For some reason, so many people think that the act of excluding people and making your wedding day about you two is WRONG! There’s such a weird stigma around eloping like we’re still in the 1950’s, when “eloping” meant being a complete rebel and running off to Vegas. As I looked up ideas for this blog post, I literally came across a few popular Google searches (you know, in that “people also ask” section) that said “is eloping a sin?” and “is eloping selfish?”
The short answer: HELL NO eloping is not a sin, selfish, bad, wrong, or anything negative/shameful whatsoever!! Elopements have become popular in recent years for a few reasons – 1) COVID (duh) and 2) couples are opening their minds up to more options. They’re realizing that there are WAY more opportunities for a beautiful wedding than just a traditional, large wedding day with 300 guests.
And no shade if that’s what you do want for your wedding day – this article is literally all about telling you to do what YOU want!! But I’ll be specifically talking about elopements + breaking the stigma around them, with 5 reasons why eloping isn’t selfish, how to tell your family you’re eloping, & how to include your family in your elopement. You ready to feel validated in your decision to elope, or to be convinced that eloping might be right for you?! 😉
5 Reasons Why Eloping Is Far From Selfish
1. It’s self-care, not selfish
I like to think of the idea of eloping as self-care rather than self-ish.
By choosing to elope, you’re choosing the way of celebrating that you know will BEST serve you & your partner. If you know that having friends & family present on your elopement day will stress you the F out, you’re literally taking care of yourself by opting to not invite them!!
Elopements are all about doing what’s best for you and making that a priority – and so is the concept of self-care. It means choosing the route that will make you feel the most comfortable, happy, loved, and ready for an incredible wedding experience – not the route that might cause ya stress, frustration, and prevent you from experiencing all the joy of your wedding day!!
By making a decision that is right for you and your partner, you’re not being selfish: you’re being self-aware of your needs + desires, and by following that, you’re taking care of yourselves 🙂
2. This day literally revolves around you
This one should be obvious, but the entire POINT of a wedding is to celebrate YOU. Yes, traditional weddings do revolve around celebrating with loved ones and thanking them for being a part of your love story/journey/whatever, but doesn’t that seem a little weird?
Of course, your loved ones play a huge role in your lives, but your wedding day should be about celebrating you and your love for each other, not how others play a part in your relationship.
Think about it: couples who choose to have traditional weddings aren’t labeled selfish, even though at their core, all weddings are a little “selfish.” It’s an entire day to focus on you and celebrate you, with you at the center of attention!
And that’s not a bad thing at all, because you deserve it! But then why are traditional weddings “okay,”, and only elopements are considered “selfish??” We gotta fix that!!
3. You don’t owe anybody anything
Simply put: eloping isn’t selfish, because you don’t owe anybody anything. You can choose to have a private elopement and STILL be thankful for your loved ones, still show them your love, without inviting them to your actual elopement.
Just because you elope without guests doesn’t mean you love your friends & fam any less – it just means that you know what’s best for you, and what’s best for you is celebrating on your own!
This is a day for YOU and about YOU, not for or about them. And I promise they’ll understand that if you explain it to them! It might take some time & thinking for them to fully understand that it’s nothing personal, because society HAS kinda nailed it into our heads that not inviting your family members to your wedding basically means you’re shunning them. Truly, it does not mean that (unless you are shunning them, in which case you do you boo)!!
4. Only YOU know what will be most meaningful to you
Once again, this choice is YOURS because only YOU two know what’ll be most meaningful to you. You can look at all the wedding inspiration in the world, attend all your friends’ weddings, and watch all the wedding planning videos, but in the end, only you know what’s truly best for you.
As much as your friends & family might love you, they don’t necessarily know that a private elopement will bring you the most peace, happiness, and fulfillment on your wedding day together. They might not know that they’d cause you too much stress if they were present, and that it would inhibit your ability to fully enjoy the day.
Only the two of you truly know what you want, how you feel, and what will be best for your elopement!
5. You deserve to have #noregrets
I’ve talked to MANY couples who look back on their wedding day and regret being forced into a bigger event than they originally wanted. I’ve heard sooo so many people say they wish they hadn’t invited so & so, they wish they’d cut down on the guest list, they wish they’d have only invited the people who truly supported them.
You deserve to have an incredible elopement experience full of joy and ZERO regret, so plan a day that will leave you with amazing memories forever instead of planning something you know you’ll regret afterward!
How to Tell Your Family You’re Eloping
I know that one of the hardesttt parts of eloping for some couples is figuring out how to tell their loved ones. You’d think that if you really cared about your friend or family member, you’d want them to get married in a way that makes them HAPPY!!! But unfortunately that’s not always the case – sometimes eloping can come with resentment, can upset family members, or can cause them to give you a bit of a cold shoulder ‘cause they feel rejected.
I’ll say it again: you DESERVE to get married however you want to! I want you to plan the day that reflects YOU GUYS and YOUR relationship – no one else!
But if you’re concerned about hurting a friend or family member’s feelings, here are some steps that you can take to ensure that they feel loved & involved in your big day.
You have two options: before you elope or after you’ve already eloped
There are two ways to go about telling your loved ones about your elopement – either tell them that you’re eloping before it happens, or just say fuck it, elope, and tell them afterward! It’s totally up to you what you decide to do, but here are some tips for both options.
Before you elope:
If you want to tell your loved ones you’re eloping before you actually elope, be prepared for some backlash if you think they’ll be upset. In order to help friends and family members understand your decision to elope, communicate and really take the time to explain WHY you are choosing to elope and what matters most to you about your wedding day. Take them to coffee or dinner, someplace where you can have an intentional conversation!
Ultimately if they react badly, they are probably just sad to be missing out, and wish they could be there to support you. It might take them some time to understand it and take it in, and hopefully after a while, they’ll be able to fully support you.
If they don’t end up being understanding, and decide not to support your decision, then that’s on them – it’s not your responsibility to make them happy. Your elopement is about YOU, and you can be proud that you’ve decided to do what’s best for you and your partner, even if that means hurting loved ones temporarily.
If you do want to somehow involve your friends and family WITHOUT them actually being invited to the ceremony, click here for some fun ways to do so!
After you’ve already eloped:
If you think it will add more stress to your day if you tell your family before you elope, you can totally just go for it, elope, and tell them afterward!! What’s that saying – ask for forgiveness, not permission 😉 (not that you need ANYONE’S permission to elope, but you get what I mean!)
After you elope, and once you get some photos back, you can send “we eloped!” announcements in the mail with a photo of the big day! Your loved ones will hopefully be so thrilled to see photos and to hear all about it!
You can also tell them before you post about it on social media, since they would probably love to know first & get to support you before it’s announced to the public.
I also love when couples hire videographers, because then they have a video to show their loved ones who weren’t present on the elopement day!!
How to Include Your Family in Your Elopement
Finally, let’s talk about some fun ways you can include your loved ones in your elopement, without them actually being guests on the day-of (if you want to include them somehow)!!
Have them write letters/record videos
If you want to feel supported & loved by them on your elopement day, have your friends and family members write you letters beforehand. Bring those letters with you, and open & read them sometime on your elopement day – maybe during your ceremony or while you’re eating dinner. You can also have them record little vids to send you, and then watch them on your elopement day!
Celebrate with them afterward
If you want the best of both worlds, have a private elopement, THEN have a celebration with family and friends after the fact! This could be the day after your elopement, the week after, or even on your one-year anniversary. Find a time to throw a party/celebration and enjoy the love and support of your favorite people! This way you get the intimacy of an elopement PLUS the party aspect of big weddings!
Facetime them/livestream your ceremony
Thanks to modern technology, it’s super easy to keep in touch with your loved ones and that includes on your elopement day, if you want to! You can Facetime them as you get ready, or after your vow exchange when you’re poppin’ a bottle of champagne. Or you can even livestream your ceremony if you want them to be able to watch without actually being there!
Hire a videographer, and watch your elopement vid together
Like I mentioned before, hiring a videographer is always always a good idea for your elopement – but ESPECIALLY if you won’t be inviting loved ones!! This way, you’ll have an amazing elopement video to watch with your family and friends afterward. Sit on the couch, grab some drinks, and show them the highlights of your day!
Take Polaroids throughout the day to gift to them
Last but not least, a cute little way to include your loved ones is to take Polaroid photos throughout your elopement day, then gift them afterward! This is such a fun gesture and will give your friends & fam small keepsakes from your day. Parents will especially love this one, Polaroids are perfect for storing in wallets!!
I hope that after reading all that, you’re feeling uber-confident in your decision to elope, and that you KNOW it’s not a selfish, shameful, or wrong decision in the slightest!! Reach out to me here, and I can help ya come up with how to tell your loved ones you’re eloping + plan out ways to include them in your big day.
If you’re looking for more elopement resources to help you plan your dream day, check out some of my favorites below!!