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How to Tell Family That You Are Eloping

May 27, 2024

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Eloping is a deeply personal decision.

It often means choosing intimacy, adventure, and a focus on the bond between two people over the traditional big wedding. However, telling family and friends about your decision to elope can be challenging.

This guide aims to help you navigate these conversations with empathy, understanding, and practical advice.

We’ve worked as elopement photographers for years and we’ve come up with a trick or two along the way.

Couple kiss during their sustainable elopement to scotland

1. Understanding Your Reasons

Before you talk to your family and friends, take some time to reflect on why you’ve chosen to elope. Are you looking for a more intimate experience? Do you want to avoid the stress and financial burden of a big wedding? Understanding your reasons will help you communicate them more effectively and confidently.

2. Choosing the Right Time and Place

Timing and setting are crucial when breaking the news. Choose a time when you can have an uninterrupted conversation. A quiet, comfortable setting will help everyone feel at ease. If you’re telling your parents or close family members, consider doing it in person if possible. For friends or extended family, a phone call or video chat might be appropriate.

3. Starting the Conversation

Begin the conversation by expressing your love and appreciation for the person you’re speaking to. Let them know that their support and understanding mean a lot to you. Then, gently introduce the topic of your elopement. You might say something like:

“We have some exciting news to share and we wanted to tell you first. After a lot of thought, we’ve decided to elope. We feel that this is the best choice for us because…”

4. Addressing Their Feelings

Understand that your news might come as a surprise, and people may have strong reactions. Be prepared for a range of emotions, from disappointment to excitement. Allow them to express their feelings without interrupting. Acknowledge their emotions and reassure them of their importance in your life.

5. Highlighting the Positives

Emphasize the positives of eloping, such as the focus on your relationship, the adventure, and the unique experience. Explain how eloping allows you to have a day that truly reflects your personalities and love story.

“We’re excited about the idea of having a day that’s just about us and our love for each other. Eloping gives us the chance to create a day that’s truly unique and special.”

6. Involving Loved Ones in Your Elopement

Even though your loved ones won’t be physically present, there are ways to include them in your elopement experience. Consider the following:

Video Messages: Ask family and friends to record video messages that you can watch on your elopement day.

Keepsakes: Carry a meaningful keepsake or heirloom from a loved one.

Live Stream: Live stream your ceremony so they can watch from afar.

Celebration: Plan a post-elopement celebration where you can share your experiences and photos.

7. Planning a Celebration After the Elopement

Let your family and friends know that eloping doesn’t mean they won’t be part of your celebration. Plan a small gathering or party after your elopement where you can share your photos, videos, and stories. This will help them feel included and give everyone a chance to celebrate your marriage.

“We’re planning a small celebration when we get back so that we can share our photos and stories with you. We hope you can join us for that special day.”

8. Sharing the Experience

Once you’ve eloped, make an effort to share the experience with your loved ones. Create a photo album, make a video montage, or write a blog post about your adventure. Sharing these moments will help your family and friends feel connected to your special day.

9. Being Prepared for Mixed Reactions

Understand that not everyone will immediately understand or support your decision. Give them time to process the news and be patient with their reactions. Over time, most people will come around and respect your choice.

“Thank you for listening and for your support. We know this might take some time to sink in, and we appreciate your understanding.”

10. Staying True to Yourselves

Ultimately, your elopement is about you and your partner. Stay true to what feels right for you as a couple. Remember that this is your day, and it’s important that it reflects your love and commitment to each other.

“We’re really excited about starting our married life together in this special way. Thank you for being part of our journey.”

Overcoming Objections

Objection 1: “But we’ve been looking forward to your wedding!”

Reassure them that you understand their feelings and appreciate their excitement. Explain that this decision wasn’t made lightly and that it’s what feels right for you as a couple. You could say:

“We know you were excited about our wedding, and that means so much to us. This decision wasn’t easy, but we feel that eloping is the best way for us to start our married life together. We hope you can support us in this choice.”

Objection 2: “Why didn’t you tell us sooner?”

Explain that you needed time to make this decision and wanted to be sure before sharing the news. You might say:

“We needed time to be sure about our decision. It was important to us to be certain before we talked to anyone about it. We hope you can understand why we took this time.”

Objection 3: “What about the family traditions?”

Acknowledge the importance of family traditions and explain how you can incorporate them into your elopement or celebrate in other ways later. You might say:

“We know how important family traditions are, and we value them too. We plan to incorporate some of those traditions into our elopement, and we will get plenty of photos of that. Oh, and we’d love to celebrate with everyone at a later date.”

Objection 4: “We wanted to be there to support you.”

Reassure them that their support is still important and explain how they can be involved in other ways. You might say:

“Your support means the world to us. Even though you won’t be there in person, we’d love to share our photos and videos with you and do a video call with you when we are all dressed.”

Telling family and friends that you’re eloping can be a challenging conversation, but with empathy and understanding, it can also be a positive experience. By preparing for objections, highlighting the positives, and finding ways to include loved ones, you can help them see why this decision is right for you. Remember, your elopement is a celebration of your love, and the people who care about you will ultimately support your happiness.

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