Perhaps you’ve always known that you wanted to elope. Or perhaps somewhere in the process of wedding planning you’ve realised that a traditional wedding isn’t for you and you’ve decided to change your plans. One of the biggest challenges a lot of couples face during this time is how to tell friends and family you are eloping. But there are a few things that you can do to help negotiate this sometimes tense situation.
How To Tell Friends And Family You Are Eloping
1. Tell Your Closest Family & Friends As Soon As Possible, And In Person
Hands up whose family and friends started bombarding them with wedding questions from the moment you got engaged? It can be really hard to tell them that you wedding plans aren’t going to involve them and that you want to spend your wedding day with just the two of you. It’s natural to want to avoid conflict and not want to disappoint anyone, but the best thing to do is tell them your decision early on, and in person, or at least over Skype. Telling them sooner rather than later lets them know exactly what you’re planning and being able to talk to them face-to-face means you can show them how excited you are about your decision and be there to answer any questions that they might have.
2. Be Respectful
Remember that your family have probably thought about your wedding day since you were born, again when you brought home your first boyfriend or girlfriend, and again when you announced you were moving in together. They have probably been planning it in their minds longer than you have and created their own vision of your wedding day. Whilst I am very much a believer in doing what makes you happy, remember that the news that you have decided to elope might come as a big surprise to them. Try not to take it personally if their initial reactions aren’t what you hoped for, and try and understand how they might be feeling. They will come around once they see how much it means to you, they might just need some time to adjust.
3. Explain Your Reasons
You know that just because you’ve decided to elope, it doesn’t mean your friends and family aren’t important to you. Explain to them the reasons why you chose to elope. It’s different for every couple, but common reasons include not wanting to spend money on a big wedding when you could spend it on travel, wanting to say your vows to each other in an intimate setting, not wanting to be the centre of attention, and simply wanting to avoid the stress of wedding planning. Whatever your reasons are, explain them to your friends and family when you tell them about your plans. If they see that this is what you truly want, why wouldn’t they be supportive.
4. Find A Way To Involve Them
There are ways to involve your friends and family in to the planning process if you want to. It could be simply by just telling them about all of your plans and showing them how excited you are about them. But if you want to involve them more, you could take them shopping to buy elopement outfits with you, or ask for their help planning a post-elopement party. Which leads me neatly on to the next tip…
5. Have A Post-Elopement Party
We didn’t elope, but we did choose to have a very intimate ceremony in Austria with only a few people. Because we knew both of our parents wanted to share our day (and their happiness) with their friends and extended families, we let them plan receptions back in our home towns (Menno is from The Netherlands and I’m from the UK so we had 2!). Letting our parents do this was our way of letting them plan the celebration they would have wanted, and it was a great for us to just be able to turn up and have fun without planning anything ourselves.
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