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Is It Rude To Elope? [And How To Without Offending Family]

Now that you have a ring on it, the questions soon start to roll in. The date, the venue, the dress, the flowers, the cake, the… all if it is so entirely overwhelming. It’s only natural that you would want to think about eloping! But how is this generally perceived? Is this something that is actually going to be feasible?

And most importantly, is it rude to elope? It may be considered rude to elope, depending on how you approach it, your family’s expectations, and how considerate you are of the thoughts and feelings of family and friends around you. It’s vitally important that you set expectations early, get people involved where you can, and come to a mutual agreement to celebrate your marriage, in some capacity.

In reality, there are a ton of great reasons to go off somewhere else to get married.

For instance, there is no hustle and bustle on the wedding day, no grand coordination where if one thing fails it all falls apart, and best of all, eloping costs significantly less than that grandeur of a traditional wedding.

But then comes the second wave of that hushed elopement question, “But we can’t because … will be so hurt/offended…”.

With that statement, most couples then and there decide against eloping for fear of what family might think or feel regarding the way the nuptials are completed.

When I say this, it does not mean you shouldn’t elope (which we will address all those reasons later), it simply means you need to think a bit more carefully about how you would approach it.

As much as it is your day, there are a great many factors to take into consideration when thinking about the type of wedding you want, while also being considerate of family and friends.

Why Do People Elope?

There are hundreds of reasons why someone might decide that they want to go ahead and elope.

It would be really difficult to just pinpoint one or two so we have given you a bunch in hope that it will help you calm that internal battle of whether or not to elope.

Money, Money, and Money

Did you know that the average wedding in the United States costs almost $34,000!

An article written and published from CNBC found, specifically that in 2019 the average wedding was $33,900, which was down in the previous year from $35,309.

Really, when you think about it, this amount alone is a house down payment and an awesome honeymoon! And that is exactly what a lot of people think as well.

Many couples have found themselves taking that wedding budget and thinking about all of the other long-lasting things they can do with that money rather than spending it on a single day.

There is always the argument that your wedding day will be the day that you remember forever, therefore, the money is worthwhile.

And there are of course ways to keep the costs down and have a more affordable day.

But there is only so much you can cost before it starts to show.

So a wedding will cost you, probably more than you initially might have budgeted for or had hoped.

And with that comes the counter-argument to an expensive day. Money is money and there are far more valuable things that you and your spouse can enjoy together that are more worthwhile.

Eloping can cost as little as $50 for a simple marriage license and courthouse wedding up to having an awesome vacation/destination elopement for a few thousand.

Many of the same wedding venues that you would use for a grand wedding have elopement packages for a fraction of the cost and you get the same experience of being in a beautiful church or another venue for significantly less.

You Want Something Intimate

While some women love the idea of everyone “oohing and ahhing” as they walk down the aisle, that same thought makes other want to run right back out of the door.

Plus, there is a definite appeal to the only person really focusing on you, and you on them, is your future spouse.

In that rare moment where the only two people in your world that really matter are the both of you, it is comforting to know that moment isn’t shared with anyone else except for the one in which you will share everything in this life.

Less Stress Less Mess

If you are not a planner, or cannot afford one, and don’t want to be in charge of all the intricacies that comes with planning a wedding, then an elopement may be a great option for you.

There is so much work associated with planning a wedding it is almost unreal.

Even if you have an entire year to plan and spaced everything out month by month, you will quickly see that among your busy schedule fitting in those extra things can quickly become hectic and chaotic.

Plus, factor in that you are not working only with your schedule, but also the schedule of everyone else – the bridesmaids, groomsmen, flower girls, and ring bearers.

Then let’s take into consideration, specifically, all of the other things that go into the planning.

Like, for instance, the wedding gown…or rather…fitting into the wedding gown.

It is one thing if you are already in your ideal shape and feels like you look great, you find the dress, and boom…ten months later you haven’t gained a pound with all of the pre-wedding celebrations and fit into it just like a glove.

For the other 95% of people, this does not happen!

You go in for the dress, pick the dress, set up a date for fitting the dress, and pray to everything up above that come your wedding day it fits you exactly like it is supposed to!

No gaining or even losing weight. So basically you have to be where you want months in advance and monitor for months later.

ZERO Family Drama

Now, considering the whole topic of this entire article is the simple fact that we do not want to offend family by eloping, it wouldn’t be fair to not take into consideration that where there is a wedding (no matter the kind) there will be drama.

At this point in my life I have been involved in or apart of many traditional weddings, and with every single one there is drama.

It all starts with saying “Yes” and rolls downhill from there.

As mentioned, the questions will start rolling in about all the specifics the moment you start announcing your engagement.

Then you might have your mom wanting you to wear her super awesome and specific to the early 90’s wedding dress, complete with shoulder pads and a Farrah Faucet hair-like veil.

Possibly, you are torn between your two best friends to decide who will be the maid of honor, or for the guys, best man.

That alone may have you lose a friend.

Possibly, your parents have been divorced and you have two really great father-figures and you can’t decide on who walks you down the aisle?

Just remember, eloping doesn’t cut out drama or hurt feelings, it just kind of…well… compresses it to a much shorter duration of time.

Almost as though you are ripping off a band-aid.

You Want to Explore Somewhere New Together

As I mentioned in the section about the money, you can go somewhere completely amazing instead of spending a truly astronomical (for most people) amount of money on a wedding.

On average, for around $3500 for 8 days and 7 nights you and your new honey can go to a 4-5 star all-inclusive resort in Cancun, Mexico.

Many times at the higher end resorts, they have either free or extremely in-expensive wedding and elopement packages for their guests if visiting for that purpose.

Maybe you want to go somewhere stateside you have never been before to get married.

For that same amount of cash, you can fly Allegiant or some other discount airline to somewhere new and get married on a mountain or by the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, or really, wherever you want.

Going somewhere new together and sharing that intimate moment and experience is something that is really special to only the both of you.

Why It Can Seem Rude to Elope?

The main reason why some people see eloping as rude is that it can come across as either; disrespectful, inconsiderate, or it is excluding them.

Can is the important word here, but it’s easily done nonetheless.

We have to consider those close family members – who have raised you, and always wanted to be part of your special day.

Espeically when you think about the parents whom may be otherwise walking you down the aisle, giving a speech etc.

As a parent, I too think about the day my own kids will get married, and my first thought is not- not being there to see it.

It’s understandable.

Another reason in why it may seem rude to elope is that there is the expectation that you would always marry in a church.

By eloping, it is likely you are forgoing this all together; and this can put some strain between family members and their religion.

With all this said, it depends greatly on your own circumstances and how you handle the conversation.

It’s about setting expectations early, keeping everyone included in some capacity, and ensuring they are all still apart of it in some way.

At the end of the day, if you are strongly considering an elopement, while it is your day, you need to consider everyone’s feelings too.

How To Elope Without Offending Family

Eloping without offending family is a challenging one, but there are some things you can do to improve how it all goes down.

While some may take eloping as running away, in reality, it is entirely from the heart and comes from a place of wanting to have something really personal and intimate with the person to whom you have given your entire life.

All of the good, the bad, and the ugly.

So with that said, if you are more and more set on eloping, here are a few ways to either soften the blow to your family or, get rid of it altogether.

Explain The Why

In reality, as adults, many of us have the attitude of “I don’t have to explain myself…I’m an adult”.

However, going to your family and explaining why you and your future spouse are wanting to elope shows love and respect to them and their feelings.

Besides, you may want to elope because a wedding is not affordable, or it’s something that adds unnecessary stress and pressure you simply do not want to go through.

Naturally, families could quite easily get offended because it feels like exclusion. But through clearly giving your reasons they’ll likely be much more understanding and open to it.

Just be sure that you hold this conversation do in a place and situation that will allow them to express any range of emotions.

All of us know our families and can anticipate certain types of reactions from those closest to us.

If you feel your parents will be more accepting of this idea over dinner, make a reservation at a nicer restaurant and explain to them there.

However, if you feel one or both of your parents will have a complete and utter meltdown, maybe just invite them over for dinner and tell them there.

Include Them in the Process

Once your family has accepted the elopement, include them in the planning process. Especially if they have saved up money for a wedding fund!

Allow them to shop with you for your dress (or suit), accessories, photographer, and most importantly, the place in which you will elope to get married.

Also, consider the technology that is present. Maybe have someone Facetime with your closest family at the time of the wedding so that they can also see you get married in a beautiful place.

Plan A Post-Elopement Reception

Lastly, you should consider having a post-elopement reception with your closest friends and family on your return. It makes everyone still feel included and enables everyone to celebrate with you.

This is something you could plan yourself, or alternatively, your family could even plan it on your behalf.

Allowing them to plan something small for you and your new wife or hubby will give them an extra sense of purpose and involvement – it’s as much for them as it is for you.

So really, it is a win-win. You still get the intimacy of the moment that really matters but you also get the reception and all the gifts that come with it!

Should You Elope or Have a Wedding?

Whether you elope or not is going to be down to you and your fiance; nobody can make this decision for you.

That being said there are many pros to eloping, and ways to do it successfully without damaging any relationships and seriously hurting anyone’s feelings.

Of course, there are always going to be some people you dissapoint.

But chances are, this would happen if you had a traditional wedding anyway. You cant invite everyone. There will be drama in some way regardless.

It is just a part of getting married.

But if you still can’t make a decision of what to do, perhaps considering the pros and cons below may be of help:

Your wedding day will be all about your partnerYour day will be all about the unexpected and you be prepared for something different
Minimal wedding planningChallenging to announce to friends and family
Can be more adventurous No wedding gifts!
Save a considerable amount of moneyMarriage may not feel as celebrated

At the end of the day, you simply need to consider the best option for you and your future spouse.

So with that said, happy wedding and happy planning!


Eloping is certainly not for everyone. It does require a lot of thought and consideration ahead of time, and you really need to be sure if it’s right for you, your fiance, and your family.

While it is true your wedding should be about you, there are other people who want to be a part of your special day, and eloping naturally prevents them from being able to do so.

But with some additional arrangements, such as a post-elopement reception – there is no reason they cannot be.

If you are really serious about eloping and do not want to offend family, consider this last thought.

The key is to clearly explain and communicate your reason behind wanting to elope altogether. Helping people to understand will help them to get on the same page, and hopefully, respect your decision.