Should you Invite Guests to an Elopement?

One of the biggest concerns I get from couples are planning an elopement is whether they should invite guests to an elopement or not. While some couples know for certain that they do not want to include guests, for others this can be a tough decision. I’m here to tell you that you can absolutely invite guests to an elopement. Not only that, but you can do this while still focusing your celebration on your relationship and what matters most.

A couple celebrates right after they say their vows during their Seattle elopement with a small group of guests around them

If you do decide to included guests in your elopement, you’ll need to make sure they know that it will not be like a traditional wedding. You may decide to include them in a portion of the day or all of the day. For this, communication upfront is key. This will allow you stay consistent with your vision and overall plan for the day.

Things to Consider if you’d like to Invite Guests to an Elopement

    • Is everyone that you are inviting going to be on board with your plans and vision for the day? Modern elopements are a new concept to some so you’ll want to clearly communicate your vision clearly.
    • Will you be reading your vows in front of everyone or just to your partner in a private location?
    • Will it be easy enough to keep your guest list small? With large traditional weddings, couples often have a tough time narrowing down their list. You’ll want to be sure you’re able to invite a small group without too many people feeling left out.
    • Is anyone on your list going to make you feel stressed or anxious on your wedding day?
    • Consider your location and make sure that the guests you want to invite can all make it there safely. For example, not all trails are ADA-accessible or guests may not have the proper vehicle to drive to a trailhead. If not, you may need to adjust your plans
    • Is there going to be a good place for your guests to stay for your elopement? Is there enough parking at your elopement location? If you’re hiking with your guests for your elopement, you’ll also want to consider having groups carpool to reduce the number of cars at a trailhead.

A couple smiles as they finish their walk down the aisle during their small winter elopement in Jackson Hole

Don’t forget, just because you are planning to invite guests to an elopement doesn’t need they need to be there when you read your vows. There are a lot of ways to include guests in your wedding day that don’t involve them being present when you officially say “I do”.

A small elopement ceremony takes place next to a backcountry lake along the Pacific Crest Trail in Washington near Mt Rainier

Want more elopement planning tips? Check out more posts here on the blog for how to plan your best day ever!

An elopement ceremony takes place next to a towering peak in the Washington backcountry photographed by PNW elopement photographer Amy Galbraith

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Olympic National Park elopement photographer based in Port Angeles, Washington
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