Should I Invite Guests to my Elopement?
3 Pros and Cons

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When it comes to getting hitched, there are countless options for couples. Whether it’s a traditional ceremony, a destination wedding, or an intimate elopement, there’s no wrong way to say “I do.” (except, y’know, the one that doesn’t represent you and your partner). However, one of the biggest debates among couples planning their elopement or intimate wedding is whether or not to invite guests. On the one hand, having loved ones present can add an extra level of joy and memory-making. On the other hand, it can also mean less flexibility and added stress.

Should you invite guests to your elopement? I’ve seen some things, so let’s explore the pros and cons, shall we?

invite guests to your elopement

Pros to eloping with family

You have your “ride or dies” present!

First and foremost, having your closest loved ones by your side as you tie the knot can be incredibly special. Getting married is a huge life milestone, and having your nearest and dearest there to witness it can make it all the more meaningful. Plus, it can be a great excuse for a mini-vacation or adventure, depending on where you choose to elope.

Helping Hands

Another benefit of inviting guests to your elopement is that they can help with setup and other logistical details. While you and your partner are off taking stunning wedding portraits, your guests can be setting up a picnic or campfire dinner. Not only does this take some of the pressure off of you, but it also ensures that everything runs smoothly.

The More the Merrier!

Finally, having guests present can add an element of fun and lightness to the day. Whether it’s a beloved aunt cracking jokes or your BFF leading everyone in a spontaneous dance party, guests can help bring a sense of joy and celebration to the occasion.

The Cons of inviting people to your elopement

There’s less flexibility

Of course, there are also potential downsides to inviting guests to your elopement. For one thing, it can be harder to be flexible when others are involved. If you’re hoping to be spontaneous or make last-minute location changes, having a group of guests in tow can make that challenging.

TRUE STORY: One of my couples planned for an adventure intimate wedding with about 15-20 guests. Because of the time of year and the previous winter’s larger-than-normal storms, all the roads to the national park where they were to get married were washed out or damaged/impassable. Because they had a significant number of guests coming and a big deposit on lodgings for them all, we had no choice but to pivot to a ceremony at their lodgings, which had a rustic country feel. Because they couldn’t pivot more, they ended up having something much closer to a traditional wedding.

guests at elopement
Not the rustic country intimate wedding in question…

Questions, Questions, Questions…

Additionally, inviting guests often means fielding a lot of questions and added stress. Instead of focusing solely on your own experience and preferences, you may find yourself constantly answering queries like “Where should we stay?” and “What time is everything happening?”. Not to mention, ceremonies may take place where there’s no cell service. It’s been more than once where we’ve had to go save a guest or three because they didn’t plan ahead and got lost. 80% of the “elopements” that involve guests, we end up running late, directly or indirectly due to guests.

TRUE STORY: I have had countless couples invite anywhere from 8-15 people and nearly every time, they have voiced that they wished they hadn’t. Aunt Carol was stressed because her flight was delayed so she called the bride. One married pair didn’t download Google Maps and got lost on the way to the ceremony where there was no cell service.

It’s easy to lose sight of what YOU want

Finally, inviting guests can sometimes mean that you end up basing your day around them instead of what you actually want. While it’s important to consider guests’ needs and interests, it’s also crucial to ensure that your elopement day is true to your vision and desires.

So, should you invite guests to your elopement? Ultimately, only you and your partner can answer that question – I know for my partner and I, if we invited anyone it’d just be one or two people. Consider what’s most important to you – making memories with just the two of you, or sharing the day with your closest loved ones. Remember that there’s no right or wrong choice – it’s all about what feels right for you as a couple. And whether you choose to elope alone or surrounded by friends and family, the day will be one to remember forever.