Couple who secretly elopes still expects cash, gift registry items from would-be guests

Mary Duncan

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*This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events I experienced firsthand; used with permission.*

I’ve thought a lot about how I want my wedding to go if I ever get lucky enough to have one. I think I would like a simple service on a beach with my closest family and friends, followed by the best party of my life. Isn’t that what a wedding reception is for?

On the other hand, I do see the benefits of eloping. It’s cheaper, for one thing. A lot cheaper. You don’t have to worry about feeding and accommodating guests, hiring entertainment, or buying anything particularly fancy for the day except maybe the dress and rings.

I’ve also thought the idea of eloping is very romantic. Just you and your partner setting off to begin your life together, because after all, this journey is between the two of you alone. There are a lot of good reasons to start it alone and without spectators or fanfare. But… if you are going to elope, should you draw a lot of attention to yourselves afterwards?

This is exactly what my cousin Courtney and her now husband Mark did when they got married.

Courtney and Mark were engaged for a while, and all of us in the family speculated as to what kind of wedding they would have. Mark seemed like the simple type and we knew that Courtney was over the top, so we expected something rather lavish.


Well, we were all surprised to find out through a post on social media that Courtney and Mark had flown to Las Vegas and eloped. They had given no indication that they were planning on doing this and we were shocked, though secretly I was happy that I wouldn’t get asked to be a bridesmaid or have to spend a ton of money on a gift.

The joke was on me when it came to that.

A week after their elopement, I got a card in the mail. It was from Courtney and Mark, and said something like this:

“We are sorry that you couldn’t be part of our wedding, but we’d love it if you could be part of helping us build our home together.”

Then there was the link to her wedding registry.

She had invited no one to her wedding, in fact, she’d eloped so that she didn’t have to spend anything on it at all, but she still expected the would-have-been guests to get her gifts and give money.

I was totally appalled by her gall. I couldn’t believe she had the audacity to run off and get married and then still ask family and friends for gifts and money. I really don’t think that’s the way it’s supposed to work.

What do you think about what Courtney and Mark did?

Hi, I hope you enjoyed this story! I am a freelance writing single mom trying to create a better life for me and my daughter through words. If you enjoyed this, please consider leaving a small donation: https://ko-fi.com/maryduncan

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I write about relationships and parenting, life, society, people, and sometimes also beer.

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