Should I Elope with a Man Who Hasn’t Met My Son Yet?

Ask APW: Eloping and Quick

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Q: A little over a month ago I met the love of my life. He’s my soulmate, as cliche as that sounds. I just instantly knew that I’d have to have him in my life for the rest of my life. Yes… it sounds like one of those sappy Hallmark movies that we all love to watch from the couch in the snuggie we won’t admit to buying. In many ways it’s just about that cool. And sappy. And funny. And… you get the picture.

Last weekend my boyfriend said, “Let’s go get married in Vegas.” After a few moments of switching the subject (because I thought he was joking) he said it again. Quickly I realized this blue-eyed magician who stole my heart when it was securely locked down… had just proposed to me! He is indeed serious and seems to have his mind set on “runnin’ off to Vegas and gettin’ hitched”! We’ve both been married before and are forty-ish so the “dream wedding” that I never got just doesn’t seem practical anymore.

My quandary lies in the fact that… I don’t know exactly HOW to accomplish this feat. I mean, we live three hours apart and he hasn’t even met my son or my parents yet. They know we’re seeing each other but that’s all. So… do we just leave for the weekend and come back married? Do we sit down and inform everyone of the current happenings? Do we tell them at all or surprise everyone we know? And what do we wear? I am just fine with driving over to Florida and having an intimate ceremony on the beach, but he will hear only of Vegas. With that being said, any advice on a Vegas elopement: dresses, clothing, where to do it, etc., will be very much appreciated. We want it to be special but at the same time don’t want to sit in line like we’re waiting for a table at a restaurant.

Sincerely,

Vegas Baby!

A: Dear VB,

I’m all about a spontaneous Vegas elopement—particularly if I get to see the photos, and especially if they involve a glittery cocktail dress (please tell me you’re considering glitter?). But you might want to pump the brakes on this one.

Sure! You don’t need a long drawn out engagement. It’s not necessary to spend an eternity planning a wedding. And I’m not even going to give you flack for only knowing one another a month (you’re grown ups, I’ll assume you know what you want). But definitely your son, and perhaps your parents, need to meet this guy.

Don’t get me wrong, they don’t really have a say in your, again, completely grown-up decision. In fact, you can decide whether you even want to tell them about the wedding part yet. But for your own sake, in your own decision-making process, it’ll help to have a feel for family dynamics. There’s a solid chance that if you marry this guy, he’s going to be around your parents once in awhile. And it’s incredibly likely that he’ll have some sort of place in your kid’s life. Beyond that, they probably care about you and want to meet someone who is clearly so important to you. Get a good feel for how everyone will coexist, while also letting the significant people in your life know that there’s a new key player joining their ranks.

It’s a pretty safe bet that if you do run off to Vegas with someone they haven’t met, you’ll come up against some immediate resistance. Even if it turns out that they love the guy, the initial, “Wait, what?” isn’t going to endear him to them right away, and instead could make them feel defensive and suspicious.

You can still elope without telling anyone. Eventually. I would just wait until everyone has at least met him, and hopefully even spent some good quality time getting to know him, and getting used to the idea that he’s important to you. How all that goes may determine how much you keep a secret. Or maybe it doesn’t factor in at all! You won’t really know how you feel till they’ve met him.

But that doesn’t have to stop us from talking about the fun part. I’ve never eloped in Vegas before (sorry, bucket list), so the readers will have to chime in on the whole “where?” part of it. But I do know about getting dressed, and I’m sticking to my guns on that glittery cocktail dress. Ooh, or maybe a white pantsuit. Or tuxedo t-shirts! Even with these wardrobe and venue questions, an elopement doesn’t require all that much planning. But planning for the whole marriage part does take a bit of forethought.

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