How to Elope the Way You Want & Include Your Family
Planning the perfect day to celebrate your relationship with your partner is challenging but indescribably rewarding. It’s why you chose to elope—to enjoy your partnership your way.
For many couples, including their families in the celebration is an essential part of making the day meaningful and memorable.
There’s no doubt, though, that accommodating them can add an extra wrinkle to the planning and execution of your idyllic elopement.
Trust me; I get it!
To help you have your (wedding) cake and eat it too, I’ve thrown together a few tips and tricks to help make eloping with family the most positive experience possible.
Include Your Family in Pre-Elopement Activities
Whether you plan to have your family play a role in the elopement itself or want that special time to be reserved for you and your partner, arranging for your family to be included in pre-elopement activities is a fantastic way to get them involved.
For example, you can take your loved ones dress shopping with you, ask for insights in planning your elopement, and even throw an engagement party.
At the end of the day, you know your family best. So, feel free to include them in any way you see fit!
Family Participation on Elopement Day
No matter how supportive your family may be of your personal preferences for your elopement day, there’s a good chance they hope to be included in some way.
Only you and your partner can determine how significant their involvement should be. Thankfully, there are endless ways to scale their participation to the level you’re comfortable with.
In-Person Family Activities
If your family is able to be with you physically on your elopement day, you can take full advantage of their presence by arranging their participation in the festivities.
In the morning, you can get ready together, reminisce, and share in words of encouragement ahead of the ceremony. Having everyone gather for a delicious breakfast or brunch is another way to ensure everyone is included and you kick the day off right.
During the ceremony, you can incorporate your family however you desire. From being directly involved to acting and signing as witnesses, the capacity of their involvement is up to you.
When the ceremony has concluded and the day’s activities start to wind down, it’s time for the celebration to commence. From a delectable dinner to exchanging gifts to eating cake and dancing, you can celebrate with your family however you want. You can even put some structure in place—such as time and location—and let the celebration develop organically!
Including Family from a Distance
Even if your family can’t physically be with you on your elopement day, there are several great ways to involve your family from afar.
Before you head on your next adventure—both on elopement day and in life—consider doing a video call with family members. Then, enjoy reading letters or watching prerecorded videos with your partner at a time before or after the ceremony.
Bringing sentimental items and including them in your elopement day festivities is another wonderful way to include family that cannot be physically present. Heirlooms, gifts, and more can be incorporated in fun, meaningful ways, making your elopement that much more profound.
At a later date, you can party with your family at a planned “reception,” share the moments captured in your elopement album, and regale with the tale of your epic elopement day.
When to Tell Family You’re Eloping
Whether you choose to elope with family or elope alone, breaking the news can be hard. So no matter how your family may respond to the news of your elopement, here’s a bit of guidance on when to tell your family you are eloping can ease the nerves and make the process a little easier.
Tell Them Before
Informing your family of your decision to elope before doing so can be both extremely positive and accompanied by some challenges.
- They have an opportunity to accept and process the decision.
- Being preemptive is essential if you want them to participate.
- You may avoid intense negative emotions after the elopement, preventing the mood from being brought down when you should be celebrating.
- You get the potential anxiety and stress out of the way, giving yourself the chance to fully enjoy the moment.
- If your family disapproves, it may cast a cloud over the day.
- They may be insistent on being included.
- Communicating what you want (and getting people to listen) can be complicated.
Tell Them After
Waiting until after the deed is done can be equally as rewarding and risky as telling your family beforehand.
- There is no explicit outside pressure from outside sources.
- You can focus exclusively on your partner and yourself.
- You save yourself the potential heartache of familial disapproval.
- Your family may be excited and extremely happy for you.
- Not telling your family beforehand may hurt their feelings.
- You may feel stress throughout the elopement because you have to tell them afterward.
- It gives you a (potentially) burdensome task to handle post-elopement.
How to Tell Your Family About Your Elopement
Approaching your family to inform them about your elopement can be one of the most joyful or most difficult moments in your life—it all depends on how they receive it.
Be confident and try to communicate how happy you are to share the news with them. If you find yourself in a situation where it’s important to be firm, set the necessary boundaries while still cherishing those relationships.
This is easier said than done, of course, but with enough tact and grace, you can ensure your elopement day includes your family in whatever capacity you choose!
Elope with Family the Way YOU Want
No matter how you want to include your family in your elopement plans, I’m happy to give you the pointers and guidance you need to make your dream ceremony take place. Hopefully, this guide gave you the foundation you need to kickstart any conversations you need to have or plans you need to make.
For more info on eloping in Colorado, ideas on how to incorporate your family in creative ways, or to simply discuss your dream elopement, feel free to reach out. I’m happy to help you in any way I can, and it’s my passion to facilitate your idyllic Colorado elopement experience!