Escape the ‘wedding sharks’ by eloping

Avery Hulong

Wedding season is just around the corner and invitations, as well as save-the-dates, have been flooding my mailbox. I have officially reached the age where many of my peers are getting married and starting new families; myself included. 

Personally, I have always dreamed of running off to Vegas and getting married in a drunken haze with Elvis as my witness. My now fiance, however, has always looked forward to the idea of a big wedding. Days after he popped the question, I immediately realized that marriage is a never-ending series of compromises. 

As a woman who has never dreamed of her wedding day, I have had to drop my fantasy of an inexpensive and spontaneous elopement, and have been forced to enter the terrifying world of wedding planning. 

A year after the engagement and only a few months before the wedding, I still stand by my belief: I should have eloped.

It is no secret that weddings are an exorbitant investment. However, dollar signs and the threat of debt does not seem to phase fellow brides in the wedding world.

Items like dresses, flowers or cakes are not always considered to be an expensive endeavor — until of course the word “wedding” is mentioned in the same sentence. Suddenly the cost of the same exact product is doubled or even tripled.  

Let’s consider the big white dress. The dress shopping experience is much like purchasing a car, except in a lacy boutique setting. Each of these so-called “wedding stylists” (or as I like to call them, “wedding sharks”) treat the purchase of a wedding dress as a lifetime investment: “I want you to love your dress. It’s one of the most important decisions you’ll make in your life.” 

Excuse me, what?

Perhaps there is no other way of justifying why a long white dress costs over $2,000, which according to “wedding experts,” happens to be a relatively small budget for a dress. 

It doesn’t stop there. The wedding planning life is full of all kinds of “wedding sharks:” photographers, jewelers and paper printing companies. It feels like wearing an engagement ring is a bright and shiny flag covered in dollar signs.

So really, what is the big deal about weddings?

So many engaged couples prioritize the grandeur of their special day over home ownership, something I would consider to be an actual lifetime investment.

Unfortunately, it seems that many people fall under what seems to be a wedding spell. They have trouble stepping back and don’t seem to realize how much money and time is being sucked out of them to pursue the big party.

So I say forget the wedding sharks and elope. It is only one day, after all.

Unless, of course, you have always dreamt of starting your marriage off in debt.