It took fifty years for others to recognize I was onto something. Had I been blogging after a couple years of marriage, say in 1972, millions of dollars and thousands of marriages might have been saved. I’d probably been famous, the author of many self-help books (the genre I NEVER read). But no one took my advice. That all changed with Covid.
To be honest it wasn’t something we really planned, it just sorta happened. Hubs and I had been dating off and on for years. My parents were not receptive towards John. (He was a Methodist-gasp). After a lengthy breakup, we started talking again. The old fashioned way by landline phone. This time I was gonna be strong and not let my parents dictate/influence my (our) future.
Without much fanfare we just decided to go ahead and do it. We took exactly one person we knew (and trusted) into our confidence and one person we’d never laid eyes on before (because we needed two). We eloped (on a Monday night at 7 p.m in Elk Point, SD. It was a done deal by 7:04) in front of 3 people (the friend, the stranger and the judge-although the judge was unknown to us too). We took the friend and stranger out for supper, (the judge declined our offer, thank heavens, we were nearly out of money before we left on our extended 2-DAY honeymoon). The friend and stranger drove back to Sioux City and the Hubs (first time I could legally call him that) and I headed for Sioux Falls.
That was 52-1/2 years go. Our frugal, no hassle achievement didn’t hit me right away but after a few years of marriage I surmised, that’s the way to get married. Why spend thousands on an event, a dress, music, food and an expensive honeymoon? Just pick a day, grab a couple witnesses (might be better if you know them both) jog to the courthouse (we had a flat tire on the day we filed for our marriage license and made the deadline before the courthouse closed by 10 minutes), say your I do’s and save all that money and stress. BTW, about half of the US marriages end in divorce. Crazy and kind of a downer! Why start it off in debt to boot? If your parents want to do something special for you, use the money saved from an extravagant wedding for a down payment on a house or pay cash for a car! Is that not a much better way to spend a few thousand? Yes siree.
Since then I’ve told everyone who’d listen my thoughts on lavish weddings. A huge waste of money. Too much stress and anxiety for a one day affair. Having a big wedding does not guarantee your marriage is going to be successful. If couples put as much effort into their first 2-5 years of marriage as they do pulling off their extravagant, expensive wedding day, the divorce rate would plummet. Truth right there.
I read an article in the paper recently how Covid has changed the way couple’s approach getting hitched. When the pandemic hit and the earth stood still (only 2 weeks to flatten the curve) couples with wedding plans were in a bind. Churches, courthouses, reception halls were all shuttered. Postponements and rescheduling were a hassle because after 2 weeks, 2 months or 2 years of delays, life was still not back to ‘normal.’ Most new plans had to be rescheduled again & again and couples were weary of not having a firm plan in place. Whatever the reason of starting a life and family together, there must be a less hectic way to get hitched.
Some new wedding day concepts/notions (my idea actually. Guess I was an ‘influencer’ before there was such a word) were hatched during this 2 year slowdown. As couples sought out new dates to reschedule they found the waiting list for churches and reception halls booked 2 to 3 years in advance. Couples were discouraged trying to reschedule their lives to fit everyone else’s. Instead they discovered different ways to celebrate their actual wedding with friends and family. They were weary of putting their wedded bliss on hold indefinitely, so they started improvising.
Why not get married on a weekday with 40 close friends and relatives in attendance instead of 200? (I’m still a firm believer in a simple elopement). A pretty cake, some appetizers, champagne to share with those you love and support you as a couple. Maybe at a resort, park, private room at your favorite pub or in someone’s home. Take the rest of the week off for a short honeymoon and call it good. Start your marriage off without a boatload of debt. Sounds good doesn’t it?
Little did I realize I was a pioneering ‘influencer’ before it became a thing. Well to be a bonafide influencer, you have to be followed by thousands, but besides that, I could have been a contender! I might have been famous without even trying, 50 years after I first endorsed eloping as a cost savings, practical approach to a successful, debt free marriage. (The debt came after we said I do). I also have some sound advice on becoming parents if and when you choose and the need arises. Three words. Space your children. (Unless your biological clock alarm’s going off)…
3 thoughts on “My advice…”
You are soooo very wise!!!!
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Hahaha, thanks Dee.
Thanks Anne Marie. I’m surprised both men in your life were not in favor of eloping. I always assumed women wanted big weddings and men were intimidated by lavish affairs. There’s not much I would change about my life except maybe wait a bit longer to start a family but I’m happy with what God blessed us with!!! Thanks for reading, appreciate it…