How to Tell Your Family and Friends You’re Eloping

Let’s face it – there are a lot of expectations when it comes to weddings. It seems like as soon as a couple gets engaged, people start giving opinions, advice, and straight up demands for what they think the wedding day should look like, where it should be, who should be invited….

And before you know it, your wedding day becomes about everyone but you! Couples worry about pleasing everyone and doing things “right,” but why is this the norm? Why are you expected to make the best day of your life about everyone else?

Add the stress of planning and the expense of throwing a wedding to that, and it’s no wonder why more and more couples are choosing to elope! But if you’ve decided that a traditional wedding isn’t for you, and you’d rather spend your day focusing on each other, it can be difficult to break the news to your loved ones. You may fear disappointing them, but remember – this is about you, and no one else. Except your partner, of course! The decision to elope is personal, and you should never feel bad about doing what’s right for you. So, here are my tips on how to tell your family you’re eloping!

When Should You Tell Your Family and Friends You’re Eloping?

The first question you’ll have to ask yourself is when should you tell them? Let them know the plan before it happens, or keep things under wraps until after the knot is tied? There’s no right or wrong way to tell your family you’re eloping, but there are certainly pros and cons to both!

If you tell your loved ones that you’re eloping ahead of time, you may leave yourself open to criticism and unsolicited opinions. But, keeping people in the loop also gives you the opportunity to include them in the planning process! Planning even a small ceremony can get overwhelming, so it’s definitely nice to have people to turn to when you need advice. Eloping is exciting, and sharing that with people who support you will add so much to that excitement!

My advice is to choose a few people to tell before you elope – make sure they know how to keep a secret! Choose people who you know will be supportive and excited for you, and let them know about your plans.

How to Tell Your Loved Ones – Before the Elopement

If you choose to tell your family and friends you’re eloping before you actually tie the knot, here are a few tips to make breaking the news go a little smoother!

Tell Them in Person

If in person isn’t an option, Facetime works too! While we’ve all been guilty of having difficult conversations through text to avoid awkwardness, telling your loved ones you’re eloping face to face will be much more effective. They’ll get to see how excited you are and how much this means to you, and they’ll have the opportunity to ask questions. Eloping is a relatively new concept – so it can be difficult for people to understand right away. Giving yourself time to explain what this really means to you can be really powerful for getting your family and friends on board!

Talk Details

When you tell your family and friends you’re eloping, get specific! Talk about what you’re actually going to do on your elopement day. There’s a good chance that a lot of them still think elopements happen in Vegas, so by explaining all the amazing places you’re going to see and the adventures you’re going to have, they can start to understand that this really is the best choice for you. Even if you don’t have everything figured out yet, get excited and tell them about your vision! They’ll see how happy this makes you, and how can anyone say no to that?

Include Them in the Planning

After you’ve told your family and friends you’re eloping, you can include them in the planning process! Even if they aren’t invited to the ceremony, they can still help out with dress shopping, choosing the perfect ceremony location, and everything in between. This will take a lot of stress off of you, and it will allow your loved ones to feel included in the big day.

Telling Them After the Elopement

If you decide to keep things a secret, from everyone or from mostly everyone, here are some fun ways to let them know you’ve tied the knot!

Call them from the Ceremony

Imagine your family or your friends picking up your Facetime call and seeing you in wedding attire on top of a mountain! Calling them from your elopement, while your adrenaline is pumping with that “we just got married!” feeling can be a really fun way to announce that you’ve eloped.

Plan a Reception

A lot of couples want their ceremony to be private, but still like the idea of celebrating with all their loved ones. You can have the best of both worlds! After your elopement, you can plan a reception and invite your family and friends to party with you.

Send Out Elopement Announcements

Use those epic photos you got from your elopement and mail out some announcements! Getting physical mail is always exciting, and this is a really fun way to get the news out to your friends and family.

Share Your Photos

After your elopement, you’re going to have the most amazing wedding photos of all time – so while you’re probably going to post the highlights on social media, sending your loved ones a link to the whole gallery is a great way to announce your elopement, or just to share the details of the day! After seeing the amazing backdrops you were in front of on your elopement day, your family and friends are bound to understand why you eloped.
And speaking of photos, you’re going to need a photographer! If you’ve decided to elope and you’re ready to plan your biggest adventure yet, contact me! All my clients receive an exclusive 100+ page elopement guide with even more tips on how to involve (or not involve) your friends and family on your wedding day, so stop on by!