Want to elope but don't want to ditch your family? Bring them along, here's some tips on how to!
Eloping with family
Google defines eloping as 'the act or instance of running off secretly to be married' but that's definitely outdated. These days more couples are thinking of eloping as a non traditional way of getting married meaning rather than host a large party they are choosing to celebrate their love from the mountain top...literally. The best part is that it can still include family, friends, and all of the elements we associate with a big wedding but just on a different scale.
Here are a few tips and things to remember when planning your elopement.
Tip #1 - Choosing your elopement location
Now that you have decided you want to elope and avoid the big traditional wedding, you have to decide on a location. An elopement can literally take place anywhere, a courthouse, your backyard, on top of a mountain, at the ocean, you name it! But if you're hoping to include family then you should consider your logistics. Be sure that everyone you are inviting is able bodied to get to your desired location. The safety of you and your guests is paramount. Keep in mind also that if you choose a more adventurous location that you can have your ceremony at a spot that is relatively easy to get to and still adventure off for incredible photos afterward.
Tip #2 - Including traditional elements
Just because you're eloping doesn't mean your day has to go without tradition. You can absolutely still walk down the aisle, have a wedding party, and/or perform a unity ritual. Rather than thinking of your day as an elopement, treat it as your wedding day because that's what it is! You can include whatever you want with regards to rules of the specific location of your elopement. If you are in a national park or public space be sure to review the rules and regulations. Some places may require special permits or not allow you to bring in certain decor such as chairs and tables.
Here is an awesome guide to all things for eloping in the Olympic National Park by an incredible elopement photographer, Between The Pine https://betweenthepine.com/olympic-national-park-elopement/
Tip #3 - Pack in, pack out
Traditionally elopements are meant to keep things simple for your special day but if you have the extra help from family and friends who are joining you then you may be able to include some extras such as flowers and the all important snacks! Remember though that whatever your pack in you must pack out. In order to keep national parks and other outdoor areas beautiful we must respect its space. This means cleaning up after ourselves.
Tip #4 - What to wear for your elopement
Think 'be beautiful, be practical'. I mean it's still your wedding day and you want to look and feel beautiful, as you should! But no one wants to roll their ankle in heels on a rocky mountain top so this is where the be practical portion comes into play. Formal wear on top and hiking boots on the bottom, a wedding day mullet if you will. In all seriousness, being aware of where you and your family will be travelling throughout your elopement day is essential so that again you are all happy and safe.
Do what makes you happy!
The most important advice I can give to any couple whether they are eloping alone, with family, having a big traditional wedding, or anything in between is to do what makes you happy. Don't get caught up in what's trending or what people tell you you're supposed to do. Include the people and traditions that you want for your elopement and celebrate your love story.