Does the word elopement mean exclusion? Well, I guess it depends on who you ask. I recently read an article that stated roughly: marriage is for the couple and the wedding is for all the people who have been a part of all your other celebrations. Would your soccer games have been less enthusiastic with your mom not there yelling for 90 minutes? Probably. Would you have felt disappointed if your family skipped out on your college graduation? Totally. So is this really one more time where the celebration is part of the focal point? I am not 100% sure… here are some things to keep in mind.
Is it really about providing your third cousin twice removed an opportunity to dance to pop hits of the 80s? A wedding is not simply a party. It is a ceremony where you are committing to your partner for THE REST OF YOUR LIFE. I think this is a pretty crucial part to the whole marriage thing. This ceremony should take precedence over the show quality. It should be intimate and personal no matter how many people are watching.
Celebrate in a different way. Okay so the family still wants the big party. Let them do it. Just do it sometime after your private ceremony. The after-reception can be a chance for your parents to show off or to get together with your college roommates. Everyone will eat, drink and be merry and you can socialize and enjoy. You can share photos and stories of your special day but never feel like your commitment is being overshadowed by chair covers and table arrangements.
Do not down play your decision. I actually read this somewhere to and it took me back. It suggested you should act like this was the most basic decision you ever made. There is a difference between acting as if your decision is completely normal and acceptable (because it is) and being apologetic and self-deprecating. You should make it clear that this is a decision you thought carefully about and came to the conclusion that was best for you as a couple.
If you ask a traditional parent, they may say yes Michelle, you are excluding me from your wedding. However, after some thoughtful discussions together the ones you love will understand, respect, and encourage the decision you made. And the ones that don’t, their opinions don’t really matter.