how to tell your family your eloping, couple eloping in hawaii

If you’re reading this, you have likely decided to elope or are considering having an elopement when the time comes. It’s possible that when you came to this decision, the rush of excitement got tackled by wondering just how to tell your family you’re eloping. Family is a touchy topic. Moreover, no single-family is alike. That being said, there’s no perfect straight and narrow path of telling your family you’re eloping that will work for everyone. But here’s the thing, this is your day. An elopement means making your wedding day all about you and your partner. I’m going to go over a few ways you can tell your fam the news!

Tell your family why eloping is a great fit for you!

This one might seem obvious, but the truth is, the modern elopement is different than what your parents might be picturing in their heads. It might be a good start just to express that eloping nowadays isn’t running off to Vegas and having your officiant dressed as Elvis. The modern elopement is so much more. It’s about experiencing a day that is created by you two, for you two. A day of celebrating your love in a unique way that is true to who you are and will make you happy to think about for the rest of your lives.

As a young and social being, I meet new people all of the time. When people ask me what I do for work, I tell them I’m an elopement photographer. That statement is normally followed by the question “what do you mean elopement photographer?” There are tons of younger people that haven’t even discovered with a new-age elopement looks like. It’s gotten especially more popular after covid. And yet, so many people don’t even realize there’s an option outside of the big traditional wedding. That being said, if you’ve decided to elope, you just might need to explain exactly why and what an elopement in 2022 looks like!

Elopement at No Name Lake, Bend, Oregon

Bring up eloping to your family before you’re engaged

If you’re not engaged yet but you and your partner already know you want to elope, it would be a good idea to start talking about this topic early in the game. People have a tendency to expect certain things from each other. As soon as you get engaged, friends will call asking about being a bridesmaid or groomsman, family will ask you which venue you’ve picked, the list goes on. To avoid this, start setting your family’s expectations early on by telling them what you really want. This will give them time to process and come to terms with your decision (if they aren’t pumped at the start) as well as become supportive long before your wedding day.

Show your friends and family an elopement inspo-board

This goes hand in hand with explaining to your family exactly what a new-age elopement looks like, but with pictures! Once you know how to tell your family you’re eloping, try adding this tactic on too! Truthfully, people hear that a couple decided to elope and think that means they care about their wedding day less. That’s not the case. Oftentimes, it means you care about your wedding day even more. Making it the perfect intimate day that no one can take away from you.

So get on Pinterest and show your family what an elopement day can look like. Show them inspo-photos of what you’re interested in doing. A fancy picnic in a meadow, hot air ballooning in your wedding gear, or the colors you want your florals to be. This is an awesome way to show your family that elopements are just as important and beautiful as big weddings!

Elopement in Oahu, Hawaii

Don’t tell them until after the wedding

This one could be risky depending on what your friends and family are like. Although, if you think your family is going to stress you out while you’re trying to plan your elopement, this is definitely an option. You can even wait until you have gotten your photos back from your photographer. This way you can tell them what the day was like and show them pictures so they can imagine what the day was actually like.

This method might come as a shock to some families at first. However, your family knows you, and what kind of couple you are. Odds are this might not surprise them as much as you think. And hopefully, your family will come around to being totally supportive of this rad decision as you tell them how perfect it was for you both.

Find ways to make them apart of the day without them actually being there.

When you decide on how to tell your family that you’re eloping, you can follow it up in some ways you’re going to show them what the day was like. For example, hiring a videographer for an elopement day is so important. Videographers are wildly underlooked. Being able to look back on a video, and share it with friends and family, is so truly special. And, being able to tell your family that they’ll see footage from your day will make them feel more involved and better about not physically being there. Pro-tip: hire a videographer who will record your vows, you will absolutely want to remember those.

Send announcement cards! Once your family comes around to the idea of not being at your wedding day, they’re going to want memorabilia. Give them cute announcement cards to hang up on the fridge so they can brag about the beautiful location you picked.

Photos are an awesome way to show your family what your wedding day looked like. Assure them that you’re going to have the day documented and that you two can’t wait to share it once your photos are finished! I absolutely recommend asking your photographer to make you a slide show or getting a fine-art album for your friends and family to look through. These are also things you’re going to want to keep for yourself!

If this is something you’re comfortable with, you can always offer to Livestream your ceremony! Have your friends and family meet up and have their own little party, and then watch your vows over video! This of course will only work if you have service and if you’re comfortable with everyone watching.

How to tell your family you're eloping when you get engaged

Include your family in the elopement planning!

Most of us have friends or family that have an eye for style. And if not, you’re still going to have a ton of decisions to make when planning your elopement. What kind of flowers? What kind of food? Which activities? Which dress? Once you’ve decided on how to tell your family you’re eloping, show your family and friends some of the options you’re thinking about for your day and let them help you with some of the decision-making! This is of course only if you’re comfortable with it.

If you’re having your family at your elopement, you can involve them even more. Have someone officiate, have your loved ones hold your rings, this is your day and you can do it however you want! Everyone needs help, delegate some of the work to your fam so they feel involved.

How to tell your family you're eloping. Elopement in Bend Oegon

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It’s best to tell your closest loved ones that you are choosing to elope, or have already eloped, in person. Figuring out how to tell your family you’re eloping is a big task. You shouldn’t need to do it for everyone else, you can just post a ton of your favorite photos and videos from the day! Anyone who wants to know anymore will definitely call to congratulate you and ask you how it went. You absolutely don’t need to tell every person who would have been invited to a big wedding personally.

How to include your family in your elopement

Have a reception!

Once again, eloping is all about you two as a couple. But maybe you want a day that is a bit more about a party with some friends and family. You can choose a small intimate event, or have a big dance party. Hell, take everyone you love on a celebratory camping trip. Have a reception at an Airbnb and dress up in your wedding gear again! Your reception can be anything you want! Same as your elopement. If you want the best of both worlds, this is a fantastic option for you as well as your family members!

Telling your family you’re eloping

There are a lot of ways to tell your family you’re eloping. No one knows your friends and family better than you. Try to pick something that will resonate the most with your loved ones. An unfortunate truth is that not everyone has supportive families. But your wedding day isn’t about anyone but you two. That’s what eloping is all about, a day where you give yourself to each other and no one else.

On that note, try your best not to let anyone guilt you. I assure you that you’re making an amazing decision! Be proud of starting your own little family, your own way. If you’re planning your elopement and want to get in touch, shoot me a message! I love helping all of my couples plan their day as well as authentically document the whole thing!

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You see a stranger’s puppy & it takes everything in you not to run up & cuddle it.

Your dress gets dirt on it, and you shrug.

You think ice cream & wine is always an acceptable dinner option. Always.

You LIVE for the feeling of sunshine on your skin & wind in your hair.

You’re already screaming YASSSS WHERE DO I BOOK YOU?

I'm Emilee

I'm an elopement photographer who specializes in planning, crafting, and documenting untraditional weddings. I believe a wedding day should be filled with traditions that resonate with you. I'm here from start to finish to make that happen. Want to chat about your plans? Click below to set up a free consultation! 

You see a stranger’s puppy & it takes everything in you not to run up & cuddle it.

Your dress gets dirt on it, and you shrug.

You think ice cream & wine is always an acceptable dinner option. Always.

You LIVE for the feeling of sunshine on your skin & wind in your hair.

You’re already screaming YASSSS WHERE DO I BOOK YOU?

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