My brother and his wife tried to elope. My mother would have none of it, so they ended up with a smallish wedding to which “immediate family” only was invited. Oh, plus your grandparents. You would deny them the chance to see their grandson get married, when they likely won’t be with us that much longer? Well, if your grandparents are coming, I can’t very well tell your aunts and uncles and cousins that they can’t come . . .

So immediate family became “just close family plus a couple close friends,” and was about 50 people. They did an outside ceremony with a JP, then took everyone to a restaurant for dinner.

It cemented my opinion that when I get married, not only will I elope, but I won’t tell the family about it untili after the fact. It’s just not worth the hassle.

We ran off to Vegas! My intended was visiting from England and on the spur-of-the-moment we drove to Las Vegas and got married. That’s our story and we’re sticking to it. When we returned to California we phoned up the INS, told them we were hitched, and requested the necessary paperwork to get him a green card and everything else he’d need to stay in the USA.

Both families were aware of the situation. I don’t know if my mother was more upset that she couldn’t be at my wedding, or because I got to go to Vegas and she didn’t.

Jim, I didn’t know you posted here! Does Mom know you’re in Malaysia? :eek:

Seriously, I regret marrying that guy, but I don’t regret the elopement. Quick, easy, and cheap. I’m getting married again next year and I’ve been made to promise I’ll do it “right” this time, which is rapidly shaping up to be a real pain in the kiester.

My grandparents did something like that, in 1926, in rural Kansas. They were already engaged, had a fight and broke up, with her giving him the ring back. They made up, and my grandfather to be wanted to go right then and get married. But Grandma said she couldn’t do that without telling her parents, and besides, she’d lose her job, teaching in a one-room schoolhouse. So the next weekend she took the train to Topeka, and from there they traveled on to Liberty, Missouri, which is in the next county over from KCMO. They did this to avoid the possibility of someone seeing their legal notice in the Kansas City paper. After getting the license in Liberty they went back to Kansas City, where Grandpa had gone to auto mechanics school. The minister of the church he’d attended married them. For the next school year Grandma lived with her folks in Paxico, and Grandpa was in a boarding house room in Topeka. Some weekends she’d go to Topeka, and they would get a hotel room, or Grandpa would travel to Paxico and his in-laws would “leave to go on errands” At the end of the school year they announce their marriage to everyone else.

Funny thing is, the two previous schoolteachers at the one-room school had quit to get married, to older brothers of my Grandpa! The superintendent had been heard to say “we won’t be able to keep a teacher until the L---- boys all get married.”

First date, Nov 12. Got the requisite blood tests 2 weeks later. Went to the county seat during lunch on Dec 9 - got the license - $25. Went down the street to an accounting office and said our vows in front of a notary - $10. Two strangers signed our certificate. Then we went to McDonald’s for a quick lunch before I went back to the squadron to be a witness at a court martial that afternoon.

The next day, we went to his folks, and he said “Guess what we did?”

A week and a half later, we drove 800 miles and told my folks. It was 1983. We’re still, quite happily, together.

Not me, but my roommate (and friend) eloped. Her fiance - who is a good friend of mine, incidentally - was staying with us temporarily and they got a marriage license on a Thursday, got married on Friday, told their parents on Saturday, and me on Monday.

I think my reaction was “Are you kidding? I HATE YOU GUYS!” It only took about thirty seconds for the miffed feeling to pass. Plus, it makes for a funny story - “my roommate got married and didn’t tell me for three days!”

My good friend’s parents eloped because their families, or more particularly her Mother’s family, wouldn’t accept the mixed-race marriage. The family didn’t talk to them until after they’d had kids, when they started to thaw. My friend’s parents are still together after more than 30 years, while her two more conventionally-married sisters are divorced.

A different friend and her BF eloped to Gretna Green :smiley: They’d been together eight years at the time, but her BF has a big famil and they didn’t want the whole wedding hoo-ha. All the same, one of his sisters found out and quite literally followed them up there. She was the only family member in attendance, which made the rest of the family feel bad.

My maternal Grandparents got married after two weeks’ dating, but that was in the second world war. They had a terrible marriage. It doesn’t always have a romantic ending.