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When Should We Tell Our Parents That We Want to Elope?

Timing is everything.

Contributing Writer
elopement outfit inspiration bride in blue beaded gown
Photography by: Lindsey Paradiso

Making the decision to elope isn't always an easy one, but it's satisfying once you've weighed all the pros and cons with your fiancé and you're both ready to move forward. One of the biggest anxiety-inducing issues for couples who've chosen to elope is deciding when—and how—they'll tell their parents. Next, they'll wonder about how their parents will react. Will they be upset? Will they try to negotiate with you? Here's what you need to know about when to tell your parents you're eloping so you can avoid any drama.

 

Related: Our Family and Friends Are Hurt We Eloped. What Do We Do Now?

 

Take everyone into consideration when you're making your decision.

As soon as your parents find out about your engagement, they'll likely start making plans of their own and getting wrapped up in the excitement. Wedding planner Alicia Fritz of A Day in May Events says, "Many expectations, particularly those unspoken, come attached to wedding planning. Yes, of course the wedding is about the happy couple, but the visions and hopes and dreams of their families and friends can weigh heavily on their decision making for their special day." 

 

The sooner you tell your parents you'd like to elope, the better.

What you'll want to avoid is allowing your parents to get attached to their idea of what your wedding will be like, which friends they'll invite, and so forth. By leaving the smallest possible window for them to start planning, you may be able to avoid hurt feelings and disappointment. Fritz says, "If a couple is considering an elopement, we recommend informing loved ones sooner rather than later. An engagement should be enjoyed and not stressed over, and by clearly communicating with your family, it will be better in the long run!"

 

Take your time explaining your reasoning.

In an ideal world, you wouldn't have to explain to your parents that your family dynamics stress you out or that your budget simply can't cover the cost of a wedding. But in reality, it may be helpful and healing for both parties if you're able to be candid about your reasoning for an elopement instead of a big celebration. Take your time and talk through the reasons you've made your decision, and your parents may agree that an elopement really is the best thing for you.

 

Know that they'll come around.

There aren't many parents who will jump for joy over the idea of an elopement, but they always come around in the end. Ultimately, your parents want what's best for you and they want you to be happy. So, even if they aren't crazy about the idea of an elopement at the start, know that once the shock wears off, they'll probably come around.