How to tell family you’ve chosen to elope

Flinders Cliff Top Elopement Photo - Cover Image for blog post about how to tell family you're eloping

Elopement Tips

While elopements are no longer about keeping your marriage a secret. It can still be difficult figuring out how to tell family you’re eloping. We’ve all heard it before, friends or family members saying things like “how could you do that to your mum”, “eloping is selfish”, and so on. But we just quickly want to remind you, that your wedding day is not about anyone else. It’s about your relationship with one another.

So if you’ve made the courageous decision to elope, we are here to cheer you on from the side lines and show you the way! Every couple, we’ve had the pleasure of working with, has always walked away from their elopement saying “this was the best day of our lives”, “we are so happy we choice to get married this way”. And we think you deserve to feel that way too.

Despite what others think, and despite any fears you may be facing. You are brave and everyone in your life will eventually understand. So let’s tackle this hurdle, and advice you on the best ways you can tell your family you’ve eloping.

Mornington Peninsula Outdoor Intimate Wedding

Tell them in person

We recommend telling your loved ones in person, rather than virtually. That way they can hear your excitement in your voice, and through your body language. This gives you the opportunity to explain why you’ve chosen to elope, and let them in on your plans. If they can see how confident and excited you are about your decision, they will be much more understanding. If you are unable to be with family or friends in person, the next best way is to video call them and share in the news.

Tell them early on

By telling your friends and family early on, that you’ve decided to elope, this gives them time to come to terms with your decision. Our brother and sister in law, told their parents years before they were even engaged that they would be eloping one day. And because they did that, when the time comes, no one will be surprised. And family has already been able to come to terms with the decision. That doesn’t mean, they were always excepting, but over time, they were able to process their emotions and realize that it is a beautiful decision.

While on the contrary, if you’ve decided later, whilst in the process of planning your elopement. That is okay too. Let them know, whenever you’ve confidently made your decision. They may not be accepting right off the bat. But as time goes on, and you show your excitement, they will start to see it too.

Prepare for negative reactions

Eloping is still a fairly new concept to most. In the past it had many negative connotations around the concept. Most people still think it’s a shameful, and secretive act. And while, you and I, both know thats not what is it about at all anymore. You may have to push through some negative reactions, before breaking the ice.

Unfortunately, traditional weddings were made to be centred around guests. So now most of society looks at not inviting everyone you know, as being selfish. While we, the people who see eloping as the absolute most authentic way of getting married. Probably look at it as the guests are being selfish, thinking your day should be about them. As it really is truly an experience centred around the two of you! So it’s important to understand where they are coming from, even if you feel differently. This will change over time, as weddings continue to move in the direct of elopements. But for now, we unfortunately, have to push through this barrier, be strong and confident, and prepare for some negativity from others.

Share why you’ve chosen to elope

Another option for how to tell family you’re eloping, is to share your why behind your decision. When breaking the news to your loved ones, it’s important to state your reasons why you’ve chosen to elope. As this will reassure them that you are making the right decision for you. They may not understand from the get go, but by letting them in on your thought process. This will help with further come to terms with your decision.

These reasons could be any of the stated below:

  • We don’t feel align with the traditional aspects of a wedding day
  • We would rather spend our money on an experience, rather than material items and hosting a party
  • We don’t want to pay the big price tag of a traditional wedding
  • We want to spend our day doing something we love, like travelling, or partaking in an adventure activity
  • We want to spend our day focused on our relationship, rather than worrying about pleasing guests
  • We don’t want the stress of planning a big wedding
  • We are introverted and privacy is important to us
  • We don’t want to wait to get married
  • We love the idea of having the freedom to do whatever we want on our day
  • The idea of showing the more intimate side of our relationship in front of others makes us uncomfortable
  • We would love to say our vows somewhere remote
  • We want our day to be a true representation of us
  • We like to keep things simple, and not making a big fuss

Involve them

One of the best ways to allow your friends and family to come to terms with your decision, is to let them in on the process. There are so many unique ways you can still allow them to be apart of your day, without them physically being there. We won’t dive too much into it here, as we’ve already written an entire blog post about the “20 ways you can include friends and family in your elopement day, when eloping just the two of you”. By including them in on the process, they will feel like they were apart of it, and appreciate the effort you’ve made to include them.

Sorrento Beach Elopement

Document it

An option on how to tell family you’re eloping, if you want to wait until after you’ve eloped to break the news. Is by sharing your sharing your photos and/or video from the day with them. That way they will feel like they were apart of the experience, and got to see first hand what you special day was like! This will also solidify the reasons why you chose to elope, and show them first hand just how special it is. Either way, documenting your elopement day is always an amazing way to share the day with loved ones, who were not present. They will appreciate it as they get to feel apart of it through the images and/or video. And you’ll also have your most special memories documented to look back on for the rest of your lives! It’s a win win really!

Gift them an album

Going off the point above, about sharing your photos/video of your elopement day. Another great way you could tell your friends and family, is by gifting them with an album after the day. This is great for those couples, who maybe want to keep it a secret and surprise their loved ones. By giving your family their own album as a gift, this will make them feel like you truly put thought into including them. As well as were so generous to gift them a keepsake, tangible memory from the day. This way, they will have a special piece of your wedding, even if they weren’t there, to relive it with you for the years to come.

Host a gathering

Whether its an engagement party, hens/bucks, or a post elopement celebration. You can always host a party so your loved ones feel apart of the celebrations, while you still get to have your own private experience. A fun idea is to send out invitations stating that you are getting married, then hosting a party later on. Then you can share your photos/video from the day, and catch them up on just how special it was! You will feel the support, while they will feel like they got to be apart of it all, in their own special way!

Stay true to you

Remember to always stay authentic to you. After all, thats what eloping is all about. Whether your family is more traditional then you, or perhaps they are big extroverts and love a big party. You may feel like you are disappointing them at times. But this is your wedding day, not theirs. They have their own choice in how they choose to get married, just the same as you do. So own your decision, stay true to you, and be confident knowing you are planning the absolute best wedding experience for the two of you. And by doing that, you will have no regrets, and cherish these memories for the rest of your lives.


We hope this helped you with how to tell your family you’re eloping. For more inspiration on planning your elopement, check out our other blog posts here. Or reach out, as we are always ready to answer your questions and assist you in this process to dreaming up your absolute best elopement experience!

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