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Eloping not for the faint-hearted

Choosing to elope can save the couple wedding expenses.
Choosing to elope can save the couple wedding expenses.

The idea of eloping seems great on paper. You run away, get married, come back and live happily ever after.

But how realistic is it? Should you contemplate eloping and cutting out all the hoopla and expenses that come with a wedding?

Psychologist Shirley Masemola says in the black community especially, eloping may be frowned upon for a number of reasons - one of the most glaring being lobola.

"Eloping could mean that no lobola negotiations are done, and considering the cultural factors that will not be filtered in the decision to elope, and keeping in mind that eloping is done in secret, it certainly means that no lobola negotiations - just you and your fiance.

"This can, in some cultures, cause a big uproar," she says.

Masemola also says people may be apprehensive to elope for the following reasons:

That said, Masemola adds that couples who find themselves in a tight corner may choose eloping as a last resort without anyone disrupting their union.

"A couple would elope should they feel that there is no genuine approval of their union and love from their parents and family members.

"A couple may also decide to elope to avoid financial constraints and the big deal of having a big wedding."

According to Masemola, instances that may call for eloping can be:

However, Masemola says there can be some benefits to eloping. These are:

On the flip side, some of the pitfalls may be:

Can eloping cause an impact on the quality of the relationship itself?

Masemola seems to think so, and says that how eloping affects the couple in the long run depends on the couple and their reasons for eloping.

"When we choose to get married we should bear in mind that it involves the bringing together of two families who want to share in this beautiful journey.

"We are not islands and thus the importance of approval, blessings and support from our parents and families should be considered.

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