For those of you who do not know my husband and me, we got engaged in 2013 in Paris. I’ll
have to admit that I am quite spoiled in the ways of romance. I, myself, am somewhat of a
cynic, but that’s okay because my husband is romantic enough for the two of us. So back in May of 2013, I went on a study abroad trip throughout Europe for a month.
My now husband had the brilliant idea to fly out and surprise me with a proposal while I was in Europe. He got in touch with my professor that was organizing the trip and made sure that his arrival was allowed, he then stalked my life in Europe to see who I had become close with. He then arranged with them the secrets of my proposal.
We got engaged May 26th, 2013 at Marie Antoinette domain at the Place Versailles.
I couldn’t have been more excited at the thought of marrying my best friend, however, I wasn’t that kind of girl who immediately started planning the wedding. I kind of took everything nonchalantly. I would eventually set a date for the wedding and then postpone it. Not because I had apprehensions of getting married but because I never could manage to get everything together to make a date. Some people may say that if I looked into it I was subconsciously trying to tell myself I wasn’t ready for marriage, but that just wasn’t it.
I come from a broken family so the idea of putting all three sides of my family in the same room for the day is what I expect hell to be like, my sister lived what seems like a million miles away and was unable to help with planning, my biological parents haven’t been in the same room together since I was six, and my mother and I don’t exactly have the same taste. All that being said, planning a wedding was no piece of cake (pun intended).
So, as I do when I’m having a difficult time in my life, I called my dad. I told him all the problems mentally and financially that I was having with my wedding planning process. What my dad had to say would change the whole course of how this wedding would go. My father is a strong believer in experience over substance; something that I strongly believe in myself. He said for the millionth time that I should just elope and not worry about everyone else; that getting married was about Edward and me.
I had played with the idea of eloping for a while, but every time I thought about it I got sad at the thought of not having that beautiful dress and photos to remember the day. But what was about to come out of my father’s mouth would change all of that. He said ” Go away for a month on a nice trip and just enjoy spending time with each other. If you choose to do this, then I will pay for it.”
After that… I was sold. I called Edward to tell him about my dad’s offer and I swear I could hear the relief in his voice. My husband loves me and would have done anything I wanted but I think he knows that if we went through with a wedding, I wouldn’t have been myself at the end. I would have been a high strung, over stressed, bitch by the end of all of it.
I had some thinking to do. What about the money we already put down for the venue and photographer? The wedding party gifts we already purchased and handed out? What about the money my mother spent on the invitations, save the dates, stamps, and garter? I told Edward that If we were to elope we had to pay her back. After all, if we eloped, we would be saving a substantial amount of money so we would be able to afford to.
So that’s when I made the decision we would elope. My husband was about to start a new job so we had to plan the trip before that started. That meant I had two weeks to plan everything but who needs that? In one night my over-amped, organized, control freak self had a two-week honeymoon planned ( we couldn’t realistically go away for a month- we had jobs).
But now, we had to tell our families our plan. Edward called his parents, brother, and friends. For him, it was a breeze, his family thought it was a great idea! Now it was time for me to make some calls.
First, I told my sister and to say that she was not too happy with the decision would be an understatement. Talking with her I had the realization of how terrible it would go when I told my mother. My mother is the type of person who would have called and texted me all day asking how I could have done this to her? That I was taking away her day and how dare I. She’s the kind of person who would have shown up at my door or called the airport claiming I was some sort of terrorist. And others agreed with me on this. So I made the personal decision to wait and tell her until the day I left.
Some people may say that’s selfish, but my mother had already been married three times. She had the courthouse elopement, the elopement abroad (my father’s genius plan), and a wedding in the church. Who was she to dictate my life and my wedding? So like children do, I disappointed her and decided to do what I wanted. No regrets thus far. I’m told that will change when I have my own children and they betray me. To that I say, I don’t even know if I want children.
After I got off the phone with my mother we had minutes until boarding and we were off to Italy.
I choose Italy in part that my husbands family is from there and the other selfish reason that stemmed from the fact that I really just wanted to go to Italy.
So it was planned we would spend:
4 nights in Venice
5 nights in Rome
5 nights in Naples visiting: Positano, Amalfi, Sorrento, Capri, and Pompeii.
Now to choose the wedding day.
We decided even though Venice was probably the most romantic of all destinations we didn’t want to get married at the beginning of our trip. We wanted to get immersed in the culture, learn the language a little, and just overall get our bearings. We knew Capri, and Amalfi would be beautiful, but we also didn’t want to wait to get married at the end of our trip. So we choose Rome as a middle ground. We checked the calendar and the weather and decided on the 5th of October.
I left the 5th excursion free, we woke up that morning giddy as could be. Got dressed up, wrote our vows and headed out for the day. We wanted the day to be stress-free, light, and fun. The night before we searched maps of Rome and found a few potential places to exchange vows. So the next morning we went in search of a romantic spot to exchange vows privately ( I’ll soon be writing an article on how we’re legally allowed to elope). We decided that we didn’t want to force things and to only exchange vows when the moment felt right.
We started the day off in a beautiful garden in Rome. There was a zoo, restaurants, places to rent bikes. It seemed perfect.We both grabbed a gelato and walked around the garden in search of a romantic spot. But the moment just wasn’t right. So we were off to find somewhere else and in this process found the most adorable restaurant in Rome’s shopping district we sat down shared a bottle of wine and went on without day. Our afternoon consisted of venturing through the city, drinking wine, and spending time with each other.
As the day went on and the sun started setting we found ourselves at the Spanish Steps. That is where we found ourselves exchanging vows and rings. For me, the day couldn’t have been more perfect. It was intimate, just about the two of us, and completely stress-free. Plus, Edward blubbering like a baby made me all the more emotional. He even made me re-read my vows three times. That silly romantic.
Weddings aren’t for everyone. For me, that was the case. Do I regret not having a wedding? No. Do I think I ever will regret it? No. Because I had the day I wanted and the trip of a lifetime. A trip full of wonderful memories, sincere moments, and overall giddiness every day that I woke up. A trip that I could have never had if I went through with my wedding.
More proof: When we got back from our trip Edwards mother threw us a party with his parents; 30 closest friends and family members. That day was nerve-racking for me and it was only a party. It was only 30 people! I was sweating profusely, nervous to meet all these people I didn’t know. I barely saw Edward that day. I was running around doing things for others and making them happy.
It was that day that helped me affirm my belief that I had done the right thing for me.
What’s your take on eloping? What would you have done differently with your wedding?