How to tell your family you plan to elope... or just did!
Many people are either overwhelmed by the thought of planning (and paying for) the whole wedding shebang, or simply can’t see themselves in that scenario – fuss and frills just isn’t their thing! We’ve heard time and again “I wish we could elope, but our families wouldn’t understand”. The thing is, if you handle it just right, you may well be surprised.
The safest approach is to sensitively discuss the idea of eloping with your closest family and friends beforehand. For some, it might help to sit down with your partner and sketch out a short and honest explanation as to why this is your dream wedding scenario – what an intimate ceremony would mean to you, and why it feels so right. Bringing up the subject of eloping as a discussion would give them an opportunity to express how they feel about the idea and may help them to feel included in the decision. That said, prepare yourselves for any negative feedback – some may not support your decision at first, but don’t feel you have to apologise, just reassure them – they’ll come round! Try not to question your decision or feel guilty. Those uneasy feelings will pass, so just go for it!
Once you have broken the news to your nearest and dearest in person, why not build up the excitement among the rest of your family and friends by sending out a little announcement of your plans, and reassuring them that you’ll be back with amazing photos!
A secret elopement may be far more inspiring for some – the ultimate romance of flitting off into the night to get married! Whatever you do, give yourselves plenty of time to take in the fact that you just got married before you make any kind of announcement. Enjoy that feeling – it’s amazing! The last thing you need is to be overwhelmed with questions or worse – any negativity that might take the shine off! The vast majority of people will be so excited to hear your news, psyched that you followed your heart, (envious even!), but how you handle the announcement is key. Shocking your closest family and friends with a Facebook update is a big impersonal no-no! Write in advance a list of people you should tell in person, and perhaps those who would at least appreciate a phone call. Break the news gently, but stand firm as a couple on your decision to elope. Perhaps follow this with some announcement cards – real ones, sent by old-fashioned snail-mail – something your family and friends can keep. Once all these more sensitive, thoughtful steps are complete… update your Facebook status to let the rest of the world know!
An informal after-party is something to consider whether your elopement is secret or not. Giving your family and friends the opportunity to celebrate with you will make them feel loved and included. There’s no need for wedding reception-style formalities – something as simple as projecting your photos and/or video on to a sheet in your back garden, accompanied by an ample supply of bubbles and popcorn could work a treat. We actually talked our favourite little weird and wonderful café into hosting our party! We learnt from our own experience, the importance of having an emotive set of wedding photos to tell the story of your elopement. Seeing the reactions of our loved ones as they watched our wedding video/slideshow was priceless to us – some even said it made them feel like they were right there with us!
Whatever you decide to do, remember, you know YOU! You know what feels right!