With the average wedding in Australia costing OVER $65,000, (YES I’M YELLING BECAUSE IT’S SO EXPENSIVE) complicated family situations and the stress of planning the day taking its toll. Eloping has become an appealing option for a lot of modern day couples. It can save a truckload of money and even more stress. But unfortunately, it can also cause some upset feelings and offend your nearest and dearest along the way as well.
Think about it. Eloping means you deny your dad the chance to walk his baby girl down the aisle. Your mother won’t be able to take you dress shopping or cake testing or help you plan the big day. Your best friend no longer has the chance to say a super embarrassing speech about the time you made out with a stripper called Hercules with very little consequences, and your two-year-old niece will no longer be your flower girl (though we have a feeling she’ll get over it pretty quickly with a bribery of lollies and a promise to watch frozen again for the 20th time).
These days, a wedding isn’t just about the couple and the love that they share. It’s about everyone in their lives getting together to also share and celebrate that love. And that’s why if people are denied the opportunity it can cause some hurt feelings and worse, destroy some relationships. (Well for those sensitive Sallys anyway.)
So is there a way to elope without offending every single person you know?
Probably not. But you could tell them to man up and get over it, or you can try and minimise the damage as much as possible. We’ve put together some tips and handy information on how to elope without upsetting everyone you know unless you actually want to of course.
1. Remember, eloping doesn’t have to be just you and your fiancé.
It’s totally okay to invite your family members or your best friends or even every man and his dog if you really want to. Eloping is all about doing your wedding your way, and if doing your wedding your way means eloping with heaps of guests, that’s cool. There are absolutely no rules and regulations on how to elope. Whatever you want to do, do it. It’s your day.
2. Give people a heads up.
If you don’t want to invite people, it’s probably best to give the people in your life a little bit of a heads-up so they don’t find out about your new marriage from the grapevine. And by the grapevine, we mean Facebook. This is all the more important when it comes to your closest family members, like your mum and dad. We have a hunch they might not be impressed finding it out that way. It may not hurt to also explain your reasons for eloping, except if it’s because you didn’t want your mum and dad at your wedding. Most people are reasonable and even if they are disappointed that they won’t be there on your day, they will probably understand.
*There is always an exception to the rule.
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3. Have a party when you get back.
Nothings says “I’m sorry we selfish bastards went and eloped but we still love you” by chucking some meat on the BBQ and getting all the important people in your life drunk. Holding a party for when you get back, costs wayyyyyyy less than an actual wedding but also lets your family and friends know that they are important, you still like them even when you’re pissed and you still want to celebrate the occasion with them. Yes it won’t be as fancy as a wedding, and you definitely won’t get as many presents, but everybody likes a party so they’ll get what they are given.
4. Spend money on keeping the memories.
Because you won’t be sharing your day with all your loved ones, it’s worth splurging on a good videographer so you have a way to share it with them when you get back home. You won’t have any of the guests around to remind you of the special things that happen, or to take really embarrassing photos and post it all over social media before the days even out. Hold a viewing of your amazing wedding video when you get back as a peace offering.
5. Make a special announcement.
Put some thought into how you are going to announce that you are married. No one can stay mad at a couple for too long if you have the world’s cutest marriage announcement unless they really just want to watch the world burn. Maybe you want to go old school style like Benedict Cumberbatch, announcing it through the local paper, or you want to put together something special for social media. Either way if you show it's important by making it special, it can help to diffuse any tension.
6. Make peace with your family before eloping.
On the list of reasons couples want to elope, family dramas tend to be on the top of that list. However, eloping because of these dramas will cause more friction and be another reason to bicker in the future. The best thing to do in this situation is to try and make peace with your family or whatever situation is upsetting them before you elope. Even if they aren’t as open to the idea as you are, at least you will have tried. That’s all that you can do.
7. Don’t downplay your announcement.
Marrying your soulmate should be one of the happiest days of your life. It doesn’t do any good to downplay just how special your day is no matter whether you had a massive ceremony with 300 people, or you eloped with just yourselves. Getting married is a big deal, no matter how you do it. Don’t ever forget that.
8. Be considerate of people’s feelings.
Okay, so you’ve gone off and done it. You’ve eloped and now some people (I’m looking at you Aunty Jan) did actually get offended by it… Sometimes it's easier to ask for forgiveness than it is permission. Remember that this can be a normal reaction to this news and try not to take it to heart. Also, you can’t control other people’s emotions and being a little upset they weren’t there is a completely normal reaction to this news.
Give people time to get their head around it. But if you’ve given them plenty of time and they are still offended then perhaps the issue lies with them. Despite their own emotions, it was your special day and they should be happy for you. And if they are not perhaps these are people you really don’t need in your life anyway.
Did you elope? How did your friends and family take it?
Eloped with your fiancé? Why not get the memories of your special day turned into a beautiful canvas with the Canvas Factory? Find out more here.