First off - congratulations on your decision! I know it's not an easy one to make, but you're about to have the most dreamy wedding experience and I couldn't be more excited for you! Traditional brides often tell me about 4 weeks from the day that they wished they had just eloped, so you're ahead of the game.
It's important to communicate your decision with confidence and excitement so they understand that this decision is about you, not them. You're not doing this because you don't want them there. You're doing it because you want the experience that you've dreamed of, and having guests (or many guests) doesn't allow for that to happen. So when you're having the conversations with your family and friends, think about and share the reasons that you've decided to have an intimate, adventurous elopement first...
Remember Your Reasons...
You want to spend as much of your wedding day together as possible, making each other happy and not wedding guests
You want to say your vows to one another privately - not with an audience.
You want to invest your wedding budget in an amazing experience for yourselves.
You would rather save for a house, travel, or another big investment.
You don't want to spend your wedding day as a puppet, jumping from one thing on the timeline to the next.
You want your wedding day to be in your dream location.
You want to do more than just have a wedding - you want to hike/sight-see/go off-roading/kayak/camp/zip-line/do something exciting that you love!
You want to enjoy the day with little stress.
You don't want to wait.
Whether you're planning on keeping the wedding to just the two of you, or you're inviting a select number of guests, you'll have to drop the bomb to someone at some point and I get that it's not an easy thing to do. There are many ways to do it, and you'll ultimately know the best way to approach it with each person individually...
5 Ways to Tell People You're Eloping...
Be obvious and drop hints so they're eased into the idea that it's going to happen. And for people that you don't think will take it lightly - see if those who are more understanding will drop hints for you.
Make time for a conversation with them in person or with a video call so you can share your reasons why you're eloping and so that they can see how happy and excited you are to take this step.
When Aunt Marge asks for the 3485th time "so when's the wedding??" you can simply have the conversation in that moment and list your reasons. If you pull out an actual list to read, they'll know you mean business! lol
Sometimes you just need to throw out "well, we've been planning this trip to Utah and we decided we want to get married while we're there, but we'll be planning a celebration afterward here with everyone!"
Send "we got married!" announcements after you've done it! If you think they'll spoil things for you and won't quite be as understanding as you wish they would be, the best thing to do is just do it and tell them later. They'll still love you and be excited to see the photos afterward.
Remember - this is YOUR day!
Guests will go to probably 100+ weddings in their lifetime. You get 1 wedding day. If you're not planning your best day ever, but instead trying to plan the best wedding the guests have ever been to, trying to keep up with Pinterest standards, spending the day stressed over a timeline, then you're not letting your wedding day live up to it's potential. Don't let anyone convince you that the elopement that you dream of isn't right. Flip it around and tell them that it's not right for them to feel entitled to have a say in what makes you happy. They have had (or will have) their own wedding day - this one is for you!
And if you need to, you can always blame your decision on me - I'll take the heat for ya!
More Elopement Planning Resources:
Hey there! I'm Carly D'Angelo-Hall - a photographer specializing in documenting weddings and elopements across the U.S. If you love adventure, experiencing new things, and if you like to live "outside of the box", let's talk about how I can help you create and capture the wedding day of your dreams! Visit wildnorthweddings.com to view all-inclusive wedding day and adventure session packages.
Wild North Weddings is an elopement and adventure wedding photographer documenting weddings in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, New York, Arizona, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, and many more locations on the East Coast and West Coast of the U.S.