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February 18, 2020
For so many couples, the idea of an intimate, just us elopement day sounds like the perfect way to start their most amazing adventure yet- getting married.
It’s a beautiful and brave choice that couples choose for their wedding day. Having a just us elopement day is one of the biggest reasons that couples choose to elope to begin with. And even though an intimate elopement day is exactly what couples want and what speaks to them, it can often be a point of tension and disagreement for some couples.
Why? Because no matter how much couples want to throw tradition out the window, have an epic destination elopement, and go on the adventure of a lifetime together, they’re stuck thinking that getting married without including their family means trouble for them and lots of drama.
I’m so happy to tell you that is far from the truth.
I believe (and tell all couples this too) that your elopement day is all about having and doing exactly what you want. If you as a couple want to explore new places, find an amazing destination to say your vows, and spend the day adventuring with just your spouse, then you should totally do that!
I’m here to tell you that you can still have a just the two of you elopement day experience while still finding ways to include your closest family and friends.
I believe that couples should always choose what is truly authentic to them. Find a way that totally says “you” to include your family and friends during your marriage process or on your elopement day, while still having the intimate elopement of your dreams.
If you would love to find a way to include your family and friends but are having a difficult time thinking of something, here are a few great ways to make your family feel included in your elopement while also having a just us experience.
Even though the two of you aren’t going the traditional wedding route, that doesn’t mean that you can’t throw (or have your family throw you) an amazing engagement party! Plan the party together for some quality time and to talk about why you are choosing to elope just the two of you. Show them how excited you are to be going on this amazing adventure with your favorite person and that their support means the world to you. This is a perfect time to tell them about where you are thinking about eloping, what the destination looks like, potential places that you will say your vows, and what adventures you plan on having on your wedding day. Enjoy a kickass party together while also celebrating the fact that you two are making the brave choice to elope.
A ring warming ceremony is a meaningful and intimate way to include your closest family and friends in your wedding day. Your engagement party might be the perfect place to do this if you already have your wedding bands! So, what is a ring warming? A ring warming is when you have your family and friends pass around your wedding bands and while they have them in their hands, they pray over them, send positive energy, well wished, good vibes, whatever they please to bless your union and marriage. Its a beautiful sentiment and can help loved ones feel connected and important to your marriage process. (I had a ring warming for my wedding day and its still one of my favorite parts of my wedding story to date.)
For a lot of families, helping their children, siblings, or best friends pick out their wedding day clothes is a huge rite of passage and holds a lot of importance in their hearts. Even though you are cutting the guest list and moving the wedding outside, that doesn’t mean that your family and friends can’t join you in participating in the milestone events leading up to your wedding day. Inviting your closest family and friends to help you choose your wedding outfit is a huge honor and exciting time for everyone involved. Even though they won’t be there physically with you on your wedding day, they can still play a huge role in helping you craft your look for the best day ever.
This is truly a sweet and unique way to include your loved ones in your special day without having them physically there. Invite your family and friends to send you letters to read on your wedding day. Ask them to write whatever they wish- loving words, encouragement, or advice. Then, gather them up, bring them with you on your elopement day, and take a moment to sit down on a cozy blanket, pop some champagne, and read them together. This will allow you and your partner to enjoy a few quiet moments together and reflect on how loved and supported you are by your tribe.
Modern technology can be a blessing and a curse, but it definitely is a blessing when it comes to being connected to your family on your intimate wedding day. Fortunately, there is either wifi or cell service virtually anywhere you go. You could totally Facetime with your parents while you’re getting ready, after your ceremony, during your celebration dinner, the possibilities are truly endless. This is a quick and easy way to celebrate and include your loved ones on your elopement day.
Trust me, you are going to have SO many amazing, kick-ass images from your wedding day from your elopement photographer but, there’s just something about receiving a selfie during all the action. Capture some fun pictures on your phone, take a boomerang, record a little video on your day and send it right away to your family and friends! Sending loved ones an image or video straight from the source, and having the privilege of being one of the first people on earth to see your elopement day in action, is a huge honor. They will LOVE knowing you thought of them and gave them a peek before the rest of the world!
If there’s one way to really make your family and friends feel included in the celebration without compromising your “just the two of you” elopement this is totally it. There are many ways to go about having a reception after your elopement, you could have a celebration dinner after your ceremony during the day of your elopement (some couples split their elopement day in half to accommodate this) or you celebrate together when you return from your elopement adventure. This is a great way to tell your friends and family about all of your epic adventures on your wedding day and how in love you are with your decision to elope. If hosting a reception makes sense for you, do it any way you want to! You could put your wedding attire back on so your loved one have a chance to take pictures with you in your “day of” outfit, or you could wear whatever feels the most authentic and true to you when you get together with your family. Plan an elaborate dinner or a laid back Sunday Brunch get-together, the choice is 100% yours.
Things like wearing your grandmother’s pearl necklace, your father’s watch, a handkerchief with a special message from family, are a great way to honor your family and include a small piece of them in your day. You get to be reminded of your family each time your see or feel one of these details. And, they get to see you honoring them in your elopement photographs. It’s a beautiful and simple way to make sure a piece of the ones you cherish and love are with you each step of the way.
This is just a handful of ways to how to make your family feel included in your elopement when they can’t be with you during your just us wedding day. If you feel compelled to include your loved ones but aren’t sure how to, this is a great place to start.
Remember to always be true and authentic to you as a couple and how you want to spend your wedding day.
Want to plan your own epic and totally amazing adventure elopement?
I’m Jenna, an elopement Photographer & Guide who helps couples craft their dream elopement days from scratch, all over the world. From Maine, to Texas, to Switzerland and beyond, I help couples create an intentional and authentic wedding day filled to the brim with adventure.