Here’s the truth – somewhere along the line, weddings became something that you’re expected to do for everyone else. It became a show that you put on for all your guests, and a party that everyone but the couple gets to enjoy.
So when you decide that you want to let go of all the pressure, the stress, and the expectations, when you decide that you want to elope, people are bound to have some opinions. Grandmothers might clutch their pearls at the thought, parents might say you’re being selfish, friends might wonder why you’ve deprived them of the chance to drink champagne and dance all night.
But eloping isn’t selfish, and your wedding day should never be about anyone but you and your partner. If the big white wedding isn’t for you, and you’d rather start your marriage off with an adventure, eloping might be the right choice. But how do you get your family on board? How do you convince people that you aren’t maliciously leaving them out?
Here are my tips on how to tell your friends and family you’re eloping!
When Should You Tell Them?
Some couples choose to announce their plans right after the engagement, while others hold off and break the news after the knot’s already been tied. There are definitely pros and cons to both methods, but here’s my advice.
If you tell people ahead of time, you may be opening yourself up to unsolicited opinions and advice. If you have a grandmother who can’t keep snarky comments to herself or a judgemental aunt, it may be best to keep the news to yourself.
On the other hand, if you tell your friends and family about your plans, that gives them the opportunity to get involved in the planning process. Even those that don’t make the guest list (if there’s a guest list at all) will feel great being in on the fun, and they’ll feel included.
I recommend choosing a few people to let in on your plans. Think about who is going to be supportive and who isn’t, what kind of reactions you’ll get, and how comfortable you feel handling those reactions.
How to Break the News
There are a ton of fun ways to tell your friends and family you eloped. Whether you keep it simple or plan an extravagant surprise, the options are endless! Here are a few ways that you can let them know, and some ways to get the people you love on board.
Tell Them in Person
Or if face to face isn’t an option, go for Facetime to Facetime. They’ll appreciate you making things more personal (as opposed to finding out from a social media post), but this will also give you the opportunity to explain your plans, your reasons, and how you feel. If your friends and family can see the excitement on your face and hear the stoked-ness in your voice, they’ll realize that you’re making the best decision for you, and they’ll be more likely to support your choice.
Talk About Your Plans
A lot of people don’t really know what eloping means – they may still think of it as running off to Vegas to get married in a quickie ceremony at a rhinestone chapel. If that’s the picture they have when you say, “we’re eloping,” it’s no wonder they might be a little skeptical.
But if you tell them about what eloping really means to you, tell them about the beautiful places you’re planning to explore, the incredible location where you’ll say your vows to each other, the epic adventures you’re going to have, your friends and family will have a much easier time understanding why you’ve decided to elope. They’ll see how excited you are, and enthusiasm is infectious!
Involve Them in Elopement Planning
Even if your friends and family won’t be there on your elopement day, there are still tons of ways that you can get them involved and help them feel included! Plus, planning even a small ceremony can be stressful, so having people to bounce ideas off of and ask for advice can help you relax. You can ask your friends to come dress shopping with you, ask your parents for help choosing a ceremony location, and anything else that you may need a second opinion on – because sometimes decisions are hard!
How to Tell Friends and Family You Eloped – After You’ve Done It!
If you decide to keep things under wraps until you’ve already tied the knot, here are a few ideas for how to break the news!
Call Them From Your Ceremony
Imagine the surprise on your loved one’s faces when you Facetime them from an epic location and tell them that you just got married! This can be a really fun way to share the news while you’re feeling the excitement.
Send Out “We Eloped” Announcements
It’s like a save-the-date, but after the date’s already happened. You’ll have your epic elopement photos to go with your announcement, so get some cards printed and pop them in the mail!
Plan a Reception
If you chose to elope on your own, you can still have the best of both worlds and throw a big party later! Some people invite family to the ceremony and have a friends-only reception, others have a private ceremony and invite all their loved ones to the party afterwards. Whether your reception happens right after your ceremony, a few days later, or even months after the big day, it’s a great way to include your friends and family and celebrate the news with them!
If you are considering involving your family and friends on your elopement – check out this full post to get you started on ideas to include them!
Share Your Elopement Photos
You’re going to have the most epic wedding photos of all time – instead of a venue in the background, you’re going to have incredible scenery and gorgeous landscapes. When your friends and family see those photos, they’ll definitely understand why you chose to elope. Send your photos to your loved ones directly, and make a “we eloped” announcement for everyone else on social media!
Remember That This is Your Day
No matter what you decide and how you choose to tell your friends and family you’re eloping, remember that this is all about you. This is your wedding day, your marriage, and your decision. Do what feels right to you, and don’t let anyone make you question your choice to elope!
Ready to start planning an incredible, one of a kind day? Contact me!