The thing about eloping is that people are going to react. Some people may feel like you’ve taken something away from them, or like you’re excluding them. At least a few will tell you that they always wished that they had eloped. Most will probably express at least some disappointment. This is natural. Let’s call it FOMOOALOW (fear of missing out on a loved one’s wedding).
My advice here is this: be prepared for people to react in all kinds of ways, be prepared to be surprised by their reactions, and be prepared to explain your decision, but don’t feel the need to justify, apologise, or hide your own excitement.
Along those lines, you should never feel like just because you eloped, you owe your loved ones anything. That said, if you and your beloved decide that you want to include your loves ones in the celebration, I've come up with a list of eight ways to do so. Pick and choose the ones that work best for you.
1. INVITE YOUR CLOSEST FAMILY TO WITNESS THE ELOPEMENT.
This is becoming more and more popular, bringing your parents and sibs along for the elopement. Also, it helps if you have a young child involved - a babysitter!
2. SHARE PHOTOS AND STORIES.
Some couples fear that sharing the photos and stories of their elopement will only exacerbate feelings of missing out, but most families and friends are hungry for details!
3. SHARE A LIVE FEED.
Believe it or not, I've seen quite a few couples broadcast their elopements to friends and family with a live (but private) video of the event.
4. THROW A PARTY, OR HAVE A POST-ELOPEMENT FAMILY MEAL.
Lots and lots and LOTS of couples throw (or have thrown for them) a post-elopement reception. Even if you aren’t into the idea of a big (or a small, or any) party, why not host a dinner that brings together your newly-coupled families. Have all your parents over to your place, let one family host, or have it at a restaurant.
5. TAKE/CARRY SOMETHING OF THEIRS WITH YOU WHEN YOU ELOPE.
Maybe you’ll wear the tie tack your dad wore at his wedding or you’ll carry a bouquet your mum makes for you. Asking your friends and family for things you can include in your elopement can help let them know that you’ll be thinking of them on your big day.
6. HONOUR THEM IN THE CEREMONY ITSELF (AND GIFT THEM A COPY OF THE TEXT).
You might incorporate something that represents the family or a particular person (i.e. carrying your grandmother’s favourite flowers), use a family member’s favourite song, ask them ahead of time to contribute a special reading, or include family traditions (like breaking a plate).
7. HAVE THEM SEND YOU MESSAGES FOR YOU TO READ TOGETHER AFTER THE ELOPEMENT.
This one takes a little planning, but it can make your day that much more special. You might ask for advice, date ideas for the first year, quotes about love and marriage, or something else entirely.
8. HIRE A PHOTOGRAPHER TO TAKE FAMILY PORTRAITS AFTER YOU ARE MARRIED.
A lot of families proudly display wedding photos for decades to come. Missing out on the wedding sometimes means missing out on the great family photos. Hiring a wedding photographer to take photos of you and your new spouse with your families can be a sweet gesture that helps everyone feel like part of the family.