Donna Marie




How to involve family + friends on your elopement day

#block-yui_3_17_2_1_1637886092799_13377 .sqs-gallery-block-grid .sqs-gallery-design-grid { margin-right: -7px; }
#block-yui_3_17_2_1_1637886092799_13377 .sqs-gallery-block-grid .sqs-gallery-design-grid-slide .margin-wrapper { margin-right: 7px; margin-bottom: 7px; }


If you do decide to bring friends and family along to your elopement, there are multiple options on how you can include them in your day.

Have one, intimate ceremony

Planning a single ceremony to include your family and friends in your elopement is a beautiful way to have the people closest to you standing right by your side as you commit your lives to each other. The only caveat is that you might have to consider making compromises about the ceremony location to make sure to accommodate everyone’s needs.

Split up the day

If you want to involve your family and friends in your ceremony, but don’t want to make compromises on your ceremony location, you can have a private vow-reading with just you and your partner and then have another ceremony with your family and friends during a different part of the day. You can choose to read the same vows for both ceremonies or you can keep your vows private and have a different type of ceremony in front of your family and friends. This way, you get to read your vows in total privacy, in the exact location you’re envisioning, but also have a meaningful ceremony with your closest people next to you.

Spread it over two days

If you like the idea of doing two ceremonies but feel like that would make for a very long day—spreading your elopement experience over two days can be the perfect solution to really being able to relax and not feel super rushed or exhausted. You can include your friends and family on the first day and then have a second day all to yourselves. Or you can have your dream 2-person elopement experience on day 1 and then celebrate and take photos with your friends and family on the following day.

Include them in other intimate moments

Your family and friends can be physically present and involved in your wedding day, even if you don’t necessarily want to have a ceremony with them. You can invite them to help you get ready or see your first look before sending you off to have an entirely private ceremony by yourselves. Or you can invite them to just take some formal portraits with you afterward and have a celebratory dinner in the evening.


How to involve friends & family if they’re not physically present

If you choose to have a “just us” 2-person wedding, or if you have family members or friends who aren’t able to be physically present—you can still involve them in the process of you getting married in many creative and beautiful ways.


—Throw an engagement party
—Ask them to help you pick out your wedding attire
—Invite them to watch you sign your marriage license before you leave for your trip
—Include family heirlooms as detail items in your day
—Facetime, Skype, or Zoom them on your day
—Invite them to write letters that you’ll read during your day
—Invite them to create a video toast for you to watch during your celebration
—Send them photos, videos, and selfies during your day
—Open gifts or cards from them on your day
—Bring something back for them from your trip
—Have a party or reception with them after your elopement
—Share your full gallery of photos with them (you can even have a photo reveal party!)
—Gift them prints or an album
—Have them make videos congratulating you that you can watch together on your day


How to Tell Your Friends + Family Your Wedding Plans

Whether you’re eloping just the two of you or inviting some friends & family but not others, it’s important to think through how you want to communicate your decision to have a wedding day that’s unique to the two of you.

You can choose to tell everyone in advance and even send out an announcement or you can tell a select few people only or keep your plans entirely secret and announce it after. Do what feels the most empowering to the two of you that will enable you to relax and fully enjoy your day, without anyone else’s opinions or expectations.

These are my best tips on how to make the news go over as smoothly as possible if you choose to share:

Tip 1: Drop Hints Early On And Be Obvious

Dropping hints before getting engaged or announcing your elopement can ease friends and family into the idea of you eloping without you formally having to tell them yet—reducing objections and any surprises. If there are certain people you expect will be more skeptical of the idea of an elopement, you can also ask other friends and family members to help you drop hints too.

Tip 2: Tell Them Face To Face (Or on a Video Call)

Many couples opt for telling their friends and family that they are eloping in-person because it makes it easier to explain why you are choosing an elopement and to share your genuine excitement through your expression and voice. If they don’t live close by,  video chat is the closest replacement to telling them in-person.

Tip 3:  Share Your Reasons Why

Some friends and family members might react to your plans based upon the misconception that your elopement means excluding them—and explaining your reasoning behind why you decided to elope can help relieve those negative feelings.

A few common reasons you can share are:

• We wanted to do something incredibly meaningful to us on our wedding day
• We wanted our wedding day to be truly intimate and not performative
• We wanted to spend as much time together on our wedding day, making each other happy instead of any guests
• We wanted to say our vows in a beautiful and private place that just won’t fit a huge group
• We wanted the process of getting married to be as stress-free as possible
• We don’t want to wait to plan and pay for a big traditional wedding, and we are ready to celebrate our love sooner by eloping
• We decided to save for a house, a travel experience, or another investment instead of spending that money on a party

Tip 4: Keep Them Involved & Share As Many Details As You Can

Asking your friends and family to participate in your planning process can help them feel like they are still involved in your big day in some way while also reassuring them that they are not being excluded. Telling your friends and family about all the details of your elopement day can help them understand the time, energy, effort, and thought that you’ve put into creating your elopement ceremony—and why it’s perfect for you and your relationship. Keeping them informed allows them to feel involved and excited since they know what you are planning.

Tip 5: Share Your Photos With Them

Some couples reveal their elopement with their friends and family by surprising them with the elopement pictures—which are the best and most tangible way to show how much fun you had on your actual elopement day. Sharing your photos can help those who weren’t present understand what your elopement was all about because they can see your joy, your happiness, and overall how incredible the day was for you and your partner.

Tip 6: Remember The Day Is For You

It’s good to empathize with friends and family who may be initially disappointed in your plans—but don’t forget that your wedding day is a celebration of your love with your partner (not anybody else) and that you deserve to have the day that feels right and authentic to you.