Groom Duties

Six Excuses for Eloping: How to Assuage Angry In-Laws

Photo by Alexandra Nadtochaya

So you’ve decided to elope. Congratulations. Bold move! Eloping, however, is the easy part. Now you’ve got to come home and tell your parents and friends. There is a high degree of probability they will give you grief. You will need to arm yourself with some powerful arguments about why you decided to bypass the whole wedding process. You are currently head-over-heels, so you may not be thinking clearly. Which is why we created this handy list of elopement excuses. Feel free to mix and match.  

1. You Are Agoraphobic

Nobody can be mad at you for bypassing a traditional wedding once you explain you suffer from a clinical disease. Write nice cards explaining how you wish everyone could have been there, but your lifelong shyness has suddenly gotten much, much worse, and now crowds, enclosed spaces, and traveling outside the house cause you significant distress. Let your loved ones know you had actually planned a big fancy wedding, but began having trouble breathing and your therapist said that under no circumstances were you medically able to have a public wedding. Include a doctor’s note indicating that even the idea of exchanging vows in public could cause a potentially fatal attack of the marthambles. Also, let them know get that you get sudden flushing, arrhythmia, and vertigo if anyone makes you feel guilty.

2. Children Are Starving In China

If you take the obvious route by explaining you only eloped because wanted to save money, you risk looking like a cheapskate. But tell them you couldn’t stand the idea of selfishly spending thousands on a one-day party because you want to help the needy. Which is why you have decided to donate all the money you saved to a charity to feed starving children in China. Will you actually donate the money to charity? Of course not. But that’s ok, because China is now richer than America, and they have an obesity problem, not malnutrition. But hopefully your immediate family and friends aren’t that well informed.

3. You Don’t Look Good Bald

Explain to angry friends and family that you were really planning to have a huge blowout wedding and invite everyone, but as you began to face the enormous list of decisions, added up the expenses, and started arguing over the guest list and venue, you noticed your hair was falling out. And then you realized your head was an odd shape. And that wearing a hat made your scalp itch. Finally, with great sadness, you realized you had no choice, but to elope to an exotic honeymoon destination (where, in an almost miraculous coincidence, your full head of hair grew back almost instantaneously).  

4. You Love Too Much

People can certainly fault you for being a selfish tightwad. But nobody can blame you for being too loving. When you get back from your elopement and people start giving you shade, explain that your heart has been cracked open so wide by falling in love that you have begun to view every living being as your own mother. So much so that when you sat down to create your wedding invite list, it quickly became clear you would need to invite all 7 billion people on the planet. This was simply not practical, and so with your heart overflowing with limitless affection for all humanity, you decided that if you couldn’t invite everyone, you’d have to invite no one instead.

5. Space Cannot Contain The Vastness Of Your Love

When your parents and in-laws start freaking out that you ran off and eloped, just explain that the issue wasn’t so much a practical concern as the unbearable burning intensity of your love. Tell them you looked at a list of possible dates and locations for the wedding, and there were endless problems with each idea. Finally you both realized you were so madly in love you couldn’t possibly delay getting married over something as pedestrian as a made up concept like “time” or something as tiny as the universe. And so you just ran out the door and got married right then, because true love does not send out a save the date card. Love does not require a deposit. Love waits for nothing.  

6. You Are On The Run From The Mob

If none of the above excuses work, just break down and say you took out some risky loans a few years back and–long story short, you had to enter the witness protection program. When your friends and family realize you were just trying to avoid them getting whacked as innocent bystanders, they will be forgiving. Let them know if they want to send wedding gifts they should do so quickly, as these wise guys are no joke and you expect to be swimming with the fishes soon.

Bottom Line

Some people will be pissed when they find out you eloped. There are plenty of reasons you can give, if telling the truth (you didn’t want the hassle of planning a wedding) just isn’t going to cut it.


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