DD and I are calling our plan to be legally married -- "our elopement".
Here's the inspiration: DD was visiting his family in Alberta, Canada, over the Christmas break. According to DD somewhere along his family chit-chat...
DD's sister exclaimed, "Without this, without that. That's not a wedding!"
DD's dad calmly remarked/explained, "They are not having a wedding, dear. They are eloping. It's just that they have the courtesy to inform us in advance."
DD's dad loves the idea of a simple wedding. When I told my sister of DD's dad's response, my sister commented that DD's dad seems like "a very understanding and smart guy!"
My sister should know. I was living with my parents when both sisters got married, and what a nightmare each pre-wedding banquet period was with my parents quarrelling almost daily/nightly. Plus, having helped with and been to numerous friends' grand weddings, I don't want any of that stress for myself.
I recall years ago while my younger sister was busy planning her wedding with her fiance. For some reason or other (which I cannot recall), my mother was grumbling repeatedly about the wedding plans. As it was the second wedding in the family and I've observed that my mother would grumble each time, so my response to her was (in Cantonese), “轮到我的时候，我就私奔。” [Literary: "When it comes to my turn, I'll elope." Indirectly reminding my mother to appreciate the fact that my 2 sisters held grand weddings as per her wishes.]
Thankfully, DD is not into grand weddings too. Now in our middle-aged years, we have both witnessed that the grandeur of the wedding has no correlation with the longevity of the marriage nor the happiness of the couple going forward. We would both be happy with just the Marriage Commissioner and 2 witnesses if we could get away with it. But then, it may be the only wedding in DD's family (besides his parents'), so we agreed to have a small and simple ceremony.
Life is like a Cup of Coffee
Indeed each person has his/her own idea of what an ideal wedding should be. Some friends are surprised that I do not want an engagement ring (I asked for a gold coin instead); some surprised that we are not planning on a honeymoon (although we do have to make an obligatory trip to Singapore at some point); others are shocked that we're holding the ceremony in our living room instead of renting "a wedding hall/venue"; yet others are shocked that we may even consider going without wedding rings. So it is really up to the couple to negotiate on what would be acceptable to both. To paraphrase the "Life is like a cup of coffee" story above...
"Marriage is like a cup of coffee; it does not matter if you entered it holding nice-looking expensive cups or plain cheap ones. The only thing that matters is whether you enjoy the coffee."