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EST. May 2000 (AD)




The Runaway Bride - Tips and Tricks for a Clean Pre-Wedding Getaway

By Robin Whitsell

You must be familiar with this feeling: the crushing weight of the world resting squarely on your under-fed, over-exercised, self-tanned shoulders. Pesky friends and relatives are calling you relentlessly with tiring questions about the cake, the dresses, your shoes, your hair. Your husband-to-be can't stop talking about his buddies and the stripper they are not going to hire (sure) and his guys-night-out. And, worst of all, your father has a running tally of every cent he has spent and will be spending for the "happiest day of his life." What's a girl to do?

Run. Fast and hard. No matter where you are in the US, you can probably make it to Vegas by sundown.

Just in time for the wedding season, here are some tips and tricks for a runaway bride.

Distribute False Information in Advance

About a week before you bolt, make sure that many flattering and recent photos of yourself are distributed among your friends and family members. This serves several purposes. For example, when you completely change your look you will not be recognized. In addition, you don't want some horrific image of yourself blasted all over the media and showing up repeatedly on the Internet. Rather your glamour shot will be how they remember and refer to you, trés magnifique!

Get the Big-time Makeover

The big day is coming. No, not wedding day, silly. Get-the-hell-outa-Dodge day! Now is not the time for a little trim or some chunky highlights. Now is the time for a big new look, a your-mamma-wouldn't-know you look. Think drastic: shaved head or fuchsia, green or sky blue hair, full body tattoo, amputation of your left ear… Aim for anything that is going to make you totally unrecognizable to anyone who sees the glamour shot image you conveniently provided last week splashed across their TV.

Hide Your Tracks.

You can start out somewhere well-known like Vegas, LA, New York, etc. but then you will need to find a less obvious refuge. Go for the obscure or the ugly: Bismarck, North Dakota, Hoboken, New Jersey, anywhere in West Texas. Not only will no one look for you there or find you, no one in their right mind would want to go there to bring you home.

Leave a Catchy Note

Unless you're looking for law enforcement to eviscerate your fiancé, now is the time to leave a note. Go with something cute like "no offense, I just couldn't do this" and include helpful suggestions like "since the party is already paid for, feel free to carry on without me." Be sure to continue your false information dissemination with hints to look for you in Mexico or Iceland. And, most importantly, unless jail time is your ultimate goal, ask your friends and family members not to call local law enforcement, the feds, the Mounties or the Federales.

Run, Girl! Run!

The day has come. It's time for your departure. Hop a train, catch a bus, flag down a ship, or hang out in an airport for an extraordinarily long period of time until your much-delayed flight is available. Be sure to pack light and to wear shoes that allow a stealth and speedy exit.

It's important to make your run as individual and exciting as you are. With a little planning and following these important tips, your friends and family will be talking about your great escape for years to come!

©2005 Robin Whitsell


Robin Whitsell is a freelancer writer living in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She usually writes for serious publications which gets a wee bit tedious. She didn't plan a media-frenzy inducing, pre-wedding run and hence is happily married instead of sitting on a half million dollar book deal.



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