Sunny Says: Elopement Etiquette
How to elope while preserving your sanity.
Q: Hi Sunny! My fiancé Ryan and I are planning to elope. We’re both really private people with relatively small families and since we started getting serious, we’ve always joked about running away together. After 3 years together, he [my fiancé] asked me to marry him two weeks ago and I happily accepted. We haven’t told anyone yet because we want a private island ceremony and we’re scared how our friends and family are going to accept this news. We know this is what we want to do for sure, we’ve just been dancing around the announcement. I’m dying to tell everyone but I dread making the elopement announcement too. Have do other couples usually do this? We just want to start planning the fun parts. Thanks! – Carla and Ryan.
A: Hi Carla and Ryan,
This is such an honest and open question so I’m going to be honest and open with you in return. The best thing you can do for yourself is be ready for any reaction. Many couples have so many reasons for wanting to “run away together” and it is no one’s right to judge the couple for it. Sure, some people will have opinions about it but at the end-of-the-day, it’s your wedding! You will want to look back at your wedding photos and smile thinking about the best day of your life done the way you and your fiancé always dreamed.
You and your fiance have made up your mind that eloping is definitely what you want to do. Good! That is the first step; being firm in your choice. Once your engagement has become public, naturally your friends and family are going to start asking about wedding dates and plans. Some may even begin suggesting where you should get married and making arrangements for their attendance. If you’re not firm in your decision, you may put off telling your friends and family and pass off their attendance as, “Oh, we’ll see.” Don’t be intimidated. If you want to tell people as soon as they ask that you plan to elope, that is the time to do it!
You may want to say something like,
“Thank you so much for the well wishes Aunt Paula! I know, it’s exciting how fast this is all happening! Ryan and I have decided that we’re going to do a small island ceremony on the beach at sunset like we’ve always dreamed. We don’t’ want to make a big fuss and we want to make it very romantic. I promise we’ll take loads of pictures and video so no one will miss a minute of the big day. We know it’s a bit unconventional but it’s definitely what we’ve always wanted to do. I really do hope you understand!”
In the perfect scenario, Aunt Paula (or Uncle Paul) will hug you and wish you and your fiancé a wonderful wedding and ask about your wedding registry. Since it’s best to be prepared for every possible scenario, remember to be polite but firm with whatever reaction you get from friends and family. Do NOT promise events that you don’t plan on having, like a reception back at home afterwards, just to smooth over any hard feelings. Of course, if you do plan on having some sort of party for your friends and family to celebrate with you at home, feel free to mention it.
You may also want to have an engagement party, inviting everyone you want to share the moment with and announce your engagement and elopement at the same time. I strongly advise with closer members of your family, like your mom and dad, you have a face-to-face more personal conversation. It would kind of suck for your parents to find out your eloping along with your co-worker of one year. This way everyone can express how they feel and a heart-to-heart can be had in the right setting.
Be honest, be open and be fair with your own feelings. You’ll be fine! Now, hurry up and announce your destination wedding so we can all start congratulating you! In the meantime, why don’t you take a look at this beautiful, intimate elopement that happened at Beaches Resorts? It may make your push the priority of the elopement conversation to top notch!