Eloping is one of the best decisions that some couples could ever possibly make for themselves, but even if having in elopement instead of a big wedding is the best decision for a couple it can be tough navigating that conversation with your close family and friends that would be involved in a bigger wedding, but may not be involved in your more intimate elopement.
However, making the decision to elope is often a lot easier than telling your loved ones about the decision that you have made. If you are experiencing some anxiety about telling friends and family that there won’t be a big wedding in the future, follow these tips to break the news gently and tactfully.
Remember That This Is About You
The first and most important thing for you to keep in mind as you approach this announcement is that your wedding is about the two of you. It is not about anyone else or their thoughts or feelings. You and your partner are making the most ultimate promise to one another and you have the right to do that in any way that you want. It is your wedding and your marriage so the only people whose opinions truly matter are yours and yours alone.
Be Prepared for Anything
Although this is your decision to make, it may be very hard for the people that love you and support your relationship to hear that they won’t be able to attend your special day. While you will want to stand firm in your decision, be aware that not everyone might be jumping in joy at hearing you’re getting married…but they’re not invited.
Try not to get defensive or be harsh in any way as some people, especially parents and siblings, could feel extreme emotion at learning this news. Just do your best to take deep breaths and remember that their reactions and emotions are rooted in their love for you and in time they will come to respect your decision.
Pro Tip: If you just know that certain family or friends will try to pressure, shame, or guilt you into changing your mind and having a traditional wedding, you might consider announcing your elopement after it happens. They will probably still be upset, but at that point, they’ll have to accept it and celebrate with you instead of trying to change it.
Offer To Include Them
One way of allowing for select people to be a part of your ceremony while still providing you with the privacy and intimacy you’re craving is to live stream the ceremony. This gives you the ability to control exactly who will be invited into these intimate moments while appeasing some of the people that may have been hurt at your decision. If you aren’t comfortable having the ceremony itself streamed live, perhaps you can offer to facetime while getting ready or after the ceremony so your family and friends don’t feel completely excluded from the day.
Another option is having special friends or family write letters or record videos of themselves. You can play these videos and read the letters to each other on your special day, helping you feel the love and connection you have with your loved ones.
Check out this article for more ideas on how to include loved ones in your “just us” elopement.
Consider Hosting A Reception Before Or After
Although saving money on a big expensive reception is one of the primary reasons that many couples choose to elope, you may want to consider throwing some type of gathering. This can be either a sendoff party before you leave for your elopement or sometime down the line afterward.
If finances or the coronavirus are a primary concern, you can host your post-elopement reception way down the line in six months or even at your one-year anniversary. Furthermore, you should remember that you don’t need to throw a huge, expensive party just to make people feel better that they missed out on the ceremony.
In many cases, knowing that they will have the opportunity to celebrate you at some point calms much of the disappointment or negative feelings that friends and family may have at your decision.
Help Them Feel Like They Were There With Photography
We’re obviously biased, but… A picture tells 1000 words, so make sure you invest in photography that tells the whole story of your elopement day! Having beautiful photographs to share with uninvited guests moves them from surprise to awe at your adventure.
What Are Your Biggest Concerns About Eloping?
The decision to elope over a traditional wedding is a big one and one that you should not enter into lightly. Although marriage is only between the two people getting married, those that love the couple are still impacted by the decision to elope. Although you may be strongly considering an elopement, there might also be something holding you back.
I would love to know what your biggest concerns are around eloping so that I can hopefully provide helpful feedback! Please feel free to reach out or comment below and let’s keep the conversation going.