How to tell your family you’re eloping

Making the decision to elope can be a scary choice – it’s hard to break away from expectations and traditions! A lot of couples worry about what their loved ones will think, and this fear can lead to people pleasing, and ending up planning a party for everyone else to enjoy. But, your wedding day should be about you! So if you’ve decided that an adventurous day spent exploring sounds more like your cup of tea, here’s how to tell your family you’re eloping – without hurt feelings and backlash.

When Should You Tell Your Family You’re Eloping?

Some couples choose to keep things completely to themselves, and others let everyone in on the plan! You can totally elope with your family there, or with no guests at all. Decide what feels right to you, then it’s time to break the news.

1) Telling Them After You’ve Eloped

You can tie the knot in private and let your family know after the deed is already done! This can be helpful for couples who know they’ll get a lot of pushback about their decision, or couples who want to elope with no guests.

2) Telling Them Before You Elope

When you’re thinking about how to tell your family you’re eloping, there can be some benefits to letting them in the loop ahead of time too! Eloping is so exciting, and it can be really fun to share that with the people you love. But, it’s also stressful – planning even a small ceremony can be a lot of work, and it can be helpful to share that too! Leaning on your family for support or advice can help make things a little less overwhelming.

If you tell your family you’re eloping ahead of time, you can also include them in the elopement – even if they aren’t invited to the ceremony. You can still have those fun moments shopping for wedding attire, going to cake tastings, and looking at color schemes – they’ll appreciate being included, and being part of the excitement is likely to help them see why you’ve decided to elope!

how to tell your family you're eloping

How to Tell Your Family You’re Eloping

After you’ve decided when and if you’re telling your family you’re eloping, the next step is figuring out how! Here are some tips to help them go smoothly.

1) Tell Them Why

Eloping is a pretty new thing – and the word still makes a lot of people think of those cheesy courthouse weddings. If that’s the scene they imagine when you tell them you’re eloping, it’s no wonder why they’ll be confused!

So, the first thing I recommend doing is explaining to your loved ones what an elopement actually is. That you aren’t just running off and doing a quick ceremony because you don’t want to put the time, money, or effort into planning a wedding. You’re doing it because you want a wedding day that reflects who you are, and you want a day that you’ll treasure forever.

2) Tell Them About Your Plans

Even if you don’t have anything set in stone yet, telling your family about what you’re thinking and dreaming up for your elopement day can help a ton. I recommend doing all of this face to face (or at least on a video call), as this will give them the opportunity to ask questions, and to see how truly excited you are.

Tell them about the amazing places you’re thinking about for your ceremony, and all the adventures you’ll have on your elopement day. Help them understand why this is better (for you) than a traditional wedding!

3) Plan an Engagement Party

If you want your elopement day to yourself, but still want to celebrate with your loved ones, you can still have a party to celebrate the engagement! Especially if there’s a family member who you know would love to plan it, letting them take the lead can help them feel included.

4) Remember – This is Your Wedding Day!

Especially if your family isn’t supportive of the idea, or they’re disappointed about your decision, it can be hard to stand your ground. But remember, this is about you! No one has the right to make decisions about how you get married except you and your partner. Eloping isn’t selfish, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!

how to tell your family you've eloped

How to Tell Your Family You’ve Eloped

If you decide to tell your family you’ve eloped – after you’ve already done it – here are some tips and ideas!

1) Plan a Reception

You can also do this earlier, but planning a reception to celebrate your elopement is a great way to have the day to yourself, and still get to celebrate with your friends and family! There are no rules when it comes to eloping – so who says you can’t have the best of both worlds?

2) Mail Elopement Announcements

Physical mail is always more fun than a text or an email! If you print some elopement announcements (after you’ve gotten your photos back, of course), you can pop them in the mail and let everyone know you tied the knot.

3) Document the Day

Since your loved ones may not be at your elopement, it’s extra important to document the entire day! After your elopement, you’ll be able to send them an entire gallery full of stunning photos. Seeing those mountain views, or desert landscapes, or ocean waves, or whatever backdrop you’ve chosen, they’ll understand why you decided to elope! And seeing the entire day, they’ll understand that your wedding day wasn’t about a quick ceremony – it was about spending the day doing what you love.

You’re going to need a photographer to capture all those moments – so reach out! We can start planning your day, and I’ll be cheering for you and your brave decision to elope the entire time.

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