For you and your partner, it is pretty obvious why you want to elope. But understanding how to effectively share your big news with others can be a challenge. With a lot of intention and a little patience, you can help even the most die-hard traditionalist come to the same conclusion that you have already arrived at: “Elopements are the coolest way we could possibly express our love.” (And trust us, we have thought about a lot of different ways.)
For some, the elopement announcement will come easily and naturally. Your family and friends have always known you have your own unique style, and that you value experiences over things. So of course an elopement is right for you!
For other couples, the announcement may be accompanied by feelings of anxiety. (After all, Grandma pictured you with a big traditional wedding since you were old enough to make a toilet paper veil and slow dance with the neighbor’s kid at age four.) But the elopement announcement does not have to be stressful. The key?
A focus on personal choice and an aura of confidence in the decision. If it’s the right choice for you, then it is the right choice. Period.
As you are well aware, society expects that everyone gets married in a (very) specific way. Family and friends oftentimes expect that you, too, will take the traditional marriage route. While that route can be a lot of fun, it’s not for everyone. And it’s especially not for you. The discrepancy between what is expected and what you want to do may cause stress. But planning for this discrepancy can help diminish your anxiety and leave you with a more enjoyable planning process.
The tone of this announcement should be one of love and confidence, excitement and joy (similar to the marriage ahead of you!) After all, that’s how you actually feel about your decision. You are excited, and everyone should know it! And for those who don’t yet see elopements from your perspective? Take advice from Taylor Swift (and you know I love me some quality Taylor), “If the haters gonna hate, hate hate hate… then you shake it off.” (Preferably shak’n it off from the most epic elopement location the world has ever seen.) There may be difficult discussions ahead, but more often than not, the conversations will be filled with excitement and happy tears.
Read on to learn how you can best prepare yourself and others for this incredible choice that lays before you.
Procrastinators, you are going to love what comes next: you can choose whether to tell friends and family you are eloping before or after you actually tie the knot. While sneaking off in the dead of night to say “I do” under a full moon without a soul aware is romantic for some. For others, having those closest to them aware before they elope is important. And of course, there are benefits to both:
You aren’t the only one getting goosebumps and butterflies while dreaming about your big day! While the celebration may consist of just my Amores, there is something meaningful in being able to call your mama when the nerves set in or your best friend to remind you what a “boutonniere” is.
Let’s face it, there is a good chance your sister already has a fully developed Pinterest Board for your wedding day. If your elopement plans are in the works, making the elopement announcement to people close to you before the actual celebration can help manage expectations. (And you can assure your sister that elopement Pinterest Boards are a thing!)
It is possible (and fun!) to get family and friends involved in an elopement, even if they won’t be involved in the actual ceremony. Wedding dress shopping, cake tasting, choosing flowers for your special day, or getting pedicures together before the celebration can be great ways to get individuals involved (without them stepping on your perfectly polished toes).
For some couples, there is something special about doing something only the two of you (and perhaps your favorite Colorado Elopement Photographer)know about. If this thought gives you goosebumps (the good kind) then maybe holding off on the elopement announcement is the right choice for you.
Do you know a surefire way to ensure family and friends don’t push their thoughts, ideas, or expectations on your elopement? Making your elopement announcement after the fact. (You can’t micromanage something that has already happened!)
For some, the ceremony proves to be a particularly emotional or stressful point (whether that is due to nerves, planning, or the fact that big life changes are coming!) If this sounds like you, then perhaps you do the dang thing, and let family and friends know when the ceremony is completed. This way, you can celebrate with pure happiness and no looming plans in the back of your mind.
Friendly reminder: This elopement is about you and your love, and is your personal choice. And while an elopement may have always felt right in your gut, it is a good idea to get clear on why you wish to elope and write. It. Down. (Seriously. Write it down.)
This helps you have the right words to say when faced with the questions you will surely be asked when making your elopement announcement. Need some ideas to get you started? Check out the possible reasons below that may help define why you have chosen to elope.
“We wanted an intimate day focused on just the two of us.”
“We wanted to integrate our own traditions, and don’t care much for the usual wedding customs.”
“We are working through family dynamics and realized that an elopement was the best way to keep the day focused on our love.”
“We are eloping to save money for a (house, land, hot air balloon, etc.)”
“We wanted a day just for ourselves, and then we’ll have a big party with you!”
Jot down your notes. Share it with your partner. Say it out loud and see how it feels when it rolls off your tongue. More often than not, you will not only have words to share with family and friends, but you will also gain confidence in your own elopement decision.
I love the idea of “just winging it” when it comes to your elopement announcement. If you are the type of person that thinks best when the pressure is on, then I have three words for you: Go. For. It.
However, if you anticipate any pushback from others on the choice you made together with your partner, this may be a sign to plan out your announcement beforehand. Here is how to make that happen:
1. Make a list of who you have to tell personally (generally, this is close family and friends!)
2. Know your audience! Anticipate reactions to your elopement announcement.
3. Write down potential objections. “But you can’t have a chocolate fountain on top of Long’s Peak!” (Hint hint: We provide common objections below to help you get started.)
4. Explain your reasons for eloping. Here is where your list of “why we are eloping” comes into play. Refashion your reason for eloping into something this friend or family member would best understand, if possible.
5. Be ready to explain what an elopement is! (Need some help? Check this out.)
6. Work up to the conversation over time. This tactic won’t be necessary for everyone, but for those who may be the most affected by your decision, this may be a good strategy. Slowly send them photos of gorgeous elopements (if you have a photographer, send ones from that photographer). Give them the “Oohs!” and “Aahs!” and “This is so cool!” Focus on the positives in a calm, cool, and collected way so they won’t be surprised when you admit an elopement is right for you.
7. Tell them in a space where they are most comfortable. If the person is an outdoor or adventure junkie like you, an outdoor activity such as a short hike or bike ride may help them see why getting married in nature is so important to you.
8. Give them time to process. As humans, we all need time to process information we aren’t expecting. If their initial reaction isn’t what you expected, don’t be discouraged. Allow time for them to calm down after the initial surprise.
9. Believe they will come around. I am a firm believer that friends and family will eventually come to appreciate your decision as authentic and the right one for you. This may take hours, weeks, or years, but they’ll get there. And until, be comforted by the fact you are making a decision that is meaningful to you and your relationship.
The time has come. *Drumroll please.* You are ready to tell your friends and family that you and your partner have chosen to elope. So take a Wonder Woman Stance, a bite of your favorite snack or a shot of your fave drink, and a few deep breaths. You got this.
Cater the elopement announcement to the people you are telling. If you are optimistic about their reaction, consider having some fun with the elopement announcement. If you anticipate a difficult conversation, be polite but firm. Walk in with the reasons you have chosen to elope in your pocket, even if you don’t look at them, just so that they are close by and you can reference them if necessary.
1. PowerPoint. I know, it’s a bit ‘business-y,’ but you mean business! A PowerPoint allows you to address a lot of issues all at once in a very structured manner. This is great for the left-brained people in your life who need to see the numbers. You can also make this a very fun tongue-in-cheek way to announce your plans. Think “Step-Brothers” style.
2. Video. A prerecorded video can be a fun way to make your elopement announcement. This also allows you to record a video when you are feeling confident. Then, it gives you the option to rerecord if you want to say something different.
3. Include photos. Especially those new to the elopement world, many people are not aware of what your elopement may look like. Share either photos from your photographer or from the location where you plan to elope. Sending a personalized card with these photos can also be a great touch.
4. Have a fun ‘reveal.’ Perhaps it is a silly social media video, or writing a ballad for your elopement announcement. (This is recommended for those who are musically inclined and not tone deaf like yours truly.) Or, for those who confidently want to add to the fun by emphasizing the fact that they are indeed, tone-deaf, go ahead and belt it out! After all, it is your day and your elopement announcement.
5. Share the glory after the story! Share the photos, the videos, the words, the feels, and the lewks with the world after the wedding.
Once you have made the announcement, let friends and family know the next steps if there are any. Share ideas on how they can be included. This can be an invitation to the celebration, or an invitation to help plan, shop, make props, or write messages to be read or viewed during the ceremony. If you don’t want them involved in these ways, let them know you are excited to share photos with them after the fact.
Most people are trying to be helpful if they have a negative or knee-jerk response to an elopement announcement. However, hearing anything less than an enthusiastic “YAY!” can be frustrating. Anticipating what responses your elopement announcement may elicit, and how to respond politely and firmly can help you prepare for your big announcement.
“That’s truly generous of you! One of the reasons we are eloping is to save money for a down payment on our house/future children’s college tuition/ the largest chocolate cake the world has ever seen. If you would like to contribute financially, we would love it if you could donate the savings towards helping us pay for a few of the other expenses!”
“And we want you to be included! A) You are going to join us for the adventure, so buckle up cause it’s gonna be a lot of fun! B) We want you to be included, and here’s how…” (Include the ways you want them involved.)
“An elopement is an authentic representation of our love. It’s focused on us. It’s literally about my boo and me getting married, not the 200 guests. That being said, we are looking forward to including you in the process! What do you know about baking chocolate cakes?”
“We are so happy for them and their decision. But when it comes to weddings, we want to do it our way! We’re so excited and we want you to be excited, too.”
“We are so committed to our (cough *badass*) love that we are creating our own traditions. And we are so thankful you are here to support us through this new journey.”
Once close friends and family have been notified, it is now time to share your news with the wider public (think colleagues, family friends, your pet psychic, and anyone else who you would like to notify.) You can do so through social media or send out elopement announcement cards or engagement cards.
There is always the option to make your elopement a surprise for the general public. Do the thang and then share it with the world with your epic adventure elopement photography.
Finally, consider including friends, family, and acquaintances in the elopement after the fact. Invite them to go through a slideshow of your photos, and share the story with them as they view the photos. Of course, get the photo album of your big day, and welcome others to share in the joy. Maybe plan parties or celebrations with several different groups of friends to celebrate after you have officially eloped. You heard that right: Multiple parties celebrating you and your big day, without the stress and pressure of wedding expectations.
You have chosen to elope because you and your partner want a celebration that reflects your unique love. So why not have an elopement announcement that is just as authentic? In the words of Winston Churchill (a funny figure to reference in an elopement announcement post, but relevant nonetheless,) “…as long as you are generous and true and also fierce you cannot hurt the world or even seriously distress her.”
So be generous in warmth, and true in your style. Love your partner and those who surround you as fiercely as possible. If you do these things, the world will follow suit.
Hi I’m Adam. Elopements are my thing and helping you find the best Colorado elopement photographer for you is what puts a smile on my face. I can help you figure out the best elopement package and help you plan the day of your dreams. If you are excited about creating your perfect day and are curious where to start, reach out and ask. (And may I be the first to say, congrats on choosing a celebration that is honest to you!)