Did you know that eloping with family is totally possible?! Let’s dive in!
Somehow you’ve come across the idea of having an adventurous elopement and you freaking love everything about it! The thought of having an intimate, adventurous and meaningful day sounds like it’s perfect for the two of you. Elopements are all about getting married exactly how and where you want and that’s the type of wedding day you’re looking for. You don’t care about making a seating chart or picking out table linens. It’s just not your thing! You have a desire to intentionally plan your elopement day around the two of you and the thought of putting meaning into your dream elopement is every you want. What more could you possibly ask for, right?!
For some, yes! For others, there might be one thing that is holding you back from moving forward with eloping. You love everything about adventurous elopements, but your family and friends mean everything to you and you couldn’t imagine getting married without them there by your side or including your family during your elopement in some way!
It doesn’t matter to you how epic the views are or how fun it would be to take that helicopter ride, you want those who matter to you with you or included in some way on the most important day of your life.
Well, I’ve got some good news for you! You can absolutely elope with your friends and family. This is your day and if eloping with family or friends is something that matters to you, then take them along on the adventure! There are so many different ways that you can include family into your elopement day and I’m here to help guide you through this. Ultimately, the options on eloping with family are endless and it’s up to you on how you want to include them!
Eloping With Family
If the idea of eloping with family is a shock to you or your loved ones or if you didn’t think it was possible, then it’s time to learn the real meaning of what elopements are all about.
I touched on it a little bit above, but eloping comes down to the experience you have on your wedding day. It’s about committing your lives together in an epic place wherever you want and starting out your lives together on an incredible adventure. In short, it’s about getting married EXACTLY how you two want!
It’s not about following tradition for the sake of tradition or to please your aunts and uncles. It’s not about putting on a large dinner party and entertaining your guests. It’s about crafting a day with intention! It’s about creating a day that will really mean something to you both and if that includes eloping with family, then that’s the day you deserve to have!
There are endless ways that you can include your family during your elopement with them being physically with you or without them being physically with you. It’s up to you on how you decide to include your family during your elopement!
Here are the different ways I’m going to go over with you on eloping with family:
1. How to elope with family
2. How to Include family during your elopement without them physically being there
3. How to Get the Best of Both worlds!
1. How to Elope with Family
Include Family in the Traditional Aspects of your Elopement
If you’re a couple who desires to have your friends or family by your side as the two of you say your vows and commit your lives together, then having a single elopement ceremony with them could be the way for you to go. You can include them in every aspect of your getting ready, to the ceremony and celebration afterwards!
The only thing you should think about when going this route is that you might have to reconsider the type of location you want to have. This, 0f course, depends on the age and abilities of those you decide to include during your elopement!
For example, if you found an epic eight mile hike that you want to do for your elopement, but you want someone there with you who maybe wouldn’t have the ability, then you’ll have to compromise that hike for a more accessible location. I definitely don’t think you should give up that epic view you want for your ceremony, you might just have to find a different view so your loved ones can be there with you. It all comes down to what’s important to you!
Include them in Certain parts Of your Elopement Experience
If you want to include your friends or family on your elopement day, but to you your vows are very personal and you want to keep that between the two of you and you don’t want to have two types of ceremonies, then include them in the other parts of your elopement experience.
You could spend the first part of your day having breakfast and getting ready with your family. Then, go off for your first look, ceremony and sunset adventure with just the two of you, and then go back to your Airbnb to celebrate with your family by having dinner together and a toast!
2. Eloping With Family – How to Include Family in Your Elopement Without Them Physically There
If eloping with family isn’t something you want to do, but would like to find a way to include your family in a different way then here are some ideas for you to check out. The options are truly endless and you can include them in any way that feels right to the both of you!
THROW AN ENGAGEMENT PARTY
You may want to celebrate your wedding day with just the two of you, but that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate your engagement with your friends and family! Letting your Mom or your best friend plan a party for you will be one less thing for you to worry about all while keeping them involved during this special time! It could also be a great time to start chatting with your friends and family to let them know that your eloping, tell them all about it and make them get all excited for you and your amazing plans!
SHOP FOR YOUR OUTFITS WITH YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY
You may be eloping, but that doesn’t mean you get to miss out on having that dream dress! Take your mom and your nearest and dearest friends along with you to search for your dress and accessories. This will keep your family involved during your elopement in a way that you want them involved! It will also help them to feel special since you asked them to come along on such an important part of preparing for your elopement!!
Here are a few of my favorite dress shops!
HIRE A PHOTOGRAPHER TO SHARE IMAGES WHEN YOU GET BACK
When couples choose to elope one of the first things a couple does is find their dream photographer! Couples who elope usually value experiences over things and their elopement day is all about crafting an experience that reflects them.
So, what better way to cherish and relive such an epic day than having a photographer you connect with to document your entire experience. Having gorgeous images that tell the story of your elopement day is a great way to share your experience back home with your friends and family! You can also send out elopement announcements with a few of your stunning pictures!
A sweet and sentimental way to have your family and friends with you on your day without actually having them there is to have them write letters to you for you to open and read on your elopement day! This can be such a special and intimate moment to share with your new spouse. It can bring happy tears and lots of laughter! You wouldn’t regret doing this for one moment.
Video Chat With Family
If you’d like them to be a part of your elopement day without them there video chatting with them is a fantastic alternative! You can include them in any part of your day or just have a chat to say hi before you get your day started.
You can call them after you’ve put your dress on so they can see the ‘big reveal’. You can stream your ceremony if you wanted them to be there, but they couldn’t be there for one reason or another. You could call them after you’ve had your ceremony so they can congratulate you.
The options are endless and you can include your family however you want via video call!
Have a Reception Back Home
Once you get back home from your elopement day you can invite your friends and family to a reception to celebrate your marriage! There are many ways to celebrate afterwards with those who matter to you, and it doesn’t need to be a traditional reception. However, if that’s what you want totally go for it!
If not, you could simply go out to dinner, have a potluck or even a backyard BBQ! I wrote a whole article about What to Do After Eloping so be sure to check it out!!
3. Eloping With Family – How to get the Best of Both Worlds
Split Your Elopement Day Up
Splitting up your elopement day is great way to get the best of both worlds! You’ll be able to go on that hike you want for those epic views and then you can come back and spend the evening with your friends and family.
This could look very different for you, but here are a few ways I’ve seen it done before. You could have a sunrise experience with just the two of you and go on that hike or enjoy an adventure with just the two of you. You can have a private ceremony at the top of the mountain you really wanted to see where the two of you exchange vows and have a beautiful and meaningful ceremony.
After your ceremony and exploring at sunrise you could hike back down and either take a break during the day or wait till sunset and have another ceremony with family.You could say your vows again and have a similar ceremony or you could do a different type of ceremony where you can walk down the isle and have a more traditional ceremony with your family and family.
When you split the day up like this it allows you to have the more intimate moments you want with just the two of you and you get to include your loved ones! You don’t have to comprise any part of your elopement dream by splitting your day up!
Have a Two day Elopement Experience
If splitting your elopement day up sounds exhausting and too long for you to be able to enjoy then spreading your elopement experience over two days would be another great alternative. Just like everything else regarding your elopement day, you can do this however you want, but here are some examples of how to go about having a two day elopement experience when you’re eloping with family!
You could spend the first day having your more ‘traditional’ type of elopement day where you enjoy the day getting ready with them, have your elopement ceremony with family and have a celebration with them afterwards.
Then, the following day could be your more adventurous experience where you go on that epic hike with that stunning view or go on that helicopter ride to a remote location in the mountains and get to say your personal vows to each other and enjoy a sunset adventure experience together.
You could also flip the days around if you wanted! Throughout my experience as an Adventure Elopement Photographer, I’ve seen this work out best for couples who want to have the best of both worlds, because it allows you time to slow down and enjoy eloping with family and to fully enjoy your more intimate and adventurous experience with just the two of you.
It’s a great way to be able to take in every moment that you get to spend with your family and with each other!
Logistics to Think About When Eloping With Family
Now that you have loads of ideas on on how to elope with family there are a few logistics to take into consideration as you start to plan your elopement.
First of all, be straight up and clear with your family about what you two want for your elopement. When eloping with family they naturally want to help in someway, but sometimes the focus can start to shift to the family. So, when you chat with them let them know exactly what you’re doing, how you’re going about it and what you need help with, if anything! Eloping is about keeping the focus on the two of you and how you both want to get married, so make sure to keep the focus on where it belongs!
The next big thing when eloping with family is deciding on your location.
If you don’t want to change your dream ceremony location for accessibility for your family, then opt for splitting the day up or have a two day experience. If you know you want them there during your ceremony be sure to know the abilities of everyone to be able to get to your location! This might mean you have to choose a location at a trail head or one that you can drive up to!
When you pick out your location think about the type of terrain at that spot, too. Is there enough room for your friends and family to stand? If it rains, would it get slippery or dangerous for a group of people to be at? There are certain locations in state and national parks that only allow a certain number of people to be at at one time, so make sure you look into any regulations for your location as well!
After you’ve picked out your location don’t forget to think about transportation!
Again, there are certain locations and trail heads that only allow a certain number of cars to be at. If you opt for a more popular trail head or viewpoint parking lots can fill up pretty fast. In a case like that opting for a sunrise ceremony would be best!
Lastly, make sure you have some basic necessities like water and snacks for everyone – especially if it’s a warm summer day! You definitely don’t want any of your family members to be light headed or dizzy from being overheated.
I hope this guide on eloping with family has been truly helpful for you as you begin your journey! Never forget that this is your elopement day and the day that the two of you are committing your lives together and you shouldn’t settle for anything less than what you have imagined for your dream elopement.
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