Collage of two wedding photos of couples.

You know the feeling: , eyes sparkling, a swing to your gait. All your friends called it out when they said you were blooming; you’re in love! Back then, getting married on a whim was frowned upon. Today, running away to elope is a romantic expression of love and passion you only thought was possible in movies. Read about these real-life fairytale stories from four Filipinas who ran away for love.

Love Found in Common Ground

Molly Callaway is a Filipino-American who fell in love with another Filipino-American. Sometimes, finding familiarity and connecting with someone who grew up the same way can be a respite. “We wanted to start a family. Coming from similar backgrounds that valued traditional family values made it easier,” Molly says.

While eloping is a decision she admittedly regrets, Molly and Josh are now happily raising their son together. In fact, she believes he is the reason she and Josh found each other. “I believe we found each other so my awesome son could be born,” she shares.

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Fuss-free and Meant to Be

Bianca Corpuz married Dominic, her long-time college boyfriend of 13 years. Their decision to elope was not a result of a passionate impulse, but a practical one. “We wanted to focus on what was truly important – us! We opted for a solemn union without the stress of planning or the distraction of a big wedding,” Bianca explains.

Bianca was a at the time and her then fiancée was a healthcare worker. Despite their demanding jobs, they managed to make things work. “There was no intense thought or the kind of meticulous orchestration you’d expect from a traditional Filipino wedding, but we still had to figure out logistics because I was based in Abu Dhabi, while he was in Los Angeles. I picked my little white dress from Nordstrom, and we bought Dominic’s and my dad’s suits two days before the ceremony,” she shares.

The glitz and glam of a grand ceremony can be nice, but for Bianca and Dominic, the essence of a wedding lies in each other. “At the end of the day, is about the couple and their lifelong commitment to each other, and an intimate celebration worked for us,” Bianca shares.

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Keeping Traditions Alive

Like Bianca, Gelyn Welles didn’t care for the bells and whistles of a . But even if her ceremony was a small and private one, it was no easy task. “Thomas and I met while we were both living in Shanghai. Because of our status and tedious paperwork, we ended up having our civil , which was gorgeous, so it was a win-win,” Gelyn says.

Having their loved ones present on their special day was important to Gelyn and Thomas, but it was not an option at the time. The decision to elope legitimized their love for each other without wasting time. They eventually had a church wedding for years later in Germany to honor their families and keep tradition alive.

“Thomas and I are from Catholic families, so we knew getting married in church would be very important to our parents. We had the big celebration with our family and friends present at a church ceremony later,” she adds

Love Doesn’t Waste Time

For Krisna Birakos and Jason, her fiancée at the time, marriage was about fulfilling his grandmother’s wish. Jason’s grandmother was 98, and it was her wish to see her grandson tie the knot. “We both wanted to prioritize an intimate, low-key experience. Other than that, his grandmother’s wish was to see him get married,” says Krisna.

Time won’t always be on your side. A big wedding ceremony requires months, sometimes even years of planning. Couples who elope find a way to make things happen quickly.

Love can sweep you off your feet and make you do things you never thought you would, like getting hitched on the spot. Lovers who elope know that pushes people to do unconventional things. Choosing to celebrate your union by having a small, private ceremony can also make the celebration more meaningful and intimate. Whatever the reason, your wedding should come second to why you’re getting married in the first place – being with the one you love.