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        Soooo you and your partner want to elope: we looove to hear it. Eloping is the bomb. BUT unfortunately, there’s still some weird stigma around it, especially when it comes to families of engaged couples. You might be Google-searching “how to elope and keep our families happy” – and you’re not alone in that.

        That’s why today I’m going to give you 3 important things to remember if you’re nervous about telling your families you’re eloping. Let’s get into the good shit now!

        bride and groom in redwoods

        1. “Elope” is not a dirty word!!

        Eloping is cool AF and I say that with my CHEST because I know that word can have such a polarizing connotation for some reason.

        I saw my doctor recently (random, I know, but stay with me) and he reacted to me saying I photograph elopements as if I had said I photograph abandoned puppies on the highway.

         

        WHY is there still such a huge stigma around eloping?? I will always ask myself that.

         

        Eloping isn’t sad, is not lonely, and is definitely NOT a “shotgun wedding” (a lot of eloping couples spend over a year planning their elopement!). In my opinion and experience, it is THE most intentional way you can get married. Everything about the day is about you and your people.

        Keep this thought at the front of your mind: our elopement day is about US. If you remember that and focus on that fact, you’ll be okay if your families aren’t 100% supportive. You’ll be okay because you’ve got each other and that’s all you need in order to have the best elopement ever!!

         

        brides sitting on rocks in big sur

         

        Let me tell you a brief story about one of my past couples who eloped, Jazmyn & Justin –

         

        Their family wasn’t supportive.

        I personally didn’t grow up with a family who could all be together easily. Holidays are a point of tension, and gatherings can easily end up in fights. Holidays and gatherings actually make me feel more alone than if I were actually alone sometimes. Anybody else feel this?

         

        And I didn’t realize this was a part of my “why” (the reason why I do what I do) until I photographed my first intimate wedding. Justin and Jazmyn’s family weren’t on board, so they chose to spend the day together as a household family, and have a stress-free day playing croquet, drinking coffee, and taking a little road trip before heading to their ceremony to exchange vows.

         

        couple holding hands and sitting

        family playing croquet

        bride and groom walking

         

        Sounds pretty great, doesn’t it? You can have the exact same thing; an incredible, 100/10 experience even if your families don’t support you. This is what you need to keep in mind throughout your entire planning process.

         

        2. You can actually invite your loved ones to your elopement!

        Yuuuup. Gone is the age-old idea that “eloping” means you and your partner are running off together in rebellion against your loved ones. Let’s get rid of that idea forever, k?

         

        The best part about eloping is that you can literally do whatever you want. If it would be most special to you and your partner to have a private elopement without any guests, then freakin’ do that. But if it would be more meaningful to have a few of your closest, most supportive loved ones there to cheer you on, you can do THAT too!! 

        Whether that means you each invite your best friends, you bring along your closest family members, or you each invite 10 of your favorite people. . . you’re allowed to do it.

         

        So keep in mind when you’re planning your elopement that as much as you’re not forced to invite anybody who you don’t want there, you’re also not forced to NOT invite people who would make the day more special for you.

        Again: it is LITERALLY all up to you & your partner and what would make the experience most amazing for the two of you.

         

        bride and groom eloping at big sur

         

        3. Even if you don’t invite them to your elopement day, you can still involve your friends & fam in your celebration! (**IF you want to**)

         

        Yuppp, there are ways you can involve your loved ones in your elopement even if they’re not physically present on the day-of! But this is only if you WANT to. You do not need to involve them whatsoever if that’s not what would make your day best. Pleaseeee remember that.

         

        But for those of you that truly do want to involve your favorite people in your elopement in some way, here are some ideas of how you can do it!:

        • Have them “attend” via a Zoom call or a Facebook live – maybe there are a few people who you’d like to be able to watch the ceremony, but don’t want actually there: that’s the beauty of technology and virtual calls! They can watch it while they sit at home instead.
        • Ask them to write you letters, & read them on the big day – you can ask your loved ones to write you letters and then read them together on your elopement day.
        • Gift them a little favor of some sort – if your loved ones are sad about not attending, you could still give them a little party favor, like an invitation, a dried flower from the elopement, a mini photo album, a photo frame, etc. Etsy has lots of options!

         

         

        bride and groom hugging

         

        Moral of the story here:

        Your wedding should make your heart feel light. It should make your cheeks ball up in a smile that hurts your face. There is no place for tension and hurt on a wedding day.

        The power of an elopement or an intimate wedding is knowing that every person there is there for you, and that the whole day is about your relationship.

         

        Once you remember that & are able to keep that as your main focus, everything will be a whole lot easier – and a WHOLE lot more amazing for the two of you.

         


         

        Find my recent elopement work below to get inspired:

        Big Sur Elopement Inspiration

        Destination Elopement in the Redwoods

        Big Sur Elopement at Garrapata State Park

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