Eloping With Kids: Including Children in Your Elopement Celebration

Posted On | May 16, 2024

So, you’re planning your elopement and considering including your kids in the celebration? That’s awesome! As elopement photographers, we’ve seen firsthand the joy and magic children bring to these intimate wedding days.

First, choosing to include kids in your elopement day is very personal. There is no right or wrong answer. Some couples can’t imagine getting married without their children by their side. Others see their wedding day as an opportunity to focus on themselves and leave the kids behind. Either option is totally ok!

If you’re on the fence, here are opinions from real couples who decided between including their kids in their elopement or not.

Why Include Kids in Your Elopement Day?

It’s an honor to see their parent commit themselves to marriage:

There’s something truly special about witnessing your parents exchange vows and commit to spending their lives together. By including your kids in your elopement, you’re giving them the opportunity to be part of this moment and to see firsthand the love and dedication between their parents.

Nature builds confidence and fosters creativity in kids:

Eloping in nature provides the perfect backdrop for your ceremony and allows your kids to explore and connect with the natural world. Research shows that spending time outdoors can boost children’s confidence, creativity, and overall well-being, making it an ideal setting for your elopement.

Emotional Support:

If your kids are older, having them present can provide emotional support as you embark on this new chapter.


Including children in your elopement acknowledges the importance of family in your lives and reinforces the bond between you and your children. It sends a powerful message that your love extends to every member of your blended family.

Educational Opportunity:

Being in nature provides an opportunity for children to learn about the environment and appreciate its beauty and importance. Use your elopement day as a chance to teach your kids about the wonders of the natural world and instill in them a sense of respect and stewardship for the earth.


Let’s face it—finding childcare can be challenging, especially for couples who don’t have a close relationship with their family. Including your kids in the celebration eliminates the need for additional arrangements and ensures that everyone can be together on your special day.

How to Include Kids When You Elope

Have Them Sign Your Marriage License

Have your kids witness and even sign the marriage license, making them official participants in your union.

Write Separate Vows To Them

Writing vows to your kids is a powerful way to reaffirm your commitment to them and to celebrate the unique bond you share as a family. Take a moment before, during, or after the ceremony to express your love and promises to your children.

Have A First Look

Share a special first-look moment with your kids before the ceremony begins.

Get Ready Together:

Involve your kids in getting ready for the elopement by helping them choose their outfit, putting on their tie, or doing their hair.

Facetime or Video Chat With Your Kid

If you have children who can’t be there in person, include them via video chat so they can still be part of the celebration.

Do An Activity Together

Turn your elopement day into a family adventure by including an activity you can all do together, like hiking, picnicking, or ice skating.

Share A Special Dance

If you like the tradition of special dances, have a dance with your kids during the reception, choosing a song that holds special meaning for your family.

Participate In The Ceremony

Whether it’s a reading, pronouncing you married, or being a ring bearer or flower girl, find a role for your kids in the ceremony that feels right for your family. You can also plant a family tree, light a candle, or perform a sand ceremony together to symbolize your unity as a blended family.

Gift Them a Keepsake:

Present your kids with a special keepsake to commemorate the day, such as a piece of jewelry or a personalized item they can cherish.

Our Favorite Elopements With Kids

Tips for Eloping With Your Kids

Communicate Clearly

Talk to your children about the elopement plans and involve them in decision-making when possible.

Build In Extra Time

Kids have a way of making everything take a little longer, so be sure to build in extra time for getting ready and traveling to your elopement location.

Be Flexible

Be prepared for unexpected emotions or reactions from your children on the elopement day. Stay flexible and adaptable, and be ready to adjust plans or expectations as needed.

Release The Pressure For Them To Smile Endlessly

Kids will be kids, and that’s okay! Embrace the pouts and the silly faces—they’re all part of the joy of including your kids in your elopement.

Split Up The Day

If your children are younger, you may want to consider breaking up the day into smaller, manageable chunks to keep kids engaged and entertained. They also may need to take a mid-day nap to celebrate with you later on!

Capture the Moment

Hire a photographer who excels at capturing candid moments so you can cherish the memories of your kids being kids on your elopement day.

Give Yourselves Your Own Time and Space

Find moments throughout the day to steal away with your partner and savor the magic of your elopement together. Just because you want your kids present on your wedding day doesn’t mean you have to spend every minute with them. Plan time into your timeline for just you and your boo.

Make Sure They’re Prepared

Pack snacks, extra clothes, and any other essentials your kids might need for the day. If you’re going to be outside, make sure kids are prepared with good footwear and layers to keep them comfortable.

Designate Someone To Be In Charge of The Kids

Designate a trusted friend or family member to help wrangle the kids and keep things running smoothly on the day of the elopement.

Educate Them on LNT:

Teach your kids about Leave No Trace principles so they can help minimize their impact on the environment during your elopement adventure.

Including your kids in your elopement is a beautiful way to celebrate your love and your blended family. With a little planning and creativity, you can create a day that’s truly magical for everyone involved.

If you’re considering including your kids in your elopement and want some guidance or inspiration, we’re here to help! Reach out to us, and let’s start planning the perfect celebration for your unique family.

Are You Freakin’ REady?

We’re 100% here for whatever day you’re dreaming up. Fill out our contact form to start chatting.

Are You Freakin’ REady?

We’re 100% here for whatever day you’re dreaming up. Fill out our contact form to start chatting.

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