Anytime. The decision to elope is based on any number of things, such as not wanting to plan a huge shindig friends and family from all over the country must attend. Whatever your reasons for wanting to elope, they are yours and yours alone. You do not owe anyone anything, no matter how bad or guilty they try to make you feel (and shame on them for doing so). If you elope and your family throws a fit, consider having a casual reception event to settle everyone’s feathers. Weddings are about two people in love, not what their friends and family want. The people around you should be able to understand that. If they can’t, it’s their problem.
Planning a wedding can be very stressful and time-consuming, not to mention expensive. Get hitched by Elvis in Vegas, go to city hall, let a sea captain marry you…do whatever your want. It’s your wedding and your decision. Period. Again, you can always have an event after the deed is done. It is much less expensive and a great way to celebrate your commitment. Make it as low-key or not as you want—have it at a favorite haunt, banquet hall, garden venue, or your own backyard. Most of all, have fun!