A Millionaire’s Elopement

We’re both on the introverted side and neither of us saw marriage as a shiny penny, but as something we were already living day and in and day out at the time that we chose to marry. Eloping thus turned out to be the perfect solution – it meant that we weren’t focusing on a big party, but on choosing to marry each other.

We had been talking about marriage for a while now off and on, so it didn’t surprise anyone that we decided pretty quickly to get married. A note to anyone else planning a wedding: all you really need is about 48 hours or whatever your local jurisdiction’s waiting period is. People were surprisingly shocked though that we didn’t have an official proposal or an engagement ring, though the latter was mostly my decision as I’m still on the fence as to whether I want to wear one. My now-husband (!) has said we could buy me one if I really wanted it, though I’d kind of rather have a tablet I think.

We made the decision to get married so quickly that we didn’t have time to draw up a pre-nuptial agreement, so we’ll be drawing up a post-nuptial agreement soon and I’ll be talking about that when we figure out what it looks like. At this time it appears that it will likely cost about what we spent flying the key people in to the wedding location. We’re both really excited to combine as much as makes sense. After all, we do already have the same Investment Policy Statement and we both hate even low-interest mortgage debt. This event has created plenty of inspiration for future blog posts!

Why do I say it was a millionaire’s elopement? Now that we’re married, we sort of have a combined net worth even if some of it will stay separate and combined, our net worth was over a million dollars as of our wedding date.

What did our wedding spending look like?

Total cost: $3,500

$2,300 Flying some key people here (2/3 of the cost of the wedding)

$800 two wedding bands

$140 Attire – I bought a dress off the rack and my husband wore a suit he already owned

$100 buying up some domain names

$84 Ubers around

Marriage license fee (I google’d “our county marriage license” to research this – I know it varies from county to county whether there is a waiting period so be careful of that!)

Fee for two certified copies of the marriage license

$6 buying some birthday cards and stamps for a few birthdays we missed because we eloped

$0 Photographer – our witnesses and officiant are hobbyist photographers

$0 Officiant – a friend officiated and was included in the post-wedding food

$0 Venue – we got married at a park

$0 Food – Dinners and lunches were paid for by either our grocery budget or our parents as a gift (I’m guessing this was about $600-800)

$0 Flowers – no time for such things

$0 Music – we were in a park! Natural noise from that

$0 Decor/rentals/lighting


56 thoughts on “A Millionaire’s Elopement

  1. Congratulations! I know in the past that you have blogged about having strong opinions about wanting to stay together forever but remaining unmarried for tax reasons. Will you be writing a post on the sorts of things that led you both to take that leap forward to get legally married despite all of those “cons” that you’ve written about in the past?

    • No, not really. We finally decided that certain pros (that I won’t go into) outweighed the cons for us. It was a pretty personal decision, unique to our situation.

    • Thanks! I’m curious to see how much the “parties” people seem convinced we will throw will cost us and whether we’ll be the ones paying for them… That’s very brave of you to consider even publishing the post. The PF blogosphere isn’t the best at celebrating conscious spending.

  2. Congratulations, I hope you both have a long and happy life together!

    We didn’t elope, but definitely wanted to plan for a marriage rather than a wedding day, so kept it very low key and frugal. I have no regrets of missing out on some hypothetical big party, 17 years later.

  3. You did it right, Leigh! My wife and I didn’t “elope,” but we did get married in a park with only a few people there. We’re also both introverted and desperately didn’t want to be the center of all that attention, so we didn’t have a big ceremony. (Fun fact: We used Kurt Cobain’s and Courtney Love’s wedding vows. What that says or means about us, I don’t know!)

    We did, however, want to throw a party for everyone, since that’s the only part that people look forward to, so two weeks after we were married, we had the reception at a nice venue on a Sunday afternoon. All in, I think that cost around $12,000. $10,000 of that was paid for by gifts from our parents, so out of pocket it wasn’t that much.

    • The park was absolutely perfect! Happy you two also tied the knot in a park. Hope your day was as lovely as ours. We will likely end up throwing two parties sometime next year, so we’ll see how that much ends up costing…

    • Thanks! It really was the introvert’s dream wedding. We did have a few key people there and we would have had a few more if they were available…

  4. Congratulations!!!!! I’m glad to see you back, and with such great news!

    Even though our wedding was somewhat low-key (also in a park! but with a dinner afterwards and more random “details”), I think eloping would have been great!

  5. Belatedly-officially: CONGRATS! Very happy that came out the way you wanted and look forward to the post-nuptial agreement post. Thanks for sharing this special moment.

    PiC and I totally chose to spend $20K on the party and any other time I wouldn’t have done but it was a choice we made for our own reasons.

    If you choose a party, have fun! If you don’t, enjoy your cozy night at home. :)

    • Thanks!! I’m pretty sure we will have a party. We’re working on sorting that out. I really want to celebrate with more people than just those who were able to make it to the elopement. We should still manage to keep it relatively reasonable for our city though.

  6. Congratulations! Having exactly the wedding that YOU TWO want is an excellent way to kick off a marriage. Here’s to a lifetime happily living on your own (joint) terms!

  7. Congrats! I am so glad every time I read a couple who did things their way without succumbing to pressure to do X,Y, or Z.

  8. Congratulations!! It’s hard to do the traditional wedding thing and have it be about what you want, I think. We ultimately eloped (using a decision model to determine the elopement package we chose). We had been planning a more traditional wedding but couldn’t get the guest list under 100 and my husband wanted an open bar, and we were saving for a house… So: elope! I felt the decision was a great one though – so much less stressful than planning a hugely expensive party with a 20% markup on everything, or really spending a lot of hours trying to figure out ways to balance our party budget. But I am definitely non-traditional in some ways. Fun fact: if you want to renew your vows, you can have it done by a Hemingway impersonator in Key West.

    • Thanks! It is hard to have the wedding you want, with all the other people who seem to have opinions. We are likely throwing a reception next year and I’m curious to see how much that ends up costing. We do eventually want to celebrate with more people, but we really just wanted to get married instead of waiting for planning.

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