Hi! I'm Natasha! Your intimate wedding and elopement photographer, dog petter and donut eater. While photography is my first love, connecting with people is my love language. You'll find me lovin' on the big moments, the quiet moments, the silly moments – but especially the in between moments. The moments that are unadulterated and unfiltered. The ones where you are the real you. Here on the blog you'll find all of my favorite tips, tricks and resources for planning a wedding that's all about those moments.
INTIMATE WEDDING +
Part of the beauty of eloping instead of a traditional wedding is that you have the ultimate flexibility to customize your day to include whatever you want it to! Since elopements can have up to 25 people, you can involved your loved ones in your day as much or as little as you want.
So let's talk about a few of the different ways for how to include your loved ones in your elopement!
INVITE THEM ALONG
The simplest and most common way to include your loved ones in your ceremony is...well, to invite them along! Whether you're hiking into the forest or having a backyard shindig, inviting a small group of guests along is the easiest way to involve your VIPs. Your ceremony can be as involved or as simple as you'd like, and typically elopements can include up to 25 guests so the world is your oyster!
HAVE A ZOOM CALL
Having a Zoom call with your loved ones is always a sweet touch if you want to involve guests that aren't present with you on wedding day. You can Zoom your ceremony itself, or have a beautiful check in moment before or after to make your friends and family feel the love. This way you can keep things short and sweet, and still see everyone who's close to your heart on your wedding day!
PLAN A GROUP ACTIVITY
Another way to get your VIPs involved in your wedding festivities is to plan a group activity! And the possibilities are endless! Here's a few examples:
- Plan a game night for the night before or night of your wedding day
- Go on a group hike
- Have a group picnic
- Charter a boat
- Have a beach or lake day
- Limbo? lol
- Rent kayaks and paddle on a beautiful lake
INCLUDE THEM IN YOUR CEREMONY
Planning an activity or meaningful gesture for your guests to be involved in during your ceremony is another great way to get your friends and family involved in your elopement in a way that's special to you. Here's a couple different ideas:
- Pass your wedding bands around to each guest and ask them to infuse all of their good wishes and love into rings. Each guest gets to touch your rings and give you a special nod of support as you place the rings on each others fingers.
- Structure your ceremony with some call and response. You can have your officiant include some words like "do you, as their loved ones, promise to be their support structure till death do you part?"
"do you promise to give them a shoulder to lean on?"
"do you promise to help their love for the rest of your days?"
- If you're having a small group of guests, have each guest do a reading or say some words of love and support.
- Ask them to perform! If you have someone close to you that's musically inclined, you can invite them to perform a song.
- Ask them to be a ring bearer or ring guard. Ring duties aren't just for children. Even if you don't have a Person of Honor (Maid of Honor, Man of Honor, Best Man, Best Woman, etc.) asking someone special to be a ring guard is always a special touch.
- Have them witness your marriage license signing! In Washington state you'll need two witnesses to sign your marriage license, so this is a great opportunity to get two special individuals involved.
- Ask them to help perform a ritual! If you're performing a ceremony that involves different cultural elements, have a loved one help out! Tea ceremonies, glass breaking, paebaek ceremonies, are all a great way to get another individual involved.
HAVE AN INTIMATE DINNER
Many of the couples I work with are torn between having guests at their ceremony or just having an intimate ceremony with the two of them. But if you want the best of both worlds, having an intimate dinner with your guests is a win win! You can still have a romantic ceremony with just you and your officiant, but celebrate with your loved ones later on. It's a wonderful way to honor your relationship, your desire to have a romantic ceremony without any pressure and still get to party it up!
WRITE A HEARTFELT LETTER
Simple and always meaningful, writing a letter to the ones you love is always a gesture that helps the tears start flowing. It can be tough to sum up your emotions into a few words, and taking the time to write a heartfelt note speaks volumes. Think of all the times that you got a simple handwritten thank you note in the mail and how much it made you smile? Now think about that feeling but if you made it even more special by making it a part of your wedding day. Are you sold yet?
SEND THEM YOUR ELOPEMENT SNEAK PEEK PHOTOS
Lastly, if you had an intimate elopement without any guests (or with a small group of guests), you can help your friends and family feel the love by sharing your sneak peek photos right after your wedding! Within a week I send out a sneak peek gallery to all of my couples so they can relive the day and share their photos with all of their favorite people to make them feel like they were right there with them.
These are just a few tips for getting your favorite people involved in your elopement, but the possibilities are truly endless! Having a wedding day that's unique to you and includes exactly what YOU want is the most important part of planning any wedding. So plan your day to include what feels right to you and your partner and not just what the industry tells you is right.