So, You’ve Chosen the Path Less-Travelled! How Exciting!
Following your heart and adventuring down the elopement path can be an altogether wondrous experience – bringing yourselves one step closer to creating the most authentic celebration of your love. But something that could be potentially putting a damper on your excitement is the uncertainty of how to go about informing your loved ones.
So, how do you tell your family and friends that you intend to skip the traditional wedding routine and opt for something a little more intimate and true to your soul?
There might be some confusion or shock at the idea of straying from the traditional “norm” of a wedding celebration. There is also the unfortunate possibility that you may not receive everybody’s approval (or at least, not right away) but I implore you to stay true to your heart and have an open conversation with your loved ones. At its core, your wedding day is a reflection of your love, and whilst you can value and appreciate others’ opinions, you don’t have to feel pressured into doing something you’re not comfortable with.
There are still many ways to include your family and friends within this process that further builds excitement and anticipation for your big day without anybody feeling left out.
Be Honest and Have the conversation in person
Whilst this might not be an option for every single member of your social circle, I believe it’s important to announce your decision to elope in person.
Naturally, your loved ones will have questions as an element of your decision entails their absence during your day.
By remaining honest and clearly stating your intentions, it’s a reminder that your decision isn’t anything personal against them, but rather an opportunity to create an intimate adventure with your partner.
Another benefit of having this conversation in person is the ability to read and understand people’s emotional reactions and to reassure them that this decision was made out of love and ultimately, it’s what feels right to you as a couple.
Break it Down and Let Them Know of the “Why”
As I have mentioned before, there is often a stigma surrounding the idea of an elopement purely because people associate it with running off to Las Vegas on a whim without telling another soul. (Again, if that’s your dream, don’t let anybody stop you. Let’s go to Las Vegas!)
But I think, especially these days, that an elopement is so much more than marrying in secret.
The intentions behind an elopement have evolved from something that was once viewed as a reckless whim into an honest celebration of the love shared between two individuals.
It allows them to cherish this affection in a day that is specifically tailored to them without the anxieties and pressures that a traditional wedding might bring.
When talking through your intentions with your loved ones, I think it’s really important to remain as transparent as possible in explaining why you’ve decided to elope.
Does a traditional wedding day feel like a large performance?
Do you prefer the idea of stripping back the excess layers and just having a small, authentic moment with your partner in a place that brings you joy?
Perhaps you’ve always dreamed of a destination wedding and through a smaller elopement, that can be possible.
There are a plethora of reasons why people choose to elope and there is no wrong reason behind the decision.
Involve Your Loved Ones in the Planning Process
Whilst you might not have your loved ones in attendance on your big day, a simple way to get everyone involved and ease any feelings of being left out is through the planning process.
Don’t be afraid to ask for advice!
Whether that’s shopping for a dress, what florals to choose from, or simply a handwritten letter for you to read on your wedding day. There are many little elements that your loved ones can assist with to add their special touches.
Something that I always love to remind people is that even though their family and friends might not physically be in attendance, it doesn’t mean they’ll be missing out!
Having a photographer to capture your elopement means that your family can witness all the intimate details throughout your day through photos and videos.
For example, as a Melbourne-based photographer & videographer, I offer different options to include elopement photography and/or video packages that can be tailored to your specific desires.
This allows you to have the authentic elopement experience you’re after whilst also capturing your day to share with your loved ones at a later stage. It’s really a win-win scenario for all involved!
Plan a Separate Celebration
If you’re still stuck on the idea of not celebrating with your loved ones at your wedding, but still have your heart set on an elopement – why not plan a separate party before or after your wedding day?
It doesn’t have to be a big, elaborate affair on the same level as a wedding reception, but it can be a lovely idea to have everyone gathered around to commemorate your marriage.
It’s also a perfect time to share your wedding photos and videos in a loved-up, warm celebration!
This provides the perfect balance to have the elopement you’ve always dreamed of whilst also having that celebration with those closest to you.
It’s Okay to Put You First
I know you’ve probably heard this before, but I want to remind you that your wedding day is exactly that: yours.
It can be challenging to juggle many differing opinions and emotional reactions, but this is a once in a lifetime experience and you should celebrate it in a way that feels genuine to your relationship.
Putting your values and desires first isn’t selfish.
Please don’t allow upset friends or family members to dissuade you from following your heart!
There will be many people who will stand with you and support your decisions.
You will also be surprised at how many people will understand and accept your decision especially once you talk through your reasoning and deciding factors!
My Biggest Piece of Advice: Communication is Key
This is such an exciting time for you as a couple and that excitement should be allowed to flourish.
Stay true to yourself and your relationship – the rest will figure itself out, I promise.
If you’re still feeling unsure and need an ear to talk it through, I’m your girl! I’m a big believer in elopements and following your heart to have the most magical wedding day that perfectly encapsulates your love story.
So, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me! I can be your ultimate hype girl.