About Kate
Lifelong “sporto.” Traveler. Organized optimist. Adventure accomplice.  And, with my whole soul, I believe that you and your partner should marry in a way that feels like you. SO... Four years ago, I completely reworked my photography business to honor that vision. I changed course so that you can too.  Ready to explore eloping?!  Let's Chat!
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Eloping with Family: 5 Ways to Create a Micro-Wedding

Elopements - Us Two & Crew

When you think about your wedding experience, if “eloping with family” is the thing that pulls on your heartstrings, YOU SHOULD DO IT! These micro-weddings, or elopement with your family, have become a more popular choice for those wanting to elope bravely.

Below I have a lot of different options listed for you of ways to include your family in your elopement. But before we get into all the different ways, I want to paint a picture of what is possible.

It IS possible to have everything you could want within your elopement, whatever that might include.

It IS possible to include your family in your celebration in a way that feels super good to YOU.

Let me introduce you to Kym and Ash.

OPTION 1: Eloping with Family: Have the Best of ALL Worlds

Kym and Ash had a major adventure with all of the people that they felt like just had to be with them. Their story is one where they refused to settle for anything less than what they wanted. No sacrificing.

Day 1: Scouting

Day one was dedicated to scouting out the best spots for our adventures. Kym, Ash, their kiddo, and I spent the day hiking the forest, spending sweet moments together, and having time on our side to literally stop and smell the flowers.

Having an entire day dedicated to the exploration and scouting of location, finalizing plans, and solving any last-minute needed solutions…it completely gave us the gift of time. There was no rushing. There was comfortability. And we were able to capture that within our images.

Day 2: Microwedding

The next day we met up in the morning and spent the entire day together. We had time to photograph getting ready, first looks, vows in the forest, and a family celebration.

By creating a day dedicated to loved ones, Kym and Ash were able to be totally present in the current objective. They had had their grounding day as a family unit the day before, now they get to celebrate with others and knew that the next day would include their own private time.

Day 3: Solo Day

Our final day of their wedding celebration included a solo day of adventuring. This day was the “WOW” adventure people think of when they hear of an “Alaskan elopement.” Again, we had the gift of time to fully embrace the adventures at our fingertips.

By creating a FULL wedding experience, Kym and Ash (and their family) had everything they wanted without compromising any of it. So often people skimp on time and then something has to suffer (and typically it’s the couple time!!)

If a multiple-day wedding experience does not feel right for you, here are 4 more options that might feel right for you.

OPTION 2: Separate Events, Same Love

A very popular option to involve your family into your elopement experience is to have a reception-style party on your year anniversary. It doesn’t have to be a full year later. Maybe it’s a post-honeymoon welcome-home event.

This option is incredible for 3 main reasons:

  1. This gives you the gift of focus. You can focus on your vows and elopement experience on the actual day of the elopement but then focus on your family on the day of the reception.
  2. The second incredible perk of this choice is the time between the events. You can intentionally plan them at different times which keeps the overwhelm at bay.
  3. Lastly, it continues the newly-wed celebrations that you absolutely deserve.

This is exactly what Alyna and Alex did. They eloped and then 1 year later celebrated their new marriage. They shared images from their elopement, celebrated with all their loved ones, and were able to give justice to the intimacy they wanted and the family love they wanted to honor.

OPTION 3: Eloping with Family, minus the vows

Another option is to include your family in your elopement, but keep your vows private. This means that you and your partner would carve out a moment away to go share your vows, but your family could still be on location with you. If you book a full day (or ideally, a 1.5+ day package), it can allow you both adventures (and time) with your partner alone AND your family.

This option is great for 2 reasons:

  1. You get a private adventure with your partner.
  2. You get the once-in-a-lifetime memories with your family.

This is what Anna and Ryan did. Private sunrise mountain vows and a fully separate family ceremony and celebration!

OPTION 4: Make your Elopement a Micro-Wedding

Another great option is to turn your elopement into a micro-wedding. This change does NOT mean you have to lose any of the glamour of eloping.

This is a great choice if you feel a little more aligned with the concept of a traditional wedding, but not all the hustle and bustle. This gives you the chance to create a more traditional-feeling ceremony & experience, but, with the flexibility to cut out all the parts you DON’T want.

Pro tip: If you still want to get away to have some privacy for your own vows or a special adventure(s!), you can still design time in your experience for it!

Heads up: I have seen that micro-weddings can either :

  1. With more folks involved, become overly focused on the family and their needs and wants.
  2. Can have a tendency to feel very rushed, crunching to get all the family activities & needs, plus special moments for you two.

It’s completely okay if a microwedding is what you choose to do! I just would encourage you and your partner to really think through your priorities for your intimate wedding and ensure that this is the choice that will give you exactly what you want.

If if feels right for you you’re worried about the common situations I note above, chat with your photographer and/or planner about how to build a plan that creates (and then protects!!!) the experiences/feelings that matter most for your experience. ❤️️

OPTION 5: Eloping with Family — Creating Space to Include

Eloping with family does not have to look a certain way. Another option is to plan your elopement as a “Just Us Two” elopement, but then create space to include your loved ones to whatever degree you want.

Here are some options on how you can “create space” to include family in your elopement when they aren’t physically there with you:

  • Schedule a Facetime/video chat within the day
  • Set aside some time to watch pre-recorded videos from them
  • Read letters from them during the adventure
  • Bring mementos/items that represent them to carry with you
  • Carry a small printed copies of images of them to include in your detail shots
  • Or so many other creative ideas based your unique connection to your loved ones

This option is phenomenal because it allows you the privacy & focus you want, with flexibility and intentional space to connect with your people.

Eloping with Family is the Best Choice if it’s the Best Choice for YOU

If you feel like the best way to celebrate your love is by including your family in your elopement or micro-wedding, you should do it. AND, including them to whatever degree feels right for you is the correct answer.

I deeply recognize that deciding to elope is brave (and I am ALWAYS celebrating that decision!!) and I see you in the fear in telling your families that it won’t look the way they *likely* had been imagining your wedding day to go.

If this is you, check out this blog. I give you all of my best advice on how to tell your family you are eloping.

If you’re ready to begin planning your elopement experience with your family (or your microwedding) you can reach out to me here!

I would love to get your dates on the schedule and support you to create the balanced “just for us” and “with our crew” wedding experience you crave. Using my elopement concierge and adventure elopement photography expertise I love helping couples more smoothly bring your vision to life. 🤗

How do I tell my family we’re eloping? What if my family objects to our elopement idea?

It can feel scary or frustrating to find yourself in this situations. But, I have the answers for you and it doesn’t involve giving up on your dream wedding! You can check out this blog on how to tell my family we’re eloping because it likely has the immediate answers! Need more ideas or a safe place to practice holding your ground?!? I see you ❤️ Send me a DM on Instagram or drop me a message in the form below!

What are my options for a microwedding? What about eloping with family?

Above you will find 5 options on how to elope with your family, with examples of how real couples brought each idea to life! Are you seeing your ideas on the list? The beauty of elopements (and of micro weddings!) with family are all the unique ways you can celebrate! With a little extra thought and a little more intentionality these 5 options for involving family in your intimate wedding experience can help you bring your vision to life!

How can I include my family in my adventure elopement if they aren’t traveling with us?

Here are some options on how you can “create space” to include family in your elopement when they aren’t physically there with you:
–Schedule a Facetime/video chat within the day
–Set aside some time to watch pre-recorded videos from them
–Read letters from them during the adventure
–Bring mementos/items that represent them to carry with you
–Carry a small printed copies of images of them to include in your detail shots (polaroids from a farewell dinner are great!)
–Or, so many other creative ideas based your unique connection to your loved ones

Hi! I’m Kate, 

and I’m in your corner.

Lifelong “sporto.” Traveler. Organized optimist. Adventure accomplice.

With my whole soul, I believe that you and your partner should marry in a way that feels like you.   SO... Four years ago, I completely reworked my photography business to honor that vision.  To create a safe space for couples to create a wedding experience that feels right.

I changed course so that you can too.

Freeing couples to get married exactly how they want to, with no limits on what that looks like.   Is that bold?!?  Maybe, but you're ready!  

Reach out below and let's get started🙌

Let's build your elopement adventure!