magazine | Weddings | Tips + Advice

Eloping? Here are 7 Ways to Incorporate Your Friends & Family (Without Them Being There)

Eloping is one of the most whimsical and romantic ways to tie the knot, and produces some of the most stunning photography. If the thought of ditching the traditional wedding entices you, we hear you! Big and small weddings alike require months of planning, stress and money, while thoughtfully eloping brings your wedding day back to the root of it all: you and your fiancé starting your life together as a married couple.

Feeling stressed about not including all of your friends and family in your big day? We teamed up with Be Inspired PR to find the best tips around from wedding professionals about unique and heartfelt ways to incorporate everyone in your life in your elopement, without them physically being there. Yes, you can have the best of both worlds! 
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Hold a Home Town Bash

“Eloping doesn’t mean that you have to alienate your family or friends, there is a way to get the intimate wedding you want and have your wedding cake too. If you are planning an elopement wedding and can’t invite everyone you love, consider holding a home town bash after you have tied the knot and have had some time to recover. It is a great way to prolong the occasion and to include everyone without the stress or expense of having to plan a traditional wedding. Most of the time your loved ones just want to officially celebrate alongside you and providing them an opportunity to do so will eliminate any hard feelings. Another way to make sure no one close to you feels left out is to mail them a personalized elopement announcement card after your elopement (and before any big announcements on social media). This simple gesture will prevent any hard feelings that someone close to you could have believing that they are the last to find out about your big news." – Morgan Childs, Modern Elopement
Photo: Love On Paper
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Send Thoughtful Stationery

“While you may be opting for an intimate elopement, you can make your friends and family feel included through thoughtful stationery. We suggest sending out an announcement right before your elopement letting your community know that you are getting married and that while you have chosen to elope and that you will carry the memories you have shared with them in your heart. You can also include a self-addressed and stamped mail back card requesting their favorite dessert or cocktail recipes and their best advice for you about love and marriage. When you receive these from your guests, you can have these cards bound to keep as a book from your friends and family. This gives them an opportunity to be present in spirit and to express their sentiments and best wishes and it gives you a beautiful keepsake to remember all those who have been a part of your life! This idea can work before or after your elopement with just a little bit of editing of the wording. If you choose to send this out to your guests before the elopement, here is an example of wording that you can use. 

Dear Friends & Family,

At this milestone in our journey, we would like to take a moment to thank you. You have supported us, encouraged us and stood by us at every turn throughout our lives and we are eternally grateful. You have shared in so much of the joy in our lives and we will carry these rich memories with us in our hearts as we tie the knot at a private ceremony.

We would like to include you in a book that we will forever cherish as a keepsake of our wedding day. Please write your favorite drink or dessert recipe and your best advice on the enclosed card and mail it back.

With Love,
The Future Mr. & Mrs. Diaz”
 

– Andaleeb Firdosy, Co-founder, Love On Paper

Ask for Well Wishes

“Ask your closest friends and family to send well wishes and messages to read at the elopement.” – Euri Wong, Lead Designer at Bloominous
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Hire a Videographer

“Hire a videographer to capture the ceremony. Share it with everyone so they feel like they were there.” – Euri Wong, Lead Designer at Bloominous
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Save Your Bouquet

“Save the stems from your bridal bouquet to preserve in some form. Give each stem to the ones that you would have had in your bridal party.” – Euri Wong, Lead Designer at Bloominous
Photo: Nathan Dumlao
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Don't Forget About FaceTime or Skype

“The beauty of technology is that you can still include loved ones in your elopement—no matter how far off the locale! Schedule a Skype or FaceTime session with your loved ones in advance, as if it were an important phone meeting. Set aside an hour before the ceremony, when you and your partner are all dressed up, and give your family members/BFFs a virtual ring. They’ll get to see you in all your pre-wedding glory and they’ll be able to share in the excitement of what’s to come. Even if they’re not physically present, they’ll still have this really special memory of the moment you shared just before you tied the knot.” – Jenna Miller, Here Comes the Guide
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Incorporate Family Heirlooms

“There are several great ways to include your loved ones in your elopement, even if they can’t be there in person. We love the idea of incorporating a family heirloom into your elopement –think dad’s cufflinks or mom’s earrings. Another great option is to actually have another “reception” at home, so your friends and family can celebrate with you! Dress up in suits and tuxedos, and make it a special night for everyone.” – Nathan Bellah, Director of Marketing at Generation Tux
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