Having a “Just Us” Experience While Also Including Family in Your Elopement
Many couples are choosing to throw traditions to the wind and seek a secluded, intimate wedding ceremony. A “just us” experience without all the drama that comes with planning a wedding. The opportunity to celebrate their wedding day in a way that feels genuine and authentic to them. However, the thought of not including family in your elopement day may also sound like a headache.
I am here to encourage all of my couples to have the elopement that THEY want. If that includes a private ceremony with only an officiant and a photographer… Then I say go for it. However, couples are often stuck with this idea that their family HAS to be present at their wedding day. If this is something that does not align with your ideal elopement day, there are so many other ways to include your family in your elopement day without them being physically present.
Best Ways of Including Family In Your Elopement
There are so many ways to support someone who is getting married other than attending the actual wedding ceremony. This post outlines a few ideas on including family in your elopement even when it is just the two of you.
- Engagement Party
- Elopement Planning
- Shop For Wedding Attire
- Pre-Wedding Activities
- Skype, Facetime, Video Chat
- Have Family Write Letters
- Send Pictures Throughout The Day
- Include Family Heirlooms
- Open Gifts From Family
- Have a Reception
Have an engagement party!!! Everyone is always looking for a reason to throw a party, and what better time then now? Open up a space for family and friends to gather and celebrate this special time in your life. If you are not including your family in your elopement, allowing them the opportunity to host a celebration for you and your partner will allow them to feel like they have shared a part of this experience with you. Allow your family to plan the celebration if they are wanting to help with some of the planning. Otherwise, you can surprise your family members with an epic party to celebrate with everyone. During this time, you can explain to family and friends why it is so important for you to elope in a more intimate setting. This will help them to better understand the experience you are chasing by eloping alone.
Include Family In The Elopement Planning Process
Just because you have decided to elope does not mean that any less planning goes into the elopement day. In fact, sometimes elopement days require even more planning. Between vendor selection, back up plans in case of bad weather, planning an elopement can become quite the task. Allow family members to help you throughout the planning process. Invite your family to help dream up the most perfect elopement day (only if you want, remember, your elopement day is YOUR day). You could ask them to help you narrow down your vendor search. Sometimes having others around to bounce ideas off of can be helpful when making decisions. By including your family in the planning process that can offer you support which will allow them to feel as if they have contributed to your elopement day even though they will not be attending.
Shop For Your Wedding Outfit Together
Choosing your wedding or elopement dress is something many of us have dreamt about for years. Just because you are not including your family in your elopement day, does not mean you can’t also include them in some of the other parts of your elopement. For example, choosing your wedding attire. Allowing family and friends to come out and help you choose your wedding attire will, again, help them feel involved in your elopement day.
For many families, helping their children choose their wedding dress or suit is simply a rite of passage. Allow them to help you create your wedding day look. Only if you want to. (The day is about YOU!) Invite family and friends to help you pick out your wedding dress, your earrings, maybe your veil and all the other details to make your vision come to life. This will allow mom, grandma, sister, best friend, or whoever you include in this process to feel happy that they were a part of your elopement day and help to create your elopement day look.
By choosing to elope, you have given yourself the opportunity to do ANYTHING you want on or surrounding your elopement day. If you want to have fun rehearsal dinner, go for it! If you want to have a “pre-wedding” brunch before you run off to the mountains to elope privately, do it. If you want to return to your cabin and play board games all night with your closest family members… DO IT!! The day is yours, all of the events surrounding your elopement are yours to plan as you’d like.
Just because you have chosen to forego a traditional wedding, does not mean you cannot partake in some of the traditional Pre-wedding events. Have that bachelor party, celebrate with a wedding shower, enjoy a rehearsal dinner. To have this much freedom and flexibility can be overwhelming but it can also be so liberating. Lean into that and appreciate how incredible this elopement journey really is.
Skype, Facetime or Have a Zoom Meeting The Day of Your Elopement
With all the technology available to us, it’s no wonder were always connected. Even in some of the most remote locations in the world, couples are still able to video chat with their loved ones back home. A quick video call with your friends and family will help them feel like they were included in your elopement. A video call may also give you that extra support and love on your elopement day.
Have Family Write Letters
This is probably one of my favorite ways of including family in your elopement. Invite family and friends to write you letters for you to open up and read at some point during your elopement. Ask them to write whatever they want to, words of encouragement, love and support, or even marriage advice. Gather all of the letters and store them in a safe place, a locked box, a letter carrier. Something that will keep your letters safe and is easy to carry to and from your ceremony location.
Allow yourself some time to open and read all of your letters at some point during your wedding day. Reflect on all the love and support you have from your loved ones and carry that with you throughout your elopement day. This is such a sweet and personal touch to add to your wedding day. Especially when family or friends cannot physically celebrate with you.
Send Family Pictures Throughout The Day
It may sound silly to be taking pictures on your phone when you’ve hired a professional photographer to capture your wedding day. But there’s something to fun about sending a quick selfie. Feel free to snap a few pictures, take a video or share a boomerang with your family and friends back home. This will help them feel so much more involved in your elopement day without being there to celebrate with you. If your mom is anything like mine, she will have asked for your to “send pictures” the moment you left for your elopement. So sending a few pictures throughout the day is a great way of including your family in your elopement.
Add Family Heirlooms or Details To Your Elopement Day
This could be a more traditional way of including family in your elopement day, but it is a perfect way to feel that they are close without being there with you. Maybe your mom wanted you to wear your great grandmother’s pear necklace on your wedding day, do it!! Or maybe your dad had a pocket watch custom made that he wants to incorporate in your wedding look. Each family has their own heirlooms and mementos. Finding ways to include them in your elopement day will bring the feeling of your family close. It will also allow your family feel like they were symbolically with you on your elopement day.
Open Gifts From Family On Your Wedding Day
Similar to opening letters on your elopement day, you can invite your family and friends to send small gifts for you to open on your wedding day. This is a great way for families to show their love and support for you during such a special day without having to be physically present. Some families will send a bride jewelry to be opened the morning of the wedding that she can wear. Other families will send a couple a bottle of champagne to be opened after the ceremony. However you and your family would like to exchange gifts on your elopement day is up to you. But allowing this space for your family to share with you on your elopement day will help them feel like they took part in your elopement experience.
Have a Reception Afterwards
They are so many ways you can do this, but this is defientely one of the best ways of including your family in your elopement. Even if you have chosen to elope privately. Some couples choose to have a reception a few days after their elopement. This is a perfect time to show off some of your elopement photos. Showing off photos and reflecting on your experience will also help your family to fully understand why you chose to elope.
However, other couples choose to invite family to celebrate with them on the same day as their elopement. These couples will go off and have a private ceremony with just the two of them. Then return to an air bnb or another location to celebrate with family and friends. If a reception is something you want to do, go for it! If it makes sense to you, start planning it. Again, this is another element of your elopement day that is 1000% yours to plan as you’d like.
No matter how you choose to elope, by choosing to elope you have chosen the freedom to do literally ANYTHING you want to celebrate your love in a way that makes sense to YOU! I hope that this choice makes you feel empowered and excited for the potential adventures that lie ahead. Do not let anyone make you feel that by choosing to elope, you have chosen wrong. If you want that private, intimate ceremony, then let’s plan it.
You CAN choose to elope alone and also find ways of including your family in your elopement. From pre wedding activities to special moments throughout the day. Your family will be there with you throughout this process. So cheers my friend and happy planning!