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My little sister is eloping...


ajfries
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And I'm really sad about it. I'm not surprised--they've been engaged for a year and a half and have an almost 1 year old. They moved 6 hours away from both their families a few months ago.  I really miss her and my nephew. She asked my opinion a few weeks back; running big decisions by me by me as she often does. Our parents divorced when we were teens & it was pretty ugly; I more or less raised her after that.

 

They've decided to just go to the court house and "get it done". She's tired of having a different last name than their son & tired of referring to her guy as her fiance. They don't have have the money to have a big affair (which confuses me because 1. A wedding does not have to be expensive; particularly in our family and 2. They've had a long time to save up but that's none of my business).

 

I know I'm being selfish. I'm happy she's found her guy and I'm happy they are getting married. I just want to be there for her. With her. I was by her side when she gave birth to my nephew & I just always assumed I would be there when she got married. I want to have memories of her wedding day to laugh about in the coming years. I wanted to be there when she tried on wedding dresses.

 

I can't say any of this to her because it isn't about me. It's her life and her decision. But I think she deserves to have a Wedding Day. I think she's going to regret this.I think she is going to feel like she settled (not on the guy, but on the wedding). In the past, she's been much more into weddings than I ever was.

 

But mostly...I'm selfish. I'm posting here to get it our of my system. So I don't say anything to her. This isn't really a JAWM, but I do feel terrible about feeling the way I do :(

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We wanted to elope. Instead we caved to family pressures. The wedding was fine, but meant more to everyone else. We just wanted to get married; Vegas would have been great for us and just as (probably more) meaningful.

 

You are right to keep your wishes and thoughts to yourself, IMO.

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Aww.  I know how you feel.  

 

Dh and I had a wedding with just our parents and our children.  There were about 11 siblings between us and trying to coordinate a time where even the majority could make it was stressing us out.  So we had basically a private wedding.  3 weeks later we had a  BIG reception...we put our wedding attire back on...as did our sons....and had a grand time with all our friends and all the siblings who came.  

 

Can you go to the courthouse and be there with her?  Can you help her throw a reception in your hometown a month or so from now?  

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I do not see why she would regret it.

DH and I eloped. We had been dating for six years, living together, so no big surprise. We got married with two witnesses at the court house and took off on a trip - our parents knew about the trip, but not about the getting-married-en-route-to-airport part.

 

My parents threw us lovely family dinner party to celebrate upon our return, and we had a simple, but rousing party with all our friends on another day.

We are happily married, 23 years later, and don't regret it a single bit.

 

Offer to throw her a party after the wedding to celebrate her marriage.

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The only reason I didn't elope is that DH insisted a wedding is like a graduation party or a funeral - more for those in our lives than for us.

 

It was a nice wedding but I wouldn't have missed it if we'd eloped and had a nice honeymoon instead.

 

ETA: weddings are stressful hassles.  If your sister is at all introverted she won't regret it.

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I did not have a wedding and I don't regret it. :)  It just wasn't an important use of money to me.  I like them, but I had no desire for one for myself.  And the thing I would have missed, the exotic honeymoon trip?  Dh and I did that later when we were more financially stable and had a blast!

 

I think if the celebration is important to you, you should go and celebrate her.  She'll still need a witness, and I'm sure she'd still appreciate having a bit of a fuss made.

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Can you make it to the courthouse?

 

This is going to sound terribly harsh...but I'm unlikely to drive 12 hours with 3 kids and get a hotel room to see a courthouse wedding in the next 2 weeks.

 

We wanted to elope. Instead we caved to family pressures. The wedding was fine, but meant more to everyone else. We just wanted to get married; Vegas would have been great for us and just as (probably more) meaningful.

 

You are right to keep your wishes and thoughts to yourself, IMO.

 

 

I get what you're saying & at this point I think the, uh, "trappings" (man, my vocabulary is terrible this morning) mean more to me than the actual event. And I think it probably does mean more to me than her at this point. I think in her mind it's just something they need to get done already. And I totally get that. They've got a kid; they're both in it for the long haul. They're committed. This is just a formality.

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I really, really appreciate all the posts! They are really helping me get over myself :D  My sister is VERY much extroverted. She loooves to play hostess & be the center of attention. She'd make a great bride.

 

I wonder if I can get her something for her to wear...like a necklace or something?

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This is going to sound terribly harsh...but I'm unlikely to drive 12 hours with 3 kids and get a hotel room to see a courthouse wedding.

 

 

I get what you're saying & at this point I think the, uh, "trappings" (man, my vocabulary is terrible this morning) mean more to me than the actual event. And I think it probably does mean more to me than her at this point. I think in her mind it's just something they need to get done already. And I totally get that. They've got a kid; they're both in it for the long haul. They're committed. This is just a formality.

 

Yeah that's harsh and selfish, so you're right to use those phrases. Why would she want to throw a big party for people who are basically just demanding to be entertained to their liking.

 

Celebrate your baby sister's marriage with her! Celebrate her life with her. Get in there and take part in some way, even if you don't think her wedding is good enough to travel for.

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I really, really appreciate all the posts! They are really helping me get over myself :D My sister is VERY much extroverted. She loooves to play hostess & be the center of attention. She'd make a great bride.

 

I wonder if I can get her something for her to wear...like a necklace or something?

A necklace or something would be lovely, I'm sure. That's a very sweet gesture.

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JMO, but what would be sad is if they were getting married and he was a terrible person -- abusive, violent, or cold and distant, and uninvolved with their child. Getting legally tied to someone like that would be far worse, and be much harder on your sister and all of you.

 

Here's a compromise idea: You host a big celebration for them! :) Really, it doesn't have to cost you a fortune, and it can be your special wedding gift to them. It will create a lovely memory for them AND for you! :) For under $500 you could:

 

A few weeks before the event, you go to where she lives and spend an afternoon going out together and shop for pretty dress for her.

 

For the celebration:

- Send out email invitations (no printing/postage costs) and have an rsvp for people count.

- Go to Costco or Sam's Club or a local grocery store for a few trays of finger foods and a decorated sheet cake

- Go to the Dollar Store and get some decorations. Put up strings of white lights and use tea candles in glass votive cups or mason jars for twinkly atmosphere.

- Ask a mutual friend/relative who is good with a camera to gift them with taking photos for the event -- the photographer could take them out a few hours earlier and do some special couple photos at a nice nearby location, and then photograph the celebration.

- Also get some fun/goofy things and set up a "photo booth" for people to do silly photos.

- Get some flower bouquets from Costco, Sam's Club, Trader Joe's, grocery store, or discount flower shop.

- Play favorite music through i-pods and your home speaker system.

- Include whatever special things THEY would like: share vows, have a special dance, cut the cake, and other fun wedding reception sorts of things.

 

After the celebration:

Have the friend photographer give you a disk of the photos -- a few weeks or months later, you could visit your sister again and print photos and put together an album together.

 

 

Blessings for your sister in her marriage, and best wishes for peace and joy for you in her marriage. Warmest regards, Lori D.

 

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JMO, but what would be sad is if they were getting married and he was a terrible person -- abusive, violent, or cold and distant, and uninvolved with their child. Getting legally tied to someone like that would be far worse, and be much harder on your sister and all of you.

 

Here's a compromise idea: You host a big celebration for them! :) Really, it doesn't have to cost you a fortune, and it can be your special wedding gift to them. It will create a lovely memory for them AND for you! :) For under $500 you could:

 

A few weeks before the event, you go to where she lives and spend an afternoon going out together and shop for pretty dress for her.

 

For the celebration:

- Send out email invitations (no printing/postage costs) and have an rsvp for people count.

- Go to Costco or Sam's Club or a local grocery store for a few trays of finger foods and a decorated sheet cake

- Go to the Dollar Store and get some decorations. Put up strings of white lights and use tea candles in glass votive cups or mason jars for twinkly atmosphere.

- Ask a mutual friend/relative who is good with a camera to gift them with taking photos for the event -- the photographer could take them out a few hours earlier and do some special couple photos at a nice nearby location, and then photograph the celebration.

- Also get some fun/goofy things and set up a "photo booth" for people to do silly photos.

- Get some flower bouquets from Costco, Sam's Club, Trader Joe's, grocery store, or discount flower shop.

- Play favorite music through i-pods and your home speaker system.

- Include whatever special things THEY would like: share vows, have a special dance, cut the cake, and other fun wedding reception sorts of things.

 

After the celebration:

Have the friend photographer give you a disk of the photos -- a few weeks or months later, you could visit your sister again and print photos and put together an album together.

 

 

Blessings for your sister in her marriage, and best wishes for peace and joy for you in her marriage. Warmest regards, Lori D.

 

THANK YOU!!! Some great ideas there :)

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It is OK to be bummed about your sister eloping just PLEASE don't do what my sil did when dh and eloped. After we told her she responded,"what, am I supposed to be happy for you?" She was pissed that she couldn't celebrate with us and very selfishly took it out on us with that one line. Almost 8 years later and it still hurts my dh. She never apologized but we all got over it on the outside. dh still holds onto it inwardly and it has certainly hurt his relationship with her.

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I understand that you are sad, have a right to be, and I'm glad you are venting here instead of to family.  All valid feelings and actions!

With that said:

I wanted to elope.  My parents didn't care, but my MIL did.  She said, "Just don't elope." 

I had less of a spine then.  Now, I would do what I want - elope.  I hated the attention of even our small wedding and dh and I were doing it for family, suffering through it, actually.  It was not a good time for me at all.  I had to "recover" from it - I lost my voice and it was gone for most of our honeymoon.  Stress!

 

If I had it to do over, I would tell her that we would do what worked for us.  I would say it with kindness, but it would be so, no negotiation accepted.  I don't know why I felt like this woman had a vote in this decision.  :confused1: 

 

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So to sum up, you're unlikely to drive 12 hours with 3 kids to see her courthouse wedding, but you want the woman who just wants to get it done and has a toddler to throw a whole big wedding for you that she doesn't want in the first place because of your level of emotional investment in her wedding. 

 

 

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It is OK to be bummed about your sister eloping just PLEASE don't do what my sil did when dh and eloped. After we told her she responded,"what, am I supposed to be happy for you?" She was pissed that she couldn't celebrate with us and very selfishly took it out on us with that one line. Almost 8 years later and it still hurts my dh. She never apologized but we all got over it on the outside. dh still holds onto it inwardly and it has certainly hurt his relationship with her.

Wow. That's terrible. :(

 

I wouldn't get over it either. I have no contact with my sister thanks to a childhood of such comments and selfishness.

 

I think the OP is much kinder and more gracious than that! :)

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So to sum up, you're unlikely to drive 12 hours with 3 kids to see her courthouse wedding, but you want the woman who just wants to get it done and has a toddler to throw a whole big wedding for you that she doesn't want in the first place because of your level of emotional investment in her wedding. 

 

RIGHT?!?!  It's awful. I know. I'm fixing it :D 

 

They're coming up next month for a visit...I don't think it will work out to throw a reception then (they're already "booked" :D) but I'm already planning. I've requested a night with my nephew :) if she's comfortable with that and I told her I want to throw her a wedding reception. I considered doing a stealth, surprise reception but that might run the risk of them not being able to make it :D

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Top recommendation for eloping for you to pass on: Have someone take lots of pictures. It's what one of ours did for us which even shutterbug me hadn't thought about and it really helped us make out day - I think it is something I would have regretted if they hadn't done it.

 

We eloped - grabbed 3 friends, went to the registry office, took the witnesses out to lunch, we later when to the movies (and now watch that movie every year on our anniversary), and went home for cake. Best day for us. 

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RIGHT?!?! It's awful. I know. I'm fixing it :D

 

They're coming up next month for a visit...I don't think it will work out to throw a reception then (they're already "booked" :D) but I'm already planning. I've requested a night with my nephew :) if she's comfortable with that and I told her I want to throw her a wedding reception. I considered doing a stealth, surprise reception but that might run the risk of them not being able to make it :D

I'm glad you're not going to surprise her with a reception. Have you considered that perhaps she and her fiancé don't share your love for weddings and receptions?

 

Many people don't value things like wedding receptions, and it is not something for others to be upset or disappointed about.

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I get you.  Honestly, I get sad when *anyone* just elopes, because I love weddings!  I love them!  I love the romantic part and the party part, the whole thing.  I always feel kind of deprived when someone just elopes.  (Yes, totally selfish, and not like I would say anything, but still!)

 

ETA, and no, it doesn't have to be expensive, I love weddings with cake and punch even...

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I'm glad you're not going to surprise her with a reception. Have you considered that perhaps she and her fiancé don't share your love for weddings and receptions?

 

Many people don't value things like wedding receptions, and it is not something for others to be upset or disappointed about.

 

She would love a big party & reception. She's very much an extrovert. I'm the introverted one who hates parties. My original post was not about wanting a party (or to be entertained as a previous poster said)...it was about wanting to create memories & be there for my sister. And I'm still going to do that. It's just going to look a little different than what I had originally had in mind. It won't be less, it will just be different.

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RIGHT?!?!  It's awful. I know. I'm fixing it :D

 

They're coming up next month for a visit...I don't think it will work out to throw a reception then (they're already "booked" :D) but I'm already planning. I've requested a night with my nephew :) if she's comfortable with that and I told her I want to throw her a wedding reception. I considered doing a stealth, surprise reception but that might run the risk of them not being able to make it :D

 

Or you would run the risk of being resented for trying to create a wedding substitute or event that they don't want.  Some people hate surprises.  Have you seen that dash-cam video of the high school kid last year who went to all the trouble of making a series of signs on the road to ask his girlfriend to prom?  As she saw it, having no idea that it was directed at her, she said, " That's a sh*tty was to ask someone to prom."  Then she after a minute she realized it was directed at her and she burst into tears so sorry she had hurt his feelings.

 

Now he's hurt because he bought into the current culture of publicly asking someone to prom and she's devastated she unwittingly hurt him by honestly responding to the idea of publicly asking. No one bothered to ask her what she wanted. She was expected to conform to the cultural norm even thought the cultural norm is silly. The culture around stuff like prom and weddings sucks for private, low maintenance people who are accused of being ungrateful if they don't smile and make nice for people who over-step boundaries and feel not the slightest obligation to ask the bride/potential prom date what they actually want. 

 

I still can't believe there are people on the planet who don't understand that people are different from each other.  Some people love a big surprise production and others hate it.  Neither is bad.  What's bad is deciding that someone must certainly want what you want and that they're under obligation to be happy about whatever it is you do for them without you feeling obligated to ask them what they want.

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I would drive 6 hours and get a hotel room if my kids were getting married and they invited me. And I would spring for dinner for everyone. Make a fun memory! Don't stay home because it's not a big wedding. I'm still a little sad that my brother didn't invite us to his court house wedding even though I understand the circumstances.

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She would love a big party & reception. She's very much an extrovert. I'm the introverted one who hates parties. My original post was not about wanting a party (or to be entertained as a previous poster said)...it was about wanting to create memories & be there for my sister. And I'm still going to do that. It's just going to look a little different than what I had originally had in mind. It won't be less, it will just be different.

 

That is lovely. :)

 

 

Hey, I notice your avatar image is of a sewing machine. Would you be interested in or able to MAKE a special dress for her to wear to the courthouse? Would that be meaning to either or both of you?

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I get where you are coming from. My little sister eloped and she is still a decade later very happy with her decision. We have a complicated family and she watched our parents spend a year trying to talk me out of getting married. I completely understood her reasoning and supported her.

 

It was just a strange feeling not being invited to take part in such a big part of her life after having been a part of everything else for so many years. Then my other sister eloped too, that didn't sting as much because they had lived together for years. I couldn't had afforded the travel anyway at the time but unfortunately there aren't even any pictures of their ceremony. It has all worked out but it feels weird not really knowing their spouses. Of course that really has more to do with living across the country from them than not getting to attend their weddings.

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Having a courthouse wedding is not eloping. It's a ceremony and they told their families ahead of time. It just not a fancy 'affair' but a simple marriage at the courthouse.

 

My oldest son and his wife did the same. At first, I was disappointed. I do understand your sense of loss about how you anticipated this. I felt the same way. And it's part of a bigger picture - that when someone marries your child (or beloved sister) you are in more of a side-lined position in their life. We all know that it is a good and natural thing that it be so, but it can still be an adjustment.

 

So I do understand and sympathize.

 

But I would encourage you to go. Just figure it out and go if you think she would like you there. Otherwise, they may or may not regret their decision, but I think you probably will regret yours. I would tell her that whatever kind of wedding she has, you would like to be there. Otherwise the message is that you would go to the trouble for a wedding that meets your desires but wouldn't go to the trouble to be there for her for the wedding she would want.

 

And if in her heart this isn't really what she wants but is a compromise to suit her husband, even more reason you should be there to make it special in at least that way.

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I do not see why she would regret it.

DH and I eloped. We had been dating for six years, living together, so no big surprise. We got married with two witnesses at the court house and took off on a trip - our parents knew about the trip, but not about the getting-married-en-route-to-airport part.

 

My parents threw us lovely family dinner party to celebrate upon our return, and we had a simple, but rousing party with all our friends on another day.

We are happily married, 23 years later, and don't regret it a single bit.

 

Offer to throw her a party after the wedding to celebrate her marriage.

I have come to think this makes a boatload of sense. And Cents.

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If you wanted to honor her, you could offer to throw a little party for her at some point as a wedding gift?  Although, if they're not into that idea, I'd just let it go.  I would definitely not do it as a surprise thing.

 

Honestly, they live together and have a child already.  To me it sounds like they're being fiscally responsible.  I can see why they feel like the big wedding option has kind of sailed for them.  I really don't know anyone who has done this who regrets it at all.  Big weddings are not everyone's cup of tea.  My wedding was bigger than I would have liked due to some family pressure and I honestly would have probably liked something a bit more intimate.  I also think weddings can be particularly painful for those with broken families. 

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She might regret it, or might not. My bil and SIL did it, and ended having a big wedding later. My sister did it, still wishes she had her special day. We married the old traditional way, not a big fancy wedding, but a very nice reception within our budget, and it was beautiful! The best of luck to them, but totally understand your feelings.

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We got married at a courthouse 24 hrs away from our parents. They came, along with his grandparents and my "aunt". They threw us a small reception, inviting DH's work friends. I'm glad they came and made a party for us bc it was the only wedding I got. I had talked about having one at the five or ten year anniversary; at five years I was 2 days postpartum with our third baby and at ten years my MIL was in heaven, having just died six weeks prior. Our wedding day wasn't what I wanted at the time, it is just what we did. But now, I'm so glad for the memories our family helped to make. And we ended up becoming lifelong friends with one of DH's work buddies and his wife who attended our reception!

 

Celebrate with them. Make it special. They will cherish the memories.

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I do not see why she would regret it.

DH and I eloped. We had been dating for six years, living together, so no big surprise. We got married with two witnesses at the court house and took off on a trip - our parents knew about the trip, but not about the getting-married-en-route-to-airport part.

 

My parents threw us lovely family dinner party to celebrate upon our return, and we had a simple, but rousing party with all our friends on another day.

We are happily married, 23 years later, and don't regret it a single bit.

 

Offer to throw her a party after the wedding to celebrate her marriage.

 

Another thing to admire about you, regentrude.

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My parents eloped 46 years ago and have had a very happy marriage, but they do still regret not having their own parents there when they got married.  

 

I myself would try to make the drive (do you have to take the kids?) but I love the idea of a party afterwards, too.  

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Given those motivations, I would do nothing but be supportive. 

 

Close friends of ours did a courthouse wedding some years ago. The wife-to-be was having significant health problems and the groom-to-be was limited in his ability to help because he was "just a friend."  They were tight on funds and really just wanted to be together. We didn't blame them at all even though we would have loved to be at their wedding and only found out about it later.  Our church had a big party for them afterwards that was lovely.

 

A courthouse wedding to someone questionable that they barely know would be entirely different, especially if one or both were very young. That I would be troubled about.

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She would love a big party & reception. She's very much an extrovert. I'm the introverted one who hates parties. My original post was not about wanting a party (or to be entertained as a previous poster said)...it was about wanting to create memories & be there for my sister. And I'm still going to do that. It's just going to look a little different than what I had originally had in mind. It won't be less, it will just be different.

 

:hurray: :hurray: :hurray: :hurray: :hurray: :hurray: :hurray:

 

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So, one thing lead to another and now I'm looking at airfare. If she decides to get married the 1st week in October, then I can be there easily (I can be there before that but there's a few more details to get ironed out). DH will be done with work (we're starting our own business) so childcare is taken care of. I could get there Thursday evening, spend Friday with her, watch her get married :), babysit the baby for their honeymoon night & be back home Saturday afternoon. :001_wub: I still need to run this by DH and the bride & groom but you guys were right; if it's important to me to be involved, I need to get involved. Providing, obviously, that my sister gives her approval. 

 

I just want to say, again, that my sister and I are very close. I'm not forcing my idea of what I think a wedding would be on her. We've talked in depth about why they're going the courthouse route :) and we've talked in depth (over the years) about what kind of wedding she would have if her circumstances were different. I also know her fiance pretty well & they're very similar life-of-the-party types. :D

 

I really appreciate all the input. I wasn't sure if I should post originally, but I'm glad I did. You guys are much cheaper than a therapist :) and worked me through my issues super quick. :D And now I'm able to get over myself :blush: and be there (or "here") for my sis.

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