3 Tips for Telling Your Family You’re Eloping

Eloping couple lies in the grass near the ocean before saying their vows. Visit www.loveplustravel.com to book your elopement photographer.

Your wedding day should be a true representation of you as a couple. It can be difficult when friends and family have their own ideas about how you should get married.

In recent years, elopements and smaller, intimate weddings have been gaining in popularity. The stigma of the word “elope” is slowly fading from an outdated notion of running away to marry in secret to a more modern definition. For me eloping is a conscious decision a couple makes to design a day centered around the things that matter most to them which can be reflected in the people, places and activities included in their special day.

So, you’ve decided that a more intimate wedding experience would be right up your alley…now what? How do you tell friends and family that you’ve chosen to elope? It’s not an easy assignment. Like you, your parents have likely been brought up with a specific idea of what a wedding should look like and, more often than not, they have been looking forward to the day when their child gets married. Still, this is your wedding, the beginning of your life together and, ultimately, you should decide how you want that day to look and feel. Here are my top three tips for breaking the news:

Tip # 1 – Your “Why” for Eloping

One of the things that I think can really help is for you and your partner to get very clear on why you are choosing this experience. The better you know the reason that this decision feels like you, the easier it will be to explain. If you’re not really sure what your why is, try going through this blog about reasons people elope. You may recognize one of the reasons on this list as your why or it might help you really think about what it is for you, as a couple, that makes this the right choice.

The bottom line is, if you want to help your loved ones be as excited as you are, you need to be able to help them understand your reasons.

Tip #2 – Tell them you’re eloping in person

Whenever possible, tell them in person (or at least over video chat). This will help them to see the expression on your faces and be able to read the look of happiness and overwhelming peace that you have with this decision. Set aside enough time to really explain that why and, if you’re comfortable, how you came to that decision so they can go on that journey with you and arrive at the same conclusion.

Tip #3 – Leave room for everyone to have their feelings

This is the hardest part and I hope that most people in your life will be ready to support your decision! I know it can feel strange that someone could object to or have reservations about what you know to be the right choice. Often, friends and family just need some time. You may have needed some convincing and/or reassurance too when you started down this road. I am the biggest proponent of couples having the day they want but please keep in mind that since you got engaged or even longer as I mentioned before, they were probably looking forward to their version of your day.

If you’re choosing to elope, maybe your father won’t be walking you down the aisle in the same way he imagined. If you’ve decided on a small, intimate wedding with no wedding party since there will be so few guests, your best friend was super excited to be your maid of honor but won’t get that chance.

We all move through the world with our own perspective on things so prepare yourself for some push back and leave room for people to have their feelings. Hopefully, with a little time, they will realize that if it makes you happy, they can get onboard.


 Also, please be kind to yourself if your feelings are hurt by others’ reactions. It’s natural to feel that let down when expectations don’t meet up. Fingers crossed it’s just because they love you so much and had imagined a different day for you. Give them time to adjust to the idea.


The bottom line is, whatever kind of day, claim it! You deserve to have everything you want on your special day. I would be honored to talk to you about capturing your day so feel free to reach out and let me know how I can help. There’s room for everyone in the love + travel family!

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