So you’ve made the decision to get eloped over a more traditional wedding, and excitement is already building. You’ve picked out your destination and know what theme you’re going for.
There’s only one thing left to do: announce that you’re actually eloping!
However, this can seem like a daunting premise.
After all, friends and family that may have expected you to have a full blown wedding and may have even been counting on an invite might not react exactly as you would like them to.
And how do you tell your parents?
This little guide will help you break the ice about your elopement and ensure everything goes as smooth as possible. While you can’t control how people react, it is your decision and part of making your decision is owning it.
Be upfront, be strong, and most of all, don’t be afraid to display how happy you are. If you are shy and unsure about your decision, you will only give other people ammunition to use against you and attempt to “talk you out of it.”
With that being said, here are a few key suggestions to making sure your elopement announcement doesn’t ruffle too many feathers.
Don’t Wait To Announce
The longer you wait, the more awkward it’s going to be and if you get into the planning stages of your elopement, you’re likely going to have to keep secrets from people that are close to you.
It’s best to avoid all of that dramatic stuff and come clean.
Yes, there is a certain mystique to the idea of jetting off to a faraway locale in the dead of night to get married, but this isn’t realistic or practical. You may even be planning on inviting your parents or close friends to your elopement, or relying on them to help you plan.
Don’t keep anyone in the dark. The sooner you announce, the better.
Also, while it’s not advised to show up to everyone’s doorstep and tell them in person, don’t let your close friends and family find out through social media. This is not what you want at all.
It’s best to pay a visit to your parents and tell them in person, at your earliest possible convenience.
There is no guarantee that they will fully support your decision, but if you own your choice and are sure in it, and they can see how happy you are, it is unlikely that they will make a big fuss.
The important thing is that they know.
One way to mitigate negative reactions and clear the air is to ask for their help in the planning phase, even if superficially.
If you are not personally inviting your parents, ask them for suggestions or advice on what to do or what to wear. Get them involved somehow, make them feel like they are needed.
Many of the negative reactions that occur because of elopement stem from the feeling of not being a part of what parents and close friends feel like is the most important day in your life. By extension it’s supposed to be one of the most important days in their own life.
If they are at least involved in the planning of this event, they will be far less likely to argue about it.
The key takeaway from this should be a focus on personalizing the announcement for your closest relatives and friends. Wait to announce your plans on social media until well after all the most important people have been notified.
Then feel free to post away!
Plan to Document Everything
This isn’t just for your sake.
There’s going to be a lot of people that want an inside view as to the goings-on of your elopement.
Yes, you’re going to want photos and videos for your own memories of course, but keep in mind that anyone who doesn’t get invited is going to feel left out. This will go double if they can’t see pictures on social media or get cute little video clips from you on their phones.
Your elopement is about you and your significant other, but you can’t ignore the fact that you have friends and family that are personally invested in you.
Return this investment by ensuring that you hire an amazing elopement photographer who knows how to get all the right angles and make other people feel like they are part of the moment.
A professional elopement photographer / videographer is worth their weight in gold, for so many reasons. They can be the difference between a bunch of lukewarm pictures you never look at or a lifetime of memories you share with your family for decades to come.
Make plans early on to seek out a great local elopement planner or photographer who can help you stage great photoshoots and who you know you can rely on during the ceremony to capture all the right moments and “deliver” these moments to your friends and family.
Your parents and other close friends and family should be made aware that you are going to document as much of your elopement as possible and that they will feel “almost as if they are there.”
It’s the least you can do if you aren’t inviting them, and this will go a long way in ensuring that there is no hurt feelings.
Don’t Get Overworked about Negative Feelings
There’s always going to be people who don’t understand.
You are choosing to get eloped in part because you don’t want all the stuffiness and drama associated with typical weddings.
The last thing you want to do is escalate any negative reactions that come from announcing your plans.
So when the time comes for you to announce, expect negative reactions ahead of time and make the mindful decision not to reciprocate.
A huge life lesson is realizing you can’t control other people and you can’t control how they react. Sometimes people get upset and angry and there is nothing you can do. You don’t want to get in the habit of replying to these sorts of reactions with negative reactions of your own.
You could make the argument that you could have avoided the reaction by caving and canceling your elopement. But then you are basically being controlled by other people’s imbalanced emotions that come from a place of ignorance and not understanding.
It’s best in these kinds of scenarios to keep an open mind and reciprocate any negative feelings with open understanding and patient love.
Also remember that one person’s “no” can easily be transformed into a “yes” after a few weeks of seeing how happy you are. Set a good example and don’t exchange negative emotions.
If a parent or close friend does react very negatively to your decision, that says a lot more about them than it does about you. Gently accept their reaction but tell them you will not act on it and will wait happily for them to come around.
After all, this is your special day and you want them to be a part of it. Make sure they understand that.
If you inform them that you will be waiting with love for them to come around, you have a much greater chance for them to see your point of view than reacting negatively.
You will also find that this will reduce your own stress level, even if you would have much preferred if they just agreed with you and were happy.
But you can’t control everyone’s emotions or expect certain reactions from them.
Just own your decision and approach the subject from a place of love and you will get a much better result than if you announced your choice with arrogance and an attitude.
Don’t Leave Anyone in the Dark!
Share your reasons for getting eloped. Make a statement!
You made the decision, so don’t be afraid to tell people your reasoning behind it.
Are you saving money for a house? Are you trying to have a more stress-free wedding than a traditional ceremony typically allows? Did you want more personal time or a chance to see an exotic location or do something that has more meaning for you personally, rather than getting married at your local church?
Your decision matters, so share it so people understand.
People aren’t mind readers. Some may even think the worst, like you are trying to avoid family or that you are hiding some secret or something.
While you aren’t likely to encounter such dramatic reactions, you never know. Don’t leave anything to chance. Be free to inform your friends and family why an elopement is right for you.
This will clear the air and allow for a better understanding all around.
Remember, your elopement is supposed to be your time. The last thing you want to do is complicate it by hiding your decision or keeping people out of the loop.
Put in the effort and share your plans with the ones who love you. Guaranteed this will get the best possible reaction and provide the least amount of stress when it matters most.
Click HERE to learn the 5 secrets to a successful (and stress-free) elopement and BONUS checklist!