Not a big fan of over-the-top wedding celebrations? Always looking for an unconventional adventure? Trying to save money for a new life together? You are not alone! More and more young couples today are looking for intimate, off-beat and affordable wedding celebrations – perhaps this is why eloping has become one of the hottest wedding trends of this decade. But unfortunately, eloping is a huge decision and one that is often as tough to make as it is to discuss with your parents. So, unless you want your parents thrown into a state of panic, you need to approach them with the big news the right way… But when???
Break the news in advance
It is important to let your parents know that you are going to elope before they find out about your new marriage through Facebook or Instagram. We have a hunch they might be a little (maybe a lot!) disappointed finding it out that way. We would humbly suggest you to break the news, directly and clearly, to your mum and dad even before you start looking for your dream A-line wedding dress or budgeting for your Italian escape. This approach is both thoughtful and empathetic, and cuts out any potential misunderstanding, without making the situation an unwanted compromise or negotiation.
As for the actual “breaking the news part”, here are four tips that you might find useful:
1. Explain the “why”
Your dad will be missing out on the chance to walk his princess down the aisle. Your mom will not be able to dress up her baby girl before the grand ceremony. The least they deserve is a legitimate reason why. It will not hurt you to provide them with good reasoning behind your decision and how you feel it is the best choice for the two of you as a couple. It might not make sense to your parents and they might still be disappointed that they cannot be there on your day, but if they hear how excited you are and that you are sure it is the right thing for you, they will probably understand and accept it more easily.
2. Stand your ground
Whether you are eloping because the big production of “traditional” weddings is not your style, you cannot afford a larger affair or you prefer a super intimate wedding, your parents may still not “get” why you are doing it. They may still get offended by the offbeat-ness of eloping. If this is the case and your parents do not come to accept your decision, we urge you to stand your ground! If you give in to what your mom and dad want and go for a traditional wedding, you would most likely regret your decision for years to come. Not to mention, you will feel resentment or disappointment towards your parents or when you think back about your wedding. Remember that you cannot make everyone happy and that what you want as a couple should come first.
3. Don’t feel sad
Okay, so you have finally decided that you are going to elope. CONGRATULATIONS!!! However, if your parents are still disappointed with you for not getting married the way they have imagined for years or not being able to take part in your big day, try not to take it to heart. See, just like you, your parents are entitled to their own opinions and feelings. Therefore, if they cannot get their head around the idea, put yourself in their shoes and understand their situation. Give them some time to absorb the news and move on.
4. Offer to include them in other ways
Just because your parents are not invited to your wedding does not mean that they cannot be a part of it. You can have your mom help you with your wedding dress shopping online or let your dad cover your flight costs or make both of them a key component of your wedding planning. Your parents will appreciate any effort you make in including them in aspects of your intimate wedding.
Your parents may or may not like your decision to elope, but if you break the news gently, there are good chances that they will understand. Even if they do not understand, you can still throw a kickass post-elopement party and win them over!