The history of eloping can be traced back to the 13th century when the word meant “to leap”. Over the following centuries the meaning developed and by the 1600’s it described a situation in which a wife runs away from her husband to be with her lover. Many times, these abandoned husbands would place ads in the local newspaper to warn everyone that whatever money she was recklessly spending wasn’t attached to him. Another form of the phrase lead to the husband leaving the wife for a younger woman. Then of course, the phrase “shotgun wedding” was coined which meant a rushed or hurried wedding most likely because the bride was pregnant. Truth be told, the history of eloping’s’ waters can get really murky so we won’t take you down the entire hole of lying, deceit, and overall sexism. These old views are surrounded by money, crime, and somehow shotguns, and many times had nothing to do with actually being in love.
Flash forward to the 30’s, the Great Depression left people to reinvent in many ways including not having the means to have an extravagant wedding. This wasn’t a sinister way of thinking as much as it was simply adaptation to the economy. Eventually, eloping turned into that cliché movement where you run away to Las Vegas and get married in a casino with a few paid witnesses as an overall middle finger to society. Fortunately, times have changed so let’s talk about what modern elopement means. Today, eloping can still be a form of rebellion against inherited marriage traditions and customs, but just less menacing and more chic.