In the world of elopements, the path you choose to tread is as unique as your love story. The decision whether or not to include your kids in your elopement day is deeply personal, reflecting your vision for this major life milestone. So, first let me emphasize: whether you’re venturing into this adventure as a duo or with the whole family, the beauty lies in crafting an experience that resonates authentically with you.
Some envision their elopement as an exclusive rendezvous for two souls deeply in love, an occasion to focus on their bond as a couple. For others, the inclusion of children isn’t merely an option; it’s a heartfelt choice to transform their elopement day into a joyous family celebration. Both paths are equally valid because, when it comes to elopements, there’s no one-size-fits-all template.
Whether your celebration is an intimate exchange between partners or a symphony of giggles with your little ones, embrace it wholeheartedly. If you have children and the idea of them being part of your special day sparks joy, let’s do it! On the flip side, if an intimate escape for just the two of you resonates with your heart, that’s more than okay too.
For those considering the delightful possibility of including your kids in your elopement, I’ve got some creative ideas to add that extra touch of magic and kid-friendly fun to your plans. Let’s delve into some great ways to make your elopement a family affair.
I absolutely love the idea of a family first look. While intimate first looks are always unforgettable, there’s something truly special about sharing this moment with your tribe.
Imagine the joy in your child’s eyes as they see you all dressed up for the first time. It’s an incredibly sweet and heartwarming experience, and what makes it even more special is the flexibility to tailor it to your preference. Whether your children see you individually or join you and your partner as a couple, a family first look can craft a unique and memorable moment—a beautiful beginning to your elopement adventure.
If you’re eloping in a self-solemnizing state like Colorado, this is a fantastic opportunity. The unique option of self-solemnization allows you to marry yourselves without the need for a licensed officiant or witness.
Consider the playful notion of allowing adolescent children to ‘officiate’ your wedding. And for the younger ones, imagine the joy in their faces as they proudly pronounce you married, playing a heartfelt role in such a significant moment. It’s more than just saying “I do”; it’s about creating a core memory and making your elopement a family-centered celebration.
One memorable way to make your elopement uniquely yours is by involving your children in the ‘legal’ aspect of your ceremony. In self-solemnizing states, like Colorado, consider inviting your children to sign your marriage certificate. This is a heartwarming and inclusive gesture that adds a special touch to the documentation of your union. Ease any worries your little ones might have—they don’t need to write in cursive or worry about perfect penmanship. The joy is in the genuine participation.
Imagine the joy of looking back at your marriage certificate and seeing your children’s names etched alongside yours. It becomes a unique keepsake, encapsulating the love and involvement of your entire family on that special day. This simple act not only makes the legal process a family affair but also creates lasting memories for your children. It’s a small yet powerful way to include them in the tangible representation of your commitment.
Another thoughtful approach to incorporating your kids in your elopement is by making them an active part of the planning process. Engage in open conversations, ask for their preferences, and have them help you choose details and activities that resonate with them.
Whether it’s deciding to go for ice cream after exchanging vows, planning a picnic and a hike, or indulging in an evening of making s’mores, including your children in the planning adds a personal and meaningful touch to the day. By allowing them to contribute to the decision-making, you’re making cherished family memories in which everyone plays a vital role.
The anticipation and excitement leading up to your elopement ceremony can become even more meaningful if you include your little ones while getting ready. Whether they are present for the actual ceremony or not, having your kids help with the finishing touches on your wedding attire—such as zipping up your dress or tying your tie—creates heartwarming snapshots that capture a special moment on this significant day.
Create a profound and meaningful experience by involving your kids in your elopement ceremony itself. Consider a family unity ceremony, such as a candle lighting or sand pouring, to symbolize the blending of your lives together. Alternatively, let your children take on traditional roles like ring bearer or flower girl, adding an extra layer of sentiment to the occasion.
Engage your children in the planning of your ceremony and ask for their preferences—perhaps they have a unique idea or want to play a special role like making a speech or walking you down the aisle. The possibilities are endless, and by giving your little ones the opportunity to contribute, you’re shaping a collective memory that will be cherished for a lifetime.
Infuse your elopement day with extra warmth by involving your kids in a heartwarming activity. Whether your children will be physically present or not on your special day, ask them to write letters or create drawings for you to open during key moments of your elopement.
If your little ones are with you, consider having them read their messages aloud. If you’ve chosen a child-free elopement, these letters and drawings become cherished keepsakes, offering a sweet connection to your family even from a distance. This simple gesture can add additional layers of meaning to your celebration and ensures your children play a role in your joyous occasion, regardless of their physical presence.
Leaning toward an intimate elopement with just the two of you? Consider livestreaming your ceremony to ensure your children feel connected and included in your special day, even from afar. Livestreaming allows your kids to witness the heartfelt moments, share in the joy, and feel like a part of the celebration.
Following your elopement, you could even plan a special family dinner or a fun activity to commemorate the occasion together. This thoughtful gesture ensures that, while the elopement may have been an intimate affair, the joy and celebration extend to your entire family, creating lasting memories for everyone involved.
Navigating the excitement of including your children in your elopement requires thoughtful preparation. Here are some tips to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience for all:
Consider inviting a family member or close friend whom your child is comfortable with to join your celebration. A familiar face provides reassurance and assistance throughout the day, offering support when you are unavailable. This allows your child to feel at ease, ensuring you can focus on creating those precious memories while your child is well-cared for at all times.
Whether it’s a beloved family member or a cherished friend, their comforting presence can be invaluable in keeping your child engaged and supported during your elopement festivities.
Undoubtedly, when it comes to kids, the list of essentials can be extensive, particularly for younger ones. Ensure you pack thoughtfully and cover all their needs for a seamless elopement experience. Consider packing diapers, toys, an abundance of snacks and drinks, extra clothing, sunscreen, and any other items specific to your child’s needs. Being well-prepared will not only make the day more comfortable for your child but will also alleviate stress for you, allowing everyone to fully enjoy the elopement adventure.
Understanding your child’s limits is key to a successful and enjoyable elopement day. Every child is unique, and you know your kids best. Assess whether your child would genuinely enjoy the day or if certain aspects might overwhelm them. Consider having a small and personalized “pre or post” ceremony exclusively for them. This allows your child to be themselves, enjoy the day in a way that suits them, and still feel like an integral part of the overall celebration. Tailoring the experience to your child’s comfort provides a positive and memorable elopement adventure for everyone involved.
When planning an elopement with your kids, it’s essential to choose a location that suits everyone’s comfort level. If your child isn’t accustomed to hiking or if carrying necessary supplies for a long hike seems challenging, opt for an easily accessible location. Colorado offers endless options, like Sapphire Point and Sunrise Amphitheater, that boast phenomenal views without an extensive hike. By choosing a location that balances adventure with accessibility, you guarantee that everyone, including your little ones, can enjoy the celebration without unnecessary stress.
To see more stunning Colorado elopement locations, check out my other guide!
When including younger family in your elopement day, it’s crucial to plan a slower-paced celebration. Schedule breaks, allowing your little ones the time they need to recoup, refocus, and reenergize. A full elopement day can be a lot for them, so incorporating breaks ensures that everyone can enjoy the celebration at a comfortable pace. By sprinkling in moments of rest, you cater to your child’s needs and also create a more enjoyable experience for the entire crew.
Your elopement day should be a reflection of your vision, and every family is unique. By incorporating these thoughtful tips, you can transform your “just us” elopement into a memorable family adventure if you wish to do so. Whether your kids are signing your marriage certificate, helping with your planning, or taking part in your ceremony, their inclusion adds an extra layer of love, joy, and connection to your special day. Celebrate not just your commitment to each other but also the bonds that make your family unique. Elope your way, and create moments that will be cherished by your whole family for a lifetime.