Telling Family You’re Eloping
You’ve got it all figured out (well, a little bit figured out). You’re ditching the traditional wedding, and having your own adventure instead!
Marrying your best friend in an epic location, spending the day hiking, picnicking, soaking in a hot spring, running on the beach, or….
But there’s just one problem…
How to tell your family you’re eloping. If the thought of breaking the news and announcing your elopement is making you do a cartoon-Esque *gulp*, or even if it’s making you just the tiniest bit nervous because you aren’t sure what the reaction will be, I’m here to help! We’ll talk about how to tell your family you’re eloping, tips to prepare, and ways to break the news.
Before you figure out how to tell your family you’re eloping… I recommend asking yourself a few questions, and doing a few things to prepare yourself!
The first thing you should decide is whether you’ll be inviting your family to the elopement, and who’s on the guest list. “We’re eloping, but you can come!” might go a little bit differently than “we’re eloping, but we want to share that experience between just the two of us.”
Talk to your partner, and have an honest conversation about how you envision your day. Remember – if you want it to be just the two of you, it’s not selfish, and you aren’t being mean! There are lots of reasons that couples decide to elope with no guests or very few guests, and the bottom line is that this is the day you get married, and it should go exactly how you want it to.
If you decide that your elopement is a “just us” thing, there are still ways to include your family in the celebration! You can invite them to shop for dresses or suits with you, ask them to go cake tasting, include them by asking for help planning, let them throw a reception or an engagement party, or even have that spreadsheet-loving sibling help you make a budget.
But, it’s a good idea to decide ahead of time how involved you want your family to be. Telling them about things you do want them to be involved in when you announce your elopement can help them feel more okay with the decision and will make them feel included. It’s also good to set expectations to ensure your boundaries don’t get pushed later!
Another thing to do before you decide how to tell your family you’re eloping is to figure out your “why.” This means figuring out why this decision is the right one for you. Also how to put that into words! There are a lot of reasons that couples choose to elope, and you probably already know what yours are. But it’s often harder to articulate those feelings. Try talking through it with your partner, and really being able to explain why you made this decision.
The reason this is so important is that telling this to your family when you announce your elopement will be so helpful! Especially if they don’t really know what it means to elope – if they’re still thinking about courthouses and Vegas chapels – explaining your why, and talking about some of your plans will help a ton. It can help them better understand elopements and better understand you, and just seeing how excited you are, how much this means to you, and that you’ve really thought this through, will often help even the more stubborn family members warm up to the idea!
When you tell your family you’re eloping, it’s so important to go into the conversation with an open heart, and to empathize with how they may be feeling. It can definitely feel frustrating if your family members push back on your decision. Keep in mind that if they were really hoping for a big wedding, and looking forward to all those traditional wedding day preparations, it’s understandable that they’re disappointed.
Preparing yourself for your family members’ reactions is important because it’ll help you know how to handle the situation firmly but kindly, and also ensure that you’re able to stand your ground at the moment!
You likely already have some idea of how they’ll react – so if you have a feeling they’ll be on board right away, you can relax a little! If you know they’ll be bummed but supportive, prepare yourself to explain your decision. Let them know that it’s not about excluding them. And if you anticipate some negative reactions, get yourself ready to stand your ground!
Especially if you’re someone who has a hard time being assertive. If you expect to have to defend yourself, practice talking about your elopement and think about how you’ll respond. The best way to get people to soften is with understanding. Be kind and acknowledge their feelings, but don’t forget that this is your decision, and you deserve to get married the way you want to.
Now that you’re ready to handle anything that might come from the announcement. Here are some ideas for how to tell your family you’re eloping!
The first way is the old-fashioned way – just telling your family you’re eloping in person. Face-to-face, or over video chat if in person isn’t an option. They’ll likely appreciate this more than they would a text. This allows them to ask questions, and allows you to explain and talk about your decision!
Some couples do a fun elopement announcement – they send a card in the mail. You can do this either before the big day, or even do a “we eloped!” announcement after the knot is tied. If you want to celebrate with your family, you can send an invitation to the reception to announce the elopement!
When it comes to how to tell your family you’re eloping, you don’t have to do a grand announcement or a dramatic reveal. You can also just keep things casual. For people who’ve known for a while that a big wedding isn’t for them, something as simple as dropping hints, or saying that you don’t envision a traditional wedding for yourself can be a great way to set expectations ahead of time. You can even show your family your favorite elopement photographer’s Instagram, to get them warmed up to the idea before you tell them you’re eloping! This way, they’ll likely already know what to expect.
Social media is a great way to reach friends or family members that you aren’t close with, and sharing photos from your day is a great way to announce that you eloped! For closer family members, sharing your entire gallery is a great way to help them feel included. Seeing the photos is the next best thing to having been there. It is my favorite thing to do after telling family you’re eloping.
Your elopement photos should document the experience, and capture the two of you and your authentic connection.
READY TO ELOPE?
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