Family relationships can be complicated.

Trust me, I get it. It’s a privilege to have a supportive, loving family, and I know that not everyone comes from that. And that’s okay! Complicated family can be a reason a couple chooses to elope on their own, but I also have couples who want to know how to elope with family. Here are my top tips for you and bae.

How to Tell Them

Before we can even get into planning your elopement with family, you have to tell them. I know that can be hard and scary, but it’s important to set expectations right from the start. I have a whole blog about how to tell family you’re eloping, but here’s the TLDR.

  1. With your partner, write down the reasons you’re eloping.
  2. Together, tell your families in person, or over FaceTime if you have to.
  3. Share your “why” that you wrote down earlier.
  4. Then do it! Stick to the plan that makes you two happy.

How to Include Them

Your wedding day can look however you want it to. That includes how much or how little you decide to include your family and loved ones. Only you and bae can make those decisions. When my couples work out how to elope with family, here are some of my favorite ways they’ve included them.

  • Before your ceremony, have family help you get ready. I’ve captured some really special moments with parents, grandparents, siblings, and even kiddos helping with all the special details.
  • I’ve also had couples ask loved ones to write them letters that they then read together before the ceremony. I’m usually a puddle of mush by the end.
  • Host a breakfast or brunch before saying “I do.” If you’re renting an Airbnb for everyone, it’s super easy to bring in a private chef to cook a special meal for you and bae.
  • During your ceremony, there are a lot of creative ways to include family. You can choose someone to serve as an officiant, bring sentimental items for people who are no longer with you, have everyone participate in a special ritual, or let family members sign your marriage license as a witness.

How to Celebrate with Them

Once all is said and done, it’s time to party!

  • One of my favorite ways I’ve seen couples celebrate with family is an intimate dinner. Especially if you’re renting an Airbnb, I totally recommend hiring a private chef to come cook for you. They take care of all the cooking and cleaning, which allows you and bae time to relax and soak in special moments with your family.
  • Game nights are also a unique way to celebrate! I have laughed my ass off watching my couples do a Murder Mystery night or charades. There’s no doubt they’ll have those memories forever.
  • If there are more people back home you want to celebrate with, host a party once you’re back. It’s the perfect opportunity to share some of your epic elopement pics and tell everyone about your day.

Hybrid Elopements

If you’re thinking “fuck yeah!” to some of these ideas, a hybrid elopement may be the right decision for you! I definitely think I made these up, but if you’re wondering how to elope with family, a hybrid elopement is the solution. It allows you to have a day where you don’t have to compromise on alone time and family time. They are so damn fun and check all the boxes.

Let’s plan your perfect Colorado elopement, with or without family.

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