Goggle “How much does the average wedding cost?” and you will find figures ranging from $10,000 to $30,000 and lots of numbers in between. You will see articles on the “average” wedding cost versus the “median” wedding costs and urban locales like NY City with averages over $75,000 versus other geographic areas with lower figures.
The bottom line is a traditional wedding with a reception venue, band, bridal party and meal is expensive. If the bridal couple is also footing the bill for their wedding they are probably already juggling student loans, pondering mortgage payments and potentially balancing this added expense with the cost of having a child. The total financial pressure brought on by planning a wedding can be a daunting way to start your new life together.
So here you are embarking on a new chapter of your life with your soul mate. You so want your wedding day to reflect how happy you are about beginning your new life together and then reality hits as the wedding planning starts. Perhaps this is the 2nd time for one of you and suddenly you start remembering the headaches. Decisions, decisions, decisions and money, money and more money about the type of invitations; who is going to be in the bridal party and what are they going to wear; where are you going to hold the wedding: what color are the chair covers, the attendant gifts and the wedding favors, the menu, the caterer and the seating chart; the DJ and the cost of the bar. And the list goes on………………..
So before you start writing the checks for the down payments take a time out and have a discussion about what really is important to you about your wedding day. Is your dream all about the big fancy wedding and you can handle the financial reality or is a scheduled elopement with its intimate celebration of your joining your lives together a better option? For the bridal couple that is getting a second chance at love, perhaps it is an easier choice because you have “been there and done that” before. For the first timers, a scheduled elopement to New England might still prove to be perfect choice.
Okay first of all get rid of the image of your fiancé carrying a ladder to your window and you sneaking out to run off and get married in the next county without anyone knowing. Today, the scenario for a “scheduled elopement” is less spontaneous but actually more civilized. With most Elopement packages you get to enjoy many of the rituals of a formal big wedding but just on a more intimate level and without the huge costs or the headaches of planning it all. Most elopement packages include a bridal bouquet, boutonniere, small custom wedding cake, champagne toast, wedding officiate, lodging and witnesses. The Maine Elopement Package offered at the Berry Manor Inn takes it a step further and includes $100 dinner voucher toward your choice of participating restaurants and transportation to dinner; and also includes a photographer. The photographer will take mostly candid shots during the ceremony and some posed shots after and will deliver a CD to you the following day with 50-75 pictures that are yours to keep, copy, email or do with as you please.
When you elope to New England, you still will enjoy a magical day like you get with a BIG wedding but instead of worrying about how your guests are enjoying things, the focus is just on the two of you committing your love to each other. If you always wanted to wear lime green sneakers or cowboy boots to your wedding – you can. If you are paralyzed at the thought of hundreds of eyes watching you and you having to recite your vows you no longer need to worry. It will only be his eyes you need to look into and two witnesses that make the ceremony legal! If in the middle of the vows you need to stop to wipe your tears or have a hysterical laughing fit trying to push the ring on his finger- it is all good – you can. You can hold hands, you can stop and hug each other, you can sing to each other or you can just take a moment and smile – the time is all about the two of you committing to love each other for the rest of your lives.
So before you and your fiancé get too wrapped up in what everyone else thinks you need to do for the perfect wedding, step back and take a moment to see if the option of a scheduled elopement might just not be the perfect fit. You can always take some of the thousands of dollars that you save from not having the big wedding and throw yourself a party in the backyard or at your local favorite restaurant and invite family and friends to join you!