Couple standing next to bonfire with a handful of guests at Keystone Colorado elopement

Ways to Involve Your Family in Your Elopement

One of the top things that keeps couples from eloping is fear of how their family will react and I TOTALLY get it. It’s hard and scary to go against the grain and do your own thing …. even if its what is right for you. But eloping doesn’t have to mean that your family isn’t involved at all! There are many ways to incorporate your people into your special day, even if they aren’t there! Here are some ways to involve your family in your elopement!

1. take them dress/suit/etc. shopping

If you’re the type of person who would normally go dress shopping with your mom/sister/best friend/etc there is NO reason that you can’t still do it! I have found that for a lot of couples their families biggest fear isn’t so much that they won’t get to be there for the ceremony itself, it’s that they will be left out entirely. So plan a day to go shopping with your people – it will go a long way to helping them feel like they are a part of it.

2. have a send off party before you leave

If you are eloping in a different city, state, or country, plan a big shindig with your people before you head off (assuming Covid is under control, obviously!). Get your people’s well wishes and let them share in the excitement of the adventure you’re about to have!

3. Facetime or zoom them while you’re getting ready

Obviously it doesn’t have to be for the whole time but even a few minutes on a video call will let them feel like they were a part of it. Sure, they’ll have the pictures to look at but getting to chat with them live will not only let them see what you look like but will also help them to experience the excitement! Some of my favorite moments from elopement days have been when I’ve gotten to put the camera down and hold the phone for a bride who is twirling for her mom or grandma. These little moments mean a lot.

4. have them write letters to read on your elopement day

They may not be able to be there but that doesn’t mean they can’t send their love. One of the best ways to involve your family in your elopement is to have them write letters for you to read after your ceremony. This is a beautiful, intimate way for them to share their support and love even if they are far away.

5. have them record videos for you to watch after your ceremony

Take idea #4 one step further and have them record videos for you to watch after your ceremony. They can send them directly to your photographer who can keep them safe and secret until it’s time to watch them.

6. have them along via livestream

If you are in a place with cell service and you want your people to be there, bring ’em along! They can watch the ceremony over Facetime or Zoom and feel like they were a part of the action!

7. hire a really good photographer

I’m obviously a little biased about this but I believe that one of the BEST ways to help your family feel like they were there is by having photos that focus on the little moments they would have seen if they were. Your photographer is the eyes of all the people who couldn’t be there so choose wisely!

8. have a big celebration when you get home

A lot of my couples have destination elopements but still choose to throw a big party with their friends and family when they get home (and Covid is gone!). There is no reason you can’t throw a giant shindig to celebrate with all your people.

9. have a family member or friend be your officiant

Here in Colorado most of my couples choose to self-solemnize (which means get married with no officiant at all) but if you want to have an officiant why not have it be someone from your family?

10. bring them along!

How you get married is up to you and if your idea of your dream elopement involves bringing a handful of your nearest and dearest, do it!! You can choose to spend part of your day with them or the whole damn thing – it’s totally your call! This is one of the biggest days of your life and you should do what makes you happy!

intimate colorado wedding in the snow

At the end of the day, your elopement is about you and your partner and how you want to get married – but that doesn’t mean you can’t involve your people (if you want!)! Hopefully this gave you some ideas on how to involve your family in your elopement!

Need more elopement inspiration? Check out these planning resources!