Documenting all love stories near or far

Shelby Jane

February 23, 2022

How To Incorporate Friends & Family Into Your Elopement

FILED IN: Advice, Elopement

“How can we incorporate friends & family into our elopement?” is a question that a lot of couples ask. I think it’s so thoughtful when couples go the extra mile to make their loved ones a part of their special day! But if you’re planning on eloping, incorporating your friends & family might be a challenge if you still want to keep your day private.

 You might be wondering if there’s a happy medium, or if someone is bound to be disappointed. The truth is, there are so many different ways to make everyone feel included! Here are my top 4 ways to incorporate friends & family into your elopement.

Have them write letters

You can absolutely have your friends & family write letters for you and your partner to open & read on your elopement day! This could be such a special moment (that of course I’ll catch on camera) that connects you to your loved ones. Reach out to your closest friends & family and let them know that even though they won’t be attending your elopement, you still want to involve them. Ask them to compose a letter to you and your partner, and encourage them to include anything they would’ve told you on your wedding day!

You can read these letters before the ceremony while you’re getting ready, or afterwards when you’re officially married. Either way, this is a great way to include your friends & family into your elopement!

How To Incorporate Friends & Family Into Your Elopement

Have a reception at a later date 

If you’re missing the celebration aspect of your elopement, you’re definitely not alone. A lot of couples want to marry each other with just the two of them present, but still want to celebrate their love with their friends & family. If that’s the case, you can always have a reception a few weeks or even months after your elopement! 

This will give you and your partner the opportunity to still soak in all the newlywed bliss, while having something to look forward to. This option is also a little bit easier to break to your loved ones, because they’ll still get to celebrate with you. And if you wear your original wedding attire, it’ll feel even more realistic to them! At the end of the day, your peeps really just want the opportunity to be a part of the most special time in your life. So including them in a later reception is a great way to show how important they are to you. 

How To Incorporate Friends & Family Into Your Elopement

Facetime or Facebook Live during your ceremony

If you still want to incorporate your friends & family into your elopement ceremony, there are so many ways to do that. Especially with modern technology, I think this option will only become more and more common! Choosing to stream your ceremony via Facetime, Zoom, or Facebook Live is the perfect happy medium. You get the privacy of it just being you and your partner for most of the day, while still having your loved ones witness your actual ceremony.

During the early stages of COVID, tons of couples decided to do this for safety reasons. Even if they had an intimate group of guests, they still decided to stream their elopement for their extended friends & family. This is a great way to ensure no one feels left out. Don’t forget though, other people’s expectations shouldn’t be in the forefront of your mind when elopement planning. Be sure to stay true to yourself and your elopement day vision! 

Pro Tip: If you want to incorporate this option, send out digital save the dates with the link for your ceremony so that your guests have it in their inbox. 

How To Incorporate Friends & Family Into Your Elopement

Have a private ceremony & inclusive dinner after 

If you want to incorporate your friends & family into your elopement and have them physically present, you can always have a private ceremony and invite them to dinner afterwards. This takes the stress off of you leading up to your ceremony and allows you to just focus on your partner! Then when the hard part is over, you get to celebrate over dinner with your friends & family. Whether this looks like a backyard dinner or renting out a restaurant, the choice is totally yours. 

If you choose to have a more personal, potluck style dinner, you can assign people to bring different items to make them feel even more included. Or, you can give everyone a list of your favorite foods and have them choose from there! If you want to rent a small venue or restaurant, you can send out invitations just like you would to your ceremony. That way there’s still the formal invite that will make your guests feel extra special. 

How To Incorporate Friends & Family Into Your Elopement

Now that you know how to incorporate your friends & family into your elopement…

It’s time to make sure all your other ducks are in a row! If you’re still looking for an elopement photographer, I would love to chat with you and learn about what you envision. To get in touch with me, you can fill out my contact form and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can. In the meantime, I would love for you to check out my Pinterest profile for some real-life elopement inspiration, and follow me day-to-day on Instagram