Is eloping right for you?

Feb 19, 2010 at 11:50 p.m. ET

At we're obviously big fans of weddings. Whether the wedding dress is long or short, red, black or white, we love to see a happy bride come down the aisle. But the key to that is that the bride is actually happy. As much as we love weddings, we know they aren't right for everyone. If you're considering an elopement, we've got some pros and cons for you.

Eloped Couple on Beach

PRO: Less Stress Now

There's no doubt about it, planning a wedding can be stressful and time consuming. Eloping is as simple as hopping a plane to Vegas or even taking a cab down to City Hall.

CON: More Stress Later

If planning a wedding with your mother breathing down your back seems stressful, imagine dealing with your mother after you tell her that you're already married. Only you know which situation will be less stressful.

PRO: Less Expensive

You, your fiancé, a marriage license, a nice dinner to celebrate. It'll probably cost you about $150, more if you get a new dress! All the money that you would have spent on the wedding can go to your house, car, education, or just a really great trip!

CON: Lack of Backup

There's something very powerful about exchanging a promise in front of a group of people you respect and love. Letting those people know how you feel about your fiancé and having them witness your commitment can help make that commitment stronger.

PRO: No Unwanted Guests

We all have them -- family members we'd rather not see. For some people, the reasons are serious and important. In some families there's just too much drama to get everyone together, and too much drama to leave anyone out.

CON: No Wanted Guests

Has your father always dreamed of walking you down the aisle? Does the idea of exchanging vows without your best friend by your side make you weepy? If you want your friends and family with you, don't elope.

Take a Deep Breath

If you're in the middle of wedding planning and an elopement is starting to sound like a great idea, stop and take a deep breath. It may not be that you want to elope, just that you want to reduce your stress. Are there tasks you can pass off to a helper or your groom? Are there ways you can simply tune out unwanted advice and opinions?
Whatever you decide, make sure you and your fiancé make the decision that's right for you!

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