The business of marriage is booming, with approximately 2.5 million weddings in the US every year in a $40 billion dollar industry. Planning a wedding these days can be a full-time job, and so planners and assistants are hired out to help with all the details. Of course, the bride calls all the shots, and this means round-the-clock surveillance of scheduling, planning, ordering, taste-testing, counting, recounting and stabbing at the calculator app on your phone until you sprain a finger. It means shopping for bridesmaid dresses, likely taking months before everyone reluctantly agrees on a style, and elbowing out the other ladies at the bridal gown outlet and adjusting and readjusting 100 different bodices. It means designing RSVPs, tracking invites, selecting playlists, or a band, and a caterer... The list only goes on. So the question that almost every bride-to-be has asked themselves, while staring at the seating chart at 1am, with an empty bottle of wine, after a private ugly-cry session, is: why?
Sure, it's your special day, and in all likelihood it will be worth it... right? But before you place that hefty down payment on the venue, maybe it's time to ask yourself, seriously, why you don't just take off for Vegas.
10. Forced Invites
Let's face it, some of your finance's friends suck. So, once eight years ago they were all in a metal band for five minutes, before he got a real job, cut his hair and retired the flat iron. His friends still think they're rock stars, they always blamed you for "ruining" him and will likely get rudely drunk and high and remind you why you almost left him when you both started dating.
Let's be real, securing bridesmaids - and being a bridesmaid - is the worst. Eloping means not having to say you're sorry! Picking who will stand up beside you is inevitably going to lead to hurt feelings. Friendships have been lost over no less trivial matters. We all know that "maid of honour," means finding out once and for all who's the real bestie.
8. Seating Charts
You don't have to figure out who sits next to creepy Uncle Karl. Seating plans with random family and unrelated guests can be a nightmare. Mom still isn't okay with your dad's new girlfriend, Nana isn't speaking to Great Aunt Margaret because of something that happened in 1920, and Uncle Karl will at some point start groping any female seated next to him, even if it's your finance's sisters girlfriend.
7. The Hand-Me-Down Wedding Dress
You won't have to bother trying to explain to mom why you don't want to wear her smock-style embroidered flower dress that she wore on her special day in 1967, when she got married barefoot in a teepee. Lord knows you've never even remotely shared a similar style, there's no need to start pretending now to spare feelings.
6. Thank-You Cards
Who in their right mind wants to mail 200 cards to people after all the crappy gifts you never wanted, including six gravy boats, have been unwrapped. That is a whole lot of time spent faking gratitude, and licking stamps, that you are never going to get back.
5. Picking "The Songs"
It is going to kill your will to live trying to narrow down the selection of sappy love songs and pick some previously unused non-cliché tunes to play while walking down the aisle, walking out, and "first dances." You will be picking apart lyrics of Celine Dion, Seal, and Brian Adams until you start feeling stabby and decide every song will end up being embarrassingly inappropriate and ruin your life forever.
4. Trying to Outdo Everyone Else
You can skip the pressure of having to figure out how to be unique, and out-do all the weddings you attended previously that year, that all were forced to out-do the next with petting zoos, custom life-sized 3D cakes, conga lines, helicopter entrances, spontaneous rhythm sequences from guests like something out of "Footloose," post-dancing ban, or a re-enactment of the last scene of "Dirty Dancing." etc. The pressure to make weddings memorable is the utmost unspoken expectation.
3. Making awkward conversation with almost-strangers
You do know that you'll have to speak with all 284 people - up from the original 74 invites - right? Do you want to have actual fun? Because it isn't going to include wheeling Nana to the can. And at least 3/4 of the guests you will have to spend face-time with will ask you about your nursing school practicum, which will inevitably lead to requests for inappropriate medical advice.
2. Want to get smashed - without the regret?
The only thing worse than getting drunk before your vows is getting drunk after. But it's an open bar, it's your special day, and what are you - some kind of saint? Eloping means selectively editing pictures from the night, pretending to be shining examples of subdued celebratory joy.
1. Elope And Buy A House Instead
Do you really want to drop a mortgage down payment on ten or twelve hours of entertainment you won't even remember because you were too stressed? Just, no. Take a holiday, and put a down payment on your marital home.