Lindsey & L.’s Shotgun Wedding Elopement

Today’s wedding graduate post comes in two parts, and I could not be more excited about it. First, Lindsey tackles telling us about her eight months pregnant, shotgun elopement to her long time partner. I think she nails it when she says that, at one point in her life, she was enamored with the trappings of the wedding, without realizing that she wasn’t enamored with marriage. But for her wildly imperfect, brilliantly happy elopement, she got it right. And I learned a whole freaking lot reading about it. Then, later today, she’ll be back talking you through what you should think about when planning an elopement…. a post we’ve needed on APW for a long, long time. So without further ado, the amazing Lindsey:

Had you asked me at the age of 21 to describe my “dream wedding”, I would have started talking about the venue, dress, colours, flowers, and favours.  I had my guest list all ready (119 people on my side alone) and would have asked you about whether or not I should hire a videographer.   Oh, and it would happen when I was 24 and the skinniest I had ever been.

My actual wedding was in the ugliest room at city hall, I was wearing a black dress that I got for 50% off.  I had twenty dollars worth of tulips I bought at the market and no favours.  The guest list for the ceremony was 2.  And I was 29 and eight months pregnant.

And now, almost a year later, when I have trouble sleeping at night, I replay our wedding day in my head and smile myself to sleep.

I had a shotgun elopement and wouldn’t change it for anything.

Lots of changes happened, both gradual and quick, over the eight years between 21 and 29 that left me happily embracing a city hall elopement. A few years ago during a rough patch in our relationship, I complained to L- (the now husband) that we were never going to get married. He responded that he was worried that I wanted a wedding and not a marriage. Looking back, I see what he was worried about. I was so caught up in the trappings of a wedding; I hadn’t given much thought to our life after the wedding. I had put in countless hours finding the perfect favour (just so you know: rosemary sea salt in mini canning jars) but hadn’t thought much about how we would work our finances, share holidays, deal with family illness, what traditions we would embrace or even small things like how we would handle being kind to each other after being awake with a teething baby for three days straight. That realisation came quickly.

Others came more slowly. Watching marriages around me, both positive and negative, lead me to reflect on what was important to me, what I wanted to emulate and what I didn’t want to repeat. Over the 8 years I became more attuned to the needs for my marriage rather than my wants for my wedding. And when I let go of those wedding wants to focus on my marriage needs, listened to my partner and shared my thoughts with him, we ended up with the perfect wedding for us. Our perfect wedding (which was far from actually perfect) started on December 26th, when L- gave me a card that said: “Do you want to get married? I do.” I burst into tears and made him promise that he wasn’t joking. He wasn’t.

Over the month of January we hatched our plan: We would invite friends and family to dinner at one of our favourite restaurants to celebrate L-‘s 29th birthday. An hour before dinner, just the two of us would go to city hall and in front of two strangers we picked up along the way we would finally (after seven years of being together and five years of living together) get married.

Planning an elopement = easy.

Executing an elopement = also easy!

I took my wedding day off work.  Got my hair done (hated it, undid it) and bought twenty dollars worth of white tulips. Burned a wedding play list. Found our reading in The Velveteen Rabbit. The photographer , a dear family friend of my great grandparents, grandparents  and parents came over to our house and took pictures, to later tell the story of our wedding. I felt giddy with excitement and couldn’t stop laughing and smiling. We hopped in a cab (with a quick stop at bank machine to pick up the $115 we owed the city for getting married) and just outside of city hall we asked two strangers (Peter and Jasmine) to be our witnesses.

My giddy excitement stayed with me until the very last minute, to the point that I was worried that without an audience made up of family and friends I wouldn’t recognise the solemnity of the moment. But the second I walked down the aisle, and saw L- and realised what we were about to do, the solemnity and sacredness of the moment overwhelmed me.

I remember watching other weddings, and during the vows I always wondered how aware the bride and groom were of the cameras, the audience, the shuffling and commotion. Now I know that during that moment, all extraneous activity was non-existent and I was completely present in the moment. We were married. It was perfect.

At 8pm our friends and family had all gathered at the restaurant and were wishing L- a happy birthday. My best friend (who came from 7 hours away for the “birthday dinner”) gave me a knowing look. Between the first course and the main course, L- stood up to thank everyone for coming and said something to the effect of “I think many of you here believe we have an ulterior motive for this celebration [gasp in the room], and it’s true.  Today is also Hank Aaron’s birthday [giant collective sigh of disappointment]. So thanks for coming [L- goes to sit down].  Oh and by the way, Lindsay and I got married earlier this evening.”  [Giant scream goes up from the tables, exuberance ensues.]

It was also perfect.

We started off our marriage with a lot of compromise.  L-  would have been happy to be common law forever.  Being married was very important to me, especially since we had a baby on the way.  L- is an exceptionally private person, especially when it comes to emotional things, and has a hard time letting people see his emotional side. I love parties with friends and am very free with my emotions. Our elopement allowed me get married and allowed him to do the private part privately. The party afterward let us celebrate publicly with those closest to us.

I wish I had known that even if I was so happy for us, and sure of my decision to elope, that not everyone would feel that way. Just after we announced our happy news, my dad got up, put on his coat and left the restaurant. Not at all the response I had wanted. I wish I had thought a bit more about how our decision would affect those we love. I had written my parents a letter about our choice and explained that while I knew they might be disappointed, I hoped that they would understand that we were doing things in a way that was right for us. I suppose this is a truth whether you elope or not. You and your partner make a plan.  Your community (be it friends or family) either agrees or disagrees. If they agree, everyone is happy. If they disagree, you either change your plan or you don’t.

This holds true if you are eloping, having a destination wedding, holding your wedding outside with no backup, having a secular ceremony, having an open bar, not having a bar at all, having dancing, hiring a videographer, serving meat, not serving meat, and on and on.

The emotions of the day, both positive and negative, ran very high.  Happily, I can report that in retrospect, the highs remain high and the lows, well, I remember them but not in vivid detail.  I can still remember that giddy excited feeling I had when the music started and I walked down the “aisle” to L- but I don’t remember, with as much clarity, the feelings when my dad left the restaurant. Maybe like labour, you don’t remember the exact pain (sure you remember that it hurt but not how the hurt felt), you just remember that moment of locking eyes with your baby for the first time. And that might be why, despite all the drama and emotions and turmoil that weddings seem to cause, they keep happening. Because even amidst those moments of extreme pain, you remember the one moment of pure joy and clarity.

Photos by: V.Tony Hauser (black and whites) and good friends (color)

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  • Wow. What a moving post. This wedding could not have been more different from ours in many ways, but all of the emotions Lindsey describes ring so true. Reading about that moment when L announced their marriage gave me goose bumps! I’m so sorry that the bride’s dad reacted in that way, it can’t have been easy for any of them, but I’m glad that the joyful memories are the ones that shine through.

    Also, I’m relieved I’m not the only [crazy] person who replays my wedding in my head! When times are hard (and right now, for us, times are pretty crappy) it really helps to look back on that one moment when all was right with the world, or seemed to be. Cheesy, but true.

    • I think there is a shop on Etsy called “buy my crap”…sorry to hear times are crappy for you. Music can help me out of crappy moods, but I’m not married ( forgot to do that) so I have no wizened comments, mostly I’m a smart ass.

      So how bout a big virtual hug?

    • Ha thanks so much! Maybe I should have made clear – things are not crappy for us in the sense of our marriage is crappy (thank God) – rather, my mum is ill and we are having to deal with that, which is pretty rubbish. So all virtual hugs are welcome!

  • What an amazing, well written, post. Just the other night I was talking with my mom about big fancy weddings. My son is engaged to a practical soon to be bride! Yipeee! She was worried she might disappoint me, (I make fancy wedding hangers and some accessories…fun for the detail…but then I am not getting married)

    She said she wanted to save the money for the house and the babies. A girl after my own heart who completely captured those belonging to my parents who are 86. I will send her the link to this post.She said she would be happy being married on a beach in a sari.

    I Loved the comment about Hank Aaron. ANd was already teared up when I read your dad left the restaurant. How that must have hurt you, how he must have felt hurt, made me hurt a little. But life is not perfect and neither are we. How would you have invited people you know to go to city hall with you, that would have caused hurt on the part of those who were not invited. My nephew had a very very small wedding and as much as I would have loved to be in attendance, and maybe I was a teeny bit disappointed, not in him, but, selfishly, I certainly understood. It was His wedding.

    I look forward to reading the rest of your post later. I got up this morning wanted to have my little “fix” but now I need another one! LOL

    so what time shall I look for the rest? or just check my Fb page?

  • Carbon Girl

    Thank you for such a well-written, honest post. What you said about that moment with the vows is so true. And replaying the wedding in your head during rough times can be so important. The best to you and your family!

  • A post chock-full of wisdom. I can relate to so much of it.

    We didn’t elope, but we had a private ceremony with our parents and siblings only. We celebrated with everyone else the next day. Some people were okay with and some people weren’t, regardless of advance notice.

  • This is my favourite wedding grad ever.

  • A-L

    What a cool post. Thank you so much for telling your story, as I’m sure it will resonate with people on many different levels. I could relate to the part about having planned the wedding but not the marriage when I was younger. But thankfully time (maturity?) seemed to have fixed that, and I think our wedding (and marriage) reflects that. Anyway, best of luck to you, L, and the baby!

  • The post is so many kinds of amazing. I love the honesty and wisdom, and I love there is such an interesting and lovely story to your elopement. I also love love love that you defined the difference between focusing on marriage and focusing on the wedding. I have a friend right now who’s getting married, and her and her fiance are so focused on the marriage and buying a house that they aren’t discussing the important issues that’ll take place after the dust has settled. Some of my favourite moments with my boyfriend are the times when we lay in bed before going to sleep, and spend an hour or two talking about our future: how things will change, how things will not, and how we’ll deal with certain issues. Then I know that regardless of what kind of wedding we do plan, everything will be amazing afterwards.

    I’m totally bookmarking this post for future inspiration.

  • Thanks so much for sharing your story. I love the realizations about marriage beyond weddings. I love that in your wedding, you were able to honor your public side and your husband’s private side. There is a lot of wisdom here.

  • wow what a beautiful post this is what happened to us, we started planning a year ago and I got so caught up in the bits and pieces that we came to the conclusion we couldn’t afford a wedding… well that is rubbish as you all know a wedding is what you make so yesterday we set a date to start our marriage and the wedding will be what ever we can make it!

    Thank you for this post I love how APW is always inspiring me

  • Now I just really really want an eloping couple on their way to city hall to snag me as a last-minute witness. Alas, I live in a state that doesn’t require witnesses, just the couple and an officiant.

    Seriously, this was awesome to read this morning. Thank you!

    • I agree. I’m dying to hear the story from their point of view. What an exciting thing to be a part of!

      Lindsay, your hubby sounds adorable, and I admire your clarity of vision when push came to shove. The two of you ARE all smiles in the pictures…I especially love the one of squeezing ketchup on a hot dog, is it?

      It’s women like you–true to yourself and full of wisdom, despite what Dad my think–that make me a proud member of our gender. Thanks for holding the banner!

  • M

    Great post. My parents eloped and I’m not sure their families ever forgave them. It has been an interesting thing to think about as I plan my very much not an element wedding. However, as Lindsey said, there are other things people take issue with, and this post made me feel infinately better about many of our choices, including having an outdoor wedding with no back up plan! The noise about rain and heat and how could you is starting to become just noise.

  • I have a respectful question…

    How are things with your dad now?

    • meg

      Good! Read the second post.

    • LW

      Hi Rhiannon,
      I’m happy to report that things are ok with my dad now. He is a very quiet guy who seems very stoic, but is actually very emotional. The whole thing was just too much for him to handle at the time. Over the past year (our wedding was a year ago) we haven’t really talked about it, but he has expressed interest in seeing our pictures and hearing the story of the day and ceremony. It still isn’t what he would have chosen for me, but he accepts it, even if he doesn’t agree. Though I do think that he will always be a little sad he wasn’t there. Luckily when his first grandchild was born one month later, he had something new to focus on.
      Thanks for asking, I appreciate it.

      • I am so glad to hear that the way you did your wedding hasn’t led to a permanent fracture in the relationship with your dad.

  • I loved this wedding grad so much. I’m such a sucker for an elopement.

    And I’m really glad I’m not the only one who replays my wedding day in my head sometimes. :-)

    • Morgan

      You’re not!

      I find it totally helps with my insomnia.

      Uh, because it’s relaxing and gives me warm fuzzies, not because it bores me to sleep.

    • I do too! Only problem…It hasn’t happened yet! LOL

      I had a freind all caught up in my telling her about my honeymoon. She kept interrupting and wanted to know all about the fiance. I shushed her to finish telling her about the Safari and the tent we would sleep in on the Serengeti,,

      Finally I answered her question about where did I meet him?

      “well,, I haven’t met him yet!”

      I think I need to just get my own damn plane ticket and hire a driver when I get to Nairobi.

  • What a beautiful post, and what a fun elopement! I have friends who are doing a courthouse shotgun wedding, and I might have to beg them to hire a photographer to capture some of these amazing moments. So beautiful.

    We were married in a big wedding in a barn, and what I remember during the ceremony is my minister’s face, and my husband’s face. I only remember the crowd from when we asked them to support our marriage (and they started cheering and yelling, so amazing). That moment was completely consuming, in the most phenomenal way. Thanks for sharing. <3

  • OOOOH. I love this. I love that in the end the marriage won out over the wedding.

    This is in sharp contrast to what I saw on the Say Yes to the Dress marathon I watched this weekend. What a married gal is doing watching that show I have no godly idea, but boy was it fascinating.

    • Alyssa

      Consider it an anthropological study in human behavior that you don’t understand.

      That’s how I get through Toddlers and Tiaras without shame.

      • HA! that’s an awesome explanation.

      • Class of 1980

        Does the “anthropological” excuse work for the Real Housewives franchise?

        • Alyssa

          YES. And Intervention and Animal Hoarders.

    • J.

      I love this show, but watch it in the same way that curious rubberneckers watch a car crash on the opposite side of the highway.

      • Yeah, that is what it was like. I had not seen it before I got married, thankfully.

  • Alyssa

    “I suppose this is a truth whether you elope or not. You and your partner make a plan. Your community (be it friends or family) either agrees or disagrees. If they agree, everyone is happy. If they disagree, you either change your plan or you don’t.

    This holds true if you are eloping, having a destination wedding, holding your wedding outside with no backup, having a secular ceremony, having an open bar, not having a bar at all, having dancing, hiring a videographer, serving meat, not serving meat, and on and on.”

    And, in two small paragraphs, Lindsey has put me out of a job….

    I love this wedding and I love the surprise! I would have passed out if one of my friends did this at a birthday dinner. Then squealing and me throwing elbows trying to get to see the ring.
    I’m sorry that you dad was disappointed, but I really do hope that things have worked out for the better or are working out.

    And considering how much I love pictures of happy brides AND pregnant lady pictures, this wedding is one of my favorites. (Well, there’s the good advice too. But smiling faces! Pregnant belly! Cute dress! Tulips! YAY!)

    • Oh lord … tell me about it. After a stressful weekend of planning, I started to think, “Why aren’t we eloping again?”

      But the truth is eloping wouldn’t be true to ourselves, and you can’t compromise the essence of what you want from your wedding (in our case our communities and families) just to get out of some disagreeable arguments.

      Congratulations on a beautiful wedding and for staying true to yourselves even amidst adversity.

      And I really do hope that things worked out later on with your father.

    • I was about to copy and paste those exact lines into a comment. So much truth, so simply put! I wish I’d read that advice months ago, as it would have saved loads of time and energy and tears spent trying to alter plans until everyone was pleased.

      My cousin was married last year and encountered some crazy responses from our (highly dysfunctional) family; his advice was similar: “We just got to a certain point where we said, ‘The train’s here and it’s about to depart. We really hope you will hop on now, but if you don’t it isn’t going to slow down or come back for you. Oh, and it’s a party train full of happy party people.'” I guess my fiance and I kept trying to slow our train down and change its course – which is sometimes totally appropriate, and really worthwhile – and our ride was pretty bumpy and unpleasant as a result.

      • abby_wan_kenobi

        “It’s a party train full of happy people.” That’s how I feel about a lot of things in my life. We mull things over, get advice, take suggestions and make a plan. At that point the train leaves the station. If you’re not on board you miss out. We can’t change the route to accommodate you, and I’m not going to torture myself feeling guilty about leaving you at the station.

        Love that analogy.

      • wow, I am impressed with your cousin. Sage words, truly. I think I will copy these down and have them ready to pull out for what is sure to be some rocky times in my (just barely starting) wedding planning.

    • Alyssa, I agree. How can I secretly encourage someone to elope, host a red herring birthday dinner and then dish the surprise? Hummm…

  • You’re right! Rosemary salt is the best favour ever!

    Rosemary salt aside, this is such a beautiful post. Your love for each other resonates. I always think there must be something very blessed for the child of a shotgun wedding: how beautiful to be part of the visual celebration of your parents’ love.

  • Oh wow. What a beautiful and timely post. I’ve been seriously thinking of growing my officiating business in the directions of elopements only and this post just pushed me over the edge (in a good way). Thank you, thank you, thank you! I know that elopements are supposed to be the antithesis of what the WIC wants (I, for one, think that is a good thing) but they are just so in line with my own values of simplicity and the desire to focus on the commitment as opposed to the party. I just love performing intimate ceremonies–and my own wedding was a small affair–8 people and us standing under the holiday lights outside in the snow.

    Lindsey, this wedding typifies what elopements are supposed to be about–the love, the simplicity, the fun. You nailed it! And your dad will come around, (he probably already has, no?) Your new family is starting out on the perfect foot!

  • abby_wan_kenobi

    I love this. I know lots of people who’ve always imagined their wedding one (WIC) way, but ended up with something completely different that was totally right for them. Before I started planning my own wedding I was always surprised by the less-traditional choices that some brides made and wondered if they were compromising or resenting not having the princess wedding. About 15 seconds into my own wedding planning I realized how stupid that was. There were plenty of things that we didn’t feel were right for us that one day earlier I completely expected to be part of my wedding.

    Silly silly. It’s always wonderful to hear about the wide range of joyous experiences people have that end in a happily married couple. I wish I could play these for 14-yr-old me so I’d stop being such a judgemental little twerp.

  • Jo

    Oh, love. Just love.

    Tulips are my favorite and this post is so wise. While planning we’ve discussed how much we want to be able to focus on the ceremony, and how both of us are very private people and getting up in front of everyone will be weird and hard to focus on, but you just erased those fears.

    Thank you!

    • I’m a little nervous about being in front of so many people, too… for a while we considered having a tiny private ceremony and larger reception to mitigate that fear, but it didn’t end up being the best option for us. I keep reading wedding graduates who had this same experience, though, so let’s just trust them :)

      • abby_wan_kenobi

        I’m okay in front of an audience when I’m a character (hello theater people!!) but I really don’t like being myself in front of a crowd, especially if it’s personal. We’re not terribly sentimental and we’re super private about that kind of thing.

        Fast forward to our 200-guest wedding. Was I nervous? Yes. Was I myself? Totally. Uncomfortable? Not at all. Because it isn’t like we’re there in front of a bunch of strangers. Every person in that room, all 200 of them, love us and were rooting for us.

        I think it did help us that we used the standard vows that our officiant provided so that didn’t feel like something private that we don’t like sharing. We also arranged the seating so the group looked as small as possible and we weren’t elevated or separated from the “audience” at all. Plus we were holding hands the whole time. Everything is easier when your partner is there squeezing your hand :)

        • Alyssa


          And I say this ALL THE TIME; getting up in front of an audience on stage is a completely different experience than getting up in front of people as yourself. Many people are comfortable with both, and very good at doing both, but they’re still different and have their different set of nerves.

          And it’s just my personal opinion, but I strongly believe that anyone does both and who thinks that getting up to act is the same thing as getting up to speak as themselves probably isn’t a very good actor or a very sincere person.

        • This is us! The actress and the rock star get married and don’t want to be the center of attention for the first time in their lives. We’ve decided to do private vows during our first look, and keep everything in the ceremony very standard.

          I love that this wedding spoke to the need for both private and public time on your wedding day.

  • hoppy bunny

    I love your happy wedding.

  • kristen

    oooooo… this makes me want to elope! what a beautiful wedding. :) thank you, too, for sharing about your mental switch from “wedding” to “marriage”. my fiance and i recently put our wedding plans on hold to slow down and do some counseling (not just pre-marital counseling, but hard-core gut-wrenchingly HARD do-we-really-want-to-get-married counseling). now instead of tying ribbons on mason jars, i am digging deep into my issues, confronting problems head-on, being more vulnerable than i ever have before, and allowing myself to be the best me i can be for my future husband. thanks for your encouraging story. :)

    • ML

      Kristen – just want to speak out as a proponent of aforementioned “hard-core gut-wrenchingly HARD” counseling. however things shake out, and despite whatever is going on, that’s so amazing that you’re both being so loving to yourselves and to each other to seek help when you need it. just want to wish you luck and growth and all that jazz.

  • Trudi G

    I love love love this post! I can relate so much because my husband and I eloped. I as well thought I would have wanted the big white wedding but that all changed 4 months into planning.

    Even with little elopements comes disagreements – we eloped in NYC and got cursed out by a bum for 5 minutes because we were standing in his way! But as Lindsey said, the giddy excited feelings are the ones that really remain.

    I hope your father comes around to your decision, I really do.

    Love the pictures as well!

  • ka

    “He responded that he was worried that I wanted a wedding and not a marriage.”

    I totally get this. When I was 23 I spent about a month working at a catering hall that did weddings. And after watching like wedding after wedding, I found myself wanting one, seemingly from out of the blue. And it was really eye-opening to stop and think about where that was coming from, and realize that a wedding and a marriage are two very separate things! I was very glad to have figured that out and been able to take a step back before I found myself going down a path long before I was really ready.

    This point also reminds me of a past conversation about weddings bringing out the party planning creative side of some of us, and wouldn’t it be great to have an outlet for that that was entirely separate of a wedding. Makes me think big “I’m twenty (or thirty, forty, fifty, and so on!) something and fabulous!” parties should be completely socially acceptable.

    Oh, and congratulations on such a beautiful, real, special wedding! Tulips in the winter! And I really hope Part 2 involves some baby pictures…

  • Cassandra

    Thoughtful and beautiful :)

    (Also, are you, in the second last photo, getting ready to eat a hotdog pre or post-wedding? Adorable.)

  • Carreg

    “I suppose this is a truth whether you elope or not. You and your partner make a plan. Your community (be it friends or family) either agrees or disagrees. If they agree, everyone is happy. If they disagree, you either change your plan or you don’t.”

    So true. I guess it’s kind of obvious that either people like it or they won’t, and either you take notice or you don’t. But it’s easy (for me, certainly) to lose sight of that, and start thinking ‘We must do what is right to us _and_ keep everyone happy, or at least keep everyone happy whom we actually like or that one of us shares 50% of dna with!” Thank you for pointing out that this isn’t always possible, but that the wedding day can be amazing anyway. This was a refreshing and insightful post — also L’s announcement at the ‘birthday’ party is hilarious. Oh and I really understand his desire to be private about feelings. I have elopement envy again. But if I elope I can’t have a ceilidh, so there it is. Extrovert side of personality wins for wedding purposes.

    Anyway, great post and best wishes to you, L and the baby.

  • Beautiful and perfect. And wonderful words of wisdom not matter your choice of wedding. Focus on the marriage. Be true to who you are as individuals and as couples. And joy.

    Thank you.

  • Wow, thank you so much. Elopement isn’t for me and my boyfriend, but we are struggling with some people not agreeing with how we’re doing things. That is to say, we’ve been talking about getting married for almost a year now. Yesterday, when we were at our favorite outdoor spot, I said something like, “so, let’s, like, for real get married. really.”

    I called my parents when we got home and it was a stone wall of debbie-downerville. They’re having marital struggles, and they’re not currently able to separate their feelings about their marriage from feelings about marriage in general (and mine in specific). And, for the record, it is their marital struggles that have had me hemming and hawing for the past year (and why my boyfriend hasn’t proposed yet — he said he worries I’d say no).

    I’ve been thinking all day. I’m disappointed by my parents’ response. I want to get married, and I am truly happy. We talk all the time about marriage, what we want, how we approach life, etc. I want my parents to be exuberant and excited just like moms and daughters are in the movies and on TV. I think I might have to get over that and just be happy that my parents will show up and be there. I’m sure they’ll be happy for me in the moment, but I am nervous and worried about what the next X # of months of planning will be like. Makes me want to pick a date in August so I don’t have to deal with it longer than necessary.

    So, in conclusion, I really appreciate hearing your story and that you were able to forge ahead with what is right for you even if it wasn’t right for everyone you’re related to. I only hope I can find the peace of mind to do the same.

    • sarah

      First off, congratulations to Lindsey and L – and what a beautifully-written post! Food for thought, for sure.

      Leah, you have my thoughts. My mum told me that when she and dad told her parents they were getting married, they didn’t even say a word (I think because her sister had already had a failed marriage at the time – but no one knows for sure), and it cut my mum so deeply. She says that even now, she feels her parents probably don’t even realise they did it – but because of it, my mum’s cognizance to never do the same has been heightened. She was shocked with my engagement – more in a sec – but is excited for me. It meant a lot to me, and I am so sorry that your parents’ reaction was not what you deserved it to be!

      Here’s my story: I myself was in a relationship for 4 1/2 years, and it just got stuck (just a few months ago)…. Then I met a guy (who doesn’t even live in town – in fact, I live near a border so we’re from different countries), we clicked, and three months later we’re engaged. I was thrilled and just knew from the very beginning! The point of this is, whether it’s based on concern for me (my fiance has lots going on in his life), judging that I am crazy, or something else entirely, I have some good friends/colleagues whose reactions were less than supportive. I feel like they’re avoiding me at work, and I am sure they don’t “approve.” Like it’s their beeswax! Anyhow, I have finally refused to justify my decision and am just telling people, “I’m very happy.” And if they don’t want to listen, I’m not fussing. This is a happy and exciting time in my life, and they’ll come around if it’s meant to be. Does it mean I am happy that they are not sharing my happiness? No. Is it hard to not have all the people I love act like they’re happy? Of course, and I wish they would at least smile and nod. But, it’s MY life, and I know that this is the right choice and I am with the man I’ve prayed for . . .and to those who matter, they know the same. I am not trying to equate friends with your parents, but feel like they will come around when they know that your heart is true and it’s not up for scrutiny, judgment or anything else. They love you and want you to be happy, I’m sure of it (and I don’t even know them)!

      Sorry to be so long-winded, but I just felt compelled to write (after enjoying this site, the comments and the posts for ages). Congratulations once again!
      – sarah

      • Congrats to you too! And I appreciate hearing your story :-) If you feel good, then good for you. This is totally your decision. I suppose I might wonder if a friend/co-worker did the same . . . but if they had the same response you have here, I’d definitely congratulate them.

        I think my parents are sad that my boyfriend hasn’t proposed. I tend to be the dominant one in our relationship. I did tell him that he can now safely propose to me ;-) So I am hoping that take 2 goes down better (the “omg, he proposed!” phone call). I did tell a friend at school today about the weekend decisions, and she gave me a little planner present :-) So I did get one really excited response.

        Here’s to doing what we know we need to do and being adult enough to forge the path without sycophants.

  • CaitStClair

    What an awesome post! Thank you SO much for writing this!

  • Class of 1980

    What a lot of twists and turns in that story! Also complete honesty, which will be helpful to others.


  • “[Giant scream goes up from the tables, exuberance ensues.]”

    That made me smile so big.

  • Elopement wasn’t for us & we didn’t consider it for one second but I appreciate the chance to understand one couple’s reason for going this route. It’s sweet & special no matter how you decide to do it. Congratulations Lindsey & L!

  • Shotgun Shirley

    What an awesome story. I love it. Thank you so much for sharing. And my what a little 8 months pregnant person you were! Now, on to read the next part…

  • Moz

    This is one of those beautiful, completely APW posts that I love. Thank you for being so generous and sharing your experiences with us (especially given how private your husband is) and congrats on your marriage xx

  • Alexandra

    Congratulations!!! So much awesome.

    My sweetie is on the private side, as far as being emotional in front of a crowd [otherwise he’s a total social butterfly & good at performing music on stage], so we considered a private or small ceremony, but once I told him that the officiant could say the bulk of the words, and we could just answer with “I/We Do/Will”, he felt better about a ceremony in front of all our guests!
    I like the idea above about private personal vows during the First Look photos! Might have to do that. ;-)

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