Eloping… How do we tell the family?

May 14th, 2011

My fiance and I want to elope. Neither of us want the big wedding, and we’ve found the perfect place to elope! I feel like his family is going to be extremely offended if we just elope and then don’t celebrate our wedding including them. We’re going to take his mom, dad, step-dad, and my best friend to see us get married, but that’s it. We’re also going to get married on a Monday night. We’re leaving for our honeymoon the next morning, at about 12 noon or so. We don’t want to have a big party celebrating our wedding, we’re not for the whole thing. We were planning a reception for later, but we don’t really want that anymore. We just want to elope and go on our honeymoon for four days. My mom is upset knowing that I’m eloping and has made comments like “You’ll regret not being envied on your day” and “You won’t get presents” which really upsets me. Those aren’t the reasons we’re getting married. So, to please the family, do we go ahead and have a wed/reception, reception, or just elope?
If we just elope, how do we let everyone know in a personal, fun way that isn’t uber expensive?
Oh how I wish I could invite my family, but my mom is completely against marriage, period. I don’t think I should have to listen to her nag all day. I haven’t spoken with my dad in years. And my siblings all live to far away and would never be able to make it. That’s why my best friend is going with me. And depending on if she has another miscarriage or not (hoping not) her baby may be coming also. We don’t really want a reception, we’re having a nice honeymoon and we want to just inform everyone that we’re eloping a few weeks before it happens. We just want a nice, personal way to do it. Like maybe have everyone over for dinner or get everyone together at grandma’s house for a barbeque?
Problem with the bringing the family, we are limited to 6 guests. Only my mom would be able to come anyway, and she told me she doesn’t really want to. She says it’s stupid to get married and she doesn’t want to watch me ruin my life. *sigh* I just can’t win her over. We’re not going to have a reception because we don’t want anyone to bring gifts. That’s why we want to announce BEFORE we elope that it’s happening. BTW if you can elope with two witnesses, which are usually friends, then you can elope with two extra people. The person who would be most offended by our elopement would be my mother-in-law. I love her and don’t want her upset, so we’re inviting her, her fiance, and my fiance’s dad. I felt a little left out, so I’m going to ask my best friend to come along.

9 Responses to “Eloping… How do we tell the family?”

  1. Bill says:

    You can tell your family now or pay the price later in life…

  2. Kaitlinツ says:

    If you elope, you can use the money you would have spent on your wedding to travel to some nice city or country like Italy, and marry there. After you’ve been home a few days, you could send invitations to a reception, that way family and friends can celebrate your nuptials and not feel completely jipped =]

    Edit: I forgot to add, you should let your immediate families and best friends know of your plans. Simply be honest with what you plan to do.

  3. duckie says:

    Just be direct and honest with them-but I don’t see any of your family listed in who you plan to invite to watch you elope.

    I think you should invite your family too…there will be much more to deal with if you leave your family out and invite his.

    But anyway, just be honest. Hopefully, if you explain kindly that these are your wishes, they will respect that.

  4. Nikki P says:

    I think the fact that several people know you are doing this and the fact you are having some members of his family there you are not really eloping. Your mom may be upset because his family will be there and she won’t be. If there is a way to just have his parents and your parents witness the marriage that may make a difference to her.
    This is YOUR and your fiance’s wedding and you should do what you want to do.
    The easiest thing to do would be to have a “reception” when you return. Have an informal bar-b-que or just an open house that people could come and meet the happy couple.

  5. MICHAEL says:

    There is no ideal or correct way to do it as to the whole elopement thing; and the reality is that no matter what you do or do not do in life, you cannot please everyone 100 percent of the time.

    I recommend this, to keep the peace and promote family harmony: Have your closest relations also present for your wedding ceremony, even if it is being done as an elopement.

    Upon returning from your honeymoon, hold a small, not extremely formal wedding reception for individuals from both sides of the family, keeping the total invitees to no more than seventy-five in number. DO NOT circulate any info to these invitees as to a gift registry, but accept any and all gifts received from the same graciously (Be sure to write timely any and all thank-you notes for such gifts, if any).

  6. Lydia says:

    You just announce it, I suppose.
    You’re not eloping if you are telling people; eloping is going away to get married secretly. You are just choosing to have a small wedding.
    Of course people will be upset; it’s the consequence of your choice.
    Good luck.

  7. lisavonlady@sbcglobal.net says:

    GOOD FOR YOU! It’s not offensive at all, that’s exactly what my hubby and I did and thats what we wanted to do-I was truely offended by people on here saying I was jealous because my SIL is having a regular wedding inviting people she’s not even close with-and she’s acting like a bridezilla!

    We chose to go somewhere to get married-it was our choice. There are way too many bridezilla’s out there-that just get way too carried away with Weddings and showers so kudos to you and good luck.

    What’s the point of having a huge wedding you can’t afford when you can use that money to start a great life. Do what feel comfortable to you and what you and your soon-to-be husband won’t regret in the future.

  8. iloveweddings says:

    Hi. Sorry for your family problems.

    I have read your whole story and your additional comments.

    First of all…..no matter how you word it…what you are having is NOT an elopement….it is a destination wedding. I’m not getting pissy with wording, but that is what you are having. A true “elopement” is when NO ONE knows. The couple goes off to some destination or to the courthouse and comes back and says…..”guess what? we are married!”

    What you are having…however small….is a destination wedding.

    So….my suggestion would be to invite your mom…..however, she seems against it already. Yes, have a BBQ and announce to the others. “Guess what? We are having a destination wedding! We are limited to guests, so we are only bringing 4 guests with us! We hope we have your blessings.”

    OR….if your family really is against it…..well, then, send out announcements AFTER you return home. There are many examples of wording for this on the internet.

    So….to get back to your last question. NO, do not have a wedding/reception to please others. Have your small destination wedding to please yourself and then send announcements AFTER you return….OR….do as I said above and announce your plans to your family and say that you are limited as to how many you can invite….which is the truth!

    Good luck!

  9. Mary B says:

    Hi – I’m a wedding officiant and get asked this a lot (and I often marry couples who are having a small private wedding, because they have decided to forgo the ‘big’ wedding). As others have noted, you are not ‘eloping’, which is a secret wedding a la Romeo and Juliet, you are having a small private wedding – but you ARE inviting your FH’s family (mom and step dad), perhaps because they are supportive? I understand your mom is not supportive, but it does make it kind of lopsided, with your fiance’s family being represented. This *might* lead to a little more difficult relationship with your Mom in the future, or reason for her to complain, despite the fact that you have invited her and she refused.

    You could arrange for a civil wedding at home that your mom might be willing to attend (or at least be invited to attend – I’ve seen many difficult family members come round at the last minute :-), and THEN go on a honeymoon, of course, and you can also follow your original plan and have a small reception at home when you get back (at any time) which says “X and Y would like to invite our friends and family to celebrate our recent marriage”

    It’s a difficult choice, and I get asked this every day, almost. So I put a couple of discussions below, where we’ve tried to answer some of the questions and make suggestions of ways to think about it. It’s not really the wedding, its the rest of your lives together that your mom will have to accept, but if you can include her somehow, it might make it easier in the future. Follow your heart, you know the dynamics of your family and what is the most likely outcome, I think :-p)

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