Most often, eloping has a reputation for being spur-of-the-moment: something that happens privately just between the couple. The definition of eloping has been slowly evolving, though, and it no longer carries the same connotation that it used to. But still, eloping with family isn’t usually the first thought that comes to mind when couples are considering an elopement wedding. While it’s still fairly normal to plan a private elopement for two, more and more couples are choosing to elope with family and friends present, realizing that they can still have the wedding day they’ve dreamed about while also having a small guest list. If you’re considering eloping with family, check out these four helpful tips below.
Keep Guests Lists Small
If you’re eloping with family and friends, we recommend keeping your guest list small — under 20 is our golden standard. Having a compact group will decrease the amount of planning stress on your end, and with a smaller group, you’ll have a bit more freedom when it comes to choosing your venue — not to mention there is less of a chance that you’ll need to purchase permits for public spaces that a larger wedding party may require.
Get your guests involved
Arguably one of the best parts of eloping with family — for both you and your loved ones — is getting to have the people you love most be a part of your ceremony. Your loved ones want to support us, so allowing your guests to be involved in the planning or execution of your wedding ceremony can mean the world to them. Whether they’re acting as your witness, walking as part of your procession, or even marrying you and your partner, involving your loved ones in your ceremony is a great way to add a personal touch to your wedding and ensure that everyone gets to come away from such a special day with a rich and personalized experience.
Give advanced notice
Whether you’re planning a destination wedding or are getting married right in your own backyard, giving an advanced notice is an important step of eloping with family. With advanced notice — which can be anywhere from three to nine months depending on your planning timeline — your guests can lock in their days off work, secure child care or pet-sitters, and settle any travel plans they may need to arrange. This step not only reduces stress for your guests, gives you a bit more clarity for a head count by receiving RSVP’s in a timely manner.
An important aspect of any wedding or elopement ceremony is simply to celebrate! There are plenty of ways you can add some fun and personal details into your ceremony that will not only entertain you and your guests, but create a more relaxed and celebratory atmosphere for your big day. Weddings and elopements are emotional affairs, so finding big or small ways to diffuse any lingering tension or wedding-day jitters is a great way to increase the enjoyment you and your guests can get out of your wedding day.
Weddings and elopements are a commemoration of one of the most important relationships we can experience. And eloping with family is a great way to commemorate another immeasurably important relationship between you and the community of people who have nourished you towards this special moment. If you’re eloping with family or are considering involving your loved ones in your elopement, we hope these tips make your big day a memorable one for anyone involved.