How to Tell Friends & Family You Eloped


Can we just admit that wedding planning is the worst? I KNOW, I was a wedding planner for YEARS, and have helped MANY friends and clients plan their weddings! The expectation for the perfect event, the pressure to create the best party, the freaking guest list, and your mother in law who has a list of 100 people you’ve never met that she insists have to be invited…. ITS TOUGH.

It kinda….makes you want to say “Screw it! Let’s elope!”

Trust me, I’ll be your biggest cheerleader in that decision because I KNOW that it will be the best choice you’ll ever make!

Seattle elopement photographers
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In my opinion, don’t tell anyone. I’m not going to when I elope. BUT, I know how invested parents are, and how they might feel sad or left out to not know that their kid is getting married. SO if you must tell people, maybe just tell them. And then really highlight the fact that it is supposed to be a SECRET, and not to tell anyone. I know that my mom CANNOT keep a secret to save her life. No matter how much I emphasize that something must be kept a secret, she just gets too excited and lets word slip. Haha so I know that if I tell her, I am consequently telling everyone that goes to her church that I am eloping.

The thing IS, is that family is going to have the biggest opinions on your wedding. They just will. So if you know already that your family is not going to approve or going to have some strong opinions, maybe don’t disclose to them until after the ceremony. This is YOUR decision after all.

How to tell your friends and family that you eloped

Okay, but how do you tell everyone that you are NOT having the expected huge wedding in the church?
Okay, first of all you need to decide if you want to tell anybody at all. Do you want it to be just the two of you? Or would you prefer to have your parents or a few witnesses there? There’s not a RIGHT way to elope, do what feels right for YOU, but there are certainly pros and cons to telling people about your decision.

Alright, here’s some pros! The people that you DO tell will feel special that you decided to share with them. They’ll feel honored that you wanted them to know, and the people closest to you will have your best interest in mind and will hopefully be supportive and excited for you! People LOVE secrets, and love being confided in, so the fact that you chose to tell them something deeply personal will let the know how much they mean to you!

Okay, now some cons. You know how NOBODY can keep a secret? Yeah. No one can keep a secret. If you tell just one person that you’re going to elope, the likelihood of word getting out WILL increase if you decide to tell people. If you tell just ONE person, they will probably let it slip to someone else that you are eloping. Maybe that person will just be their boyfriend, but maybe that person will be the office gossip, or your mother in law. The more people who know, the more people that will have opinions about YOUR DECISION. They might want to be invited. They might want to lecture you about how sad and disappointed grandma will be. If you decide to tell people, make sure to specify that you guys are having a SMALL and INTIMATE ceremony and that it is what you and your fiance WANT.

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Over the years, I have seen people announce that they have eloped in many different ways. How you choose to tell people is up to you, but here are a few methods that I have seen work well for couples in the past!

  • Sending out “We eloped!” announcement cards. Using a photo from the actual elopement, let people know that you guys exchanged your vows in a private ceremony, and that you couldn’t be happier!

  • Having a party with everyone close to you when you get back, and announce that you guys got married. Celebrate your love with everyone close to you then, and everyone feels included.

  • Facetiming specific people either for the ceremony or directly afterwards to tell them right away! People will love feeling like they were included in your ceremony by you making time for them in your timeline.

  • Making a photo album for your parents with photos from the ceremony and gifting it to them when you tell them!

  • Posting it on facebook or instagram to just tell everyone right away. Disable comments on the picture if you are worried about negative or opinionated words.  

Seattle elopement photographers
Seattle elopement photographers
Seattle elopement photographers

However you decide to do it, stress the fact that you guys got married in the way that you guys WANTED and that it was the best choice for you and your spouse. Assure the people that you do tell that they are still loved even though you did not include them in your ceremony.

So what’s holding you back?! Burn that seating chart, and give me an email! Let’s get you guys married in the most adventurous way ever!

Seattle elopement photographer how to tell your friends and family that you eloped

*If you’re a friend or family member of a couple that eloped or is eloping, just know that while the couples loves you, they deserve to do what represents them best for their wedding ceremony. It doesn’t mean that they love any less at all. If you have been privy to this secret, please do your best to keep it a secret. All conflicting opinions can overwhelm a couple and put a damper on one of the most special days of their lives! Please do your part to ensure that their ceremony happens as the couple prefers!