It is a HUGE myth that when you decide to elope that means you are signing on for a two person wedding day.
An elopement is NOT a selfish decision meant to exclude people. That's a big, fat, myth and I'm here to bust it! In reality, an elopement is just making the intentional choice to forego tradition and expectation for an experience that is authentic and true for y'all.
If that means that you want only your partner standing next to you, you can have that! If that means you can't imagine this day without your truest supports, you can absolutely include them!!
Of course, inviting your family and friends may not be the experience you want. But, even if they are not standing next to you as you exchange vows, there are so many ways to include them and get them just as excited for your elopement as you are!
You ready to dive in!?
How To Include Your Family and Friends in Your Elopement:
1. Invite Them to Tag Along
A lot of folks that I chat with about elopements automatically assume they could never have an elopement because they can't imagine exchanging vows without their parents there. This idea is a myth. You can absolutely let your loved ones join you on this epic adventure. You could have two people there, or you could have 25. As long as the same intentionality to craft Ann intimate and authentic experience is going into every decision, it is still considered an elopement.
Logistically speaking there may be more for y'all to think through when you decide to have your loved ones join you. You have so much freedom in location, but you will need to consider what locations will be able to accommodate more than two people, as well as, how much of a hike your crew will be up for.
2. Host a Dinner Party
Inviting your friends and family to join you for an evening of celebration is a great way to make them feel included. You have so many options just within this option. You could exchange vows privately at a spot that is special to y'all then join your friends and family that evening for dinner afterwords. You could celebrate with all your loved ones before leaving for your elopement. Or, you could plan a reception style party when you return from your epic adventure.
Your friends and family will be so excited to see you and hear all your stories about this incredible adventure. This is also a great time to share all the amazing pictures. They will feel like they were standing next to you and they will just be so excited to celebrate y'all!
When you celebrate in this way, there is less pressure for an extravagant reception. No need for fancy centerpieces or decorations that will be used once. You can save money for whats really important to y'all. And hey, it's another excuse to get dressed up again, which I'm all for!
3. Let Them Help You Plan
If, for whatever reason, having your loved ones there while you exchange vows doesn't feel right for y'all, this is a really fun way to include them in your epic elopement. Maybe you've decided to elope at a location that you have never been to before, but you have family or friends who have been and can give you great advice on restaurants, places to stay, and things to do.
Even if they themselves have never been to your epic location, they can still be really helpful! Let them find the perfect bar to go to after you exchange vows. Let them find the perfect airbnb or inn for y'all to stay in. Let them find some fun activities that you can do together.
You don't have to totally give up the reigns, and you don't have to do all of the things they suggest. But this is a fun way to bring them into the story and let them feel connected to the pictures when you tell them all about your perfect day.
4. Have Them Write a Letter or Record a Video
This is another sweet way to include your loved ones without having them standing next to you as you exchange vows. Heck, you could do this and still have them standing next to you and it would be so sweet.
Tell your loved ones to write a letter or record a simple message just expressing their love for y'all. You could have the moment you read the letter or watch the video photographed and as you share the images they will feel so much connection to that day.
5. Share the Pictures
Lastly, sharing the pictures, or even going as far to send them an album will help them feel like they were there. Seeing all the joy that you two had will make them so happy that you were able to exchange vows in a way that was authentic to y'all.
This is a simple, but really meaningful way to help them feel connected to this day with y'all. As you tell all your amazing stories and share the pictures they will be able to put themselves in that moment and feel so included.
You could do all of these things, or you could do something different all together. Maybe you really want to wear your moms dress. Maybe your carry a locket with your loved ones picture as you hike. The point being, you can have an elopement and still include your loved ones. You are not bound to any rules, include them in the way that feels true to y'all. And remember, you are not making a selfish decision. You are just deciding to craft a wedding experience that is true to y'all.
How did you include your loved ones in your elopement?