Intimate Weddings and Elopements are such a romantic and intimate way to say your “I Do’s”, and they are becoming increasingly more popular, not only due to recent restrictions on gatherings and events, but also due to couples recognizing what they truly want for their special day. What holds a lot of couples back from the idea of eloping, is the pressure and guilt of not inviting all of their loved ones. But we’re here to tell you that first and foremost, your wedding day should be about you and your boo, and what YOU want to do, and secondly, that there are many ways you can still involve your loved ones even if they won’t be attending on the wedding day! If you’re looking for how to actually plan your elopement in the first place, check out another popular blog post, “5 Tips to Help You Plan Your Perfect Elopement”.
Today on the blog, we have local wedding photographer, Nikki Collette here to share 8 different ways that you can involve your friends and family in your intimate wedding or elopement, and make them feel included even if they’re not going to be there!
Hire an amazing photographer and videographer to beautifully document your wedding day
These memories will of course be FOREVER treasured by you, but the moments and details captured by your vendors will also become precious to those who weren’t present! Sharing your images and wedding video with your family and friends afterwards will help them feel included and loved. Sending out prints, thank you cards, and more special mementos will allow them to have a little piece of your wedding day in their home and feel like they were there!
Have your family and friends write you letters to read on your elopement day
You can set aside a special time to read them, before or after your ceremony. Whether that’s simply a note of congratulations, fun stories about their time knowing you, or tips or advice for marriage. Not only will these be a meaningful addition to your day, but they’ll be a sentimental keepsake that you can look back on for years. You could also send them a blank return envelope with your elopement announcement card, and encourage them to mail their letter to you that way!
Take your VIPS with you to shop for wedding attire
Dress or suit shopping is a great way to include friends and family that will not be present! It can be such an emotional and special event leading up to the day. You might even want to consider making it into a full weekend getaway!
Consider additional events such as an engagement party or a post-elopement celebration
Just because you’re having an intimate day for your wedding, doesn’t mean you can’t still have a bigger celebration leading up or later on! Whether you want it to look more like a traditional reception or you’d rather have a casual dinner party or a backyard bbq, find a way to celebrate with your loved ones that feels authentic to you.
Make use of technology
This one’s a no-brainer! Zoom, livestream, instastories, etc. are all amazing ways to connect with loved ones while eloping! You can really amp up this experience by creating an event out of it! Send out thoughtful stationery invites or e-vites, that include where the guests can watch the live stream. You can also send along personalized favours such as champagne or a sweet treat so your guests feel included. Take 5-10 minutes after your ceremony to chat with family over zoom or FaceTime!
Incorporate meaningful details
Special heirlooms, like veils and cufflinks, passed down through family, or a special locket photo on your bouquet can truly make you feel like your loved ones are there with you! Whether it’s your jewelry, attire, signs, or a special tradition to honour your culture or heritage, the possibilities here are endless. Just make sure you let your photographer know about your special details so they can capture photos of them for you to share later.
Ask for Their Advice & Help
Have friends help make elopement decorations and details, and ask them for their advice on specific details. There are so many decisions to be made with any elopement or wedding day! Make sure your people know their opinion is valued!
Have one of your friends or family members as your officiant
This not only allows them to be a part of your day, but your ceremony will be even more personal and meaningful when it’s officiated by someone who knows and loves you. Temporary marriage commissioners are appointed for one day to perform a civil (non-religious) marriage ceremony in Alberta.
Tips from the Pros
Nikki Collette Photography
Hi I’m Nikki! Wedding days are such a momentous day filled with enchantment, they are so rewarding to be a part of. I am easy-going, positive, adventurous, and will do whatever it takes to help my clients feel comfortable. I love a spontaneous dive into the unknown, maybe that’s what I love most about photography, the weather, the light, the emotion is never completely predictable!
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Vendors: Photography: Nikki Collette Photography // Planner, Florist, Hair Stylist, & Calligrapher: Catriona Hunks (friend of bride) // Makeup Artist: Pam from HP Makeup Artistry // Wedding Bands: Paris Jewellers // Engagement Ring: Custom Heirloom Piece