How to Elope with Family and Friends

Many might think an elopement involves just the two of you spontaneously running off without informing anyone and riding into the sunset. However, the reality is that eloping can take various forms—it’s entirely customizable to suit your preferences. This is what makes eloping truly special. There’s no need to adhere to traditional norms or follow the path laid out by others. It’s a chance to create a wedding experience that is uniquely tailored to reflect your individuality. Plus, it doesn’t rule out including family and/or friends in the celebration. If you want to elope with family, that’s totally up to you! Let’s go over the pros and cons below.


Couples have various ways of structuring their wedding day. Some have guests around for the entire day, and others split the day between time with and without guests. Some prefer to keep intimate moments, like getting ready and exchanging vows, just between the two before inviting guests for other activities. Meanwhile, others leave the adventurous parts, like hiking, to us and keep the later aspects, like dinner, for their guests. Whatever you choose, there are pros and cons, so I’ll break those down below!


  1. Inclusive Celebration: Eloping with family or friends allows you to share your special day with your loved ones, creating memories together.
  2. Emotional Support: Having close friends and family present provides emotional support, adding a layer of comfort and familiarity to the experience.
  3. Shared Joy: Your elopement becomes a shared joyous occasion, and the presence of loved ones can enhance overall happiness.
  4. Memorable Moments: Including family and friends ensures that significant moments, such as exchanging vows or heartfelt toasts, are witnessed and shared with those who matter most.
  5. Photography and Memories: Having your loved ones there means you’ll have more meaningful photographs. These images will capture the connections formed with those who shared on your special day.
  6. Reduced Stress: Elopements with family and friends often mean less hassle and potential complaints. The support system can contribute to a smoother and more enjoyable experience, reducing stress.
  7. Minimal Planning Pressure: The presence of close ones can alleviate some planning responsibilities, as they may assist with logistics or contribute ideas, making the overall process more collaborative.
  8. Post-Elopement Celebration: Eloping with loved ones doesn’t mean missing out on celebrating afterward. You can still enjoy a post-elopement gathering or reception with family and friends, extending beyond the ceremony.
  9. Personal Touch: Including family and friends allows personalized touches, such as incorporating meaningful rituals or traditions, making the day even more unique.


  1. Complicated Planning: Including family and friends in your elopement means additional opinions and preferences to consider, which can complicate the planning process.
  2. Added Expense: Eloping with guests often results in increased costs, including accommodation, meals, and potentially other expenses, which may not align with your elopement budget.
  3. Limited Guest List: Elopements typically involve a small, intimate guest list, and choosing who to invite can be challenging. Including only a few friends or family members in the elopement may result in exclusion or disappointment.
  4. Balancing Expectations: Balancing your desires with the expectations of your loved ones can be tricky. Striking the right balance between your vision for the elopement and their expectations may require compromises.
  5. Logistical Challenges: Coordinating the logistics of an elopement with guests can be more complex than an intimate ceremony with just the couple. Travel arrangements, accommodations, and scheduling can become more intricate.
  6. Distraction from Intimacy: The presence of family and friends may divert attention away from the intimate moments between the couple. Balancing the desire for shared experiences with maintaining a private connection can be challenging.
  7. Potential Drama: The involvement of different personalities may increase the likelihood of different dynamics or disagreements, potentially causing tension or drama on what should be a joyful occasion.
  8. Pressure to Conform: The expectations of family and friends may push for adherence to traditional wedding norms. This contradicts the essence of eloping, which is to break away from conventional expectations.


Are you just starting your elopement planning journey? Dive into my blog for FAQs About Elopements! If you’re interested in exploring my elopement packages for Oregon and beyond, click here and fill out my contact form. Follow my Instagram to keep up with my current work. I’m eager to chat more about your dream elopement!

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