Alright y’all! Now that I’m a mom of 2, I figured it was finally time to publish a blog post about how to elope with KIDS! I’ve heard couples ask before if they “can bring their kids to their elopement,” and the answer is always YES, of course you can!! Your elopement is all about what is most meaningful to you & your partner, and if either of you have kids, or you have kids together, they’re probably some of the most meaningful guests you could invite to your big day.
So I wanted to give you 15 meaningful 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!
First off, it would be so fun and adorable to have your kids help you create decorations for your elopement, especially if they’re younger!
If you’re having a simple ceremony and want just a few pieces of minimalist decor, you could decorate your arbor/arch with crafts your kids have done, or little flowers/hearts that they cut out & pasted together.
If your ceremony involves guests sitting in chairs, you could have your kids write name cards for each guest – or do the same for your evening celebration if you’re having a dinner/cocktail hour assigned seating.
You could also have your kids decorate signs for your elopement, like a welcome sign, a sign for your ceremony with your names & the date of your elopement, or a “just eloped” sign to hold in photos!!
If your kids are old enough to talk, and if they’re comfortable with it, invite them to say something during your ceremony. Maybe you want to have them stand next to you while you say your vows, and then have them say how excited they are or why this day is special to them. They can speak from the heart, or write something down beforehand if they’re able to, and then read it aloud during your ceremony. You could even have them pronounce you married at the end of it!
We all know that most kids loooove picking out their own outfits/accessories, so how fun would it be to collaborate with them on choosing their outfits? Maybe you and your partner can choose the color scheme or narrow it down to maybe 2-3 options, and then have your kids pick out what they want to wear + what they feel best in, rather than you picking for them. They’ll be excited that they got to make their own independent decision and will make sure they feel like their best selves (just like you two will) on the big day!
Back to the classics – if you want to have a flower child or ring bearer and you have kids who you want to fill those roles/who would be comfortable taking on those positions, do it! Have them throw the flowers down the aisle at the start of the ceremony, bring the rings to you at the altar, or some variation of the traditional flower child/ring bearer roles.
Extra fun idea – If you have a dog that you’re going to be including in the ceremony, you could strap the rings to the dog to come down the aisle with, and have your kids walk alongside them!
If you have smaller children and you’re having an adventure elopement where you’ll have to hike to your ceremony location, make sure you don’t pick a hike that’s going to be difficult for them to participate in. Keep it to a shorter walk, or a quick hike that isn’t crazy steep or dangerous to make sure that everyone is safe & comfortable.
If you do want to go on a bigger hike for your elopement, maybe the two of you could find a hike to do at sunset for portraits of just the two of you while the kids are back with your fam. Or have a private vow exchange at the end of the hike you choose, before having a ceremony with your kids + guests back down near the trailhead/at a separate location!
If you’re having any kind of evening celebration or intimate reception, you can also just have your ceremony completely in private and meet back up with your kids + guests at your Airbnb or wherever you’re having your reception. Enjoy the night and celebrate, and that way, you get the best of both worlds – time alone and time with everyone you love!
Kids LOVE their food, snacks, & sugar – so include them in deciding what snacks or desserts you’re going to have at your elopement!! Maybe they’re obsessed with fruit right now, so you have your baker make a fruit cake just for them. Or maybe they love love everything Disney related (and so do you), so you have a Disney-themed snack table, cake, or cupcakes! Kids are sooo easy to please when it comes to snack foods, so ask them what they want, or even get their help making DIY cupcakes or cookies to eat on the big day. Charcuterie boards are a super fun option if you want to have your snacks all presented in an adorable way – you could have a s’mores board, a cookie board, a fruit board, a meat/crackers/cheese board, etc. The world is your oyster!
For more ideas on how to make the food on your elopement day EXTRA delicious, check out these 10 Unique Meal Ideas for Your Elopement Dinner!
If you have a favorite place to go for family vacations, or even somewhere you’ve always WANTED to visit as a family, have your elopement there! Maybe that’s Disney World, a certain National Park, or even a scenic spot just an hour away from your hometown.
If you want to keep your elopement extra special and intimate, you can absolutely hold it in your home, or in your backyard! Set up a simple ceremony and reception space inside and/or outside of your house, and celebrate this huge family milestone together in the place you call home.
You’ve heard of first looks with parents & a first look between partners – but what about a family first look?! Once the two of you have seen each other, you can do a first look with your kids, where they see you for the first time in your elopement attire. Or, do an all-around first look, where you and your partner haven’t seen each other yet and your kids haven’t seen you in your attire, yet, either!
If you’re doing any sort of unity ceremony, maybe handfasting, pouring colored sand into a jar, planting a tree, etc. – have your kids participate in it with you!
When it comes to writing your vows, you can include mentions of your kids in your own vows to your partner, OR you can write separate vows TO your kids for a super meaningful moment during your ceremony. You can also write vows to your partner’s kids if you’re bringing two families together!
What’s more fun than walking down the aisle to the altar with your kiddos? Have them hold your hands as you walk down together as a family, or as you each walk down individually!
I know that traditionally, couples get ready apart, but you can ABSOLUTELY get ready together – and get ready with your kids. Imagine how special it would be to get ready for your elopement day with everyone you love the most, and helping each other get your elopement attire + accessories on. That definitely would be a moment you’d never forget.
When you have your officiant print out a copy of your marriage certificate that you’ll frame & keep for yourselves, have them add spaces for your kids to sign!!
And finally, come up with a fun way to walk BACK down the aisle with your kids after your first kiss – maybe you can all throw flower petals, blow bubbles, or just dance down the aisle to your favorite song as a family.
It would be SO sweet to have first dances with you and your kids to their favorite songs, or even a first dance as a family together!
There you have it – my favorite 15 (well, 16) ways to involve your kids in your elopement! I hope these give you some fun, meaningful ideas on how you can celebrate this huge, exciting day with the people you love the most, in whatever way makes sense to your unique family & story. They’re going to have SO much fun celebrating you!!
Want some more unique ideas to make your elopement extra special? Check out my guide to 10 Unique Elopement Ideas to Make Your Big Day Feel Like You!