How to Tell Your Family & Friends You’re Eloping

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Getting engaged is an exciting and thrilling experience, and planning a wedding should be completely enjoyable for you both. Though, planning your wedding can become a tricky situation if you aren’t close with your family, have divorced parents who don’t quite get along, or have loved ones navigating their feelings into the process instead of focusing on yours.

On the contrary, maybe you’ve been dreaming about planning your elopement all this time and aren’t quite sure how to share the news with your loved ones. Even though the day is about you, you know sharing your vows privately might be difficult for your loved ones to hear.

If you’ve narrowed down your wedding plans to eloping or aren’t quite sure if this is the right decision for you, welcome to my kind of specialty! The beauty of eloping is that the focus is on you and only the elements that matter the most to you both.

Finalizing and sharing your decision to elope is a whole other battle itself. If you’re not quite sure how to drop the news, here are six ways to tell your family and friends you’re eloping:

Call anyone close to you that isn’t invited to the elopement.

If you are bringing a few family members along to elope or some friends, it’s important to call those that are dear to you but won’t be attending. Why call? It’s polite. It easily lets the news out kindly while being sensitive to their feelings. If you weren’t invited to your best friend’s wedding, you’d want a phone call, too!

If the list is too long to call, you can also send notes in the mail announcing your choice to elope.

2. Update your existing wedding website or create a website for others to follow your elopement.

If you have a wedding website, update the information on the site to let family and friends know you’re eloping. Want them to join digitally? Paste the link to the Zoom call so they can dial in and instructions on how to navigate zoom (maybe grandma hasn’t caught onto the Zoom train yet!). Don’t want anyone present? Let them know you’ll be documenting the entire day through your elopement photographer and will share the photos and videos once you’ve received them. (And if you need an elopement photographer, I may know one!)

If eloping has been your decision from the beginning, creating an elopement website for free on The Knot, Zola, or Wedding Wire is an engaging opportunity for everyone to be involved but not be physically present. Share details of your elopement planning process, ask for best wishes, and photos of your elopement afterward!

3. Politely state why you’re eloping.

While it’s certainly not your intention to offend anyone by eloping, there will be family and friends who will take offense to it. They want to be there to support you! Be very clear but concise with your explanation. For example, you could state, “Our experiences in life are just as important to us as sharing this moment with all of you. For us to be present at this moment completely, we’ve decided to elope, but can’t wait to share our intimate day with you through photos and video!”

4. Throw a photo viewing party after your elopement.

Let your family and friends be part of your adventure by inviting them to a viewing party of your elopement photos either in person or through Zoom. You can do this right after the elopement or when the time is best for you.

5. Surprise your family with an heirloom album.

Digital photos are great, but physical prints of your elopement in a beautifully designed album will allow your family to not only experience your elopement but also know you were thinking of them while exchanging vows.

6. You don’t have to tell anyone you’re eloping.

If sharing your decision before you elope is going to cause even more stress during the planning process, then don’t. It’s your choice to marry, not theirs, and part of the reason couples choose to elope is to reduce the stress and drama. Sometimes, ripping off the bandaid after you’ve eloped, while it may be shocking for family to hear, is the only way you’ll have a day that’s truly yours without the opinions of others.

Now that you know how to tell your family to elope, check out my post here on what to expect when you do tell your family.