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Why We Eloped (To NYC) by Fay Robson

Fay is a dear friend of mine, who I admire massively. She's a wellness warrior and advocate of mental health awareness, something she documents through her Instagram and on her blog - fighting the stigma often associated with wellbeing and self care. Fay & her husband Marv eloped to the Big Apple for their nuptials, and she's kindly written about it for my little corner of the internet. So all I wanted to know was... Why did you choose to elope?

I guess the short answer to this is; because we wanted to. However, there were a number of reasons that my husband Marv and I chose to elope to get married. After emigrating back from Sydney, to our home in the UK, our focus was where we were living next. We had been engaged for about 18 months when we decided to get on the property ladder and buy our first place together in Birmingham. Nobody tells you all the added costs of moving into a property, but, there were plenty; so, money was tight, and was going to be tight, for the foreseeable future.

Obviously, both of us were keen to get hitched; a proposal and the answer “YES” don’t happen unless a couple sees themselves exchanging their vows at some point in their future. After settling into our apartment for just over half a year, we started talking about our (at the time, non-existent) wedding. Friends and family had been asking us about when we planned to get married for a while, and their excitement for us was lovely, so we felt it was time to consider our options. A wedding Pinterest board had been added to since before I was even engaged, so, I had plenty of ideas about the visual side of the day. My now husband is a graphic designer, so we started to enjoy the aesthetic side of things and totally agreed on most elements. The main thing we wanted was the mood of the day to be relaxed, and as laidback as a wedding can get; good people, great food and drinks, and plenty of dancing.

We finally felt ready to start looking at potential venues. And, this is when our thoughts and feelings towards our big day completely changed. Don’t get me wrong; there were some ideal places in the UK, ideal for us anyway. Beautiful buildings, a plethora of options regarding the catering, flowers, and ceremony. However, everywhere we fell in love with online, ended up being a huge no-go, due to cost. We had a budget for our wedding, but everything we loved, didn’t seem to be budget-friendly. We couldn’t believe how much things actually cost, then, if we felt we could stretch to the cost of a particular venue; there’d be limitations regarding the caterers or florists we’d be allowed to use, as so many venues insist on using specific businesses. It was time to compromise, and, lower our expectations a little (loads).

Fair enough, we regrouped, rethought things, and started searching by budget instead. Then, it was time to visit some of the venues that we had found online. All I can say is that we kept feeling disappointed. There were a lot of things that put us off places, including rules regarding no real candles in one place, colossal fire exit signs and awful carpets in another, and one venue refused to let us try their food beforehand, and we’d have no say over the menu. It felt really disheartening, and this was the bit that I had been looking forward to; I thought we’d love the process, but, it felt like we were really scraping the barrel at times. There was also a lot of input and ideas from other people. And, while we always appreciate advice, we were kind of over all the opinions. I started to get really anxious, we were bickering, and had begun to lose sleep. We didn’t want this; we understood that there’d always be some pressure and stress surrounding planning a wedding. However, we at least wanted it to be a wedding we both wanted and were looking forward to. But we just weren’t.

Our hearts weren’t in it. Surely your hearts are meant to be entirely into your wedding day? So, we asked ourselves why we were actually getting married. We decided that it was to become husband and wife and strengthen our team even more. We weren’t getting married to have a wedding day. When I discussed this at the time, with a close friend who was married, she said that she realised that planning her big day became about everyone else. And, by the time she walked down the aisle, she felt a bit like she was going through the motions, and couldn’t wait to get on her honeymoon. Sod that, we thought. Let’s elope.

I can’t remember if it was my husband that suggested eloping first or me, but as soon as the words were uttered; the mood lifted, and all we felt was excitement. Not even potentially disappointing certain friends or family members could compete with our gut feelings towards our wedding. In fact, we booked our flights and venue the next day. Oh yes, flights. We decided on New York; the most magical city on earth (to us). We were, and still are, city lovers, we both adore the US, and, well, New York City! We decided to tie a very mini-moon into our trip and were ready to spend the most we’d ever paid for food and drinks. There’d only be two of us, it would be our wedding day, and we would be in NYC. Therefore, we utilised our budget, and treated ourselves to a beautiful hotel room for five nights, and booked the turret at the top of the hotel for an hour so that we could get hitched on a snowy rooftop in NY, with a view of the Empire State Building. It is without a doubt, the best decision we ever made.

Alleviating ourselves from the stress of guests, and yes, being totally selfish, allowed us to experience a wedding day we thought we could only dream of. It was perfect.

Thank you Fay for sharing your beautiful wedding journey.. I think we can all agree this wintery New York elopement is magical & romantical & truly celebrates the most important thing... love!

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