For many people the decision to elope is easy - less stress, less expense, and more romance. Choosing an adventure wedding doesn't mean you're choosing to exclude your family. It means that you're choosing to keep the day for yourselves and focus on each other, and that's amazing if that's what's important to you! Many others decide against an elopement because they want their family present, and I completely understand that. Family is super important to me too, so I can see why people want their loved ones involved. Here are a few ways you can keep them involved and still have the intimate, beautiful wedding ceremony that you dream of...
It's 2020 and let's be honest - many people getting married already have children together or from a previous relationship, and that's wonderful! Just because you're eloping doesn't mean they can't be involved. Make it a family affair and bring the kiddos along with you. Read vows to your significant other's children too to let them know they're an important part of the family, have your children walk you down the aisle, or let them say a few words themselves. Your children will appreciate being a part of the big day as well, because it's important to them too. If you're looking for a fun way to keep the little ones busy in the wild, a scavenger hunt is a great way to motivate them.
Dogs are always invited as far as I'm concerned! Bring them along as your flower girl or ring bearer, and we can be sure to include them in photos as well. It might be helpful to have someone there to handle your pet, but either way, I think your pet will appreciate the fun adventure as well, and you'll love having them involved. If your pets are included in all of your other adventures, why not bring them for the big one?
FAMILY & FRIENDS
Some girls dream of having their father walk them down the aisle. Moms dream of seeing their baby boy on their wedding day. Some people want their siblings or best friend by their side on the most important day of their life, and some people even want Grandpa to officiate the ceremony. That's amazing, and you can still have an intimate wedding with the most important people in your life by your side. If your friends & family are the adventurous types then hiking to the top of a mountain or kayaking to a private beach might be perfect for them! But if not, we can definitely take that into consideration when we're location scouting. Or you can split the day up - start the day off with just the two of you, adventure somewhere absolutely breathtaking, and you can say your personally written vows to one another there privately. The later on, with your guests present, you can have the wedding ceremony.
KEEP THINGS PRIVATE, BUT STILL INVOLVE YOUR LOVED ONES
If you love the idea of having an unforgettable, fun adventure with the person you want to spend the rest of your life with and only that person, then that's perfectly ok too! Whether you're just a private couple, you don't have a picture-perfect relationship with your family, or your family just bring a lot of unnecessary stress, wanting to keep the day to yourselves is normal and understandable. They can be as involved or uninvolved as you want them to be and that's your decision. Don't let anyone make you feel that what you want isn't ok.
If you still want them to feel involved somehow, allow your family to help you with other aspects of getting married, like planning an engagement party, bridal shower, or letting them help plan a celebration afterward with all of your favorite people. You can even run an "exclusive" slideshow of your photos from the day before you share them on social! Let them know you care by writing them letters to read on your wedding day or give them a phone/video call after the ceremony. Or ask them to write letters for the two of you to read on your wedding day.
Another great option is to live-stream your wedding ceremony! If you still want a private ceremony but you really want mom and dad to witness it in all it's beauty (and if the cell service is strong enough!) we can live-stream the event from your phone. If anything good comes out of the time we're all spending secluded at home, it's that we're all becoming amazing at video chat!
Wondering how to break the news to family and friends that you're eloping and they're not invited? Click to read my tips!
This is your wedding day! You deserve it to be whatever you want. Forget tradition, forget the cookie-cutter plans, forget what you've been told is right or wrong. Make it your own, involve whoever you want as much as you want them to be involved, and bring whoever you want. People may be upset for a moment, but realize that they love you no matter what and will support whatever decision makes you most happy.
If you have dreams of the best day ever filled with love, laughter, and joy in a beautiful environment among nature, then let's talk about making that dream come true! Send a message through the contact form below and let's talk about whether or not eloping might be the right path for you and your significant other. I'm here to help every step of the way, whether it's helping you choose the perfect destination, securing the right permits, finding other talented vendors, or building your wedding day timeline.
Hey there! I'm Carly D'Angelo-Hall - a photographer specializing in documenting weddings across the U.S. If you love adventure, experiencing new things, and if you like to live "outside of the box", let's talk about how I can help you create and capture the wedding day of your dreams! Visit wildnorthweddings.com to view all-inclusive wedding day and adventure session packages.