Include Your Kids in Your Elopement – A “How To”

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You want to elope—I fully support that! You’ve scouted locations, read up on how to pick a dress, and have the perfect day in mind. However, heading off somewhere affects more than you and your partner if you have little ones. They’re probably just as excited as you are about your wedding! But, the question that keeps rolling around in your mind is exactly HOW to include kids in your elopement. Whether they attend in person or virtually, I’ve got some tips on doing it right!

How to Include Your Kids in Your Elopement in Person

Ok, first of all, there are a few things to consider before bringing the kiddos along to your elopement. Whether you have one child or several, your day will look a bit different. Here are a few things that aren’t necessarily cons, but they are points to ponder (and solutions!) before you fully commit to bringing little ones along.

Things to Consider With a Simple Elopement

  • The day will be at a slower pace, especially if your kids are younger. Kids can take forever to put on their shoes, find their jacket, etc. Any parent knows that even a simple trip to the grocery store can take a bit longer than initially planned. And that’s ok! You may have to schedule a bit of extra time to walk to locations and make transitions.
  • You’ll need to scope out the bathrooms. Even if children go potty before heading out, there can still be that emergency where they just gotta go! Scoping out the restrooms beforehand is a great idea, just in case there’s an urgent need to potty or a diaper change scenario.
  • Be prepared for any diaper changes on-location. That might mean in the middle of the forest out of the trunk of a car! This is something we’ll want to add time for.
  • More people will be at your elopement. If you always pictured a day just for the two of you, that will change if you have the kids along. Think about whether or not you are ok with having a less intimate day.
  • Location Logistics. If you’re planning on having your ceremony in a remote place, consider how you’ll be getting kids (or guests in general) to that location. I’ve had couples helicopter their few guests out to the ceremony spot, but that isn’t feasible for everyone.
  • Prepare to be flexible. Sometimes, children’s moods are unpredictable, or if you have an infant, they could cry for no reason and decide “I’m done for the day”. That means that you may have to alter plans, end the day early, or have loved ones take them for a while.
My team member Rachel (an occupational therapist focusing in children with special needs) accompanied us to make sure Jen & Mel’s little boy felt taken care of!

How to Have a Successful Elopement with Kids

  • Bring someone else along to help. Yes, that extends the number of people present, which may not be ideal. However, if you bring along a sibling, parent, or trusted friend (who probably is dying to attend, anyway!), they can field temper tantrums, naptime, and potty breaks. 
  • Only have your children at the ceremony. If most of the elopement images you want are just of the two of you with a gorgeous backdrop, we can still get those. Have your ceremony in a kid-friendly location so that they can hear your vows. Then have your designated person whisk them away to play or nap while you spend a few hours capturing unforgettable memories together.
  • Schedule a post-elopement celebration immediately afterward. Perhaps having your children at the ceremony itself isn’t a priority. You can always schedule your elopement so that you can have a mini reception that includes your kids. Honestly, if they are really young, they will be happy to have time with you while you’re all dressed up, no matter where that moment falls on your elopement day.

How to Include Kids in Your Elopement from Afar

how to include kids in elopement

For a truly romantic experience, create an elopement designed for the two of you. However, that doesn’t mean your children can’t be involved. Here are some creative ways to include little ones from far away on your big day. 

  • Have them watch the ceremony virtually. Any live viewing needs a strong wifi connection, which needs to be tested and confirmed beforehand. Have your device set up on a tripod, or you can even hold your phone and interact with your children during your ceremony. 
  • Allow them to send along pictures and letters. Kids love expressing themselves. Have them do so beforehand. An adult can help them write down sentiments that you can read during your ceremony. If they draw a picture, you can have your photo taken with their drawing during your elopement. Your children would be thrilled! They could even send along a video message for you to watch during your ceremony. Just be sure that your phone is fully charged if you go that route. Cindy & Jay did that for their Crater Lake elopement.
  • Record your ceremony. Even if it’s just recorded using the smartphone and tripod method, give your kids something to watch when you get back. Most littles are used to watching videos on a device, and they would be excited to see what you were up to while you were gone. 
  • Take them shopping with you for your elopement attire. Have your little one help mommy pick out her dress or daddy select the perfect tie. Imagine their excitement when they see gorgeous images of you wearing what they helped pick out. So fun! 
  • FaceTime with them while you are gone. Face it. When you’re gone, your kids miss you. Even if you don’t have the capability or wifi connection to include them in your ceremony, talk to them virtually or by phone and tell them all about your big day later on. They’ll feel special as you chat with them about the day’s events, and you’ll have lots of adventures to share. 
  • Leave them a care package. Going the extra mile can mean a lot. Contact your local bakery to make personalized cookies that you can all enjoy at the same time virtually. The kids can toast with sparkling grape juice or a favorite drink as you celebrate your union. 

No matter what you choose to do, including your kids can be truly special. Be sure to consider their age, capabilities, and attention span with all of the above. If you have a newborn, they won’t be aware, but a five-year-old would enjoy being included in whatever way you see fit. Making them a part of your big day will definitely get them excited for everything that lies ahead for all of you.