Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Elopement Jar (& Kelly Clarkson's Elopement)

If you've never planned a wedding, you don't understand how incredibly, mind-numbingly stressful it is. And if you have planned a wedding, you've uttered words you never thought you'd say, "Maybe we should just elope."

No little girl dreams of putting on her best flip flops and walking down to the courthouse to elope. And yet, when you're sitting there with the stress of deciding exactly what color -- ivory, white, or offwhite -- for the chair covers, you yell, "I don't even care what the chairs are covered by. I actually don't even care if people sit in chairs. They can stand on their heads for all I care."

And then you utter the words every bride has said: We should just elope.

The groom, the guy who has to put up with every stress-related tantrum with a listening ear and a non-opinionated opinion, silently hopes that this is the time you actually go through with an elopement. There are very few men who really care about all the pomp of a wedding. He asked you to marry him and just wants to be married. You are the one who wants to plan the whole wedding. And since he loves you, he sits on by.

But if it was up to him, he'd put on a pair of flip flops and head to the courthouse.

About two weeks ago, we got to that point, the one where we threw up our hands and said we should just elope. It was a sentiment we had been saying frequently. And that's when I started the elopement jar.


We had gotten a jar from our friends who were moving and sat it on our coffee table to mind its own business.

"That's the elopement jar," I said. "If either of us say the word elope, we have to put a dollar in the jar and we'll use that towards our honeymoon."

Seems like it's working. The jar ...


... has absolutely nothing inside.

Maybe that's because we're consciously not saying the word or maybe that's because things are starting to fall into place. Personally, I think it's the latter. There was so much chaos at the start of wedding planning. We didn't know what we were doing, we didn't know the area at all, and even though we were making decisions a year in advance, all the timelines seemed to be telling me I was behind schedule.

Yesterday was exactly ten months until the big day, and I think we're in a really good spot. We have a venue, the church, and our photographers. Our save the dates were mailed. I got a dress. Our favors are done. We're in good shape ... but for a while, we weren't.

And that's where Kelly Clarkson seems to be. My maid of honor emailed me this morning to say that the first winner of American Idol was scrapping her wedding plans and eloping. She told People magazine:
"We are so busy that we finally just came to terms the other night and were like, 'So, we change our minds and we want to elope.' We just got so overwhelmed by it – all the decisions."
I don't blame her. It is a lot of work and decisions. I want to call her and tell her that every bride gets overwhelmed and every bride says elopement.

But, for saying it, she does have to put a dollar in the jar.

And she might have to change her latest single. Her newest song is called Tie It Up, features a barn wedding as the backdrop, and has the chorus:
Let's set the date
Let's hire the band
Let's cut the cake
Tie up the cans
There's also the line:
Tie it up
Invite the town
In her case, she just wants her and her fiance, his kids, and the minister (which seems to cross off Blake Shelton as officiant from the list of Kelly Clarkson's wedding plans).

That's not for me, but if that's the way she wants to kick start her forever, then that's perfect. People lose site of the fact that a wedding reception is just a party you have to celebrate that you and your partner are now united and will spend the rest of eternity as one.

So whether the latter happens in a church, a courthouse, or a city block, all that matter is what happens after ... the love and the life part, not the party.

BRIDAL BABBLE: Be honest: Did you ever say you want to scrap you wedding plans and just elope?


  1. never dreamed of a wedding, just one helluva reception party :)

  2. Never dreamed of a big wedding. Three weeks not planning ours we opted for an "almost elopement". Counting bride and groom we numbered 16, and 4 were under the age of 12. In 22 years we've never regretted anything but the wasted first 3 weeks! Good luck and I wish you a long and happy life together!

  3. Louie & I have been together for nearly 22 years. We are NOT married, but neither do we live together either. THAT is the only reason we are together now. I thought I was the onlyiest woman in the world who never wanted a walk=down wedding. I never wanted the big dress, the big to=do, the daddy walking me down the aisle to the age old music, nor the standing at the altar reciting the old familiar words. It has never been me, nor will it ever be me. I personally never wanted to be married, I have never wanted children, so that makes me one of the rare freaks of nature against the norm. Not to disparage anyone who DOES do the whole planning for a year, spending up all their money, their parent's money, the fiance's money and burning up their BRAIN CELLS. I find it utterly wasteful to spend that kind of money when it can be used to put a HUGE down payment on a fine house. It is hard for me to justify that sort of expense & stressful experience JUST for a show for everyone else to see. I know it is beautiful, memories to last a lifetime, something you can tell & show your grandchildren. It is just not me. I attended a wedding a couple years ago that the young bride's dress cost over $10,000.00 JUST THE DRESS. Her cake? Delivered on a plane from NEW YORK CITY cost $1000's of dollars, and it tasted HORRIBLE. (dress was GORGEOUS) You know what they served at reception? White wine, shrimp, baked brie, you name it, they had it. I had to beg for water, as I don't drink wine. Me? Courthouse sounds like heaven. Or Justice Of The Peace like my mama & daddy. Prob go to Panama City Beach, FL just run off someday and do it. HAHAHA Lisa, please do not be offended. I am NOT pointing ANY of this at you. I do not want you to be upset, or sad, or disappointed in me for saying those things. I am who I am, I cannot apologize for my brain. Well. I can apologize, but it may be hard to accept. I love ya. dora

  4. cute idea. Hard to tell cause an effect or not.....but seems to be doing the trick. All though extra honeymoon money would be nice too.

  5. Think of the millions that went into Kim K's fiasco of a wedding. Truly the success of the wedding is not how much you spend. Love the bowl - hoping planning continues without stress

  6. My husband and I had a small chapel wedding, and we are celebrating our 25 th anniversary this year.
    Aria H.

  7. Hubby and I got married by a JP (Justice of the Peace) 44 plus years ago and we are still married and in love, used the money a wedding would of cost on a honey moon and down payment on our first house. Worked out well for us.. And I do like your eloped jar, after you get married you can use it for the I did or You did argument jar cause once you get married it is always WE. will be happier and it will last longer..

  8. I love this idea, I had wedding for first marriage and I hardly remember any of it, but those that want that are okay in my book, second and third were justice of the peace (saving money) and I don't remember them but best of luck in your wedding and you have a long loving relationship