How to Tell your Friends and Family You've Eloped

Here's how to tell your friends and family that you just got married, and, um, didn't invite them

By MiShaun Taylor

Bridal Couple Walking Down Street
Photo by iStockphoto.comBookmark and Share

Have you decided you don't want to spend money on a lavish wedding? Do you want to avoid the stress of planning a wedding? Are you scared Uncle Earl might drink too much and embarrass you at the reception? Whatever your reason for eloping, how you spend your big day is your choice. However, after the excitement of the ceremony, it's time to share the good news with all the people who might have expected an invitation to your wedding.

  • What You Need to Know
  • Let everyone know as soon as possible. Your friends and family may be offended that they weren't informed beforehand, so don't risk extra disappointment by letting them find out from somebody else. Wait until you get home to tell anybody, so the word doesn't leak out. If possible, talk to them in person instead of on the phone.

Step 1:

Explain your reasons for eloping, but be prepared that you and your parents may not see eye to eye on this. Try to break it down in a manner they will understand so they don't feel personally rejected. For example, if you explain that you were trying to save money by eloping rather than paying for an elaborate ceremony, they may not feel as hurt.

Step 2:

Send out wedding announcements to everyone who would have been on the guest list. You can get personalized announcements from small print stores or card shops. It's also fast, easy and inexpensive to create and order announcements online. Including a photo from the wedding with the announcement is a nice touch for those who wished they could have been there with you.

Step 3:

Plan a celebration that involves your friends and family. Some couples opt to celebrate with everyone at a reception once they return. If you don't want to invest as much money, host a small dinner, and invite your closest friends and family. If your parents are upset that they missed your wedding, consider a mock ceremony in their backyard. Allow your mother to assist you with planning -- so if she wants to order and pay for flowers, let her -- and don't stress over the details. You've already had your big day, so this event is to let your loved ones participate in an important milestone of your life in their own way.

  • Tips & Warnings
  • If planning a large reception or dinner after your elopement isn't manageable, consider hosting several smaller parties over time, to gradually celebrate your wedding with all your friends and family.
  • If you don't want the hassle of planning a wedding but would like a handful of your closest family and friends to be present, consider a modified elopement. Invite the few people you want present, and tell them this is top secret. Make sure you only invite people who can keep a secret.
  • Honesty isn't always the best policy. If you eloped because you felt your parents would be a domineering force while planning a wedding, you may want to keep that to yourself.
  • If your parents didn't know your spouse well before you were married, make an extra effort for them to get to know each other after the wedding to relieve any potential tension that could result between your parents and your spouse because of the elopement.
  • Take a lot of photos of your elopement, so you can share your experience with your friends and family.

About the Author

With more than 15 years of writing experience, MiShaun Taylor specializes in wedding-related articles.

Related Guides

Wedding Invitations Casual, Formal & Funky

VIDEO: Casual, Formal & Funky Invitations

Wedding invitations can be casual, formal or funky depending on the wedding theme, style or personal tastes of the bride and groom.... Watch Video

Planning Reminder:

invitation with green ribbon

Send save the dates

Once you decide the date, tell your family and friends to save it! The style of your save-the-date notice will give the guests a sense of what's to come -- raucous fun, a formal affair or anything in between.

View your wedding checklist!


Wedding Glossary


A type of paper commonly used for wedding invitations. Thicker than normal printing paper and comes in varying colors and textures.

View the Full Weddings Glossary
Sign Up

Already have an account? Log In

Log In with your Facebook account.
We’ll never post without your permission.

Create a DexKnows account:

At least 6 characters
By clicking Sign Up, you agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. You'll receive the DexKnows Tips email newsletter as well as email updates about your account.

Please share the issue you encountered with our search

I am a(n):


Please check at least one issue checkbox.