My family doesn't want me to elope blog header. Eloping couple walking across a log bridge in the Colorado forest.

“my family doesn’t want me to elope”

“I wish we would have just eloped”. After talking to many married couples who had big weddings, this is a phrase that I have heard many times. What stopped them? Usually, it’s thoughts like “my family doesn’t want me to elope”, “my mom is mad that I am eloping”, or “my grandparents are mad that they won’t be at my elopement”. Sometimes, it’s not just your family. Other loved ones, like friends, are sometimes unsupportive of eloping.

People often say, “if they were really your friend/if they really loved you, they wouldn’t care if you had an elopement”. I don’t think this is true. I think it’s okay to love someone so much that you want to see one of the biggest moments in their life. HOWEVER, if you love someone, their desire for the experiences they have during their milestone is more important than your desire for your experience during their milesone. The milestone is thiers, or in this case, yours.

In order to navigate unsupportive loved ones, you have to first take ownership that the day/elopement is YOURS. Then, you cling to your partner, and the two of you tread water together. Read on for more tips in case the water gets deep.

how to tell your loved ones that you’re having an elopement

This can be a scary conversation to have. You don’t want to hurt the people you love, and you can only hope they will be supportive and excited when they hear that you want to elope. However, if you’re here, you either need support for a hard conversation or you have a gut feeling that the road might be a little rocky.

1. create a base camp for you and your partner

This is your safe zone, your home base, your hideaway — whatever you want to call it! This is where you go to get away from any stress or drama you might be finding around your loved ones, and to remind yourself that your day is YOURS. Your elopement should be stress-free, and this is how you keep it that way! This can be in your living room, your favorite hiking trail, a local coffe shop, or anywhere you feel like you can focus on only each other. In this space, you remind yourself that you’re in this together. Remember that you chose each other. Come back to all of the reasons you are deciding to elope– which leads me to my next point!

2. make a list of reasons you are deciding to elope, and revisit your list frequently

This is where you get in the right mindset before telling others about your awesome day. Anything can be on this list! Eloping is fun, eloping is a way to have a unique day fully centered around you, and elopements are eco-friendly — but there is more. Eloping is a way to keep your day intimate and to put yourselves first. It’s a way to have a day that really feels like “you” and to have an epic and memorable experience. You might also have other reasons that are deeper and more personal. For example, a wedding can be really emotionally challenging if some parents are no longer in the picture.

Make this list and revisit it frequently. If you have loved ones that are having a hard time taking the news, having this list is a way to stay true to your values for your day. This is especially helpful if you have persuasive people in your circle.

3. mentally and emotionally prepare yourself to receive any type of response

We hope that everyone in your circle will say, “we knew you were going to elope, that is the perfect vibe for you!” but we know that isn’t always the case. Prepare yourself to receive different types of responses from all of your loved ones, especially if you have a gut feeling that your family won’t want you to elope.

While we are on the subject, prepare yourself for specific objections. Your parents might tell you how badly they want to be there (and if you want them to be there, they can be!). They might pressure you towards a big wedding because they are so excited to celebrate you with everyone. They might tell you eloping is selfish (it’s not). In a terrible scenario, they might tell you they will never forgive you if you elope (they might need to do some soul searching and healing if this is their response). If you go into the conversation prepared to hear anything, you will be better equipped to navigate the waters.

4. speak with kindness

In this scenario, it is best to assume that every single one of your loved ones has your best intentions in mind. Truly, they might be speaking from a place of anger, but battling anger with anger never ends well. Remember who you are and the type of person that you want to be. If you come from a place of kindness and understanding of their feelings, maybe they will understand your feelings and values too– even if it doesn’t happen right away.

It’s not your responsibility, but this is also a good opportunity to soften the blow. You can still include your loved ones in your elopement (more on that below). Remind your loved ones how much you love them, explain why eloping is important to you, and if you want to, keep them involved.

5. cling to what you can control

I’ll say it for those that need to hear it. It’s not your job to make sure that your family isn’t offended or hurt by your elopement, and it is not your job to make them understand. Their emotions are their responsibility– and their emotions aren’t even within your control. There is nothing you need to justify, and it’s not your responsibility to make everyone happy.

We understand wanting to care for the people that you love and keep them happy. You can do that by speaking to them with respect and kindness, but at the end of the day, how you get married is up to YOU AND YOUR PARTNER. Not anyone else. If you’re saying, “my family doesn’t want me to elope”, remind yourself that even what they want is out of your control.

There are many things you can control, like staying true to your values, creating the experience that you want, and doing what you can to help your family or friends feel loved along the way. Any extreme emotions are up to them to sort out.

listen to the pros

Helping our couples elope is our job! That includes listening to your struggles. At this point, we have heard it all! Here are some expert tips if your family doesn’t want you to elope.

Engagement session Rocky Mountain National Park

“If your loved ones aren’t excited about your decision to elope, it’s important to communicate openly and honestly about your reasons for choosing this path. Reassure them that your decision is about creating a meaningful and intimate experience rather than excluding anyone. Consider involving them in other ways, such as a celebration party after the elopement or sharing photos and videos of your day. Respect their feelings but also stand firm in your decision, emphasizing the personal significance of eloping to you as a couple. Ultimately, it’s your day, and while it’s valuable to consider the feelings of those close to you, your happiness and how you choose to commit to each other should take priority.”

Karen at Karen Agurto Photography

Eloping couple San Juan mountains Ouray Colorado

“When loved ones aren’t hyped about your elopement: Talk it out: Explain your reasons, listen to their concerns, and offer compromises like post-elopement celebrations. Show the good: Share beautiful elopement examples and emphasize the benefits like intimacy and less stress. Respect their feelings: Give them time to process and maintain healthy relationships. Remember, it’s your day. Bonus: Consider a post-elopement gathering for the closest ones. Ultimately, prioritize your happiness and create a meaningful day just for you two.”

– Malin Ovesson at Wild Soul United and MaLove Photography

Microwedding Breckenridge Colorado couple on a SUP board

“The harsh truth is, if your loved ones are not excited about you eloping then who cares. It is YOUR wedding day about YOUR happiness and YOUR marriage. I personally believe if someone is not happy with the way you want to celebrate your love for one another then it is because they are selfish and they don’t get to be a part of your day. There is nothing wrong with your loved one wanting to witness your marriage but it is not ok for them to be upset with your decision on how your wedding day looks. Don’t let their negativity ruin your happiness.”

– Kelcee at Escape and Adventure

Colorado adventure elopement winter couple kissing veil shot

“There is no easy answer for this, but if your family and friends are not excited about you eloping, just remember that weddings are supposed to be about the couple and their love, which means if you and your partner want to elope, no one should say otherwise! If you want to, you can consider including your loved ones in other ways in your elopement, or share a bigger “reception-style” event with them after the fact.”

– Brandi at Brandi Vanderwolf Photography

how to include loved ones in your elopement – help when your family doesn’t want you to elope

Your elopement is a big day in your life, and even if you don’t want other people to be there, it doesn’t mean you don’t want them involved. Including your loved ones in your milestone can also help them feel connected, important, and loved. Do you have to involve others? Definitely not. The great thing about elopements is that all of the decisions are completely up to you!

Invite your loved ones

It’s 100% okay to invite your family or loved ones when you elope. This isn’t everyone’s vibe, but if you want them there for your day or just for the ceremony, that’s okay! We also have lots of couples that include their family while they are getting ready. That said, your day is YOURS. If you want it to be private and just between you and your partner, that is okay too!

include them from afar

This is a great way to include your loved ones during your elopement without them physically being present. Your loved ones can write letters for you to open during your day or you can have a video call planned after your ceremony. You can even have them record videos for you to watch while you’re getting ready. This is an awesome way to let your friends and family know that they are important to you and you still want them included in your big day.

have your loved ones help with planning and preparing for your big day

You might not want anyone present on your actual elopement. If you want, they can still have a very hands on approach while you’re planning your day. You can do this by inviting your circle to go shopping with you for attire, having a family member make a special treat for the two of you to eat on your day, or by wearing family heirlooms while you elope. This allows them to get even more invested in the adventure that you plan for your day.

hold a reception after your elopement

This is the most common way we see our couples include their family and friends after their elopement. You can hold a reception the same evening, or even months later. We have seen many couples hold full receptions with many traditions that you would see in a typical wedding reception. What you do for a party really doesn’t matter. The point is that it gives your loved ones a way to actively celebrate you. This is what they really want!

take ownership of your day

At the end of the day, your elopement is YOURS. What you do, who you include, and how you prepare is 100% up to you. You are saying yes to creating an incredible, safe, memorable, unique, and awesome day that speaks to YOU and who the two of you are as a couple. You are putting yourself first. This is an epic choice, and is one that should be celebrated no matter what anyone else thinks. Cheers to eloping!

let’s hang out

We would love to go on an adventure with you! Michael and I are a traveling adventure elopement photo, video, + planning team. We chase loving souls and deep emotion, and we go wherever the wind takes us. Check out our blogs below for recent work, or reach out to plan your epic day. We can’t wait to get you in front of our lens!

Home » Blog » My Family Doesn’t Want Me To Elope – How To Navigate Unsupportive Loved Ones

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My Family Doesn’t Want Me To Elope – How To Navigate Unsupportive Loved Ones

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