While movies may explore various facets of eloping, they usually do not present the complicated bit. You could end up missing your family, feel really guilty and end up with a lot of practical problems of roti, kapda, makaan. And most importantly – knowing your partner well enough to dive into this decision!
Now, raging hormones might almost make you consider running away with your lover but do not fail to remember that there are laws at work, even when one marries by eloping! In India, as per the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, it is not legal for a girl to get married below the age of 18 years and for a boy to get hitched before he turns 21. So defying parental and societal pressure still leaves you with one more issue to deal with before marrying by elopement: the law of the land!
Very often runaway couples face the problem of being from different religions, castes or regions. In such a case shunning traditional ceremonies for a solemn civil marriage procedure seems most natural. But then it’s a good idea to get your homework done in this regard. The most important thing to ensure in advance is support because court marriages require three witnesses for your marriage who must sign the marriage declaration.
Other conditions for court marriages include not having a living spouse at the time of the court marriage, mental soundness to give consent, being mentally fit to have children, and the relationship must not fall under a list of prohibited relationships by blood or adoption among others specified by The Special Marriage Act, 1954.
Many couples prefer the romance and pomp over traditional marriage ceremonies and solemn court proceedings. But it demands its own homework. Working out the marriage budget, guests, ceremonies, religious rites, etc. are some of the things a runaway couple would do well to look at with the utmost attention to detail, especially now that mummy and papa won’t certainly be helping!
While it’s true that when you truly love someone, you don’t really care about the world. But the world is kind of important. One needs friends, well-wishers to settle down and start a life after marriage. So if the family is not going be provide that cushion for you, see who else can. Are there are any friends, neighbourhood uncle and aunties or colleagues who could help without betraying your trust?
Setting up a home takes time, energy and money and it is always good to have some help at hand and do some advanced planning. Also, the most important thing to pre-plan is the finances. Running away may take a significant toll on your bank balance, and you also won’t have your parents to fall back on. So think of the budgets before the bells, wedding bells that is.