Most people who have thought about an elopement or are currently planning one have one major dilemma – their friends & family. This dilemma is a good one to have… it means your friends and family love you and want to support your big day. On the other hand, this can be a bit overwhelming when you are dreaming of a ceremony with just you and your boo (or just don’t want everyone there) & some people just don’t understand.
Although every single family is different, I have come up with some advice about how to communicate with the people in your life in order to have this decision go as smoothly as possible while still allowing your friends & family to feel important and loved to your best ability.
First, remember WHY you made this decision & stand your ground.
Reminding yourself why you made the decision to elope and standing firm in what YOU believe is best for your relationship is crucial. Of course I don’t mean that you need to be an insensitive meanie with a stick up your butt – but, stand your ground. The people in your life should respect your decision more when you explain that this is what you know is right for the two of you. Most people will respect your decision if you present it with confidence and reason. So, let’s just start and finish there – with confidence in what you and your boo want for YOUR big day.
Explain to friends and family who are more traditional that this is not just some “court house wedding”, but a choice.
Some of the more traditional people in your life may just not get it. In their heads, people elope when they are pregnant, trying to get a green card or have some kind of pressing situation ahead of them. Today, this is not the case! Plenty of people CHOOSE to elope simply because… well, elopements are awesome! If someone does not get why you would elope, some simple communication can change the way they see your decision.
Explain that this is not about them, but your love.
Take the time to call someone who you care about & explain that this is not about them or your relationship with them. I am not saying you should call every single person who is upset they didn’t get an invite – but, if you are close to someone and want them to understand, then take the time to call them and explain where you’re coming from – not because you have to, but because you love them. Sometimes even just a simple step of reaching out and saying, “hey this has nothing to do with how much I love you, but about how much I love my partner & how we want to make this commitment with one another” can make the world of a difference.
Consider having a post-elopement celebration.
If you are lucky enough to have people in your life that want to support you in this decision, then consider having a simple celebration back at home to say you love them & to let them into this moment with you. This celebration can be anything from a simple dinner at home to a full on reception. If the thought of a get together overwhelms you and you want skip it altogether, just remember that this day truly is about YOU and your love & that’s more than okay. Do what feels right for you & your relationships.
Capture your ceremony through video (& photos of course).
One amazing way to let people into this moment with you is by sharing the moment through a video! As a professional in this field, I always advice hiring a professional to do this to ensure you get a quality video capturing your day. Video is a great way to let your loved ones into those intimate moments so that they can hear your vows, see your expressions, and immerse themselves in that experience. Hiring a photographer who puts on emphasis on capturing real moments and emotion can also help with this. The video / photos are great to simply share with family and friends or to show at a celebration you may have with them after your elopement!
Talk to friends & family ahead of time.
Some of the hardest communication issues surrounding elopements that I know of have happened because the couple decided not to tell their friends and family beforehand. Unless there is a specific reason why you would want to keep this from them, I would advice letting the people you love know you will be eloping ahead of time so that they are not shocked with, “guess what, we’re married!” You may love surprises, but many people wouldn’t love a surprise of that caliber. Of course, this always comes back to your WHY. If you need or want to keep this from some people, then do what is best for you – but, if you have a choice in the matter, just let them know ahead of time!
What matters most is that you are happy with this once in a lifetime experience.
When all is said and done, what matters most is that you and your fiancé are happy with the way you chose to make this commitment. Because we love the people in our lives, we want to explain things and make sure they feel loved. Unfortunately, sometimes there is nothing you can do to change someone’s mind. If this is the case for you, try to let it go. It’s okay to be “selfish” on a day that is supposed to be all about your love.