Glacier National Park

Elope in

You're Considering an Elopement in Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park is one of the most beautiful places in the world, and I mean that from the depths of my soul. I do about 90% of my annual work in the park, and it has quickly become like a second home to me.

As someone who is super familiar with all the popular spots, and a handful of the secret ones I'm gonna give you the run down. So, grab a drink, grab a snack, and let's talk about the wonder that is Glacier Country!

No matter what you are looking for, you are sure to find it when you Elope in Glacier National Park. rivers, lakes, mountains and more can all be found in this jam packed park.

To Elope in Glacier National PArk

What's it like

If you dream about your elopement day and it sounds like this, Glacier might be your jackpot. So, close your eyes and let me take you on a walk through this perfect day.

You wake up to the sound of birds chirping and the river flowing just beyond your campsite. You look over to your hubby (or wifey) as they too take in the first lights of morning filtering through the tent and trees. You guys shuffle out of bed to find your photographer setting up the kettle over an open fire. Breakfast is already made and plated for you. You all enjoy a tasty breakfast before gearing up for your morning hike.

The trail is a fun and playful trek through the woods opening up to the most epic glacier lake you've ever seen, and though you almost died on the way up, you are both so happy you did it. The hem of your dress is tattered and dirty, but an absolutely beautiful reflection of the amazing trip you are starting together. You hike back down and make your way back to camp where an afternoon picnic has been prepared for you.

After eating, you and your partner get to take a walk down to the river for your ceremony, and you exchange your vows on the bank of a roaring river gorge. You are both so present in the ceremony with each other and with God. You end your ceremony by washing each other's feet in the river as Jesus washed the feet of his disciples.

You end the absolutely perfect day with moonlit photos beneath the Milky Way, and if you're lucky you get a glimpse of the northern lights.

Why people choose to elope in Glacier National Park

Choosing where you will elope is a big deal, and it's often a very emotional and always personal choice. Still, I have found a handful of the top reasons couples choose to elope in Glacier National Park.

  • The Views- Duh! GNP is so well known for its amazing scenery, and I was not surprised at all to see that lots of couples choosing this location do so for the views alone!

  • The Adventure- GNP is home to some of the greatest hikes, and they are top contenders in the hiking community. With a range of super daring hikes to fully accessible strolling there is something for everyone. You might even see a grizzly, and who doesn't want to see a bear on their wedding day!?

  • The Culture - Montana is one of the best last good places, and Montnanans pride themselves on that. There's this warm and cozy atmosphere all year long and a welcoming vibe. The people are full of life and adventurous, just like you!

  • The Photographer - Lot's of couples fall in love with their dream photographer and hire them long before choosing an elopement location. Sometimes booking close to where the photographer is based saves you a little money, and that happens to be the case for me! Booking me for a GNP elopement will save you.


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Montana Moods

When to elope in Glacier National PArk

Like I said before the weather in Montana is a little moody, and she can change on a dime. It'll be sunny one minute, and next thing you know it's 30 degrees and snowing!

There are a few patterns we can chat about though and some general seasonal categories. Let's do that!

Summer

Jul-sep

Summers in Montana are otherworldly. The days are long and warm and so colorful! The wildflowers cover the fields and the sun stays up till after 10pm leaving you with 16+ hours to adventure and explore in the daylight!

Think lush green trees, rainbow wildflowers, and crystal blue lakes and rivers!

fall

oct-nov

Fall is a short season in Montana, and while the days grow shorter and the sun sets a little earlier each night, the colors are truly magnificent. You can expect a bit of rain this time of year, and foggy mornings!

Think all the PNW vibes you can handle. It feels very much like "Twilight" if you know you know.

Winter

dec-mar

Oh, the winters in Montana. While they are beautiful, they are brutal. Early snow can come as early as September and as late as July. Eloping in the winter in MT is not for the weary, but the brave. 

Think snow capped mountains, droopy snow covered pines, and a blanket of sparkly white fluff.

Spring

Apr-Jun

The days are stretching out again and the snow is melting but this is one of the least predictable times in Montana and can be very hard to plan ahead for. Snow or rain, one may never know. 

Think, wet. Still a little chilly, and maybe even snowy. But, it can still be really pretty if you don't mind carrying an umbrella for back-up.

Frequently asked questions about eloping in Glacier National Park

How do you plan an elopement in GNP?

There is so much that goes into planning an elopement in Glacier National Park, but lucky for you, you have me! 

I offer all of my clients an extensive elopement guide for GNP and I walk you through the whole process from permits, to hikes & locations, to the timeline for your perfect day. I also have a blog post dedicated to answering this question more in depth.

The first step, and possibly the most important, is finding the right person to work with. As a local who spends lots of time in the park both for work and play, I have a deep knowledge of all things GNP, and am dedicated to helping you create and live the elopement of your wildest dreams!

Q:

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How much does it cost to elope in glacier national park?

This is a loaded question. Technically to get married in Glacier National Park you'll need a Montana marriage license and that costs $53, and then you'll just need the marriage permit for the park, and that costs $125. 

The real answer I think your looking for is an average cost of the whole thing right? The average elopement in GNP has a lot of factors at play, however the average is 16k. The good news is there are tons of people who elope with a much higher budget, as well as a much lower one. On the real, I think most of my couples spend an average somewhere between 10-15k, and that includes attire, food, travel, photography, and even lodging. 

Obviously the cost of your elopement will depend on the vendors you choose and what activities you want to explore. For more cost info and breakdowns you can fine them in this blog post.

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Who should you invite to your elopement?

Whoever the heck you want!

And not whoever you don't.

Eloping is such a personal choice and knowing how to navigate who to tell and invite really needs to be something you and your future husband or wife agree on. It's not about getting married in some secret ceremony and there are lots of ways to include your family should you want to. I also have lots of ideas on how to honor your family if you choose to do the "Just us two" kind of thing!

It's about having the day you want and deserve with the people that you choose to be there.
Find more info in this post about "Who to Invite".

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How do you get your permits?

Every location is different, but you can count on me to do all the footwork for you. In fact, I will personally send you an email with the application links once we choose your location and get to that part of the planning process. This is one of those things you get to totally cross off your list because I will walk you through each step.

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What should we pack for our elopement?

Of course your excited to get all the things in the bags, but Montana weather can be kind of crazy! Make sure you check with your photographer (if that's me you have a whole packing section in your guide)and know what the weather will be like the time of year your having your elopement. 

Aside from that the weather changes a lot and rather quickly, especially in the mountains so I always encourage people to pack layers. A breathable base layer, a warmer middle layer, and either a rain coat or winter coat depending on time of year. 

Of course when you will be in the wilderness there are a few things you want to remember that often are forgotten such as:
  • sunscreen
  • bug spray
  • bear spray
  • extra socks
  • hiking shoes
  • headlamps or flashlights

For more on "How to Pack For Your Elopement" check out the blog, and get your FREE "Packing List"

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Elope in Glacier NAtional Park

My favorite spots to

Lake McDonald

Lake McDonald is a well known crowd favorite in the park. It's beautiful and so accessible it makes a great location for elopements with more than just a couple guests. This location doesn't require any hiking to get too, and still offers mountain and lakeside views. 

The sunsets here are unreal and almost give you that blown away beachy vibe, but with mountains, and rocks rather than sand. 

It's truly a special little spot, and great for larger groups.

Sun Point

Sun Point has got to be one of my personal favorites for so many reasons. This spot is over on the east side of the park and is shaped by a wall of surrounding mountains. The views are stunning. This spot seems to be less populated than many of the others too.

Again the sunsets in this location are epic and jaw dropping.

This spot is accessible as well and is just a short five minute hike from the parking lot and picnic area.

MAXIMUM GUEST COUNT MAY-OCT.: 15
MAX VEHICLES ALLOWED MAY-OCT.: 5
MAXIMUM GUEST COUNT OCT.-MAY.: 30
MAXIMUM VEHICLES ALLOWED OCT.-MAY.: 10

RESTRICTED ITEMS: TABLES, DECOR, MORE THAN 4 CHAIRS, FOOD, BEVERAGES

ADDITIONAL IMPORTANT INFO: LIMIT OF 2 PERMITS HERE PER DAY; PERMIT MONITOR REQUIRED FOR GROUPS OF 20+

MAXIMUM GUEST COUNT MAY-OCT.: 12
MAX VEHICLES ALLOWED MAY-OCT.: 5
MAXIMUM GUEST COUNT OCT.-MAY.: NOT AVAILABLE DURING THESE MONTHS
MAXIMUM VEHICLES ALLOWED OCT.-MAY.: NOT AVAILABLE DURING THESE MONTHS

RESTRICTED ITEMS: TABLES, CHAIRS, DECOR, FOOD, BEVERAGES

ADDITIONAL IMPORTANT INFO: LIMIT OF 2 PERMITS PER DAY; PICNIC TABLES/AREAS ARE FIRST-COME, FIRST-SERVE

Disclaimer: Not all of the images are of the location specified. For actual pictures of each location click the location name and it will derect you to the google link for that spot!

Avalanche Lake

Avalanche Lake is one of the most amazing spots in the park and can be accessed through the Trail of Cedars trail head. It is a 7mi round trip hike and (for my chunky self) was a moderate hike, though for someone more fit would be a breeze. 

This hike is better in the morning and you will want to leave lots of time for meandering and stopping for images.

The Trail of Cedars is a very accessible hike, however the Avalanche Trail is a bit more strenuous.

MAXIMUM GUEST COUNT MAY-OCT.: 12
MAX VEHICLES ALLOWED MAY-OCT.: 5
MAXIMUM GUEST COUNT OCT.-MAY.: NOT AVAILABLE DURING THESE MONTHS
MAXIMUM VEHICLES ALLOWED OCT.-MAY.: NOT AVAILABLE DURING THESE MONTHS

RESTRICTED ITEMS: TABLES, CHAIRS, DECOR, FOOD, BEVERAGES

ADDITIONAL IMPORTANT INFO: LIMIT OF 2 PERMITS PER DAY; PICNIC TABLES/AREAS ARE FIRST-COME, FIRST-SERVE

These three locations may be my favorites, but they are far from the only ones you can say your "I do's" at in the park. For a full list of locations in the park and more detailed info of each one check out the blog post "Elopement Locations in Glacier NAtional Park"

Ready to start planning your Glacier NAtional PArk Elopement?

You are so close to living your best day ever!

Let's plan your dream elopement

Wherever you are in the process of planning your elopement, I want to be there to guide you! Planning your best day ever does not have to be scary or stressful, and I will be there through the whole process!

For more tips and information on Glacier National Park check out the blog!

For more Elopement Planning Resources you can find those on the blog too!