How to Elope or Have a Small Wedding Part 3 - Jamie Tobin Photography
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How to Elope or Have a Small Wedding Part 3

Let’s dive into part 3 of “How to Elope or have a Small Wedding” which is all about Telling your family + friends that you are going to elope instead!

You’re searching google + pinterest + instagram looking for the answer to, “How to Elope” or “How to have a small wedding” and I am writing this blog series for you! I knew when I got engaged that I did not want a large traditional wedding. It was who we were as a couple, and we have no regrets eloping instead!

Now, as a sole elopement photographer, I am here to help make your elopement dreams come true + planning so much easier!

Did you miss part 1 and 2? I got you!

Part 1 of How To Elope
Part 2 of How to Elope

How do I tell my family + friends that we are eloping instead?

This can be really hard for some people, and I am NOT discrediting your anxiety when it comes to telling your family + friends that what they want for you, is not what you want for yourself (and your future spouse).

First ask yourself do you want a few members of your family / friends with you when you elope?
If you do….

  1. Propose to them! Ask them to join your adventure with a fun gift box, food / beverage, or letter. This can make it fun and still give off that wedding vibe that guests normally think of.
  1. Lay out your plans and if they would have any costs that you’d like them to pay for while joining your elopement. Think lodging / plane / attire. Some consider it rude but it’s best to be upfront with your boundaries and expectations so that way everything is clear from the beginning. 
  2. Make it known! Mark + I told people forever that we were never getting married in a church or having a large wedding. They knew for the git go what we wanted.

Eloping doesn’t mean you want to give family / friends the middle finger either, which is a common misconception. So, I always recommend approaching family with an open conversation of, “this is who we are, this is how we want to celebrate our love story, this is about US not YOU.” 

Elopements are real weddings! You are not accepting less by having a smaller guest list and doing things differently than a packed ballroom. You are actually being really brave sticking to your true self, and I love witnessing each of our couples unique interests. 

Some family and friends might ask why you’re choosing to elope, and that’s up to you if you want to explain it to them, but some common points you can mention…

  1. You want to get married at a location that means something to you both.
    (Like check out this view in Colorado…)
  2. Having a huge party isn’t how you dreamed of spending your wedding day
    (Check out this small, intimate party in Oregon we photographed)
  3. You want to be able to adventure, hike, take amazing portraits, have a picnic, or anything that you’d normally love to do with your spouse instead of entertaining a large crowd and being the center of attention.
  4. This isn’t an early 1900s shotgun elopement, it’s who we are as people and how we want to start our marriage. 
  5. Financially having a large wedding is not in your wheel house, and you’d like to spend that money a different way.
    (Check out this blog post about average cost of American weddings.. oooofta)

Now.. what about if you want to just be alone with your spouse on your Elopement? 

Maybe you don’t have close family 
Maybe you want to surprise everyone when you get back with your wedding album like we did it our way and had the time of our lives, enjoy our photos of us being completely in the moment. 

  1. Come home with an announcement card (I gladly edit a few photos to make this possible)
  2. Share your wedding album with them after and tell them how much their support means. 
  3. Invite them through an online link for the ceremony 

My family is calling me selfish….?

My first gut reaction to that is.. GOOD. Be selfish. It’s your marriage, you should be able to celebrate the way you want and if the people that are closest to you can’t get on board, that says more about them then it does you.

My second reaction is, it’s okay for them to have their feelings, they are allowed to feel whatever they need to feel. You can not control what other people say or do, but you can control your boundaries, wants, and needs. You are allowed to set whatever boundary you need to protect yourself (in any aspect of your life not just your wedding). Communicating those boundaries is key because you can only say what you need, and if that need is not met you are allowed to protect yourself.

Most family + friends get on board with your ideas once they see how happy they make you.
Some cases, they don’t, and we can’t control that. Just remember this is your (+your spouse’s) day. YOURS. Go after your dreams!

Whatever route you feel is best for you and your spouse I can help brainstorm ways we can include, or be separated from guests on your elopement.

Just remember— this is your day. You are brave, you are loved, you are allowed to do what makes you happy even though it’s different. 

I got your back!

Keeping reading for part 4 coming soon!

Ready to have Jamie by your side with photography on your day?
Contact me here!

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