How to Elope Without Freaking Your Family Out (BONUS: FREE Downloadable Eloped Wedding Announcement Wording)
If you haven’t noticed by now, elopements tend to bring up a lot of emotions in people. From family members to friends, even co-workers & strangers! Your decision to elope will most likely cause a sideways glance or two. So how do you elope without causing complications between you and your loved ones? Hopefully these tips will help you navigate the (sometimes) choppy waters!
Think about it. Eloping means you deny your dad the chance to walk his baby girl down the aisle. Your mother won’t be able to take you dress shopping or cake testing or help you plan the big day. Your best friend no longer has the chance to give a super embarrassing speech about the time you made out with that skinny boy named Arlo at the lake, and your two-year-old niece will no longer be your flower girl.
For some couples, eloping has everything to do with escaping from family and friends, but for many, deciding to elope is about focusing on you as a couple and not necessarily about leaving anyone out. If you’ve decided to elope but still want to have your family involved in the excitement, we’ve got a few ideas that will both keep the peace when you drop the news that you’re getting hitched without them as well as make them feel valued and a part of your day.
So, is there a way to elope without offending every single person you know?
Probably not. But you could tell them to suck it up and get over it, or you can try and minimize the damage as much as possible. We’ve put together some tips and handy information on how to elope without upsetting everyone you know (unless you actually want to of course).
1. Preach what you (plan to) practice:
Yes, I know that saying is reversed. But here’s why: Even though eloping is becoming more and more commonplace as wedding costs rise, it’s still considered an nontraditional route to go. Which means that while you are comfortable taking the road less traveled, you shouldn’t knock those who aren’t. This might sound harsh, but I bring this up because I recently read an article in which the author talked about why she eloped, and why “you should, too!” She mentioned how she didn’t want a large wedding because she wanted the wedding day to be about the “marriage” (somehow alluding to how other weddings aren’t?). She also relayed “frantic” stories of how stressed-out her friends were who had planned a larger wedding, while she, of course, wasn’t.
Your choice to have a larger wedding, or not, is just that…your choice. Let me say that again. Choosing to elope is YOUR choice. And BOTH should be based on what you want to do, rather than some manufactured idea of what’s right and wrong with the other. You might not agree with someone’s choice, but as the old saying goes…you should defend everybody elses right to say (or in this case, do) it. This is true not only for the family and friends of a couple who has decided to elope, but the eloping couple themselves.
2. Tell your parents, closest family members, and friends BEFORE the wedding:
The word “elope” technically means to “run off secretly to be married, usually without the consent or knowledge of one’s parents.” Today, however, it generally means getting married as a consenting adult with a witness and an officiant in attendance. While you might prefer the original definition and choose to surprise everybody with the good news AFTER your elopement, it’s always a good idea to let those you love (especially your parents, if you’re close to them) know about your plans BEFOREHAND so they can feel as much a part of it as possible. They might not be able to be there, but knowing it’s happening might be good enough to keep them (and you!) happy.
4. Consider an intimate brunch, cocktail, or dinner party to celebrate:
A lot of brides eloping might think it’s silly to throw a wedding party when they eloped to avoid one, but if you have friends and family who would love to see you and congratulate you (and it’s easier to do this with everybody all in one place), then consider participating in or throwing a casual (or fancy) get-together. It could be a potluck at your Aunt’s, or a dinner party at your friend’s house (maybe the feeling left out MOH?), or a brunch made by your mother who can’t wait to invite her friends to share the good news. Or it could be all three. Nothing stressful. Nothing over-the-top. Just a chance to get together after the fact and toast your nuptials. Besides, this is a great occasion to pop lots of bubbly!
5. Send a marriage announcement after your elopement:
It can be nice to take a more traditional route in this situation and send out nice marriage announcement through the mail to all your friends and family. Some people might be wondering what happened to your engagement or if they're getting a save-the-date soon.
A marriage announcement lets people know that you've already gotten hitched and it's the perfect opportunity to showcase some of those gorgeous intimate photos you captured on your special day. This is a chance to include any photos you have from the elopement itself, and it allows you to express your new status in a slightly more personal way, while saving the dozens of repetitive conversations at family holidays.
And of course, there's always the chance your recipients will send back a reply in the form of presents.
Whether you’re planning to elope or planning a big wedding, getting married should be as stress free as possible for everyone involved, especially you!
Download a Free Copy of our Post Elopement Wedding Announcement Wording for information & tips on announcing your marriage graciously!
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