How to Elope in Vegas When You’re 5 Months Pregnant

I can’t help but laugh to myself when I hear stories about elaborate weddings. There is just SO MUCH STUFF to figure out between the financing, guest list, venue, music, food, photography, etc. I know I wouldn’t have had the time or patience for any of it. I would have been a full-fledged bridezilla.

As fate would have it, my wedding ended up being pretty much the opposite of a traditional wedding. In case you’re curious, here is how you elope in Vegas when you’re 5-months pregnant:

1. Get pregnant. We were surprised and elated, but mostly surprised.

2. Decide you’re not going to get married. Just because you’re having a baby together doesn’t mean you have to.

3. Change your mind. I mean, if you want to marry this person regardless, don’t let a pregnancy stop you. Screw anyone who assumes it’s just a shotgun wedding. (Haters gonna hate.)

4. Spend the next three months nauseated by everything.

5. Go ring shopping with your boyfriend. This may have happened after I had a dream that he proposed with a ring that couldn’t fit over my bloated sausage fingers.

6. Accept proposal from new fiancé during fancy dinner. Make everyone in the place as jealous as possible.

7. Book a Vegas chapel two weeks out. I, for one, was getting bigger by the day and didn’t have time to waste. Choose chapel based on random B-list celebrity that also married there (in our case it was Bon Jovi).

8. Invite friends and family via email and social media. I believe our Facebook message read, in part, “Since we don’t have time to invite people by any other means and also, we classy like that.”

9. Apologize for short notice. But be secretly grateful only a few people are coming.

10. Go bridal gown shopping. I decided white dresses were the least flattering color on a person that was already shaped similarly to a hot-air balloon. So, I opted for a black dress because, frankly, I didn’t want to look like the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man walking down the aisle.

11. Make sure attire is as Vegas-like as possible. This included a gold ribbon for my dress and a gold tie for husband’s otherwise all-black outfit.

12. Pick up best friend and best friend’s fiancé. Drive to Vegas together, sing as loudly and obnoxiously at every opportunity that presents itself.

13. Book bachelorette activity with best friend that doesn’t include booze (AKA a spa treatment).

14. Send husband off with best friend’s fiancé for bachelor brunch that includes cigars and sports book gambling (AKA no strippers).

15. Finish getting ready 20 minutes before you are supposed to be at the chapel. This adds an element of suspense as you cab it over with your very own husband-to-be.

16. Pray that he still wants to marry you even though you’re acting like a psychopath.

17. Meet friends and family at the chapel. We had to pay via credit card in front of everyone and decline the DVD package for the fourth time.

18. Have no idea what you’re doing. We walked hand-in-hand down the aisle together (picture above). My dad was there to walk me down the aisle, but it happens fast and there’s no rehearsal.

19. Don’t laugh during the service. Our reverend made several references to us coming together as one, and both of us were mostly successful not snickering about it.

20. It’s OK to cry. And if you’ve ever been pregnant you know that you can’t stop it from happening anyway.

21. Kiss your new husband. Relish in the way “husband” and “wife” sound.

22. Make sure you’re not a hot mess for pictures. I had my maid-of-honor/best friend help fix my makeup from all the ugly crying.

23. Have friends and family toast to your new marriage. My very thoughtful sister brought me some sparkling cider to toast with.

24. Slowly wait for crowd to disburse. Seriously, not having a reception was awesome because we got to go have a small, casual dinner with my best friend and her man.

25. Enjoy the moment. Even when you’re silently cursing sobriety as everyone else gets inebriated.

26. Have an awesome hotel suite booked for your wedding night.There’s nothing quite like cuddling up with your new spouse on expensive sheets.

27. Enjoy your honeymoon. Make the most of the few months you have alone together before your bundle of joy arrives. Go to fancy restaurants, take naps—all the things you’ll wish you could do in the next five years, give or take.

28. Live happily ever after.

About Joanna McClanahan

Joanna McClanahan is a writer and humorist residing in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, two small kids, and two dogs. Her work has been featured on Scary Mommy, Sammiches & Psych Meds, YourTango, and You can find more from her on Ramblin’ Mama, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

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