One question we see asked a lot is “can/should we include our kids in our elopement?” Well the answer is HECK YEAH!! There are NO RULES! Eloping with kids can be quite exciting, and there are a ton of ways to include your kid in your Elopement.
No matter your children’s age, eloping with kids can be pretty easy once you have everything thoroughly planned out. Eloping with kids also gives you the privilege to involve your kids in the ceremony in cute ways as we discuss later and makes them feel special and leads to some amazing photo ops. There is no reason you can’t have the adventure elopement you’ve always dreamed about while also including your kiddos. It just might take some creative planning.
Below are 10 ways to include your kids in your elopement, no matter how old they are. Because your elopement day just wouldn’t be the same without them!
1. Get Ready Together
Traditionally, couples get ready apart, but one of the great things about eloping is doing it how YOU want. You could all get ready together as a family! Imagine how wonderful it would be to have your child brush your hair, zip your dress, or tie your tie? It would really make them feel included and special. Plus, you’ll have some adorable photos to remember the day by.
2. Have a Family First Look
You’ve probably hear of a first look between partners – but what about a family first look? Why not do a first look with together with your kids, where they see you for the first time in your elopement attire? If you still would like to have a first look with your partner seperate, do one with the kids first and THEN have one with your partner.
3. Flower Girl/Ring Bearer
Classic and always a cute idea! If your kiddo likes the idea of having a special role on your day let them be the flower child or ring bearer or some variation of the traditional roles. Just remember to abide by Leave No Trace Principles. Instead of throwing flowers or confetti, maybe have them wave a ribbon wand or carry a flower ring.
4. Choose a Location that Doesn’t Involve a Long/Difficult Hike
If you have smaller or younger children and you will be hiking to your ceremony location, make sure to pick a hike thats going to be easy for them to participate. Keep it to shorter distances and something not crazy steep or dangerous to make sure they stay safe and comfortable.
If you really want to go on a longer hike, maybe do one with just the two of your while the kiddos stay back with a family member. Have a private vow exchange on your longer hike before having a seperate ceremony with your kids when you get back.
5. Elope Somewhere Special
Do you have a favorite place to go on family vacations? Everytime I ask my kids where they want to go its always the same answer lol. (Colorado or Big Bend) Or do you have somewhere you’ve always wanted to go as a family but haven’t yet? Have your elopement there!
6. Walk Down the Aisle With Them
Is there anything more adorable than holding your child’s hand? Why not have them hold your hand and walk down the aisle/trail together. Walk down as a family or have the kiddos walk you down to “give you away.”
7. Do a First Dance with Your Kids
Most of our couples end up doing a first dance together whether out on the trail or back at their AirBNB. Why not include a dance with your kiddo? Pick a song to dance to individually or do a whole family dance. Not going to lie, if I am your photographer I WILL cry! There is nothing cuter or more special than dancing with your babies.
8. Give Them Time to Talk
This could be a great way to make your child feel special on your elopement day. Give them the chance to say something during your ceremony. If their able to write, they can write something beforehand to share during the ceremony. If their not old enough, just having the chance to share their feelings or talk about how pretty your dress is will make them feel special.
9. Have Them Sign Your Marriage License
If you want to give your kiddo a really fun job, you could have them sign as a witness. It’s a document you can keep and if their little and can barely scribble what a fun momento to show them as they get older.
If your kiddo is old enough, you could even have them officiate the ceremony!
10. Involve Them in a Unity Ceremony
There are tons of fun ideas for a Unity Ceremony! Handfasting, pouring colored sand into a jar, pouring different types of candy into a jar, planting a tree, etc. – having your kids participate will be a wonderful way to include them!
A Few Last Tips
- As a parent you know what it is like to have your kids with you. You know kids can get tired, hungry, grumpy, and more at the drop of a hat, and if that’s not something you want to have to work around on your elopement day, that’s OK! And it also doesn’t mean your kiddo can’t be a part of your elopement.
- Every child is different and you know how often they need to nap, or long they can hike before getting burnt out. Make sure to keep all of this into consideration while planning. Don’t just have a Plan A, have plans B & C when your littles are involved.
- Be realistic about what they can do on your elopement day. Don’t try to push them past their limits and comforts because that won’t be fun for anyone.
- If possible, bring a family member or friend that can help with the kiddos during certain activities or just to give you and your partner the chance to be alone every now and then.
- For small children make sure to bring along their favorite snacks and maybe a few toys to help entertain them during a lull in activities.