Why We Decided to Elope

Nov 12, 2019
Steve Black and Michelle Fox are standing in front of a trellis as they look at their marriage officiant.

As you can see…we got hitched!

It was just as magical as you might imagine an elopement in Sonoma might be. The weather was upper 70s, the sun was out the entire day, the people were amazingly kind, the food was delicious, and the wine was heavenly.



Initially, we planned for a big family wedding in Playa del Carmen. We sent save the date cards to everyone in our circle for February 22, 2020. 


Steve is an auditor by profession, so naturally, he and I researched every step of the process - at length.


Budget? Check.

Date? Check.

Resort? Check.

Flights? Check.

Colors? Check.

Flowers? Check.


What we could not have anticipated was a call from a friend who lives in Playa. “Michelle, the beaches are covered in seaweed. No one here hangs out by the shore anymore.”


Wait, what?? 


Yes, there was mosquito and disease attracting seaweed all along the shores of Playa del Carmen and other beaches that share the Caribbean Sea. There are a few theories as to why – here is a link.


There was a part of me that felt dread at the prospect of explaining this to our circle. A few family members had already expressed their disdain for travel to Mexico, and it felt like I had lost a bet. There was another part of me that said, “Buck up! We will make the most of this. We’ll just prepare a lot of indoor activities.”


Again – wait, what?? Spend a lot of money and have our guests spend a lot of money and not be able to enjoy the beach? In Mexico? Ay Caramba!


Keeping our plans due to obligation (again - save the dates were sent, non-refundable deposits were made, the children were looking forward to an all-inclusive vacation, etc.) felt REALLY heavy. 


All it took was one comment from my therapist at the time. He said that having a destination wedding sounded expensive. That gave me pause. He wasn’t trying to sway me in any direction, but somehow his comment landed. The more I thought about not hosting this wedding, the lighter I felt. 


The next day I asked Steve how he felt about eloping. As per usual, he gracefully let me know that it was his idea to elope from the very beginning and that he loved the idea. 



Deep breath!


Once I gave myself permission to change my mind, it felt like the whole world opened up. 


why we decided to elope - Michelle in field


We lost some deposit money (ouch!), but we gained a new excitement about how we wanted to get married (yay!)


We announced our decision to cancel the wedding, and did I mention buying a house?



Friends and family were more than supportive. However, the truth is, WE supported the idea and found the confidence to move forward with what we wanted. That ultimately made getting married a dream come true!  


Steve and I became husband and wife on September 20, 2019.



I would love to hear from you!  When was the last time you released a sense of obligation? How did you feel afterward?


All of my love,


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