One of the most significant hurdles for eloping couples is how to tell their friends and family that they’ve decided to elope. Concern over hurt feelings or offending a loved one are legitimate worries, but you shouldn’t let these stop you from choosing a wedding day that is true to who you are.
I know a lot of people who regret having a big wedding, but I have never met anyone who regrets eloping.
In ten years, you and your partner will look back on your wedding day, flip through your photo album, and remember how wonderful and authentic this day was. Chances are that your friends and family will rarely, if ever, think about your wedding day after it’s done.
Everyone has a choice for their wedding day, and you deserve to have your day be the best day of your lives.
Below are some tips for how to tell your friends and family of your plans, along with some ideas for how to involve them in your day.
1. Tell them face to face.
I hate awkward conversations as much as the next person, and I completely understand the desire to avoid this conversation if you’re concerned about a negative reaction. But telling your loved ones face to face (or over facetime, zoom, etc.) is the best way to do this.
Having this conversation in person allows them to see and hear how excited you are about your plans. While some friends or family may be hurt that they won’t be part of your day, they ultimately want the best for you, and knowing how happy this decision will make you can help them accept the decision.
You can also start to drop hints before this conversation. If your friends and family already know that a big wedding isn’t for you, this conversation will be easier to have as they won’t be surprised.
2. Be honest and share your reasons.
One of the questions you will likely get after announcing that you’ve decided to elope is, “why?” And my best advice for the answer to this question is to be honest. Make sure that your friends and family understand this isn’t a decision that was made to exclude them from your day, but because this is the type of wedding day that will make you happiest.
A few common reasons are:
Big weddings are expensive and we’d rather spend that money on an experience, down payment, etc.
We want to do something we love on our wedding day (like traveling, hiking, etc.)
We want our wedding day to be focused on us and our love for each other.
We want to avoid the stress of planning a big wedding.
We want to have an incredibly meaningful and intimate wedding day.
3. Share details and keep them involved.
Sharing details about your elopement helps your friends and family feel involved in the day, while also communicating your excitement about your decision. This can also help your loved ones feel involved in the day and know that you still want them included.
A few ideas for involving your friends and family:
Have an engagement party before your elopement or a celebration after your elopement
Ask them to write letters to you that you will read on the morning of your wedding (and make sure your photographer captures your reactions!)
Send them photos and videos during your day
Ask for their help with picking out your wedding attire
Share your wedding photos with them (or even gift them a small wedding album!)
4. Stand your ground and remember that this day is for you.
Remember that any negative reactions to your decision from friends and family say more about them than they do about you. You can be kind and understanding, do your best to keep them involved, and you may still have someone you love be unkind about your decision.
The best advice I can give you here is to stand your ground. Remember why you made this decision in the first place, and don’t let anyone make a decision for you. At the end of the day, a wedding isn’t about the venue, the guests, or the flowers. It’s about celebrating your love.
No matter how you choose to spend your wedding day, I am here to help guide you through the process of eloping. I will be your photographer, your guide, your cheerleader, and your friend on the best day of your life.
Remember, you can make your wedding day whatever you want it to be!
Looking for more tips for planning your day? Check out more blog posts here.