How to tell family you’re eloping and How to include them in your elopement

Photo of two beautiful women in white dresses having a meaningful moment

This is a VERY common question I get all the time. It’s scary to break the expectation of others (especially the ones you love). But all of the couples that I worked with all have been super happy with their decision to elope. I constantly hear:

“We couldn’t have imagine it any other ways. This is so perfect and so us”

Every couple deserved to feel like this on their wedding day. But again, This is a touchy topic. Everybody’s family situation is different.

Some couples are blessed with a loving family that supports them unconditionally, and they can’t see themselves eloping without them. However, some couples have families that don’t understand the idea of an elopement, and they just don’t know how to handle the situation. And some couples don’t even have family support.

I respect everyone’s situation. That’s why I’m writing this blog; to help couples make their decision.

How do I tell my family I want to Elope?

Mountain side wedding photo of Bride and Groom on mountain side view

This can be a bit hard, depending on your family situation. so here are my tips:

1) Be Upfront

Sometimes it’s best to just be honest and just tell them how you really feel, despite how awkward or painful it might be. Explain to them why you want to elope and why this is important to you and you relationship. Say something along the lines of… They might react at first but that’s why you ask the question “I love you, and I’m not anti-traditional wedding, but me and my fiance want to elope because we want this day to be stress-free, and focus on us. We want to start our marriage with just us, not because we don’t like you, but because we want to feel the love and intimacy we have for each other and this make sense for us. We want to be the one that told you that and we want to know what are your thoughts on this?”

2) Listen to them

You want to ask the family about their opinion because this matter can be… emotional… for some. They want to feel included. So spilling out reasons why elopement is better then traditional wedding at them isn’t going to help. To calm them down and help them see your side, you have to see their side first… Listen to them attentively, human is an emotional creature and we want to feel important. Once you satisfied their emotional needs, then you can move on to the next step… which is the logical needs

3) Speak from you heart

After they are ready to listen to you… you can tell them how you really feel

  • We want to be able to pay for our own wedding and don’t want the large price tag that comes with traditional weddings because we’re planning for our future, not a party. We want to use the money we save to buy a house or take a big vacation before we have kids.
  • Traditions aren’t for us. We want to do something that we love instead of adhering to traditions we don’t relate to, and just not be stressed out planning a big wedding just to impress other people.
  • Spending a lot of time together and enjoy each other on our wedding day instead of worrying about making others happy is important to us.
  • Our privacy is important to us and we want to exchange out intimate vows with just the two of us; it’s what we feel is right.

Can my family be apart of my elopement?

Yes! Your family is super welcome to join us! This is your day and you get to do whatever you want! Simple as that!

9 ways to include your family in your elopement

There are so many ways you can include your family in your elopement. The possibility are limitless. Here are some ideas.

Invite them!

Have your family at both the ceremony and the reception. Even though some people still consider this is a small wedding, just remember that an elopement is still a day that focuses on you. As long as there are not too many people and the focus is still on you, you can still call it an elopement!

Split it

Reserve half of your elopement to be just about you two and the other half with other people. If it’s important for you to have an intimate ceremony then maybe you can have your family and friends attend a small reception afterward and vice versa. This is best when you want to elope locally.


The internet is a beautiful thing. You can Skype or Face Time your family before, during, or after your elopement. This is best if you don’t want to fly everyone to the destination that you’re eloping, thus saving a lot of money as well. You can do a Facebook or Instagram live and invite people to join to witness you two kissing.

Wedding Album

You can send a photo album to your family after your elopement. Sharing photos with your family will definitely show them how happy you two are together and it’s hard for them to be mad at you when they see how happy you are. I mean, how can you be mad when you see people so happy!

Send Letters/Video

Ask your family to write their best wish and on your wedding day you can open them and read them together. Or ask them “if I gave you 1 minute to speak at my wedding, what would you say?” then have them record a video of themselves and send it to you. This is great because all of your family contribute to your day and they get to feel like they are a part of it.

Celebrate Before & After

Celebrate before or after your elopement. This is a great option. It’s very cost effective and you get the best of both worlds. You can do a reception dinner after you elope with friends and family or you can celebrate before that.


Have your family help you with the planning process! Maybe they can help you make the “Just Elope” sign for your backpacks. Maybe they can be the one that makes your bouquet. The possibilities are limitless here! Get creative!


Maybe you could ask if they have any gifts for you! Let me explain… Let’s say your parents buy you the hiking shoes for your elopement. When you elope, they will see their gift in the pictures. And because of that they can see themselves as a part of your wedding day. They will now have something to associate themselves with your elopement.


Ask yourself why you want to include them. Are your friends and family guilt tripping you? Any logistic problems? Family drama? If you invite them are they gonna hold you back? Sometimes it might not be the best idea to invite them at all. Make sure that the decision you make, is the one that’s best for you!

Jenna & Stephen -.JPG

Hopefully this is helpful! If you have any other questions please contact me by click here

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