Yoga is for Lovers

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:

Save Money

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.

Break Traditions

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!

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4 Comments

  1. Amanda Sides

    Amanda Sides

    February 7, 2017 at 11:52 am

    I’m not married and not sure we’ll get that way, but I’ve given some thought to weddings — especially the amount of money spent on them. I think I would still want a larger event where I could invite a lot of people…I feel it’s such a lovely excuse to get everyone together, which is harder to pull off without an event like a wedding. 🙂 So I’m not sure I could elope, but spending less would definitely be a major intention of mine. I LOVE the unexpected, so there probably wouldn’t be a lot of typical, traditional wedding stuff at my own wedding. But these are great reasons for eloping…. I dislike that we need the word “bridezilla” — do you want to get married, or do you want a wedding? Getting all caught up in such trivial stuff is such a waste of energy, and I’m not sure it’s a great sign of what might be to come in that marriage!

    1. Avatar

      Alex Edwards

      February 8, 2017 at 7:58 pm

      There are so many ways to be minimal/non-traditional with a wedding and still make it big, and there are plenty of good reasons to do that! I was shocked at how many married people were like “wow I wish we had eloped,” and I was like… well then why didn’t you?! I think just putting out the vibe that there are loooots of options for relationship styles and weddings in general is a win 🙂

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    Rebecca

    April 18, 2017 at 11:08 pm

    I enjoyed this post and hope to take some of this advice in the future :). The thought of having to plan a wedding and the societal pressures (and massive price tag) that come along with it these days is one of the few things that can really keep me up at night if I start ruminating on it! My grandparents exchanged vows at a local pastor’s home with one couple to stand as their witnesses. Nowadays, people have long engagements just to be able to save money and pay for their weddings. It’s all a bit too much for me to handle when I think about it!

  3. Avatar

    Katie

    July 26, 2017 at 9:53 am

    Hey Alex,
    I loved this! I am not married yet but I totally want to elope. When I was younger I’d day dream of this big fancy wedding and the big fancy dress but now I’d prefer something very low key and by the way I am not judging anyone who wishes to or has had that big princess wedding (what ever makes you happy right?)
    I too don’t want the drama of dealing with people who lets face it forget the reason they are there in the first place, tend to be self involved and immature with remarks like “I’m not sitting next to him” or “I don’t like the food” or watching a drunk relative be rude to everyone, and it’s really not fair on the couple who are celebrating their love for each other. Somebody somewhere always moans about something yet its meant to be a happy day…I’m having non of that!
    My dream wedding now is something like: Eloping somewhere in Bali on a whim (sort of) with a few very close relatives, best friend and a couple of other close friends. On a beach, simple dress, flower crown. That’s it. I would even love to be proposed to right after my yoga teacher training perhaps in Thailand as the sunsets (cheesy I know but simple and I love traveling).
    I’m also not one for traditions, I love visiting old churches when traveling but don’t fancy being married in one. I’m also not a traditionalist when it comes to children (e.g names- they won’t be named after Grandparents), education (love Montessori and Steiner ideas) and family (I’m probably going to be quite boho ha!). I think the most important think anyone can do is be true to themselves and do what they want to do, not what others tell them to do 🙂

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