How to Elope Without Hurting Anyone’s Feelings

a bride's guide on

Once my couples choose to go the elopement route, this is one of the first questions that they ask! 

Questions of how many and who immediately arise if you’re not aiming for a completely solo elopement.

Here are my best tips on how to narrow down your elopement guest list even if that number ends up being zero.

I get asked this question all the time.

How do you know who to invite to your elopement?

How to narrow down 
Your Elopement guest list

How to narrow down your elopement guest list

Short list


photos & video

tip 1

tip 2

tip 3

remember this

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It’s possible to find a blend between inviting your nearest and dearest and getting the privacy you desire. If you have a big family and some would be hurt if they weren’t invited, then it’s probably best to invite no one in order to avoid this drama. Otherwise, if it’s possible to invite only the people who are super close to you who you really want there, then do it! 

The goal is to not offend those you don’t invite and ensure that those you do are also not bitter that you’re eloping. I’ve witnessed parents that have attended but hated the fact that the couple was eloping and just added a bad attitude to the day. This is not fun!

You want your day to be drama-free and only have people there who are excited to celebrate with you. If it becomes too complicated and people start getting offended then consider eloping just the two of you or even just you and your dogs.

I’ve also had couples invite only their best friends so it was just the maid of honor and best man. This can be fun, casual, and super flexible. An added bonus is there’s no drama, which is a big portion of the reason why you are looking to elope in the first place! 

it's your day

Your drama-free day

Stick with a short list

Communicate Clearly With Everyone

No matter who you invite and the complications that may follow, you need to have a short and straightforward answer for why you two have chosen to elope. Share this explanation with friends and family and then leave it at that.

You can’t control how people will react, but you can beat them to the punch by providing a simple explanation for your choice to elope. Eloping is obviously the best choice. You just need to tell them that!

"Hey, why are you guys eloping?"

sample answers:

"we are so excited to celebrate our marriage in a way that is special, memorable, and exactly what we wanted!"

"We wanted to build memories and look back on our wedding day with no regrets!"

"we didn't have the time, resources, or mental energy to plan a big wedding. Eloping was our best bet to make our day one we will love!"

your best choice

take photos and video

Of course it’s important to capture your beautiful wedding day moments with photos, but I would also recommend hiring a videographer to document the day. Having your elopement both recorded and documented with a photographer and a videographer is crucial especially to show to everyone later!

Making use of both photos and video can also be a great way to include those who were unable to attend. 

let me plan your elopement!

Since you won’t have very many people there, your documentation is important - and you want to make sure you choose a photographer and videographer who fits well with who you are as a couple and what your dreams are. Bonus points if they know the area well too!

You also want someone who isn’t going to control your day, but rather, help your plans and dreams for what you want this day to look like come to life. 

My goal as a photographer for most elopement days is to capture the couple as they are - 100% them, in their element, loving each other naturally. 

Strictly documenting the important moments as they happen, and also helping them plan out their day so it’s exactly what they want!


let me plan your elopement!

Remember Whose Day It Is

I do not recommend burning bridges and I always endorse showing the utmost respect to your family and friends when it comes to planning your elopement. But, at the end of the day, you need to remember that this is no one else’s day but your own.

It’s OK to do exactly what the two of you want even if those close to you do not prefer it. It’s your elopement day. 

make it meaningful to you!

let me help plan your elopement!

still unsure who to invite?

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not only am I a photographer, but i'm also an elopement planner!

don’t just take
my word for it



Marlee A.

"We loved everything about Dani! Dani is beyond talented. Her attention to detail is amazing. Her use of lighting is timeless and her attitude is full of energy. Our friends and family keep speaking about how stunning the photos are from the big day. We loved Dani’s use of non posed photos. They came out more authetic and genuine and we couldn’t be more happier. Everything about these photos speaks fairytale dream come true. Thank you so much."

Rebekah H.

"Dani is such a people person, I had no hesitation in booking her because she has such a gracious presence about her on all platforms. She does such a good job at giving you direction but not making you feel forced or awkward about it. She's genuinely there to be a friend, she was so kind to both me and my husband and I may be a little bit biased but honestly I don't think I would ever book another photographer besides her if I needed photos taken."

Bryanna C.

"Dani was more than we expected! She was so happy and very calm on our wedding day. Her passion for photography did not go unnoticed! She even came to the rehearsal to scope it out and stayed longer than she was supposed to take pictures. She got me a few pictures by the next morning which made me even more excited to see all our photos. She was always on time and took all the photos that I wanted to be taken. I highly recommend Dani and will definitely use her in the future!"