How to Tell Friends and Family You’re Eloping
The second you got engaged, you probably started getting comments, suggestions, requests, and straight up demands from everyone around you. Your second cousin wants to know where his invitation is, your grandma wants to know why you won’t wear her dress from the 70s, your mom wants to know why you won’t get married at the venue she picked out. It seems like everyone has something to say about YOUR wedding day. So, after hours of agonizing over seating charts that feel like you’re navigating a minefield and staring at color schemes on Pinterest until your eyes go blurry, you might start to think that maybe you should just elope. If you need a little more convincing, check out this blog post to see if eloping is a good fit for you! And if you’ve already decided to elope, I’m here waving my pom poms and cheering – because you’ve made the decision to do what makes you happy, and I’m all for it. But now, how do you tell your friends and family that you’re eloping?
The first decision you need to make when it comes to telling the people in your life that you’re eloping, is whether you should tell them ahead of time. Do you tell them now, or after you’ve already tied the knot? There are definitely plenty of pros and cons for both.
If you announce your elopement ahead of time, you may open yourself up to unsolicited opinions. If you have a grandmother that’s known for snarky comments or a judgmental cousin, they may not keep their comments to themselves.
On the other hand, by telling people ahead of time that you’re eloping, you give them an opportunity to get involved in different ways – even if they aren’t on the guest list. While it’s totally possible to elope and have the people you love with you, some couples choose to keep their ceremony private, which is totally fine! Your friends and family can still help with dress shopping, elopement planning, and it can be totally fun to have someone to talk to about how excited you are!
My advice for deciding whether to tell your friends and family you’re eloping before you actually elope is to think about what their reactions will be. Choosing a few friends or relatives (who know how to keep secrets!) is a great way to let people in on this part of your life. But, by telling just a few people about your plans, you’re also protecting yourselves from having to be in defense mode when it comes to people questioning your decision.
Even the most supportive people in your life might be a little disappointed when they learn that your wedding plans don’t include them. And that’s okay! They’re entitled to their feelings, but even more than that, you’re entitled to a wedding day that’s exactly what you want. So, when you’re telling your friends and family that you’re eloping, here are a few ways to help them understand where you’re coming from.
Eloping is a relatively new thing – people might just not get it! When you talk to your friends and family, tell them why you’ve decided to elope. Whether it’s the fact that you didn’t want the stress of wedding planning, the hefty price tag turned you off, you weren’t keen on being the center of attention, or that eloping just felt right, share that! Whatever your reasons are for choosing to elope, if you explain them to your friends and family, it will help them understand your decision.
When you’re telling your friends and family that you’re eloping, tell them what you’re planning! Even if you haven’t got it all figured out yet, talking about where you want to go, what you want to do, and all the adventures you’re going to have is bound to get them stoked. This will show them that this is truly what’s right for you, and the excitement will rub off. Because so many people don’t even know what an elopement is, or they still think of it as a rushed wedding in a Vegas chapel, hearing about what an elopement truly is and what it means to you will help them understand.
If you decide not to tell anyone that you’re eloping, or you decide to just tell a few people, here are some fun ways to announce your elopement after the knot is tied!
Imagine the look on your parents’ faces when they answer a call from you and you’re on top of a mountain, wearing a wedding dress! Facetiming your friends or your family after the ceremony can be a really fun way to share the news while you’re still feeling the adrenaline after tying the knot!
It’s kind of like a save-the-date, but backwards! The date’s already happened, and you’re already married! Printing and mailing some “We Eloped” cards (using your sweet elopement photos of course) can be a fun way to let the people closest to you in on the big news.
Guess what, you can have your cake and eat it too! Elope in private, and then throw a party after. If you like the idea of tying the knot in an epic location and keeping your vows between the two of you, but still want to celebrate with everyone, a reception can be the perfect way to do that. Add an invite to those “We Eloped” announcement cards!
There’s no doubt that when people hear you got married in the mountains (or on the beach, in the desert, in the forest) they’re going to want to see photos of this! While most people’s wedding photos involve the classic poses and traditional venues, yours are going to be way more unique – try not to rub it in, though :)
Ultimately, the way that you get married is entirely up to you. No one else’s opinions on your decision really matter. It can be hard to remember that if the people around you aren’t supportive, but do your best to remind them that this is supposed to be the best day of your life – and if the best day of your life involves scenic views and solitude, that’s great! Eloping is a brave decision, and if you’ve decided to make your wedding day about you, you’re pretty badass in my book. You got this!
Adventure elopement photographer, planner, charcuterie expert and artist living in the good ol' PNW.