So there is no doubt about it I think elopements are one of the most romantic, focused and exciting ways to get married… for the couple.
As a friend or family member you may be feeling really left out. You feel like they kept such a big secret from you, that they obviously don’t love you enough to have included you in their day and this is probably the beginning of the end of your friendship.
Well hold up tiger because that’s not really true! Even if it feels true to you right now.
No… THEIR wedding is not about YOU, but yes you are still allowed to have feelings about it.
Here’s how to you can start to process and re-position those thoughts and feelings you are having
1- Let yourself have all the feelings & reactions you need to at the news they eloped but don’t wallow or take it personally.
I encourage people to elope for a living (amongst other things) and I really do understand and respect why couples choose this marriage route. BUT even I had the little “oh, didn’t they want me there?” thought / ego bash when my friends eloped.
It’s normal to have feelings about things, just don’t allow your feelings about your friends eloping to become a ‘personal thing’… Because it’s not! It was their day and it was about them.. not you. Have your feelings and then go be excited for them.
2- If you can’t say something nice don’t say anything at all.
Yes you are allowed to have your feelings and opinions on… well anything you like it’s a free country… But if you can’t be nice and supportive of this really difficult, rather brave decision they took to go against generally accepted wedding traditions, larger world expectations and the one million social / social media pressures being shoved down their throats to make their own path and elope, then rather don’t say anything.
They need your support not your pissyness. Pissy they will have plenty of (because not everyone was as cool as you and Googled how to deal with it) support will be in shorter supply, so be that person not THAT person.
3- Try seeing it from their perspective.
The decision to elope is rarely based on one factor. Most couples battle with a multitude of decisions, emotions and pressures when deciding to elope.
- The cost – Do you really want to see your friend in debt just so you could say you were there?
- The pressure – If you have been married before you will know the levels of stress and pressure that can come with a traditional big wedding. Why would you want that for them?
- This was the best decision for them – This is the start of their marriage and they will need to start doing what’s best for them. Respect these boundaries and be part of the support system that builds their marriage up, not picks holes in it.
4- Just because they didn’t have you at their wedding day doesn’t mean they don’t want you in their lives.
Have you noticed how everyone wants to be part of fun stuff and not really the real stuff?
The after work drinks not really the after work crunch to hit a deadline. The cutesy baby shower with pretty little outfits but not really the loads of washing that’s has to be done when baby has a 3 day poo and vomit session. The awesome Sunday braai but not really the clean up or pile of dishes after the braai.
Ok you didn’t get to be part of this one fun thing they did but will you be there for the real things? (and if the real stuff of marriage and their marriage doesn’t really appeal to you.. well then I’m glad you weren’t invited to their wedding… bloody ‘fun stuff’ free loader! Shame on you.)
Instead of being caught up in what you weren’t part of how about this…
- Throw them a welcome home / ready married / not a bachelor or bachelorette party.
- Gift them the printing of their wedding photos into an album and them let them share their day’s memories with you as you look through it together.
- Write them a supportive note about all the reasons you love and respect that they did life / their wedding their way. If you can get a few people to do this and give it to them as a ‘wedding gift’.
- Plan a dinner and make them wear their elopement outfits. Make them feel loved, do any speeches you may have wanted to share on their wedding day and make memories with them now knowing that you let them have their memories then.
- Set their 1 year wedding anniversary in your calendar and plan something as a group of friends to celebrate their marriage vs. their wedding.
How did you support or celebrate your friends who eloped?
If you eloped what was the most helpful thing someone did for you?