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15 Fun Ways to Include Your Kids in Your Elopement

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couple laying together in grass

Couples with kiddos – this one’s for you! No matter what your family looks like or how old your kids are, did you know that you can elope with your kids?! That’s right – if you want to bring them along and celebrate the big day with them, do itttt. In this blog post, I’m giving you 15 fun ways you can include your kids in your elopement and involve them in the excitement of your big day, both in small & big ways. Your day is all about you & having a great time with the people who mean the most to you!

Can You Elope With Your Kids?

ABSOLUTELY you can!! I always say that your elopement should only involve the people who are closest to you and that would be really meaningful to celebrate with – and if you and/or your partner have kids, they’re probably some of the most special people in your lives. A lot of couples think that eloping means running off in private to elope without anybodyyy (and you can totally do that too), but that’s 100% false. You can do whatever the hell ya wanna do!

couple kissing

Can You Elope Without Your Kids?

Just like you can absolutely elope WITH your kids, you can also absolutely elope WITHOUT them if you want it to be just the two of you! You don’t have to feel guilty if you want to elope without your kids; if it would be most special and relaxing to have some time away from them, getting married in private, then you deserve that. You’ll have plenty more time to spend celebrating with them after the big day!

If you need more convincing that eloping isn’t selfish, and that you don’t need to feel guilty about it, you should check out this blog post: “Is Eloping Selfish?” Hell No – Here’s Why Eloping Isn’t “Wrong!”

couple eloping near lake

15 Ways to Include Your Kids in Your Elopement

Now let’s get into whatcha came here for – 15 fun ways to include your kids in your elopement, no matter how old they are, how many you have, or what you want your elopement to look like!

1. Have a family first look

One of the sweetestttt ways to include your kids in your elopement is to include them in your first look, or have a whole separate first look with them!! You and your partner can do a first look on your own, then do a first look with them, OR have one big first look with your entire family. Have a friend help you stand in a circle with your backs facing each other so you can’t see one another – then all turn around at the same time. This would be SO CUTE and special!

2. Let them help you decorate

If you have younger kids who love to do arts & crafts, how fun would it be to let them help you either a) make your decorations or b) put up your decorations on the big day? You could have a crafts day with them before your elopement where you all create simple decor together (like cute paper chains, chalk signs, origami animals, or literally anything sparkly/glittery). Here are some fun DIY wedding crafts on Pinterest to help you brainstorm!

3. Have them help you pick food, drinks, and/or dessert

Tbh kids love nothing more than FOOD. If you’re down to have some part of your meals/snacks, drinks, or desserts picked out by your kids, then invite them to help you brainstorm or do taste tests with you! Ask what their dream dinner would look like, and you could incorporate some of those elements into your elopement dinner or create a separate meal for any kids at your elopement. Or maybe they have a movie they’re obsessed with, or they love everything Disney-related – you could incorporate what they love into your desserts and have Disney-themed cupcakes, a Frozen-themed cake, etc.

4. Do a unity ceremony with them

Unity ceremonies are symbolic rituals that you include in your elopement ceremony to honor your commitment in a unique way. Doing a unity ceremony with your kids would be such a special way to invite them into your ceremony and to honor the fact that they’re a big part of your commitment! You could do a hand-fasting ceremony between all of you, you could all plant a small tree together, or each pour different-colored sand into a vase to represent combining your families (e.g. if you each have kids separately).

Here’s a blog post with 8 Unique Elopement Ceremony Ideas for Your Special Day if you’re looking for more ceremony ideas!

5. Invite them to walk down the aisle/stand at the altar with you

An easy way to include your kids in your elopement ceremony is to invite them to either walk down the aisle with you or stand at the altar with you – or both. Hold hands with them as you walk down, either separately to follow tradition or all together as a family. They can throw flowers and/or carry your rings, too!

6. Pick a theme that they’ll love

If you want to have a specific theme to your wedding that’s incorporated through your decor, outfits, food, details, etc. . .pick one that your kids will love! Maybe a super colorful, vibrant theme where all your decor is really bright & bubbly, or a Disney or superhero theme where everything feels super magical. The options are endless!

7. Get ready with them in the morning

If you want to make the most of the morning of your elopement, get ready together, with your kids instead of separately! Your time getting ready is one of the most special parts of the day since it’s usually slower, less rushed, and is when you’re feeling all the anticipation + excitement. Helping your kids get ready and having them there with you while you get your elopement attire on would be such a sweet memory to have forever.

8. Include them in your vows

Since your kids are, uh, an important part of your relationship, it would only make sense to include them in your vows! Mention them in your vows about your relationship, or if your partner has their own kids that are now becoming a part of your family, you can even say vows to them – since you’re committing not only to your partner but also to them.

couple looking at vows

9. Have them pick an activity or game to play with guests

If you’re having an afterparty or any sort of evening reception, have your kids pick out some activities or games to include! I’m talkin’ giant jenga, oversized Connect 4, board games, hopscotch, cornhole, hide & seek, you name it. . .any games that your kids would have a blast playing, either while you & your friends celebrate together, OR that you would play with them. Bonus points if there are other kids at your elopement that they could hang + play games with while you have your drinks and mingle with your guests!

10. Make spaces for them to sign your decorative marriage certificate

You know how you’ll sign two marriage certificates – one for legal purposes, and one to frame + put up on your wall at home? On the decorative one, you can add spaces for your kids to sign, too (or just have them sign anywhere on it). And if you have pups, you could even add spots for their paw prints. It’s a family affair after all!

11. Include them in your cake topper

If you’re planning on having a cake topper, you can get one of the toppers that’s a replica of you and your partner – but include your kids in it, too. It would be so cute to have a topper that shows your entire family together, that you could keep even after the big day!

12. Let them choose their own outfits

This one definitely depends on what the vibe of your elopement is like, but if it’s pretty casual and low-key, why not let your kids choose their own outfits (or at least let them have a hand in choosing them)? You could narrow down a few choices and have them pick out of those, or even just ask them what color they’d like to wear, if there aren’t specific colors you want them to coordinate with. Kids love wearing what they want and will probably be much happier that way than if they’re forced to wear something they hate for an entire day!

13. Plan activities that are kid-friendly and safe

This is an obvious one, but make sure that any activities you plan are safe for kids to participate in (unless you’re planning activities that you’ll be doing on your own, without them).

E.g. If you’ll be hiking on your elopement day, either to get to your ceremony spot or just for some adventurous portraits, make sure the trail you pick is kid-friendly!! You probably don’t want to bring your kids along on a multi-mile hike with a high difficulty, unless your kids are seasoned hikers. Avoid picking a trail that has rough terrain, steep cliff sides/edges that could be unsafe, or isn’t stroller-friendly if you’ve got a little one who will be enjoying the hike from a cozy stroller.

If you search for potential trails on a site like AllTrails, you can filter trails by whether they’re kid-friendly or not, which makes it easy to find ones that could be good for your elopement with your kids!

14. Invite other guests with kids

If you want some time alone on your elopement day, you’ll need somebody to watch the kids, or you’ll need more kids there to keep them company! Having other guests there with kids will definitely make it more fun for them because they can all hang out & enjoy themselves while you and the parents do your own thing.

15. Encourage them to say something during your ceremony if they’d like

Finally, if your kids are older, you could invite them to say something during your ceremony IF they’d like – either they could write a letter, or speak from the heart, orrrr they could even be the ones to pronounce you married. Have them as involved as they’re comfortable with to make your ceremony extra special!

BONUS TIP: Celebrate with your kids during the day, then have some alone time in the evening

One last thing: you can 100% only spend PART of your elopement with your kids if you don’t want to spend the entire day with them. You can celebrate with them during the day (e.g. get ready with them and involve them in your ceremony), but then maybe have a family member or a trusted friend take them for the rest of the night so you can have time to spend together, in peace. You deserve it and are absolutely allowed to celebrate in private for part of the day and really have a chance to take it all in!

wedding party holding sparklers

I hope these 15 fun ways to include kids in your elopement help give you some ideas of how you can celebrate your big day with the whole fam!!

If you loved this blog post, I’ve got plentyyyy more filled with all kinds of elopement tips + advice that I know you’ll love too. Check out a few of my favs below!

Adventure Elopement Vendors: Who Should You Hire (& Not Hire)?

Best Hiking Boots for Adventure Elopements in 2023

How to Plan Your Perfect Elopement in 18 Steps

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