How to Tell Your Family That You’re Eloping

July 15, 2022

Elopement, Resources

You’re reading this because you are personally planning an elopement or really considering one! In this blog post, you’ll learn the most important things to consider when you tell your family that you’re eloping. 

Why do people elope in the first place? 

Before we dive in, I want to touch base on why people choose to elope in the first place. Here are common reasons my couples eloped instead of planning a wedding:

  1. Having a wedding that is completely focused on the relationship.
  2. Eloping to save money.
  3. Wanting an authentic, intimate way to celebrate.

Most of my elopement couples seek a way to create a ceremony that feels like theirs. Rather than a large, traditional wedding. Here is a list of interesting statistics pulled from a study done by Simply Eloped:

  • Average age of an elopement is 31
  • The most popular season to elope is fall
  • Couples have an average of 10 guests
  • 81.5% of couples choose to elope out-of-state
  • 84% of couples told their family and friends before their wedding date

Modern elopements are nothing like they were in the past. In the 1950s, elopements were considered rebellious and “running away to get married.” Eloping in 2022 means consciously creating a wedding experience that reflects your relationship — no matter what that looks like.

How to tell your family that you're eloping blog: bride rests head on groom's shoulder.

Who should you tell first?

Take time with your partner to discuss who you are going to tell. While it may seem natural to tell your friends and family that you’re eloping right away, there are a few things to consider. If you’re having guests join you for your actual elopement, definitely let them know right away! The main reason is purely logistics. You want to give people ample time to plan and purchase travel accommodations without having the stress of doing that last minute. 

If you are not having guests, you have a few options. 

  • Don’t tell anyone! While this is super traditional, it allows you to truly keep the entire experience to yourselves. By keeping your elopement completely secret, you avoid any initial disappointment some family members may have. If you have people-pleasing tendencies when dealing with your mother (like me), you can see why this might be an advantage! LOL! 
  • Tell your family (or chosen family) first. If you’re close with your fambam, keep them in the loop. This will help them feel included and potentially even more excited for you. Let’s face it, choosing to elope is pretty badass! It is an original and unique thing to do, including your family by telling them first will make them feel special. 
  • Tell your biggest fans. There is no shame in telling the group chat that you’re eloping! It feels good to be hyped up for life’s significant experiences by those we love. Just keep in mind that this is YOUR elopement experience. If telling someone risks interfering with your joy of this experience, then keep them (respectfully) out of it!

Ways to tell your family that you’re eloping

In-person: This is the perfect way to show your family that you care! Even if they’re not hiking up a mountain to join you day-of, sharing the experience with them by allowing them to join in right from the start is a beautiful memory in itself. Plus, everything in our lives is digital these days. Embrace the beauty of human interaction with this big announcement!

Wait until after you get married: If you’re concerned about any unsupportive opinions or just want to keep your elopement experience as simple as possible, wait to announce it until after you’ve eloped! If no one knows it’s happening, they can’t sway you to do something else. Some people will actually tell family and friends that they are eloping, but they don’t share the date.

Be straight to the point! Tell them before you are even engaged — some couples have always known they want to elope. You don’t have to have a dramatic event planned out if you don’t want to! This is one of the glorious aspects of eloping: it is truly an experience that you make your own, start to finish. 

Explain to your family why you’re eloping: For those who seem surprised or are stuck in the mindset that “eloping is running away to get married,” take time to explain why you decided to. A few common ways to explain it:

  • We want a ceremony that is authentic to us
  • We don’t want to spend a lot of money 
  • We want to have an adventure

In any scenario, it is completely circumstantial. Every family and couple is unique!

How to tell your family that you're eloping blog: 3 vertical images of couple celebrating with a champagne spray pop.

When to tell your family that you’re eloping

Before your elopement: If you are not concerned about anyone accidentally persuading you to do something bigger, then go ahead and tell all! As mentioned above, if you’re having guests in your elopement, let them know asap. If you want to avoid people texting you the day of your elopement or interfering, announce your elopement, but don’t share the date! We love a good mystery…

After your elopement: This is an alternative option that will ensure your privacy and focus for your elopement. By not sharing your elopement date you can create a handful of amazing ways to celebrate and share your photos after!

How to tell your family that you're eloping blog: couple walks down a cliffside path after the ceremony.

Ways to announce your elopement

Have a pre-celebration party: Those who truly love you and support your relationship will be just as excited to jump into the fun, no matter what that looks like. Having a party before your elopement really allows people to experience the elopement planning and fun alongside you.

Post elopement celebration / reception: Having a big reception after your elopement is becoming common! This is the perfect way to include allll your aunties, cousins, friends, and coworkers, just like you would a traditional wedding. 

Send out a physical elopement announcement or card that says something along the lines of “we eloped”! This is the perfect way to showcase your incredible elopement photos!

Have a virtual party: This is such a cute way to get your friends together and share your photos! Set a time, open a bottle of wine, and scroll through the magical elopement memories.

How to tell your family that you're eloping blog: groom laughs and smiles while bride tosses her hair and smiles back at the camera.

Eloping doesn’t need to be complicated, and neither does telling your family! Take your time to evaluate what you and your partner truly want for this special ceremony. Every family situation is completely different and should be handled with care. If you are ready to take the next steps in planning your elopement, reach out to me here! I would love to help jumpstart your dream ceremony!

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