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Top Tips for Telling Your Family You’re Eloping (Just the Two of You)

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Announcing Your Elopement to Family and Friends


Anytime you step outside the bounds of tradition and choose to follow your own path, there’s a chance you’ll face challenges. This is especially true when people feel passionate about the subject at hand, and marriage is no exception.

Committing to a lifetime with your partner is exhilarating. It’s also one of the biggest decisions you’ll ever make. You and your future spouse will no doubt be filled with joy and bursting with excitement to share the news with your friends and families.

This is where some couples experience stress. Well-intentioned as they may be, people who care about you might place certain expectations on your wedding. From wanting to be personally involved to hoping you have a large, traditional wedding, getting married tends to carry a bit of baggage before you even say, “I do.”

If you intend to elope, the prospect of disappointing people you care about or of facing resistance from loved ones can create tension. Breaking wedding norms may lead to tough conversations, but it doesn’t have to be daunting. Here are my top tips for telling your family you’re eloping—and you want it to be just the two of you.

Once you and your partner have decided to elope, it’s time to think about breaking the news to your family and friends. While everyone has a different group of loved ones, and yours may respond to certain methods better than others, there are a few tips for announcing your elopement that apply almost universally.

By taking the following tips and tricks for telling your family just you and your partner are eloping, you can ease the burden you might be feeling and make the nontraditional wedding a little easier for them to accept.


Don’t Waste Time

When confronted by something difficult, it can be tempting to put it off until the last second. If it’s on the back burner, it’s easier to put it out of your mind and make life a little less stressful at the moment. Unfortunately, this strategy rarely pays off.

While you don’t have to come out immediately and announce your decision to elope—especially if you know certain people will be resistant to it—it’s a good idea to start dropping hints sooner rather than later. By sprinkling subtle (or not-so-subtle) hints into conversations, you make breaking the news much less overwhelming because people will be expecting it.

If you’re one of those free-spirited couples who eloped in your own way without telling anyone, don’t worry; you can still break the news in a tactful, caring way. Just be gracious and consider the following tips in context.

A couple walks along a mountain path, enjoying their private elopement day in Colorado.

Two brides lean in close for a kiss on their wedding day, a private elopement in Colorado.


Talking In Person is Best

Clear communication is most effective when talking in person with those you care about. Not only does it allow for non-verbal and verbal communication to coalesce, but it is also a sign of respect and thoughtfulness. Even if they’re going to be disappointed, the fact that you went the extra mile to break the news of your elopement to them in person will demonstrate you genuinely care.

If you’re concerned about your ability to communicate what you want to say under the pressure of standing in front of someone, feel free to take extra steps to ensure you’re confident and don’t miss anything. Write down key points, go over important aspects of your decision with your partner, and be as honest and understanding as possible with your family and friends.


Explain Your Why

Choosing to elope is no small decision. If you and your partner decide it’s the right route for you, it’s important to discuss your reasons and have a firm grasp on the why behind your choice. Not only does this help you both understand each other and get on the same page, but it is a vital component of explaining your elopement to your family.

Remember, a lot of people have a dated view of elopements. These preconceived notions may include visions of courthouse weddings and impulse decisions, but that’s not the reality of modern elopements. By taking time to lay out the reasoning behind your decision to elope, you can help dispel these misunderstandings and give people a glimpse into the appeal eloping holds for you.

Whether your reasons are romantic (who doesn’t love an epic elopement location), practical (weddings are expensive, and you want to buy a house), or a blend of several factors, sharing shows you care. Even if they still don’t understand (or even approve of) your choice, you will have done your part to enlighten them and demonstrate how happy the decision to elope makes you.


Include Loved Ones in Other Ways

Some couples opt to have their loved ones with them on their elopement day, but you can include them in the festivities even if you intend to elope with just your partner. From asking for their assistance in the planning process to throwing a reception party after the elopement where friends and family can mingle and share in the joy, there are several wonderful ways to include those dear to you.

Get as creative as you wish, and feel free to include loved ones in capacities that work for you and appeal to them. After all, flexibility and freedom are key components of choosing to elope!

A couple hikes to their elopement ceremony spot for their private wedding in the Colorado mountains.

A couple reads their private vows to each other during their Colorado private elopement ceremony.


Share the Love (and photos)

Who you share moments of levity with says a lot about your priorities. If you want your family and friends to feel loved, sharing your joy with them is one of the best ways to do it. You can do this in a number of ways, including hosting a celebration after your elopement and sharing tales and photos from the magical day.

When you share photos, consider doing so in a variety of ways. You can send them sneak peeks digitally, link them to your gallery once it is ready, and even print out some of your favorite photos and send them to people as cards.

If people can’t physically attend your wedding, experiencing it through photos and souvenirs is the next best thing!


You’ve Decided to Elope; What Now?

Breaking the news to your loved ones is a major hurdle to overcome, but in many ways, it’s just the start of your elopement journey and shared life with your partner. If you’re ready to plan the elopement of your dreams, there’s no place too small to start.

From insights on the details to bigger factors like choosing a location, I’m here to help. Reach out to me with your elopement curiosities, and I’ll work with you to plan the ins and outs of your most meaningful wedding moments!

Join the Facebook Community, Mindful Elopements, filled with free resources, free videos, engaging conversations and questions, and other couples that are exactly like you, in the same place, trying to book an adventure elopement and intimate wedding photographer.



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Alex, Coastal Elopement

"We loved our experience having Marcela as our elopement day photographer.

What was even more special about our experience was her ability to set us at ease months before our day. Through constant communication leading up to, and during, the day we got eloped. Her personality is that, in just four days time, we felt as if we've known her for years. 

Ah, but you're wondering about her photos. We loved every thing about them especially the raw emotion captured in many of the shots."

Caitlin, Alpine Lake Elopement

"My husband and I have been trying to put into words how simply amazing working with Marcela was.

From the start we could tell she truly cared about us, our relationship, and our story. She asked us so many questions, valued what we wanted, and kept up with the ever changing plans that came along with planning a wedding.

She made us feel so comfortable, made us laugh till we cried, and captured our true wholesome love for each other."

"We loved every moment of the day she helped create. Marcela was the perfect photographer for our adventure elopement! She worked tirelessly to make our adventure into marriage happen after our first options were snowed in! Great Sand Dunes felt like the perfect unique place for two Floridians who met in the mountains.

She made us comfortable to be ourselves throughout the whole day while making her job look effortless and fun. Our cheeks hurt from smiling, laughing and a few tears.

Marcela captured every precious moment! Her photography is absolutely stunning every way! I highly recommend Marcela for your elopement or wedding!"

Lauren, Sand Dunes Elopement

Amy, Forest Elopement

"Instead of telling us how to pose or interact with each other, Marcela gave us prompts that seemed simple but made a huge difference.

She asked us to talk about our first date. We discussed the weirdest things we loved about each other (which made us laugh) and how we could fulfill each other’s love languages. Amy and I played games with each other and Marcela captured the energy that happened naturally between us.

I love this shoot because it perfectly captures the love we share. It’s incredible to see that love and admiration encapsulated in a photo! Thank you for this!"

Chris, Anniversary Session

"The photos we just got back from Marcela are giving me CHILLS!! They are absolutely stunning!!!

She did SO MUCH more than just photograph us — she created special moments that I’ll cherish forever. She encouraged Con & I to genuinely interact & share intimate moments together. She prompted us to tell each other things that we love about one other, ways that the other person inspires us, & how being together has positively changed us.

It was more than just a beach shoot. We ended up giving each other precious, heart melting encouragement & that makes these photos all the more treasured to me."

Andrea, Red Rocks Elopement

"We had a pre-meet with her before the big day which definitely helped me feel more relaxed going into the wedding day. She gave us great suggestions and things to think about to be ready with on the wedding. On the day of she showed up early to help scope out the venue. She was creative to try and pull extra joy into our photographs.

When I look at these photos I see more than just beautiful images. I feel the moments that Marcela helped us experience and the connection we had.

I can't thank Marcela enough! We will treasure these moments forever!"

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A couple relaxes in their hammock during their private, just-them elopement.


Top Tips for Telling Your Family You’re Eloping (Just the Two of You)