How to Include Family and Friends in your Adventure Elopement


howtoincludefamilyandfriendsinyourelopement|betweenthepineelopementphotography2.jpg

 

How to Include Family and Friends in your Adventure Elopement

One of the most common questions I am asked is, “How do we include family and friends in our adventure elopement?” And, that is such a valid question! Let’s face it: family will always have an opinion when it comes to planning a wedding, and everyone may not be on the same page when it comes to the idea of an elopement. Aunt Vicki may hear the word “elopement” and immediately think of The One in Vegas when Ross and Rachel get married. Or, maybe your family is more like the storyline of My Big Fat Greek Wedding, where it’s all-family, all the time. No matter what opinions you may be encountering when it comes to your dream of eloping, I’m here to help with creative solutions to help family and friends feel included and apart of your adventure elopement.


Mollie’s list of the best ways to include family and friends in your elopement

  1. Read letters from family and friends at your elopement

  2. Watch a personalized video from friends and family after you elope

  3. Wear a family heirloom during your elopement

  4. Have friends help make elopement decorations and details

  5. Invite family to join you on the hike and make your elopement a family adventure

  6. Book a cabin for your elopement ceremony that fits the whole family

  7. Have a family member or friend officiate your elopement ceremony

  8. Plan a reception with all of your friends and family after you elope


Now before I share specific ways to include your people in your elopement, I want to first share some context behind why I believe this blog post is so important. Throughout the planning process, my couples typically encounter mixed opinions and ideas from their loved ones. My goal and hope for my couples is for them to find the balance of honoring their friends and family members, while simultaneously advocating for their dream day. Overall, your wedding day is about you two. Couples must be considerate of friends and family, as well as their own needs. As you read through these ideas of how to include family and friends in your elopement, please keep in mind that there is not a cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all way to elope. The only “right way” to get married is to get married how you and your love want to get married! Alright, now that we’re on the same page about how to approach these tips and ideas, let’s dive in!


2 copyhowtoincludefamilyandfriendsinyourelopement|betweenthepineadventureelopementphotography.jpg


howtoincludefamilyandfriendsinyouradventureelopement|betweenthepineelopementphotography

Read letters from family and friends at your elopement

Having friends and family write letters to you is a great way for family to feel like they will be present at your elopement. You could read the letters before, after or even during your elopement. One of my couples who recently eloped at Mount Rainier did this! They gathered letters from their family and had their officiant read them aloud during their elopement. There were plenty of tears and laughter as the couple heard what their family wrote for the first time. It was such a special moment!


Watch a personalized video from friends and family at your elopement

Similar to the letters, a video allows family and friends to play a personal part in your day. You could watch a video compilation of messages from your friends and family in the cabin you’re getting ready in or even on the trail during your elopement. The video would also be an amazing keepsake for you and your love to be able to re-watch throughout the years


Wear a family heirloom during your elopement

You’ve heard it said, “Something old, something new; something borrowed, something blue.” Choosing to wear a family heirloom during your elopement is a great way to honor your family and the tradition of wearing something old and borrowed! Pieces of jewelry or even borrowing a veil from a loved one are great options. The groom can wear a tie pin or cuff links of a family member, and the bride can incorporate items like things into her bouquet by pinning it on the ribbon.


DIY wedding decor: recruiting your friends and family to help with elopement details

I love how common it is becoming for brides, grooms, friends and families to help with do-it-yourself details of elopements! It makes details so much more personalized by creating them yourself. I’ve had some amazing couples think outside of the box and either create their own details or find price-friendly alternatives. And, creating details for your elopement would be a great opportunity for your friends and family to leave a personal mark on your elopement day. Here are some elopement DIY ideas that my couples have done:


Make your elopement a family adventure: tips for inviting family along for the hike

It is totally possible to make your day an adventure fit for the whole family! If you want to get married in the mountains and family and friends want to be a part, invite them to join. The key with this option is to be willing to accommodate while continuing to stand firm in your plan. As a couple, you need to know your limits of the accommodations you’re willing to make. For example, Vanessa and Sierra knew they wanted to get married in the mountains, so they invited their family to join them on the hike for an intimate ceremony. I asked them to share some of the things they learned through the process of planning a family-adventure-elopement and what some of their favorite parts of their day were:

“Adventure has always been the foundation of our relationship, so we knew it had to be a part of our ceremony. To be honest, having friends and family be a part of our elopement wasn’t an initial thought when planning our big day. It was after we made our elopement announcement that friends and family started asking if they could attend and witness our big adventure. At first it didn’t seem very practical, given the fact that we were doing a seven-mile hike. But, after sitting on the idea for a day we figured, “What the hay?” We shared the details of our elopement with friends and family, and we were sure to not leave out the strenuous physical details involved in completing the hike and being able to watch our elopement. We also informed guests of the non-traditional ways of an elopement versus a wedding, giving them a heads up that the focus is on us and guests aren’t really a part of the whole process (for example, no maid of honors, no bridesmaids, no walking down the aisle, etc.). We were sure to be very transparent about the whole elopement process. We had about ten guests agree to join us on this adventurous journey, and they were stoked to be able to attend.  

We then took a moment to recognize that we had some elderly family members who also wanted to be a part of our big day, but were not in any shape to complete the hike with us. This led us to think about options for after our hike, and we realized: who completes an outdoor adventure and doesn’t work up an appetite?! So, we thought we could include the rest of our guests with a huge feast afterwards. We rented a log cabin in the middle of the woods, not too far from our hike, and decided to have some food catered. We also included a candle lighting unity ceremony (which was only like three minutes long), so that the guests who didn’t hike with us could feel like they were a part of our marriage in some way. We also signed our marriage certificate afterwards with everyone present.  Another way everyone felt included was, unbeknownst to us at the time, some guests actually videotaped our elopement on top of the mountain and shared it with other guests back at the cabin before dinner. 

Some key pieces of advice we would offer to couples considering having guests attend their elopement is to not budge on anything that YOU want. Don’t compromise your plans in any way for anyone else. Plan it the exact way you and your partner envision it, and invite guests where you deem appropriate. Don’t feel bad for having an adventure too intense for everyone to attend. Find another way to include them, whether it be a dinner or lunch afterwards or just a couple drinks somewhere. An elopement is meant to be intimate and the focus is on the couple. Don’t lose sight of that and never be embarrassed to ask your coordinator or photographer for their insight. You’d be surprised how willing they are to brainstorm ideas with you. Be transparent of exactly what you want and see how it can all come to fruition. In the end, we broke all the rules, and we wouldn’t change a thing.”


Two Verticalhowtoincludefamilyandfriendsinyourelopement|betweenthepineadventureelopementphotography.jpg


1howtoincludefamilyandfriendsinyourelopement|betweenthepineadventureelopementphotography.jpg


Book a cabin for your elopement ceremony that fits the whole family

Have you ever considered planning an Airbnb wedding? Oh, yes! Imagine this: friends and family are gathered together in a cozy cabin, enjoying the morning as you and your love get ready. Then, you could have an intimate ceremony at the cabin (whoever said your elopement couldn’t include an intimate ceremony?!). You can truly experience the best of both worlds with this option! You can include your friends and family at an intimate ceremony, then hike up to a lookout with your love for a private adventure. Read about Alice and Josh’s a-frame cabin elopement, where they included family from all over the world and experienced amazing views of Mount Rainier! 


Have a family member or friend officiate your elopement

This would be such an amazing honor for your family member or friend to be the one officiating your ceremony! To learn more about how to legally officiate a wedding, click here. I photographed an intimate wedding at Maroon Bells in Colorado, and the groom’s father was the officiant at their Colorado wedding ceremony. Here’s what the groom had to say about their experience: 

“It was special to have my dad officiate our wedding because our personal relationship with him allowed us to feel more connected to each other and to the ceremony. He’s known our story from the beginning, throughout dating and being engaged. So, he was more a part of the whole story, not just an officiant who showed up at the ceremony. For us, it was easy to trust that he would do a good job communicating our story, including the little details like why we chose to get married in the mountains. We knew he would do it well and in a beautiful way. It was also nice having him officiate our ceremony because he knew the spiritual side of our relationship, and he understood those values because he instilled them in me as my dad. For my wife, knowing what an honorable person my dad is, it was an honor for her to have him there, because Sarah looks up to the way my parents raised me. And, one day, our hope is to raise our kids in the same way. We get to share the memory of our wedding ceremony with my dad for the rest of our lives, which is really special.”


Plan a reception with all of your friends and family after your adventure elopement

Hosting a reception post-elopement is such a fun way to make so many people feel included in the celebration of your marriage! You could have an after-elopement-party back at the Airbnb cabin, like Juliana and Zach (click here to read everything you need to know about planning an Airbnb wedding). I’ve known couples who have reserved breweries or party spaces near their mountain elopement where friends and family are waiting to celebrate with them. Or, you could plan a reception days, weeks or even months after you’re elopement back in your hometown (a reason to wear your weddings dress again? Yes, please!). 


Hire an elopement photographer to share great photos with family

This may seem like a silly thing to include on this list, given that I’m an elopement photographer. But, let me explain why I think this is important! For all of my clients, I send sneak peek photos from their elopement or adventure the following day. So, less than 24 hours after you and your love tied the knot in an epic adventure elopement, you could share beautiful photos from your day with your friends and family. This is a great way to share the beauty of your day with those who were not there for it. To learn more about what else I offer my elopement clients, click here!


Hire an elopement videographer to share your day with friends who couldn’t be there

Along those same lines, a wedding video is an amazing investment for your elopement! Not only will you and your love get to relive your elopement day by watching the video, but your friends and family who were not there can experience the sights, sounds and stunning views of your elopmenet day, too! Here are two videographers who I recommend: Emerald Media and Green Attic Films.



2howtoincludefamilyandfriendsinyourelopement|betweenthepineadventureelopementphotography.jpg


3 photo collage howtoincludefamilyandfriendsinyourelopement|betweenthepineadventureelopementphotography.jpg

Invite friends and family to your elopement

There you have it: my tips for how to include friends and family in your elopement! I hope this blog post helped you see that there are so many unique ways to elope! Do you still feel torn or confused about all-the-things elopement planning? Reach out to me and let’s work on making your dream elopement come to life, friends and family included!

 


Ready to explore more elopements, weddings and adventures? Wander away below!

Between the Pine is an adventure elopement and wedding photography brand created by Mollie Adams. Based in the Pacific Northwest, Mollie travels with her camera in hand to document “I dos” in epic landscapes including Washington, Oregon, California, and Hawaii.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

  1. Love all these ideas! What a handy guide for couples. And the images are killer!

  2. Love all these ideas! What a handy guide for couples. And the images are killer!

  3. Charlotte198877@yahoo.com says:

    So very agree with having a video!! That’s why I keep educating my clients about the importance of having a videographer for their wedding day!!

  4. Charlotte198877@yahoo.com says:

    So very agree with having a video!! That’s why I keep educating my clients about the importance of having a videographer for their wedding day!!

  5. Oh my gosh, this is brilliant! I love how you are helping couples visualize how to include those they want to be at their elopement.

  6. Oh my gosh, this is brilliant! I love how you are helping couples visualize how to include those they want to be at their elopement.

  7. This is such great knowledge to have! Anybody that’s looking to have an elopement will benefit from this blog, so awesome job.

  8. This is such great knowledge to have! Anybody that’s looking to have an elopement will benefit from this blog, so awesome job.

  9. Love these ideas! My mom always said I can only elope if she’s there (ha) But the ways you’ve suggested make so much sense for planning!

  10. Love these ideas! My mom always said I can only elope if she’s there (ha) But the ways you’ve suggested make so much sense for planning!

  11. There are so many helpful tips here! I can definitely relate to wanting to balance a unique and intimate experience for a wedding and also knowing it would be hurtful to a lot of family members if they weren’t involved in the celebration!

  12. There are so many helpful tips here! I can definitely relate to wanting to balance a unique and intimate experience for a wedding and also knowing it would be hurtful to a lot of family members if they weren’t involved in the celebration!

  13. Such a great read and cool ideas. Super helpful for people planning an elopement. Your photos are beautiful!

  14. Such a great read and cool ideas. Super helpful for people planning an elopement. Your photos are beautiful!

  15. So helpful! I feel like so many couples don’t realize they can include family and friends and that eloping doesn’t just mean you’re neglecting everyone. This is really great for couples planning an elopement!

  16. So helpful! I feel like so many couples don’t realize they can include family and friends and that eloping doesn’t just mean you’re neglecting everyone. This is really great for couples planning an elopement!

  17. hello@stephaniebetsill.com says:

    This is such a great and needed article! Eloping doesn’t just mean the couple anymore. It’s so important for couples to know that they can elope AND have their friends and family present.

  18. hello@stephaniebetsill.com says:

    This is such a great and needed article! Eloping doesn’t just mean the couple anymore. It’s so important for couples to know that they can elope AND have their friends and family present.

  19. hello@monicaleavellphoto.com says:

    YESSSS such a great article! So helpful for couples looking to elope! And your photos are killer too <3

  20. hello@monicaleavellphoto.com says:

    YESSSS such a great article! So helpful for couples looking to elope! And your photos are killer too <3

  21. caroline@ellisillustrations.com says:

    Such good tips!! They’re so helpful for couples wanting to elope but trying to figure out how to include their loved ones! Thanks for sharing.

  22. caroline@ellisillustrations.com says:

    Such good tips!! They’re so helpful for couples wanting to elope but trying to figure out how to include their loved ones! Thanks for sharing.

  23. Lorie says:

    Hello, I am Lorie Chapman and I have been trying to get pregnant for over 7 years. Looking for ways online for so long, I first did Depo Provera Shot which i consecutively took every three months in order to get pregnant or fertile, but there was no way from it. I did Depo shot for 3 years constantly until the Doctors in Alabama told me to try IVF because I had Endometriosis stage 4 and I resulted to try IVF( In Vitro Fertilization). Months after my IVF nothing progressed and my situation became worse that my partner had already had plans or getting married to another woman which made me sort help in spell casters. I read a testimony about Doctor Odunga how he had helped so many women with pregnancy and fertility problems. Of all options tried, I contacted this spell caster at his email (odungaspelltemple@gmail.com). I am happy I am now a mother of twins. A boy and a girl. For over 7 years of marriage I received my help from this spell caster. I want to impact on someone’s life and make the person get help from a good spell caster that is why I put up this testimony on this website for you. Doctor Odunga’s email is (odungaspelltemple@gmail.com) Once you contact him, he will help you fast

  24. Very good blog post. I absolutely love this site.
    Thanks!

navigate the blog