Every time someone told me the wedding planning process would be worth it, I’d shrug it off. Our wedding day would be the best day of my life. And I was sure it would be great, but it’s just a day. They were all at least a little right. Our wedding weekend really was the best weekend of our lives. It was about so much more than a wedding. As someone who never dreamed of being a bride, I always thought I’d do something different. And I did. Today, I’m going to talk about why I’m glad we didn’t elope. 

Why I’m Glad We Didn’t Elope

It was no secret that the wedding planning process wasn’t for me. I probably seemed a little (understatement?) negative the past few months. Given my family situation, I always thought I’d elope to make things less painful and difficult. Then I met Conor. His family is very close, and we knew we wanted them there. Neither of us could have done this without them.

Family circumstances made everything much harder for me

The months leading up to our wedding forced me to face what was missing in my life. Like close relationships with my own parents, and I did a lot of grieving over that. I let the sadness and anxiety I might feel take over. Then there’s the fact that everything was chosen sight unseen and the focus was all on logistics, communicating, and cost. Decision fatigue set in pretty quickly and it was impossible to stay enthusiastic about every small detail. Yes, I wanted the room and table to be pretty, but our society puts way too much pressure on weddings and we didn’t want to make that the focus of our relationship for six months. Turning our wedding into a getaway took pressure off of the day being “perfect” and made it more about connecting and spending quality time with everyone who was there.

Having those who love us by our sides was so special

Once all the decisions were made and we were ready to leave for Europe, all the feelings of sadness faded away. We chose to skip the flower trial, hair and makeup trial, and seeing the venue in person before the wedding because none of it mattered. I turned off my phone for the day to stay as present and in the moment as possible (can’t recommend that enough!) and we spent as much time as we could with everyone. That was what made our wedding weekend perfect. It could have rained. I could have freaked out when my dress landed in a puddle. In the end, we lucked out with perfect weather and Billy did an amazing job. The venue and setting felt perfect for us, but having everyone there with us is what mattered most. 

Throughout the weekend, we ran around the city with friends, visited museums, hosted a cocktail party, cruised along the Seine, and went out way too late most nights. From Jessie and Katie crying before the first look to Emilia giving me her earrings to wear on our wedding day, there were so many special moments with everyone. There were a few people that couldn’t make the trip from California and Chicago and we missed them, but we stayed in touch and I felt their love all weekend.

I didn’t enjoy the wedding planning process, but I’m glad I did it

I’ll never tell another bride to be that she should enjoy the planning process because I didn’t enjoy it and it isn’t for everyone. My advice is to focus on your marriage and on celebrating with the people you love most. I wish I had focused more on the positive and less on what was missing. Seeing our loved ones come together in France was magic and that felt perfect. I am so glad we didn’t elope and can say without any uncertainty or hesitation that it was all so worth it – that our wedding day really was one of the best days of our lives.

And in case you missed it

Why we got married in Paris
A letter to the bride who doesn’t enjoy wedding planning
The wedding traditions we’re skipping


Our Paris Wedding Reception