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OPINION: Why not elope? The cost of your wedding does not determine how long your marriage lasts

Courtroom weddings can be special too. Picture: Pexels/Nikolina

Courtroom weddings can be special too. Picture: Pexels/Nikolina

Published May 27, 2022


When Kourtney Kardashian Barker shared images of herself and hubby Travis Barker having a moment in a chapel in Las Vegas, everybody assumed that they had eloped.

The caption, “Once upon a time in a land far, far away (Las Vegas) at 2am, after an epic night and a little tequila, a queen and her handsome king ventured out to the only open chapel with an Elvis and got married (with no license).

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Practice makes perfect” certainly led us to believe that the madly in love couple went off and got married officially.

Little did we know that that was just a pre-cursor to the main event that took place this past weekend in Italy.

I suppose it was a bit naive to think that these love birds would simply get married quietly.

Kourtney is a reality-tv star after all. She had to give the public what they expected! A grand affair done in a way that only the Kardashians can.

More and more couples are, however, opting to elope to escape the entire song and dance that goes with having a big wedding.

During the hard lockdown, many couples were forced to cancel or reschedule their weddings. Some lost huge amounts of money as venues, caterers and other suppliers didn’t allow for cancellations, and couples couldn't get their deposits back.

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This caused much heartache to brides who spent days and nights planning the perfect wedding. Many couples ended up having more intimate weddings with just a handful of close family members and friends.

Now with most of the Covid related restrictions being lifted, we see the return of big fancy weddings. The grand white weddings little girls dream of all their lives.

And this in turn means that the wedding industry is once again booming.

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However, many people are still feeling the financial pinch caused by the pandemic as salary cuts and in many cases job losses became the order of the day.

For that reason, we are seeing more couples opting to simply elope. Well. Not as much in the sense that they would be secretly running off to get married without permission but by making the official act of legally wedding, a private and truly intimate affair.

In order to be legally married, you basically need a handwritten marriage certificate, free of charge, from a marriage officer. Whether you spend R100k or R50, that is all you need to officially and legally marry.

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At the end of the day, is that not why you’re saying, “I do”?

The one thing that puts most couples off is the fact that they have to go to Home Affairs to have it done. While doing it at Home Affairs is free, all you really need is a certified marriage officer.

When you’ve found the one, you can do the ceremony anywhere you like.

Besides yourself and your partner, the only other people that have to be there are two witnesses.

While this, of course, the easiest and cheapest way to get married, it doesn’t mean it can’t be special.

All brides want that special dress. Nothing stops you from wearing a beautiful dress along with gorgeous hair and make-up.

Where something special. Picture: Pexels/Tammy Mosley

Pop a bottle of your favourite champagne and cheers to the day.

But be ready to face the wrath of family and friends who will be sorely disappointed and unhappy about your decision. Many people expect and look forward to a grand wedding along with the traditional song and dance.

Your wedding day, and how you say “I do” is a personal choice between you and your partner.

No matter how you get that official certificate will never determine how you live out your lives together.

An over-the-top wedding ceremony will not ensure a happily ever after.

* Gerry Cupido is a fashion and beauty writer for IOL Lifestyle

** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media.