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May 6, 2021

Ways to Include Family and Friends In Your Elopement

You’ve decided to elope, and it feels perfect. It’s intimate, it’s low stress, it’s fun, and it’s an adventure together to start your marriage. There’s just one problem – your family means the world to you. How do you have an intimate and private wedding day, and still include your family and friends in your elopement?

Guess what? You don’t have to exclude them! Quite the opposite, really. Elopements can be beautiful opportunities to demonstrate just how much your family means to you. There are endless ways to include all the people most important to you in your wedding day. Here are a few ideas to get things started:

Including Family and Friends On The Day Of Your Elopement

FaceTimes and Phone Calls

What better way to celebrate with family on your elopement day than to call them in all your unfiltered, just married bliss?! Take a moment after saying your vows to call up your people, and let them in on the joy. And, chances are, when they see how insanely happy you are and how much fun you’re having, any doubt about your decision to elope will completely disappear!

facetime family after your elopement ceremony
include family and friends in your elopement

Letters and video messages (or take a video to send family on your elopement day!)

Ask your family to write letters or record video messages to read or watch during your elopement. A bit like a long distance speech or toast for the newlyweds! You can also reverse that and record a quick video to send to family.

Ask a family member to officiate

This option is becoming super popular, thanks to the gathering limits of 2020. A lot of couples are choosing to have a friend or family member officiate in an effort to keep numbers down, but are realizing how truly special it is to be married by someone important to both of you. If you do have a small group present at your ceremony, you can ask siblings or close friends to sign as witnesses, even if you don’t have a designated wedding party.

Meaningful items and details

Including things like your grandma’s veil or your mom’s earrings, or toasting a special drink, is a great way to feel like your family is with you, even if they’re not physically present. Wearing a special necklace can keep family close to your heart, and toasting your friends’ favourite drink can be a cheers to those who support your new marriage.

toast at your elopement
include family and friends in your elopement

Snap photos throughout the day to send!

If you’re able to, snap photos throughout the day while getting ready, after your ceremony, rings on your hands, toast to the camera, and send them to your family to help them feel included, and show them how much fun and joy you’re experiencing.

Ask your photographer for one same-day sneak peek

Ask your photographer if they can edit one photo from your day for you to send to family or to post online announcing your marriage. Lots of cameras have wifi, and even if its an unedited or quickly touched up photo, your photographer might be able to do that for you! This photo below was wifi-ed to my phone, quickly edited and Airdropped to the bride, and she was able to post it online while we warmed up after their ceremony!

include family and friends in your elopement

Hire a videographer to record your vows for your family to witness later

Sharing your vows and saying “I do” is arguably the most emotional part of a wedding day. Having a video and recording of your vows captures that emotional moment and allows your family and friends to witness it, even if they weren’t physically there. This also allows you to revisit the moment any time you want to go back and relive the day – I cannot say enough about hiring a videographer! Here is a list of local videographers I highly recommend.

Project 3:16 Videography

Narra Studios

Wagging Tail Studios

Waterton Elopement Church Ceremony

Including Family and Friends Before and After the Wedding

Showers, Bachelor/Bachelorette Parties and Engagement Parties

Having non-traditional wedding day doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get these traditional pre-wedding events! These get-togethers are the perfect way to spend time with family and friends, let them celebrate you, and include them in the lead up to the wedding. And of course, in the midst of a pandemic, there are creative ways to still get to make these celebrations happen.

Bring family dress or suit shopping

You’re gonna need an outfit, regardless of how many people are attending the wedding! Bring your people to your appointments and let them fuss over how stunning you’ll look on your dream wedding day.

include family and friends in your elopement

Sign your marriage license on one day, and say your vows privately another day!

You can get legally married and sign your marriage license with your family present, and have a “signing party”, and then have your elopement day with just the two of you where you exchange vows and rings, and perform the symbolic part of your wedding. This way, your family will be included in the marriage part, and you can still have a private, emotional and intentional wedding day.

Marry now, party later – Happily Ever After Party

One of the best ways to include your family and friends in your elopement is to have a celebration after the wedding. Another trend thanks to 2020 – the delayed reception, the 1 year anniversary party, or the “happily ever after party”! This way, you’re basically splitting a traditional wedding day in two, by having the ceremony now and the reception later. You can have an intimate wedding and get married with the numbers that are allowed now, and celebrate when restrictions have loosened.

Or, regardless of restrictions, maybe you want to do this anyway! Maybe the thought of saying vows in front of a huge group of people makes you want to hurl, but you still want to throw an awesome party and make memories with all your people. In both cases, this is a super popular option to have both your private vow exchange and a celebration with loved ones.

include family and friends in your elopement

These are just a few ideas to help you brainstorm ways to include your loved ones in your elopement. You have technology and a dedicated photographer on your team! If you feel stuck, or need some inspiration, you know where to find me!

There is more than one way to elope – the options are actually infinite. The beautiful thing about intimate weddings is that they are fully customizable celebrations, where you can choose and hand pick every detail. While planning your elopement, you have the opportunity to show family that even though you are choosing a private vow exchange or intimate day, they still mean enough to you that you want to recognize, celebrate and include them in your 100% personalized wedding day. There are endless ways to include your family and friends in your elopement. The best part is that you get to choose exactly what feels best to you!

Ready to plan an intimate wedding or elopement? Get in touch here! and, you can find more elopement inspiration here!