that I was the only married person of the four of us, however two of the women have been married in the past. They both mentioned that, had they the ability to relive their wedding experience, they would have eloped and not had the big fancy wedding.
My husband and I eloped. We took the money and ran. My dad always said that if I chose to elope rather than have a big wedding, he'd give me a fat check. I've since learned that his definition of 'fat check' is a bit different than mine, but nevertheless, that money helped buy our house and I've never regretted our decision.
These days, many women are waiting until they are in their thirties to get married - as opposed to when our parents were younger and the thing to do was to get married in your early twenties. I was 35 when I got married and the idea of a traditional wedding, dressed in a traditional wedding gown, cutting a cake, the first dance .. all of it .. seemed more like I'd be playing dress up and I'd look sillier than hell because I'm too damn old to play dress up. I did not, even for one second, hesitate at the idea of eloping - of course, it helped that we eloped in Hawaii. On the beach. At sunset. The most romantic sunset EVER.
Because my dad had often offered up the idea of giving me money if I chose to elope, I don't think it came to a surprise to my mom that I would actually take him up on that offer. Five years earlier, when my brother got married to a whore from whom he is now divorced (YAY!), my mom planned that wedding. His whore-fiance didn't have a relationship with her mother, so my mom stepped in and planned - and paid for - the entire thing. She loved it because she loved to plan parties. I remember telling her to enjoy every single moment because I didn't want that kind of a wedding. Looking back, I am happy that she had the chance to plan the wedding of one of her two children, even if it was her son's wedding and not her daughter's.
What works for one person certainly doesn't always work for the next. That's the beauty in all of this. We can each do what works best for us. I'm just here to share my experience because hey, it's my blog and I can. And my experience based on the ten times I've been a bridesmaid is that weddings are stressful, expensive, stressful, expensive, and over before you know it. I look back on my inexpensive stress-free wedding day and I don't have any stories about the fights with my bridesmaids, the caterer that sucked, or the photographer that was an asshole, or my Aunt Lilly who got too drunk and caused a scene with Uncle Joe.
Of course, I also don't have oodles of wedding gifts as a result. But that's actually a good thing in my case. After all, as I mentioned, I was 35 years old when I got married. I had my own coffee maker already. And my own set of dishes. The only thing I didn't have was monogrammed bath towels - but I think those are silly anyways, so no biggie there. What I do have is an amazing memory, and a beautiful home for my family as a result of our decision to take the money and run away!