One of the most frequent concerns I get from couples who are eloping is, “we want to elope, but we also want to include our family and friends”.  What if I told you it’s possible to have the elopement of your dreams, and also bring family and close friends along? Shooting around 20-30 elopements a year, I’ve seen so many different ways to include the people you love on your day. I will go over the most successful ways to include family and friends to ensure that you two are eloping in a way that prioritizes your relationship and aligns with your values, while still having those you are closest to join you!

Include Your Friends and Family in Your Elopement

I always like to remind couples that your elopement day is entirely yours to craft! We can kick the ‘traditional’ wedding timelines to the curb, and plan a day that is unique to you two as a couple. One thing I often recommend to couples bringing guests to their elopement, is to split the day into time spent with friends and family, and time spent with just the two of you.

I recommend starting to think about this by thinking about things you and your partner love to do together. What is important to your relationship? What is your ideal elopement day? What do you two want to do alone together when eloping versus with an audience? 

Some common answers are: 

  • Private vows
  • Hiking 
  • Picnic and champagne pop
  • Kayaking or paddleboarding
  • Swimming in an alpine lake or ocean

Once you have determined the activities you two are wanting to share alone, you can start thinking of the ways you plan to include your family.

To many this looks like: 

  • Sharing private vows and a hike, and then returning for a ceremony with family and friends
  • Spending the day with your partner, and then having a celebratory dinner or private chef with family and friends
  • Spending the morning with family and friends, heading out on your adventure, and then returning in the evening for a celebration

For more tips on how to plan your elopement day, check out my recent post on eloping in Colorado!

Why You and Your Partner Should Have Time Alone on Your Elopement Day

You are most likely eloping to avoid people pleasing, stress, and because you two value celebrating your relationship and connection. This is why I always recommend taking at least two hours (if not more!) on your elopement day just for the two of you. This can be a time where you two share activities you love, read letters or vows, and just get to hang out and enjoy yourselves. This day is for you, and as important as your friends and family are, it’s also important that you remember your elopement with your partner, and how you two felt!

How Many People Should We Bring to Our Intimate Wedding?

I classify an elopement as 40 guests or less! Although, it is entirely up to you two to decide how many guests will best align with your day, and how you are wanting to include your people! As a reminder, the more people you include, the more logistics we will need to plan out, and the more needs we will need to accommodate. Check out vendors such as Pickletown Flower Co. that create beautiful florals for intimate weddings!

The Best Locations to Elope With Guests

Do you need help figuring out how to include family and friends, planning your elopement timeline, or have any other questions about eloping around the US?! Check out my elopement photography and let’s start planning!

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