The dream is a big white Instagram-ready wedding that costs an arm and a leg, with you walking down the aisle to a jealous audience. At least that’s the dream that’s sold to us. Enter eloping softly whispering, there’s another way of getting married. Eloping used to be scandalous and shameful but like everything else, things change. Here are the pros and cons of eloping along with the legal requirements to get married in Kenya.
Pros of eloping
Avoid the stress and cost of wedding planning
All the small and large decisions when planning a wedding can be extremely stressful. Eloping means escaping all the tedious choosing of venues and clothes, dealing with groomsmen, bridesmaids, and the politics of guests to invite. You also don’t have to deal with everyone’s expectations, including two sets of parents, so all the shots are up to you. There’s also no potential drama which is a huge plus.
Another huge benefit of eloping is you get to save money. The pressure to have a chic, fashionable wedding is huge as is the accompanying budget in the age of social media and shareworthy weddings. Not having a wedding means you get to save that money potentially for something you value more.
No pressure to perform
Weddings are if nothing else a public performance with rituals and traditions to be followed. Eloping frees you from the pressure to act a certain way, leaving you free to experience the ceremony however you want it, as your true self. There are no rules or traditions you have to stick to. All that matters is what you want, saying the vows and signing the papers.
Increased level of intimacy and privacy
What are the chances that you get to share an intimate moment with your partner as a couple of hundred people look on? Slim to none. Eloping allows you to focus solely on each other and the significance of the moment without being conscious of other eyes on you.
Cons of eloping
Hurt family and friends
Many of your family and friends will be disappointed with some going so far as having their feelings hurt. It may even damage your relationship with certain family members. If they know about it beforehand, they may not support it.
Eloping may also be difficult for you. It means missing out on having family and friends present to celebrate this milestone with you. You will miss out on the fun and dancing and joy of dancing and celebrating your union with people who love you. Not having them around can also make it lonely for you.
You may regret it
FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) is real and there is a possibility that you may regret eloping when you see your friends and family and their ceremonies. You may find yourself inadvertently comparing your ceremony to theirs and regretting not making more of a fuss. It’s possible that you may regret missing out on the traditions and the great sense of generational continuity they symbolize. If you end up eloping, you can have a party with family and friends and have them celebrate with you. This can decrease the potential of regret.
As expensive as weddings are, they offer an opportunity to celebrate with family who bring gifts to boot. Eloping means no guests which means no gifts which is a major con.
Please note the requirements if you are getting married in Kenya.
Legal requirements for couples getting married in Kenya
- Male groom and female bride
- Valid identification documents i.e. passport or ID card of both
- Birth certificates of both
- Age: At least 21 years old.
- Issue a 21-day notice done at the registrar’s office
- Original decree absolute if one or both are divorced
- Original death certificate if a party is widowed
If you’re still on the fence about eloping, check out 5 essential tips to help you plan your wedding