Helpful Ways To Tell Your Family You’re Eloping

happy couple riding a scooter for their elopement on block island. Ways to tell your family you're eloping

How Do I Tell My Family I’m Eloping?

It's important to be honest and direct with your family about your decision to elope. Choose a time and place where you can have a calm and private conversation with them. Explain your reasons for eloping and reassure them that you still value and love them. Be prepared for a range of reactions and emotions, but ultimately remember that this is your decision and your happiness is vital. So, if you're wondering "How Do I Tell My Family I’m Eloping?" This post is for you!

Remember Why You Chose to Elope

Couples choose to elope for a variety of reasons, including wanting a more intimate and private ceremony, avoiding the stress and expense of a traditional wedding, and being able to focus on their love and commitment to each other without distractions or expectations from others.

I have done a few secret elopements and created beautiful slideshows for the couple to share with their family as the surprise announcement! Even if it's not a surprise and your family knows ahead of time, I think they will enjoy seeing how your day went and that it was documented well.  When they see how in love with you and how happy you are, I know their hearts will feel soothed.  While this couple chose not to include their family (personal reasons), they did want a couple of their close friends with them, so they weren't completely alone. I created this slideshow in black and white (all of my sneak peeks are in black and white) and I shared this with them within a week to surprise their family at their "engagement announcement" which turned out to be, "SURPRISE, we eloped!"

Eloping without family can be a difficult decision for some. In order to elope without offending those closest to you, it's important to remember that marriage is an intimate and personal commitment and you have the right to choose how exactly you wish to get married. That being said, there will be people who may not agree with this decision but that's okay - it's your day and discussion of elopement etiquette should come secondary. Ultimately, it is important to remember that while this is a difficult step, it is also an exciting one and you are not alone as you make this choice.

couple exchanging rings at their elopement on block island. Ways to tell your family you're eloping

Why Couples Choose to Elope!

For some couples, eloping alone without family is the perfect way to celebrate their love. It allows for a more intimate and personal experience, without the stress and pressure of a big wedding. It can also be a chance to take a memorable vacation and create unforgettable memories together. While it may not be for everyone, for those who choose to elope, it can be a truly special and meaningful experience.

Several Reasons to Elope

1. Sustainability

Elopements don’t require a ton of resources like weddings do. It is more sustainable because you don’t have a lot of people traveling, food, invitations, decorations and flower waste.  

2. Intimacy

If you don’t like to be the center of attention, eloping is for you. One of the main reasons couples choose to have an elopement wedding is for the intimacy it provides. Without the pressure of a large guest list, couples can focus on each other and their love for one another. This allows for a more personal and meaningful experience.

3. Less Stress

Planning a wedding can be stressful, and elopements can offer a more relaxed and stress-free experience. Without the need to coordinate with vendors and guests, couples can focus on enjoying their special day without any added pressure.

4. Cost

The idea of receiving wedding gifts can make some couples feel uncomfortable, and don’t want others spending money on them, not to mention travel costs. Plus, weddings can be expensive, and elopements can be a more affordable option. Without the need for a large venue, catering, and other expenses, couples can save money and put it towards other things, such as a honeymoon or a down payment on a house.

5. Flexibility

Elopements offer more flexibility in terms of location and timing. Couples can choose to have their ceremony in a location that is meaningful to them, whether it be a mountaintop or a beach. They can also choose a date and time that works best for them, without having to worry about accommodating a large guest list.

6. Family Dynamics (Less Stress)

Weddings can be a stressful time for families, especially when there are complicated dynamics involved. For some, family members may be spread out geographically or have distant relationships with one another. In some cases, families may even be considered dysfunctional. It can be difficult to navigate these relationships during such an important event, and some may feel the need to play the role of peacekeeper to avoid any conflicts on their special day.

7. Eloping Outdoors

Many couples choose to elope outdoors because they feel a strong connection to nature. Being surrounded by the beauty of the natural world can create a sense of peace and tranquility, making it the perfect setting for a romantic and intimate ceremony. Additionally, being outdoors allows for more flexibility in terms of location and can provide stunning backdrops for photos and memories that will last a lifetime.

8. More Meaningful

For some couples, an elopement can be a more meaningful and authentic way to celebrate their love. It allows them to focus on what truly matters - their commitment to each other - without any distractions or expectations from others.

9. Adventure

Elopements can also offer the opportunity for adventure. Couples can choose to have their ceremony in a unique and adventurous location, such as a national park or a foreign country. This can make for a memorable and exciting experience.

10. Tired of People Pleasing

Are you tired of constantly trying to please others and feeling miserable in the process? It's time to prioritize your own needs and desires for your own well-being and happiness. By listening to your own inner truth and standing in your integrity, you can maintain your boundaries and stay true to your core beliefs without sacrificing them to please others. Remember, you deserve to live a fulfilling life that aligns with your own values and goals.

11. "Just Us" Elopement

For some couples, the idea of eloping without family or friends present can be a thrilling and authentic way to celebrate their love. A "just us" wedding allows the couple to focus solely on each other and their commitment to one another, without the pressure or distractions of a larger ceremony. While it may not be for everyone, eloping alone can be a meaningful and intimate way to start a new chapter in a couple's life together.

couple hiking to their elopement on block island. Telling your family you've eloped guide
couples holding hands at their ceremony on block island
intimate elopement on block island. How to tell your family you're eloping

Ways to tell your Family you're Eloping

Telling your family that you've decided to elope can be a tough conversation to have. There are a few options when it comes to the ways to tell your family you're eloping. The best way to approach having this conversation is in person, via Zoom or over the phone. Getting a text might feel impersonal and they cannot hear the tone of your voice.

Go back to your why and remember how important your special day is and you have the right to choose how you want to celebrate it. While some family members may not agree with your decision, it's important to communicate your reasons for choosing to elope.

Maybe you and your partner prefer a more intimate ceremony, or you want to invest your money in your future together rather than a big wedding. Whatever your reasons may be, be honest and open with your family about your decision. Remember, this is a happy and exciting time for you and your partner, and your loved ones will ultimately support you in your choice.

holding hands with family

Creative Ways to Include Family for your Elopement

If you're planning to elope but still want to include your family in some way, there are plenty of creative options to consider. 

  1. Include them in dress and suit shopping 
  2. Picking out your flowers, choosing your Airbnb or accommodations
  3. Have a spa day with your friends or family
  4. Spend time with the guys or family members doing what you love 
  5. Have your family write a poem or something special that you can read at your ceremony, by the fire at night or getting ready
  6. Incorporate something borrowed (jewelry, a handkerchief, clothing)
  7. Share the slideshow, video and gallery from your photographer with family afterwards
  8. Have a pre-elopement picnic or post-elopement dinner afterwards to gather and share the love
  9. Play their favorite love songs, create a spotify playlist. speaking of which, here is my first dance playlist
  10. Include photos from your family from their wedding as part of your day

Whatever you choose, there are many ways to make your elopement day feel special for both you and your family.

For more resources check out, "How This Couple Had a Secret elopement and how they popped the news to their family!" Should You Elope for your Second Marriage?, 5 Reasons Why You Should Elope in Connecticut

Happy Couple after their elopement ceremony on block island. Ways to tell your family you're eloping

As your elopement photographer, my services are more than just capturing your special day. I am here to help with questions and concerns regarding your elopement — such as how to elope without hurting the feelings of family members. I strive to make sure that you have a stress-free and magical experience on your big day! Let me help you choose the best elopement package for you!

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