Whether you’re eloping with family, or you want to keep it just the two of you, there are ways to make your family and friends feel included in your elopement. In the past, the word “elopement” used to mean a secret, rushed marriage. Maybe a scandalous affair, and usually something that the family disapproved of.
The meaning has changed a lot over the years, and today, eloping is all about reclaiming your wedding day – getting married in a way that makes you happy! No pressure, stress, or obligations from the big wedding industry, and no worrying about what other people think of your day.
Invite Family And Friends To Your Elopement
The first way to include the people you love in your elopement day is to invite them! There are still a lot of misconceptions and myths about elopements out there, and one of them is that guests are a strict no go.
But the truth is, some couples want to do away with the big white wedding and opt for an adventure elopement in an epic location, but they just can’t imagine their wedding day without the people they love most. And that’s perfectly fine! Eloping with family and close friends can make the experience even more special, and if you feel that your loved ones are on board, you can invite them to your elopement.
For the best of both worlds, one trick when it comes to eloping with family and friends is to split up the day, so that you get some time with the people you love, and some time alone.
You can have your ceremony, celebrate with champagne, and cake, and then go off with your photographer to hike, explore, and take photos away from your guests. Or spend the morning soaking in some hot springs and meet up with your guests in the evening for a sunset ceremony!
You can even opt for a two-day elopement – one that you spend with your family and friends, and one that you spend alone together. Who says you have to choose?!
2. Have Them Help You Get Ready
However, you split up your day, having your family or friends help you get ready can be really special. We all know this is standard in traditional elopements, but don’t forget that this can be a part of your elopement too!
3. Include Them in any and all Parts of the Day
Although I always put a huge emphasis on your time as a couple, if you choose to have your family and friends at your elopement – it doesn’t have to be stressful or boring. Make your day as authentic as YOU want it. Check out some of these photos of your family hitching along.
How to Include Family & Friends in your "Just Us" Elopement
For a variety of reasons, couples may choose to elope with no guests. This can be a difficult decision to make, as there tends to be so much pressure, especially from family, to make your wedding day about everyone but you. But, whether you want to elope to avoid family drama, or you want to do a difficult hike that your loved ones won’t be down for, or you just don’t want to have to read your super emotional and vulnerable vows in front of other people, the decision is entirely yours, and you should never feel bad about doing what feels right to you.
4. Have Them Write Letters
A lot of couples who aren’t eloping with family or friends ask their loved ones to write them letters to read on the big day. Opening the letters after (or before) your ceremony can be super emotional, and the great thing about letters is that you get to keep them forever! This gives your loved ones a chance to let you know how they feel on your elopement day, and even if they can’t be there, you’ll feel all the love and support.
5. Call Them from your Elopement
Imagine Facetiming your family from a mountaintop, wearing your wedding attire! Taking a few minutes to call your loved ones can make them feel included in the day, and it gives you the opportunity to share the exciting news! Some couples keep their elopement a secret until after they’ve tied the knot, so this can also be a great way to break the news, but if they’re already in the loop, you can let them know to expect a call from you.
6. Include your Family & Friends in Elopement Planning
Leading up to the elopement day, you’re going to have to make a lot of decisions. Planning even a small ceremony can be stressful and having people to bounce your ideas off of and to go to for support can take a huge weight off your shoulders! Plus, it’ll help your family and friends understand why you’ve made the decision to elope – they’ll see all the beautiful locations and fun adventures you’re going to have, and they’ll see how excited you are.
7. Plan a Reception After Your Elopement
Whether it’s later that day or in a few months, you can throw a party after you elope! That way, your elopement ceremony is intimate and private, but you still get to celebrate with all your favorite people afterwards.
Lastly, I cannot go without telling you that yes – pet are family! If you can’t imagine a day without your fur baby, then don’t. As a fellow animal lover, I love when your pets are part of your day. If you want to learn more on how to include them on your elopement, go check out this blog post!
Remember that it's your Decision
Especially if your loved ones give you a hard time, it can be difficult to make the decision to elope. But remember, this is YOUR wedding day. It’s supposed to be the best day of your life – so never feel bad about doing exactly what you want, the way you want it. Remember whatever route you go that you ALWAYS make time for just the two of you.
As an elopement photographer, I love guiding couples to their perfect elopement day. So if you need advice, planning assistance, a cheerleader to tell you you’re doing the right thing, or all of the above, let’s talk!