Can you include your family in your elopement?

Yes! An elopement is whatever you want it to be but on a more intimate and authentic level. This guide is here to help you plan on how to elope with family. If you want your family involved in a little bit or a lot on your day then continue to read on. I will be writing up some tips on how to elope with your family.


Break the day into two

I love this option a lot because you get to split the day into two parts where you will get to spend time together with just the two of you then meet up with family afterwards to celebrate or have your ceremony.

I have had couples hike to a secluded location where they got ready outside, had their first look, and said their private vows before hiking back to our cars and driving to another location where family is waiting for them. My couples made another set of vows to be said in front of their family during their family ceremony.

I have had other couples who started their day with their family with getting ready photos, had their ceremony at an Airbnb, campsite, or outdoor location, then said goodbye to their family while we went off to go explore and hike some beautiful trails. They met up with their family after sunset photos with me for dinner.

When you break the day into two, you get the both worlds of an elopement and an intimate ceremony/reception with family.

couple hiking on their elopement

Get your family to come on your adventure

Why not invite them to come on your adventure? I know plenty of hikes or other activities where your family can join you. I have had a few couples that have invited their families to join them so I can show you the best locations where you can have an adventure but it isn’t too tough on family members who may not be avid hikers. There are plenty of easy trails with stunning views in Colorado.

how to elope with family

Skype, Facetime or Zoom call your family

Take advantage of technology and let’s plan a time to video call your family. I’ve had a few couples who have video called their family while they were getting ready separately so you have company via a video call before your first look with your partner. It’s a great way for your families to be involved on one part of your special day.

If we have reception, we can try video calling them while we are out on the trails. This can be a bit tricky. It depends on where you choose to have your elopement. I can let you know if we will have reception there or not.

zoom call on elopement

Family member officiate your ceremony

In Colorado, you do not need an officiant to get married however this would be a great time for a family member to officiate your ceremony. They can get ordained online really easily. There are no prerequisites on getting ordained online. That is how I am ordained.

family member is an officant

Family member sign your marriage license

Again, eloping in Colorado you don’t need a witness to sign your marriage license but this would be a lovely way to include them in your wedding day. They can sign your marriage license for you. Here is more information on self-solemnizing in Colorado.

couple saying vows in rain

Getting ready with family

You can have your family help you with getting ready. They can help you with your wedding dress, suit, or other wedding attire. If you want them for a small part of your day this would be a great way to have them help you get ready for your first look with your partner. That way they can see you all dressed up and ready to go have an epic adventure elopement.

getting ready in the snow

First look with family

If you want a first look with your family, I can set them up before your first look with your partner. This would be a great way to give them an element of surprise when they see you in your wedding attire for the first time. You will have an intimate moment with them.

first look with dad on wedding day

Read letters from family

Another great way on how to elope with family but to not have them physically there is to have them write letters so you can open them and read them on your day. They can write words of wisdom, love, encouragement, etc. It’s also a lovely keepsake too.

reading letters from family on elopement


Invite them to your wedding dress and suit shopping

This is what I did with my family back home in Australia. I invited them to help me pick out a wedding dress. This would be a nice way for them to get involved but not have them there on your wedding day. They will know what you will look like in your wedding attire before they see the photos!

crying groom at elopement

Family Reception

This is probably the most popular option. Instead of having them there on your wedding day, you get to celebrate with them all once you are back home. I think this is perfect because this is the event where you get to actual speak to your guests and celebrate over some good food, good company, and good drinks!

private elopement vows

Show them the photos and videos

Why not project all your photos and videos onto the TV and make a small event out of it? Invite everyone over for them to see what you did on your wedding day. You could even watch the video for the first time with everyone so it’s a surprise for you too. You can include video on your day with me so you will have beautiful photos and a video that represents your day!

couple hiking on their elopement


If you feel strongly that you want your family to be involved in your wedding day on your elopement. You need to consider a few things:

  • The more family members you invite, the more you have to consider them on your day.
  • There will be more planning involved and more moving parts
  • Everyone needs to be on board with your elopement
  • Some locations might be limited due to more people on your wedding day
  • Family dramatics and dynamics


However you want to include your family, there are so many options on how to elope with family. You can have them there on your wedding day or have them involved on a day before or after your wedding day.

I hope this guide was helpful in how to elope with family.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *