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How would you feel about family members eloping?

262 replies

Elopenope · 19/03/2023 11:29

Me and DP are considering marrying quietly, just us two.

Initially when we started speaking about it, it was clear our parents thought we would invite them still (I think had just assumed it was a destination wedding?)

We are now beginning to firm up plans and it seems like our gently introducing the idea isn't going well.

On top of that a minor celeb (ish) eloped recently and I saw a lot of comments about how people would be devastated if their sister etc did that, how they clearly aren't close with the families and how hurtful it is.

In all honesty would you be hurt if your ds, dd etc did this? If your dc didn't get to be bridesmaids etc.

We get on well with our families, I'm just by nature an introverted person with not much interest in a party. I'd hate for them to think it was anything to do with them

Im also neurodiverse so can struggle with this stuff. In my head it's quite clearly a thing between a couple, but realise that's not how it works.

I've got no idea if I should then invite them to dress fittings etc or just do the whole thing alone. Which is worse? Is it better to be really clear that on September 12th we will be marrying (and leave them feeling odd that day) or just say after

I'm mostly interested in families points of views. Lots of friends that have eloped have told us it was fine, but when speaking to others they've been hurt

Yabu- I would be hurt if my family did this

Yanbu- I wouldn't mind if my sister eloped

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?


You have one vote. All votes are anonymous.

1FootInTheRave · 19/03/2023 11:57

Wouldn't be arsed.

I did it 18 years ago, no regrets at all.


frazzledasarock · 19/03/2023 11:58

I wouldn’t mind. If my DC decided they wanted to get married and eloped.

i can think of one of my children who’d probably


UseOfWeapons · 19/03/2023 12:00

Wouldn’t bother me, it’s your day, spend it how you want to.
Friends of mine did this, and few family members were a bit pissed off, but they cheered up when the bride said they weren’t wanting gifts!


BashfulClam · 19/03/2023 12:01

We did it and if others felt slighted well tough as it was done.


Viviennemary · 19/03/2023 12:02

I would think it was selfish and cheeky. Quiet wedding fair enough but not wanting your own parents there is pretty grim.


thenotsoeviltwin · 19/03/2023 12:02

Do it. We eloped to Gretna, so cheap and a lovely experience. Invited parents only as family are horrors. There was 8 of us incl our 2 kids.
Didn't have to buy anyone dinner so saved us a fortune! We had a celebration BBQ at our house when we got home, invited friends and my dad who couldn't make wedding. Great day!
Couldn't give a fuck about what anyone thought of it, we wanted a marriage not one big day.
My sister's still slagged me off for it confirming why I didn't invite toxic twats.
I look at my wedding pics and we're all laughing and happy, still are years later.

Other people's opinions don't pay my bills.


Mythril · 19/03/2023 12:04

My sister eloped last year. Everyone took it pretty well but there were specific circumstances that made it ok I think:

  1. the two eldest sisters had already had proper weddings

  2. the sister who eloped is very charismatic and can get away with murder

  3. the sister who eloped is a lesbian so the whole thing is a bit less traditional in nature anyway

Daftasyoulike · 19/03/2023 12:06

When DH and I got married it was second time around for both of us, and in all honesty all we wanted to do was make a commitment to each other without a big song and dance. We decided to have a ceremony abroad, and selfishly (as I now see it) didn't invite our two mums who were 80 and 77 at the time, as we felt we'd done it their way first time around, and also felt that the heat in the country we'd chosen would be too much for them. My Mum didn't make a fuss about it at the time, and in actual fact, while we were there, another Mother of the Bride did faint during their ceremony due to the heat, thereby taking all the attention from the wedding, so felt we'd done the right thing. My DH's Mum, didn't take it well, and made it clear what her views were! Anyway, when we got home, I realised how upset my dear Mum was, because a few days later, she cleared off to Australia for a month! It was her way of saying 'I'm not as feeble as you think I am, so up yours!' lol.

With hindsight, and having lost my Mum 3 years later, it was a VERY selfish thing to have done, and while we did enjoy every moment of the wedding and holiday, I really regret not having invited my Mum as I know it would have made her VERY happy, and would have given me some more lovely memories of my wedding. However, in all honesty, I think we both felt it highly likely that my DH's Mum would not have enjoyed it, and would have enjoyed making it known. So, did we do the right thing? All in all, I don't think so.


aSofaNearYou · 19/03/2023 12:06

I'd probably selfishly feel a pang of disappointment at not getting to go to the wedding - unlike most on MN I haven't been to many. And I only have quite a small family with one sister so I'm yeah I'd be a tad disappointed my DDs wouldn't get to be bridesmaids, I didn't either and always wanted to.

But I wouldn't be offended or anything. Just internally a tiny bit disappointed.


SmallestInTheClass · 19/03/2023 12:06

I wish we had done it. I'd be happy for any family member (my DCs included) who wanted to elope. I think some mothers think I is all about them and need a long hard look at themselves if their main joy in life is from their DCs wedding plans. If they want a party or family celebration then arrange one separately! Thank goodness my DM and MIL were not like this.


NeedToChangeName · 19/03/2023 12:08

If you were my close family, I'd respect your decision but would be hurt you didn't feel close enough to want me at your special day

MN is full of people who don't like to socialise, which will skew answers


PonyPatter44 · 19/03/2023 12:08

My sister did this, and my mum was genuinely upset not to have seen her getting married. Similarly, I know I would be upset if my DD did the same thing - I love her, I want to see her being happy!

I think its weird to go around saying to people that you don't want them at your wedding, though. Just go and get married, and tell everyone afterwards.


Elopenope · 19/03/2023 12:11

So we are planning to get married in a different country of the UK, that's a far drive (circumstances mean we can't travel abroad otherwise we would)

It's helpful to hear the range of opinions.

I sort of feel that I can do a perfect wedding for just us 2 but that it gets harder when you take into account other people. Eg if they came I'd be stressing about what happens if it rains, and making sure they had a good time. If its just us I don't mind the passing rain, or that we are going back to a hotel room to have a pizza etc after

I feel like a registry office wedding still comes with pressure and do people then just go home after?

Partly its also cost, I feel its easier to have a nice wedding on the cheap for just us 2. By the time it's a 20 person wedding then it seems silly to not go the whole hog

OP posts:

TheUsualChaos · 19/03/2023 12:12

My sister did it and they just had their children and parents. They don't really bother having much to do with any of the family so I don't think people took much notice tbh.
If my DD did got married without even having us there I would find that really upsetting. I couldn't have my Mum at my wedding as she died several years before so I really hope I can share that moment with my DC one day.


Elopenope · 19/03/2023 12:12

I assumed it was more hurtful to do it as a suprise! Interesting that people feel differently

OP posts:

704703hey · 19/03/2023 12:16

I can't stand weddings so I'd prefer 'eloping'. Nothing to do with anyone else.


Templebreedy · 19/03/2023 12:17

Elopenope · 19/03/2023 12:12

I assumed it was more hurtful to do it as a suprise! Interesting that people feel differently

You’re just telling people you’re getting married and that you’re not inviting them, which doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. The point of getting married in jeans with two witnesses for us was no hassle, no fuss, no organisation etc. We didn’t actually tell anyone at all for ages, either — in fact, though it was 11 years ago now, I was amused to meet an old friend recently who said ‘WHAT? You’re MARRIED???’

No one was annoyed or upset. We were quite clear that the only way would have ever got married was solo with witnesses. Some church/white dress/ 200 guests was never on the agenda.


TidyDancer · 19/03/2023 12:18

Okay honestly, yes it's is selfish and yes I would be hurt by it if my child did this.

It being selfish doesn't mean you shouldn't actually do it however, you do just need to be aware that it is very likely you will be causing upset to people. I'm not saying don't do it but not everyone will respond 'well'.

I know people who have just had the tiniest wedding with a parent each, or have just invited parents and siblings. I think that's nice.


PolkadotsAndMoonbeams · 19/03/2023 12:19

Is it really eloping if you tell everybody in advance?

I have a friend who did it, and it did really upset her parents — she's their only child, they get on well with her husband, had met his parents etc. No family drama or huge numbers to invite or anything.

They'd bought a house together, so everybody was expecting an engagement and a wedding at some point, not them turning up and saying "oh we got married three weeks ago."


BashfulClam · 19/03/2023 12:22

Our circumstances were that we’d been together for over 10 years and engaged for around 10, we’d bought two homes and moved twice and both fathers were gone. DH had social anxiety which means he hates to be be the centre of attention. I gave drifters from most friends apart from 2 very close trusted ones. We had to dive a few hours to the venue and our car was filled with my dress and his kilt, we would have to fit MIl in and she would make the whole thing about her and faff around. We were going straight on a small honeymoon after and not returning home so my mum would have to drop
off mil and they hate each other so a thee hour car journey would have been a disaster.

We wanted it to be about us and get married not about anyone else and their expectations. No regrets at all.


Shakeyshakeyshake · 19/03/2023 12:24

If you’re eloping or not inviting anyone, don’t tell them in advance and don’t have people at dress fittings etc.

Do it or don’t do it but no one wants to be involved in planning and dress fittings and then not be allowed see the end result…

Just keep it to yourself and have the ceremony and then tell them


LadySlipper · 19/03/2023 12:26

I would be delighted! It would be great to spare everyone the expense and nause of a big production. I suggested it to DS and his partner, but it went down like a turd in a swimming pool. She is very keen to get married/have The Show, but with a mortgage to pay and a baby on the way, if she only wants to have a wedding, rather than just be wed, I think she'll be waiting a long long time.


PolkadotsAndMoonbeams · 19/03/2023 12:26

If the minor celeb is the one I'm thinking of, wasn't the surprise more because she has always been close to her family? And she's marrying somebody she'd been going out with for less than a year.

Things can move quickly, and people can want a small wedding, but I think it was more the combination of the two.


Largeflaskoftea · 19/03/2023 12:27

I have 3 DDs and if they decide to do this I honestly wouldn’t be bothered.

But then DH and I had a small register office wedding and lunch afterwards, minimal fuss.


YetMoreNewBeginnings · 19/03/2023 12:27

I’d be really upset if it was one of my children, but I’d do my best not to show it.

Other family members have no issue with. BIL got married with just PIL and SIL’s parents and none of us had an issue with that.

It was a shame not to be part of it because they did it for health reasons so not because they particularly wanted to.

my cousin also did it and no-one batted an eyelid with just parents - it was totally her type of wedding.

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