We are Sam + Bryt, wife and wife elopement photographers, business educators, and LGBTQ+ activitists! We are so freaking excited that you are here!
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Sharing the news that you’ve just got engaged to your family and friends is one of the most exciting and memorable moments of your life. You share the news and celebrate but before you know it, the questions start coming… “Do you know a date yet?” “What kind of venue are you looking for?” “Do you know who you are going to ask to be in your wedding party?” Your friends and family are excited for your big day, but they don’t yet know that you and your partner have chosen to elope. Announcing your elopement can be scary and it takes a lot of courage, you don’t want to upset your family who have awaited your big day, but ultimately… it is YOUR big day. So we’ve come up with some helpful tips on how to announce your elopement.
Elopements have traditionally been known as a couple running away to secretly get married without involving any of their friends and family. However to many of us, an elopement is an intimate ceremony between us and our partner. It doesn’t have to be a secret (you also don’t have to run away!) but not all of our friends and family will understand that elopements have taken on a new meaning in our modern society.
The first decision you will need to make is if you want to tell your family before your elopement or wait until after. Ultimately, there is no wrong decision. We’ve said it before and we will say it again and again…this is YOUR day. So do what is best for you and your partner and stand strong in whatever decision you choose to make. Knowing when to announce your elopement becomes just as important on how to announce your elopement.
With that being said, there are some benefits to announcing your elopement before the big day comes! So as promised, here are our top ten tips on how to announce your elopement:
There. We said it. You don’t need to apologize for choosing to elope! Your parent may be upset that they won’t get to walk you down the aisle. Your bestie might be upset that they don’t get to stand next to you as you exchange your vows. But in the end, your day isn’t about them and with time, they will come to understand that. Be confident in your decision and don’t feel that you have to apologize. Your people will come around.
When it comes time to announce your elopement, do it in person with the people closest to you. Being in person, they will be able to see the excitement on your face which will help them understand more that this is what you truly want for your big day. If you’re not able to do it in person (thanks Covid) try setting up a time to Facetime.
Good communication is going to be the biggest theme when navigating how to announce your elopement. Your friends and family are probably going to have a lot of questions, and not that you have to justify your choice, but being able to answer their questions will make it easier for everyone. Explain your reasoning to them. They may not understand that you’re not comfortable standing in front of 100+ people and expressing your love for one another. Let them know that you two would rather save and spend your money on a beautiful honeymoon or that you are saving for a house. Whatever your reasoning for eloping may be, it is valid and with enough communication, your people will surely get on board with the decision.
Try to involve your friends and family in other ways so that they feel they are a part of one of the biggest days of your life. Ask them to write you letters with words of encouragement and advice that you can read on your wedding night over a bottle of champagne, let them come with you to pick out your dress and/or suit or let them help plan what AirBnB you plan to stay in for your wedding week. Getting them involved with these smaller details will allow you to create meaningful memories with them while still standing strong in your decision to elope.
Throw a party! Even though you’re eloping, you can still celebrate with family and friends. You can plan a party before your elopement or after. You could even think about signing your official marriage license at the party to share that moment with your loved ones. Sendoff parties can be super cute! Imagine the joy that your friends and family may feel when they “send you away” to your elopement! Eeek!
Share your love story with family and friends. Whether that means sending out cards or creating a wedding website (we like Zola!), sharing your love story will help them get to know you both on a more intimate level. Write about how you met, the moment you knew each other was the one and the little quirks that you love about one another. Your friends and family want to celebrate you and this will be the perfect way into giving them a deeper look into your lives.
Wear or carry important accessories from your family on your big day (and of course, get them photographed!). Ask your grandmother for a piece of jewelry that is important to her, or wear your dad’s favorite leather jacket for a photo op the night of your elopement. Your family will love seeing that though they weren’t there, you carried them close.
Capture the day by hiring an amazing photographer. (And we are not just saying that because we are photographers!) Because you are eloping, your photos are going to be all that more important. You want to hire a photographer that not only has an outstanding portfolio that fits your style, but that you also feel comfortable with. Your photographer may be one of the only people that will get to witness the moment you read your vows, so you want to find one that you click with.
Have a photo viewing party with your loved ones once you receive all of your photos. Your family finally got on board that you eloped but they are still dying to see the photos. (I mean can we blame them?!) Share a special moment with them by choosing a night to look through the photos on the big screen so that you can see their reactions and tell them some of the “little” moments from your day. If you can’t all “meet up” then a viewing party through a Facebook live works too! We can certainly help with that if you need it! Just picture their faces as they see the two of you exchanging your vows! Cue the tears!
Just remember – your day is just that, it’s YOURS. Be prepared for disappointed reactions when you announce your elopement. Stand your ground and stay confident in your decision. The more confident you are, the sooner your friends and family will be excited for you. It may take time. And that’s okay! They will soon come around! Be patient and soon they will share your excitement!
Navigating how to announce your elopement can be a challenge. Hopefully with our tips and a little bit of courage, you can excitedly announce your big day to your loved ones and begin the celebration. You can do this! Sending a HUGE congrats on making such a brave decision! And if you are still feeling anxious or nervous, don’t worry! Your feelings are totally valid and we are here to help! Feel free to reach out to us and we will be more than happy to help you!
Sam + Bryt