How to Plan An Elopement With Family

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Hi, I’m Megan and your story matters to me. You deserve to break your wedding day from the traditional mold into something that is uniquely you.

I specialize in intimate mountain weddings and elopements and love working with people who are stoked to get married in nature surrounded by their closest family and friends. I am here for you and to organically tell your story. 

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Are you planning to elope but still want to include your family in your special moment? Incorporating your loved ones into your elopement can add a meaningful touch to your intimate celebration. Whether it’s through thoughtful gestures or creative ideas, or wanting to keep your elopement day a bit more traditional, there are various ways to involve your family in your elopement. In this blog I have listed some heartwarming ways to include your family in your elopement day. Let’s make this day a cherished memory for both you and your loved ones! 

Family attending a couples elopement

Why Should You Include Your Family In Your Elopement Day?

Including your family in your elopement can bring happiness, love, and a sense of being together on your special day. Your family has been there for you throughout your life, supporting and caring for you. Including your family in this significant moment allows you to honor and appreciate their presence. Sharing your elopement with your loved ones can create lasting memories and strengthen the bond between you and your family. It also allows them to witness and celebrate your commitment up close, making them feel valued and included in this important milestone. Additionally, including your family in your elopement can provide emotional support and ensure that you have a strong support system as you take on this new chapter of your life. Their presence can add an extra layer of joy and significance to your intimate celebration, turning it into a cherished memory for everyone involved.

How Can You Include Your Family Into Your Elopement?

Including your family in your elopement can be a meaningful and inclusive way to celebrate your special day. Here are a few ideas I have had couples incorporate in their past elopements, and some new ideas I recommend:

Get Ready With Family

Getting ready with your family on your elopement day brings a sense of love, connection, and shared anticipation. Their presence provides emotional support, calming any nerves and bringing a comforting familiarity. Additionally, getting ready together creates cherished moments, filled with laughter, shared memories, and heartfelt conversations. 

Incorporate First Looks

Having first looks with your family on your elopement day can be a loving gesture that adds extra meaning to your special day. This private moment enables you to share your genuine reactions before the big day begins. I recommend doing individual first looks with your dad, mom, grandparents, and siblings! 

Read Letters From Your Family

Reading letters that your family members have written for your elopement can provide a deeply personal and emotional touch to your special day. These heartfelt messages can serve as beautiful reminders of the bonds you share with your loved ones. You could read them at the ceremony or alone in private!

Have A Family Member Be Your Officiant

I truly love this idea! Choosing a family member that knows you and your relationship can be a great way to enhance your elopement ceremony. Their deep connection to you can add sincerity and authenticity to the proceedings, making your vows even more meaningful. It can also make your elopement more special for them. They will get to play a key role in one of the most significant moments of your life. In addition, having a family member officiate can create the idea that marriage is not just a union of two individuals, but a joining of two families!

Family attending a couples elopement

Have Your Father Walk You Down The Aisle

If you are eloping somewhere that can have an aisle, I’d recommend making one and having your father or parents walk you down!  Consider placing your guests into two spots of your ceremony location and create an aisle to walk down. Overall, this special touch can make your elopement feel like a traditional wedding!

Have A Family Member Sign Your Marriage License

Having a family member sign your marriage license as a witness adds a personal and sentimental touch to the legal aspect of your elopement. It is a symbol of their support and involvement in your journey. This can create a lasting memory. Also it can strengthen the bond between you, your partner, and your families as you embark on this new chapter of life together.

father daughter dance at an elopement

Do First Dances

Including a first dance with your family on your elopement day can be an incredibly touching and memorable experience. It’s a beautiful way to honor the love, support, and connection you share with your loved ones. Sharing this moment with them allows you to express your gratitude, and create shared memories. This tradition also offers a chance for photographs and videos that capture the bond between you and your family, creating keepsakes that you’ll treasure for years to come.

Eat Dinner With Family

Eating dinner with your family on your elopement day adds an opportunity to create a space where love, laughter, and stories can be shared. It’s a chance for your loved ones to express their joy, share their well-wishes, and celebrate this new chapter in your life. Additionally, it’s a heartfelt way to acknowledge the bond you share with your family, reinforcing the sense of unity and connection on this special day.

Take Photos With Family

Taking photos with your family on your elopement day is a timeless souvenir of the love and unity shared on this significant occasion. These pictures not only capture the joy and celebration of the day, but also become cherished keepsakes that you and your family can look back on for generations to come!

Stay With Family

Some of my couples have chosen to rent out a huge Airbnb for their whole family to stay in while they celebrate. While some other couples choose to stay in the same hotel as their family. Staying with your family can keep everyone together for the elopement and add to the overall experience.

Spend Time With Your Family Outside Of The Elopement Day

I highly recommend making a mini vacation out of your elopement! If you choose, spend time with your families doing activities that resonate with your elopement. You could all go on a hike if you elope on a mountain. You could kayak or go fishing with your family! Think about even simply playing games and spending quality time together. This will enhance everyone’s overall experience and keep everyone occupied.

How Should You Schedule Time With Your Family In An Elopement?

Overall, your elopement day should be about you and your love for your partner! I recommend scheduling your elopement into two parts:

Half Day Spent as a Couple

The first part of your elopement morning you should consider making the focus all about you as a couple. Spending the morning of your elopement should be all about relaxation, reflection, and anticipation of the day ahead. Some of my couples choose to eat breakfast together or just have a cup of coffee. Check out this cabin elopement I documented where they spent the whole morning with each other!

If you’re with your partner, consider going for a peaceful hike together or writing each other vows or notes to read before the ceremony. To include your family, you might want to read letters from them or look at family photos. The most important thing is to do something that brings you joy and sets a positive tone for the rest of the day. Remember, this is the first day of your new life as a married couple. Make it meaningful and special in a way that feels like you!

Half Day Spent with Family

The second half of your day should be mostly focused on your elopement! Create a timeline that includes everything you can dream up for your elopement day. Including your family in the second half of your elopement is a great way to get them involved and feel special. Also, in the condensed timeline, their presence can provide emotional support and make the experience more memorable. Overall, family involvement in your elopement should ultimately match your comfort level and vision for the day. It’s all about striking a balance that is right for you and your partner.

first look at couples elopement

How Should You Celebrate With The Rest Of Your Family?

It is a great idea to keep things intimate with inviting just your immediate family to your elopement. This way those who are the most important in your life get the full experience. If you wish to celebrate with all your family and friends consider a separate ceremony or reception.


Even though you’ve already eloped, this gathering allows those who weren’t part of the intimate ceremony to feel included in celebrating your marriage. It’s an opportunity for them to express their love, support, and well-wishes for your future together. Additionally, it gives you and your partner a chance to show off your commitment on a larger scale, surrounded by your loved ones who will be a part of your shared journey ahead. This ceremony doesn’t need to replicate a traditional wedding. It can take any form that reflects your personalities and preferences. Make your post-elopement ceremony simple by just repeating your vows, or as complex as repeating the entire elopement as it once was.


Having a reception after eloping is a fantastic way to include your wider circle of family and friends in your happiness. A reception is another chance for others to feel involved and acknowledge your commitment. Additionally, it provides an opportunity for you and your partner to revel in your newlywed status within a larger setting. You can create more memories linked to this significant life event. This gathering can be as formal or casual as you prefer. From a grand party to a simple dinner, the key aspect is the joy and company that a reception brings.

Are You Ready To Plan Your Elopement With Your Family?

Long story short, including your family in your elopement can bring a deeper sense of connection, love, and shared joy to this key moment in your life. Their presence can give emotional support, provide warmth and familiarity into the elopement, and contribute to the memories that last a lifetime. 

Post-elopement celebrations with a larger circle of loved ones allow everyone to acknowledge your commitment, providing an opportunity to express their happiness and well-wishes for your future together. Additionally, involving your family and friends in your elopement, whether during the ceremony or afterwards, enhances the celebration by turning it into a shared experience of love and unity.

If you are ready to book and plan your dream elopement while including your family, contact me today! We can set up your free consult call and start to put together your perfect day.

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