How To Announce Your Elopement

Telling people you’re going to elope (or already have!) isn’t always easy, we know. We share all our top tips on how to announce your elopement to your loved ones, along with advice from real life couples.

Vanessa and Chad, ‘The Outlovers’, your adventure elopement planning and photography team.

November 2023

So, you and your partner have decided to elope, you’re super excited and it feels like a weight has been lifted off your shoulders….. But then comes the dreaded question: ‘How do we tell everyone?!’. 

We get it, figuring out how to announce your elopement can feel a little confusing at best, and outright terrifying at worst! You’re worried your loved ones aren’t going to understand and are going to feel sad or even angry, you’re nervous about the drama that might unfold and you’re anxious that all of that may put a dampener on your own excitement for the day.

Don’t worry, we’re here to help.

This blog post is all about how to announce your elopement, including WHEN to do it, HOW to do it, and how BEST to tackle any objections that may come up. We’ll share some fun ideas on how to announce your elopement on social media. And we’re even including first hand advice on how to announce your elopement from real couples who have already eloped, as well as a sample script on what you might like to say to your loved ones.

When to announce your elopement

When you’re debating how to announce your elopement, the first thing you’ll want to discuss is the WHEN. Are you going to tell your loved ones in advance or are you going to wait until after the big day?

There’s no right or wrong answer here, but there ARE pros and cons to each and you’ll need to carefully assess your own situation.

A big factor is going to be how you think the news is going to be received. For example, are you anticipating some major family drama? If so, you may want to enjoy your elopement day first, and then tell people later, to avoid a ton of stress in the lead up. Do you trust your loved ones to honor your decision and to not try and overpower you? If not, you may want to wait until after.

If, however, you expect your loved ones to ultimately be supportive – perhaps after some initial apprehension – then absolutely tell them beforehand if you’d like to! It can be really fun to have people on side to encourage you and get excited with you. You may want to include them in some of the planning aspects like dress shopping, or even involve them in your elopement day from afar in some way. For example, we often have couples bring letters from loved ones to read after their ceremony, and some even hop on Facetime and pop some bubbles with their family and friends back home.

Different ways to announce your elopement

Once you’ve decided WHEN to announce your elopement, you’re going to want to give some thought to HOW to announce it.

Are you going to tell people in person, are you going to call them or are you going to surprise them with an elopement announcement card, for example?

This comes down to three things:

  • What method do YOU feel most comfortable with? Which method will allow you to best express yourself? Are you better with the written word or the spoken word? Are you confident in communicating face to face or do you need space to gather your thoughts?
  • What method is going to feel kindest for your loved ones? People you’re super close to, for example, may appreciate you making the effort to talk to them about your elopement face to face. Your distant aunt who you barely talk to, however? Meh… Send her a card and call it good.
  • Practicalities. If you live far away from your loved ones, telling them in person simply may not be an option. Facetime or Zoom might be a nice option in this situation!

Ultimately, when it comes down to how to announce your elopement to the people you truly love: don’t chicken out. Don’t try to take the easy route now (like a quick text!) because, in the long run, that will backfire. Take this as an opportunity to really share your point of view and help them to be on side.

How announce your elopement to family: sample script

If you’re struggling with how to announce your elopement to family BEFORE the big day this sample script may help you. You might decide to use it as a basis for speaking in person with your loved ones, or you might feel more comfortable using it as the starting point for a letter or email.

Don’t be afraid to modify this script and make it your own. You want it to sound like YOU and to really express the things that YOU want to share.

“Hey NAME,

PARTNER’S NAME and I have been doing some real soul-searching about the type of wedding day we’d like and, after being really honest with ourselves about what we want from our day, we have decided we’re going to elope! We’re SO excited about this decision, and finally feel like we’ve found a way to get married that truly feels like ‘us’.

We know this may come as a bit of a surprise – even a shock – to you, so we’d love to share a bit more about our decision-making process and what we’re dreaming our day is going to look like, so that hopefully you can understand and support us going forwards.

When we were looking at big, traditional weddings, we were honestly just feeling so stressed and deflated: none of it felt right for us and we felt like we were going to be throwing a big party for everyone else, rather than focusing on ourselves and what really matters…. Committing our lives to each other. We felt like the true meaning of the day was getting lost in all the show and production. As you know, we’re more simple and private people, and none of that felt right for us.

So, then we started researching alternative ideas and we stumbled across the concept of an adventure elopement! The more we saw, the more we knew this was what we wanted to do.

Modern day elopements are NOT what you might be envisioning. Don’t worry, we’re not running off to Vegas to get drunk and have Elvis marry us! Nowadays, to elope simply means to plan out an authentic, meaningful day where every decision is made with intent and we can really focus on ourselves, our love and binding our futures together.


If you’re struggling to imagine what that might look like, you can check out our favorite photographers’ work here: WEBSITE or INSTA. Doesn’t it look spectacular?!

We do want to acknowledge that, of course, you may be feeling a little sad or disappointed that you’re not going to be present on our day. We know how excited you’d be to see us get married! We’re sorry that our choices may cause you any kind of sadness, but we hope you’ll understand we HAVE to stay true to ourselves and do what’s right for us.

We would LOVE it if you might like to write us a card to read on our elopement day and we will of course, be holding you in our hearts. We can’t wait to celebrate with you on our return!

And, if you would like to know more about our plans or even learn more about the idea of an elopement, we’d love to chat more with you.


How announce your elopement: announcement cards 

Post elopement, it can be really fun to send out elopement cards to your family and friends to let them know you’re MARRIED! As your photographers, we always have 10-15 sneak peek photos back to you within the first few days, so you can get your announcement cards out quickly if you’d like to.

If you’re fairly creative, you can design these yourselves using a free account on Canva. You can even order printouts from there directly.

Or, if you want to keep it simple, you can buy templates like this one on Etsy.

When deciding what to include on your elopement announcement cards, you can get straight to the point with a fun caption like ‘We Do, We Did, We Eloped!’, or you can add in a sweet message like ‘Whilst we chose to commit ourselves to each other privately, you were very much in our thoughts and we can’t wait to celebrate the next time we see you.’

If you’re planning a reception or celebration of some sort, you can invite people to your ‘Happily Ever After-Party’!

How to announce your elopement on social media 

How to announce your elopement on social media may well depend on which generation you come from! You may be satisfied with a simple photo and a quick caption, or you may want to do something more fun.

If you’d like to do something a little more unique, here’s some ideas:

  • Whilst you won’t want to be on your phone much during your elopement day, it could be fun to take a few short videos so you can put a reel together. It could start with a selfie video in your casual clothes before you get ready, with the heading “So, we did a thing…..” , followed by a few of your videos from throughout the day and ending with your sneak peek photos.
  • You could do a countdown series in your stories. “We’ve got exciting news….”. Then “5, 4, 3, 2, 1……”, using cute photos from your relationship together and ending with a wedding photo!
  • You could make a little transition reel of your hands entwined with no rings on them, then transitioning into your hands WITH your wedding bands!
  • Take a video together straight after your ceremony and tell everybody the news! Even if you don’t share it until a bit later it will still have that exciting, ‘live’ feeling.

Top tips on how to announce your elopement, including advice from real life couples:

“Give people space to be sad or disappointed…”

It’s natural that your loved ones are going to feel sad, confused and even a little angry. For many parents, for example, they’ve been looking forward to this day since you were a little kid! You can’t just ignore that fact. They’re sad because they LOVE you. So, being kind, understanding and empathetic will help show them that you care. 

“… But stand your ground and have firm boundaries”, Miki

Whilst people may be disappointed that does NOT give them the right to try and change your mind or insist they get to come to your elopement. We know it’s hard, but you must stand your ground. And let people know that if they can’t be supportive, it won’t be something you’re discussing further.

If anyone is accusing you of being selfish in your decision to elope, you may find this a helpful read: “Is Eloping Selfish?”

“Accept that some people will be disappointed and that’s OK! At the end of the day it’s YOUR day and YOUR marriage”, Victoria

The reality is, SOMEONE may well end up disappointed and we’re pretty adamant that it shouldn’t be YOU. 

Do your part to communicate it kindly and clearly… Then let it go! If people aren’t supportive, that’s on them. You are NOT responsible for other people’s thoughts and feelings.

This is YOUR wedding day and you’re the one who’s going to have to celebrate it every year forevermore. It’s essential you plan the day you WANT and can look back on with joy.

“Show people what an elopement is all about so they don’t try to discourage you”, Delanee

When it comes to how to announce your elopement, this is so important! 

Most people have no concept of just how meaningful a modern day elopement can be. They think you’re just going to run off, quickly get married and call it good. They feel like it’s not enough of a celebration, and may even feel like you’re not even taking the marriage seriously. 

Help your loved ones to see that your day is going to be romantic, intimate and deeply raw and real! If anything, it’s going to be MORE special than a traditional wedding because it’s going to be so perfectly ‘you’ AND you’re going to have the space to fully express all your emotions. 

Don’t be afraid to get excited! Once people see how genuinely full of joy you are about this whole concept, hopefully they’ll start to come around to the idea.

It can really help to show people photos of the kind of day you’re planning and talk them through all the amazing things you’re looking forward to.

If you’d like to show your loved ones some beautiful elopements in action, head on over to our blog and look through our recent work.

Or, if you’d like to read up more on what an elopement actually is to help you explain your plans, this might help you: “What Does Elope Mean?”

“Use supportive family members to help you communicate with more challenging ones”, Bonnie

It can be EXHAUSTING having to explain to every single friend and family member why you decided to elope. If you’ve got someone supportive in your corner, let them help you. The next time your Mom is talking to her siblings, for example, SHE can be the one to share the news with them and talk through any feelings they may have about it.

“Accept that those who truly love you will be happy to hear your news, and if not then they might not truly belong in your life”, Karley

It’s a hard pill to swallow, but it’s important to acknowledge that some people may insist on placing THEIR wants above your own and will not get over that idea that they’re not coming to your wedding. You may have to let that person go. But never forget that those who love you will ultimately support you, even if it takes a little while to come around!

“Expect a LOT of questions! Have a mental list of FAQs ready!”, Erica

Remember that, whilst you’ve likely been researching the idea for a while now, most people have NO idea what an elopement is all about or why you’d possibly be choosing it for your wedding day. So, don’t get frustrated when people ask questions! Rather, have fun educating them and showing them what an incredible day you’re planning.

You don’t have to explain yourself if you don’t want to

This whole blog has been about how to announce your elopement, but please remember you are not OBLIGATED to explain your decision to anyone and everyone. This is YOUR day, YOUR choices…. End of.

Of course, you’ll want to explain it clearly to those who you truly hold dear, those who you’d really like to support you.

But everyone else? You don’t OWE them an explanation. If people who don’t truly matter to you are offering opinions or making unwelcome comments, firmly but kindly shut them down and let them know that YOUR wedding day isn’t up for discussion.

Stay strong… You got this!

So there you have it! All our best advice on how to announce your elopement. We hope it’s been helpful and, if you’ve got questions or need more support, don’t be afraid to reach out. We’re always here to help!

We would love to create an epic elopement experience for you!

We provide planning assistance, photography, ceremony officiation and optional videography for adventure-seeking couples across the US and worldwide.

Get in touch to start brainstorming with us!

Chad & Vanessa, ‘The Outlovers’

Let’s do this thing!

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