Eloping With Family: How to Include Family in Your Elopement

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!

how to elope with family

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!how to elope with family

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 at your Airbnb. 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! Airbnb Elopements are an amazing way to be able to include family in your elopement.eloping with family

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!


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!


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!



Grace Loves Lace

elopement with family on the beach


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!!eloping with family on a mountain

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!

How to Elope with Family

Logistics to Think About When Eloping With Family

Now that you have loads of ideas 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.

Are you ready to get started planning your dream elopement?! Contact me and let’s get started planning your epic elopement day!

eloping with family in the desert

Check out these related articles!

10 Tips for Planning an Adventure Elopement

A Complete Guide for Eloping in Washington State

Best Places to Elope in Utah

Ultimate How to Elope Guide

3 Reasons Eloping is Better Than a Traditional Wedding

Montana Elopements

How to Include Family in Your Elopement

comments +
  1. […] There are ways that you can absolutely get both experiences so be sure to check out my article on Eloping with Family to get all the ideas and see what would be best for […]

  2. […] there and ways to include them when they’re not physically there! So, be sure to read Eloping with Family to give you all the […]

  3. […] 11 Most Common Questions About Eloping Answered! […]

  4. […] if you’re choosing to elope with your closest loved ones an Airbnb elopement is the perfect choice to host everyone. If you have elderly family […]

  5. […] Once we left the bar we headed off to their trailhead to start their hike to their ceremony location. When we arrived at the lake they started off by reading letters from their family! This is such an amazing way to include your loved ones without them physically being there. If you’re looking for more ideas be sure to check out my guide to Eloping with Family! […]

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Courtney made the process SO easy! She does more than just photograph your day. She cares about you having the BEST elopement experience possible! I'll never be able to thank Courtney enough for making our dream day happen!

Contact me about your Elopement!

You probably have a million thoughts running through your head making you a bit overwhelmed.

How does this work? What can I do during my elopement? How do I choose my location? Is the ceremony legal? Can I elope with family?

One of the reasons you're probably eloping is because you want to have a stress-free day, but with so much uncertainty on how to plan an elopement how is it even possible?!

No need to stress, you're in the right place! This is where I come in and do the heavy lifting for you.

I'm Courtney, and I specialize in documenting adventurous elopements for couples who love the outdoors, but role is so much more than just an elopement photographer.

I'm here to guide you through every single step of planning your elopement and to give you a clear path tossing that stress out the window!

So, if you're ready to have a unique elopement experience that's actually focused on you, then let's friggin' do this!!

You know you want to elope,

and you know you want it to be meaningful and adventurous, but where do you start?!

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Courtney has a very warm and bubbly personality that shows through her work! She made my husband and I feel SO comfortable throughout the whole day.

We were very confused on how to start planning our adventure and she was there to answer a lot of our questions in the beginning and honestly with a very short time frame! We planned and got married in 6 weeks, because we knew we really wanted her there for our day and that is what she had available! It was a challenge well accepted for all three of us.

Our day was perfect. She captured our true essence of love and laughter and each photo shows it. There weren't very many set up photos unless we asked for them. She just gets you in the moment!

You can absolutely tell that Courtney loves what she does and wants your day to be perfect. She listens to you and really tries to understand you as a couple first and then uses that within her photography skills.

If you are looking for an adventure/elopement photographer I would highly suggest Courtney Lynn. We will be looking at and reliving our elopement forever thanks to her amazing photos. You won't be disappointed!

Amber & Ryan

Courtney was so helpful during the whole process! She helped put together a wonderful day!  She really wanted to make sure our wedding was just right for us. She made our elopement perfectly formulated for us, and I can't think of a more beautiful day!

One of our concerns going into an elopement was wanting to have pictures that let us remember the entire day. Courtney was there from start to finish and captured the whole day! Because of her outstanding work, we can share it with our loved ones, and they can experience the event almost as if they were there. We also really appreciated that she captured genuine moments between us instead of making it a photoshoot.

It felt like we were hanging out with a friend, and we think that helped us enjoy our day to the fullest.
If your dream wedding is an adventurous elopement day, I couldn't recommend Courtney more. She went above and beyond and was such a joy to work with throughout this whole experience.

She made us feel at ease and relaxed. Some wedding photographers are all about capturing posed moments that can be really awkward; that's NOT Courtney's style at all. Not only was she down to do whatever we wanted and go on little side adventures, but she made us feel comfortable.

She captured our true personalities and who we are as a couple! When looking at our gallery, our love for each other and our personalities can be seen in each image! She is extremely talented and did a phenomenal job of capturing the beauty of our wedding location. If you hire her, you will not regret it!

Sadye & Matthew

We are SO happy we decided to go with Courtney for our wedding photos! Originally we were supposed to elope in Italy, and she helped a TON with planning things like travel and what our day was going to look like.

Then the pandemic hit and we realized we probably weren't going to be able to go to Italy. So, we decided to change locations to Glacier!

She made it super easy and stress free, and helped plan what our new day in Glacier was going to look like!

Courtney was super easy to spend the entire day with, very friendly and fun to talk to! Even though our day didn't go exactly how we planned due to the weather, we all just went with the flow of it and it still turned out to be an amazing day!

If you're in doubt, just hire her!! You won't regret it one bit and you will get so many incredible photos to look back on your day!!

robbie & Aryton

When my now husband and I started planning our elopement, we were confused to the max. We didn’t know where to start or how to go about planning anything. We knew we wanted to get married in Ireland, but had too many options on exactly where. After doing some research of elopements, I was scrolling on Pinterest and came across some BEAUTIFUL photos taken by Courtney!

Courtney  made the process so easy! She is organized, professional, sweet, and so so funny!! Courtney does more than just photograph your day, she cares about you having the BEST day! She helped us plan EVERYTHING! Even down to the little details, like what type of shoes to wear! She helped us narrow down where, giving us her informative opinions on each of our options! She gave us cool ideas that we could incorporate into our special day. No idea was too big! When the day came, we had the absolute best time exploring and getting married! After we exchanged our vows, we went to celebrate at a local pub (Courtney’s idea ;) ). It was a blast!!

Our elopement was an absolute DREAM COME TRUE! I will never be able to thank Courtney enough for making it happen. So for anyone on the fence, swaying back and forth about whether or not work with Courtney on your big day, SWAY NO MORE! You’ve found your person!! My day couldn’t have been any better and my pictures are beautiful and capture the fun we had!!! I can’t wait to work with her again!

Taylor & andrew

"Planning for our day and the day itself would have been completely different without Courtney. We only knew that we wanted to share our vows in the Tuscan countryside and have beautiful photos, and Courtney planned the perfect agenda for that to happen.

She coordinated our timing around sunset, and not only were the photos breathtaking, but the actual evening was too. I remember looking out over the vineyards as the sun set, the view becoming more and more stunning by the minute. There were no moments that felt forced or posed, every shot was comfortable and fun and full of love.

Courtney is such a sweet, kind, fun person and we truly enjoyed spending the day with her. Courtney helped us to turn our dreams into reality, and we hardly had to do a thing. She allowed us to be in control of our day but gently took all of our wants and needs into consideration while making everything happen. Lastly, our pictures are just magical. Courtney is an incredibly talented photographer, and I feel so lucky that we were able to work with her. I would recommend her over and over again to anyone eloping."

Ellie & Zac

"Let. Me. Tell. You. It's not the technical aspects of photography that are the most difficult. It's the human aspect. Remembering that as a Photographer, you may be behind the lens but you are still a human, in front of other humans, in some of the most raw and intimate of moments.

Courtney balances both of these necessities (but rarities) with poise, great direction, and an overall kind calmness that just makes you breathe a sigh of relief. If you've come across Courtney's page and see what you like already, BOOK HER NOW. Don't spend another second looking for another Photographer that doesn't bring anywhere near the amazing light and spirit that this girl brings right here. Thank you again Courtney for allowing my husband and I to marry each other all over again! The images are stunning and I can't wait to blow them up and hang them in our home."

Shannon & Brandon

"Working with Courtney was an extremely easy experience, seamless, positive and obviously fun. My wife and I went on our honeymoon and wanted to surprise her with a surprise honeymoon adventure session.

Courtney worked with me to make that dream gift for my wife a reality. Meeting and posing for a photographer for the first time can be intimidating, but with Courtney it was anything but that.

Courtney is extremely positive and helpful and made us feel very comfortable in front of the camera. She played some of our favorite songs and before we knew we were just having fun and she was catching them every second. Perhaps the best part of our session was that Courtney knew all the characteristic and peaceful places of where we were, which made our photos even more extraordinary.

She kept the focus on my wife and me. When we shared our images with friends and relatives, everyone complimented on Courtney's aesthetics and the emotion she was able to capture. I can't thank Courtney enough for exceeding all our expectations with this photo shoot!!"


"Pick her -- she's the best! Courtney is amazing! Seriously! If you're thinking about eloping you should snatch her up to capture your day. She makes the entire experience fun and relaxed plus the pictures just blew us away. I will never forget our magical time in Venice and I'm obsessed with the gorgeous photos Courtney took of us. She's so so good!"

Jami & Tim

Courtney is not only a talented photographer, but she makes you feel so comfortable even though being in front of the camera can be nerve-wracking! She did such an amazing job with our day and if I had to pick my favorite photo it would take FOREVER, because I love so many! Definitely consider her if you want adventurous and beautiful photos coupled with an amazing experience!

walker & mac

Don't take it from me,
Take it from my past couples!

You’re in the right place!

I’m here to guide you through EVERY. SINGLE. STEP.

Let’s toss that’s confusion out the window and focus on how you want to get married!

Let me relieve those feelings of being lost, save you time, tell the story of your day and let’s get started creating a day that you’ll never forget!

So, if you know you want to elope,
but feel unsure on where to start, 

contact me & let's get starting creating your dream elopement!

...and you want an amazing storyteller to document your day


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Let's freaking do this!!