So, you decided to elope! You’re DOIN’ ITTT! For you and your fiance, stoke is probably at an all-time high and I don’t blame you one bit – this is such a big and exciting decision!
But if you’re worried everyone in your life won’t feel the same way, keep reading for some tips + insight on how to tell family and friends you’re eloping.
There are two times you can tell friends and family: before you elope, or after. What is right for you depends on many factors: family dynamics, who you’re inviting, etc.
If you’re ‘formally’ engaged (proposal, ring, the whole nine yards), you probably have people pestering you on the daily about when and where you’re getting married. Maybe they say something like ‘I can’t wait to see you walk down the aisle!’ or ‘I haven’t gotten a Save the Date yet..’.
To avoid people making assumptions about your wedding, get out in front of it – let people know you’re keeping it simple and small.
If you didn’t do a formal engagement and have decided to get married anyways, telling people about your plan to elope is kind of like an engagement announcement – have fun with it! Share it on social media or through mail announcements that you’re eloping on XX date.
If you just know that your mom or aunt is going to throw a fit that you’re not having a big wedding and inviting the whole family…it might be best to share the exciting news with them after it happens.
I’ll be honest, I don’t think this is the best option for most people. Transparency and trust go a long way, and it’s possible that not telling people you’re eloping beforehand could result in some very hurt people. That said, it doesn’t mean this can never be a good option for some couples. You know your friends and family better than I do, just be careful.
The rest of this article is for couples who tell their friends and family about their elopement beforehand, but scroll towards the end if you want a script example on how to tell people you already eloped!
This isn’t the kind of news you want important people to hear through the grapevine. Once you’ve decided to elope, call up (or meet up with) your parents, grandparents, besties and all your other MVPs to let them in on the exciting news!
Hopefully, your MVPs are stoked for you and aren’t salty about your decision – let them be excited with you! And if they’re not too pleased with your decision at first, if they see how excited you are, how could they not be happy for you?!
There’s a good chance you’re the first person they know that’s decided to elope. When you tell people the reason(s) behind your decision, they’re more likely to understand where you’re coming from and why this is the best way for you to get married.
Some examples of why couples choose to elope:
And while it’s nice to share a bit about why you decided to elope, don’t feel like you need to defend your choice to anyone.
“But you’re grandmother is going to be so disappointed!!!!” Welp, what are you supposed to say to that.
I’m going to go out on a limb and say you are not a person who is eloping to be spiteful and hurt everyone close to you. You two made this decision because it’s what feels right for you for a number of reasons, not to hurt people or cause drama. And while you appreciate the sentiment that grandma wants to see you get married, you have decided to elope and that’s that.
This is your life and your wedding; if you tell them your decision and they choose not to ‘accept’ it – that’s on them, not you. You don’t need to tolerate people making you feel guilty for making the best decision for you and your relationship.
But hey, maybe you’re open to including grandma (or other friends and fam) in the wedding process and just not on the wedding day. There are so many ways to do just that!
A classic – wedding dress or suit shopping! Gather the crew, head to the mall, a boutique, a thrift store, whatever suits your fancy and try on some attire options for your big day! Make it a day by grabbing some food and drinks before or afterwards.
My personal favorite: have friends and/or family write letters for you to read during or after your ceremony. This is such a sweet way for your biggest supporters to share their excitement for you and makes them feel included on your day. Bonus: it often leads to sentimental moments between you two, and makes for beautiful photos
If you’re getting married somewhere with internet connection, you can stream your ceremony to the folks back home! This was a super popular option during peak pandemic times, and I think it’s here to stay. It’s such a great way to share the ceremony with loved ones in real-time, while still allowing you to do your thing.
Pre or Post Elopement Celebration
Let’s party! Happily Ever After Party, that is. Sure, you wanted to get married just the two of you. But if you’re having FOMO from celebrating with your favorite people, you can still opt to host a small reception, get-together, nice dinner, backyard barbeque, bowling party, etc. to celebrate!
Hey friend! You’re an important person in my life so I wanted to let you know about the exciting news – we are planning on eloping in Maui over Christmas! We want a wedding day that’s laid back with just our parents and closest friends. We hired an amazing photographer – I can’t wait to share the photos with you [at the reception we’re hosting afterwards] or [we should grab a drink afterwards and I can tell you all about it]!
Hey friend! You’re an important person in my life so I wanted to let you know about the exciting news – we are planning on eloping in Bali this summer! We want a wedding day that’s laid back, no fuss, just the two of us and we are so stoked. We hired an amazing photographer – I can’t wait to share the photos with you [at the reception we’re hosting afterwards] or [we should grab a drink afterwards and I can tell you all about it]!
Hey friend! You’re an important person in my life so I wanted to let you know about the exciting news – we eloped in Joshua Tree last weekend! Here are some preview photos our photographer sent us – I can’t wait to share more with you! The day was such a dream and exactly what we were looking for – laid back, no fuss, just the two of us.
That is so sweet that you want to come to our wedding, but we are keeping it [small with only our two closest friends] or [just the two of us] because that’s what feels right for us. We hired an amazing photographer – I can’t wait to share the photos with you [at the reception we’re hosting afterwards] or [we should grab a drink afterwards and I can tell you all about it]!
There ya have it, friend! The bottom line about telling friends and family you’re eloping is this: the way you get married is your decision. Hopefully, people in your life are supportive of your choice to elope, but I know that isn’t always the case. Either way, I hope at the very least they respect your decision. And if not, that’s okay.
January 28, 2022