The answer to that question is going to vary for each of you reading this post. Maybe you feel like you’re too busy to plan a wedding. Maybe you’ve got too much family drama to care. Or, maybe you’re just flat over it and ready to be married already. Whatever the reason may be, eloping is a thought that passes through almost every couples’ mind at some point or another.

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The thought of an elopement is intriguing – just you, your fiancé, an officiant and maybe a few close family members. It’s romantic. It’s simple. It’s beautiful. But while the idea sounds perfect – especially when you’re knee deep and overwhelmed – it may not be something that’s right for you. If you’re thinking about eloping here are five questions you should ask yourself to make sure you won’t regret it later.

Am I more stressed than normal right now? Added stress is a big reason that some couples choose to elope. Between work and everyday life, planning a wedding can be too much to handle sometimes. However, I never suggest making a big decision like this when your stress levels are higher than usual. If you’ve already begun planning and have made deposits, once you decide to elope you can’t go back to your old plan. Take a couple days or even a week off from planning and let yourself relax. If at the end, a traditional wedding just doesn’t feel right, then start looking into elopement packages.

Have I always imagined an intimate wedding? If you’ve always imagined yourself having a smaller, more intimate wedding then an elopement is probably a good fit for you. Often times we feel the pressure to plan the wedding others think we should have and not the wedding we actually want. This can lead to extra stress and even strained relationships. If you’ve never actually wanted a traditional wedding, then an elopement might be a good idea.

Am I just worried about the money? Don’t get me wrong, budget is a huge driving factor when it comes to weddings. Regardless of what your budget is, it’s still a lot of money to you. But, there are always ways to have the wedding you want with the budget you have. It just takes a little creativity. If money is the driving factor behind eloping and you’ve always wanted a bigger wedding, then forget about taking the next flight out of town with your officiant and start planning the day you want.

Will I regret it later? Sometimes our current circumstances lead us to make decisions we regret down the road. A busy work schedule, people calling you non-stop, all the extra attention, the endless questions about when you’re going to have kids and more can make you want to scream. That’s normal. But running away isn’t always the right answer. Shut down wedding talk and thoughts for a day or two and really think “will I regret this later?” If the answer is yes, find someone who can help field phone calls, questions and planning tasks so you can enjoy the rest of the process.

Does it feel right? At the end of the day it comes down to the situation feeling right to you. In your gut, does an elopement just feel right? If so, then do it. There’s a story I always tell from my own experience that’s the perfect example of this. When my husband and I started planning our wedding, we wanted a small destination wedding in the Bahamas. Once we sat down and started making our guest list it kept growing. As many solutions as we found around the problems that kept arising, there was always a sacrifice that we weren’t happy with. Finally we realized we were forcing it and it just wasn’t right. We ended up having a bigger wedding closer to home and it was perfect. If you ever feel like you’re forcing it or having to make sacrifices you aren’t happy with, just stop. That’s not the wedding you should be planning. Reevaluate what’s really important and what feels right to you and that will give you your answer.

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