4 Reasons for Yogis to Elope
My first wedding anniversary is today, and I’ve been reflecting on the decisions we made around our wedding a year ago. A couple weeks after we decided to get married, I was severely sick in the hospital. We never had grand ideas about what our wedding would be like by any means. But spending a couple months sick in bed and finally having surgery and dealing with that recovery gave me some real clarity. I wanted to be married but was not up to planning and hosting a wedding, so we decided to elope. This is a very meaningful realization for me because I love planning and hosting just about anything else!
So, we got a cute Airbnb, a friend got ordained online, and we had a couple witnesses show up. I was exhausted from being sick, but I managed to make a perfect wedding playlist and get a cute vegan cake with our cats’ faces on it. And that was about it. It was lovely.
I’m not throwing shade at anyone who does the huge wedding thing, but I’m an advocate for the small/semi-secret wedding style that we went with for a few reasons:
This is an obvious one — the average cost of a wedding in the U.S. is over $30k. Weddings are incredibly expensive. Especially for those of us that might be trying to save up to quit the day job, teach yoga full-time, open a studio, or even just afford unlimited monthly yoga at your favorite studio.
Elopements can get spendy too, if you decide to travel or splurge, but they can be quite economical too. We spent easily less than $1000 on our tiny event, and most of that was booking a place to host the wedding (that doubled up as a place for our out-of-town officiant and witness to stay).
Be Kind to Yourself
My own wedding was quite minimal, but I’ve been close to friends and family as they’ve planned their big, destination weddings, and it’s incredibly stressful for them. Practicing kindness to ourselves sometimes means taking on less. An elopement means very few moving parts, so very little can go wrong. And if it does, so what? No one’s watching, and you can totally roll with it. You can focus on planning your life together instead of a big party.
Forget the Drama
Maybe someday I will be perfect at dealing with people that I find difficult or frustrating, but I’m not there yet. That’s what my lifelong yoga practice is partially for, right? Thinking about all of the people and personalities to manage at a large wedding made me feel sad and overwhelmed, and that was a big reason I decided not to do it.
To be fair, an elopement can cause drama in its aftermath if you’ve got people who feel offended by not being involved. I experienced a little bit of this, but it was entirely from the distant family members that I would have been concerned about at a large wedding anyways. Everyone close to us was super excited, and more than a couple of them said they wished they had gotten married this way too.
I love being married, but I also have complicated feelings about the institution of marriage. Letting go of a lot of wedding traditions gave us space to do things the way we wanted with no judgmental eyes and words around. So we got married listening to 80s synth music, ate hummus, and went out for low-key karaoke. Other than the whole exchanging vows thing, this could’ve been a regular fun weekend, and I love that. I think that all of us, but especially yogis, and even more especially bad yogis, need that space to do their own thing.
Did you elope and love it? Plan a huge wedding and love it? Tell us about it in the comments!