Ultimate Guide for an Alaskan Elopement: An Unforgettable Adventure

Welcome, adventurous souls, to the ultimate guide for an Alaskan elopement! If you’re dreaming of an intimate and breathtaking wedding experience amidst nature’s grandeur, Alaska beckons you with open arms. Picture this: towering mountains, cascading glaciers, pristine lakes, and abundant wildlife, all forming the backdrop for a celebration of love that will leave you with cherished memories for a lifetime.

(And not to mention an absolutely incredible time both prior to and after your actual wedding day!)

Alaska, the Last Frontier, is not only a paradise for thrill-seekers but also a romantic haven for those seeking a unique wedding experience. Whether you’re an avid nature enthusiast or simply looking for a secluded and magical escape, an Alaskan elopement promises to be an unforgettable journey.

In this guide, we will take you through the enchanting wonderland of Alaska, from choosing the perfect location to capturing stunning photographs. Be prepared to immerse yourself in the beauty of the great outdoors, embrace local customs, and create a love story that will resonate for generations to come!



Why Choose Alaska for Your Elopement?

Ah, the rugged allure of Alaska! Why should you consider this breathtaking destination for your elopement? Here’s why:

  1. Spectacular Landscapes: Alaska is a vast canvas painted with majestic mountains, sprawling glaciers, and pristine forests. Nature’s wonders will create a picturesque setting for your special day.
  2. Intimacy and Seclusion: Away from the bustling city life, Alaska offers intimate and secluded spots where you can exchange vows in the company of only your closest loved ones.
  3. Wildlife Encounters: Imagine seals, otters, eagles, whales, and maybe even bears as your wedding guests! Alaska’s wildlife will add a touch of enchantment to your celebration.
  4. Adventure and Romance: Elopements in Alaska are not just about saying “I do.” They are an adventure-filled journey that brings couples closer together. There are tons of tour companies available to choose from for nearly every type of Alaskan adventure that you can think of.
  5. Northern Lights: No guarantees, but if you go late fall through early Spring you have a better chance at seeing this magical phenomenon.


Photo Credit: Unsplash


Preparing for Your Alaskan Elopement

Before you pack your bags and head to the wild frontier, some essential preparations are in order. Let’s get you ready for your extraordinary Alaskan elopement!

Finding the Right Time of Year

  • Alaska’s peak elopement season spans from late spring to early fall (May to September).
  • May and June offer longer daylight hours, giving you more time to explore and celebrate.
  • If you prefer milder weather, consider late August or early September.
  • October-March has a better chance of seeing the northern lights, but obviously expect frigid temperatures.
  • If you do choose to have an Alaskan cruise elopement, you will be confined to the typical cruise season (late Spring through early Fall). Check out my article on that here: How to Plan Your Dream Alaskan Cruise Wedding 
  • Keep in mind that weather in Alaska can be unpredictable, so pack accordingly!


Choosing the Perfect Elopement Location in Alaska

  • Denali National Park: Home to North America’s tallest peak, this park offers stunning vistas, abundant wildlife, and ample opportunities for adventure.
  • Kenai Peninsula: With its rugged coastline, glaciers, and charming fishing towns, the Kenai Peninsula is a romantic paradise.
  • Glacier Bay National Park: Witness the magic of calving glaciers and serene fjords in this World Heritage site.
  • Talkeetna: A quirky town with breathtaking views of Denali, perfect for couples seeking a more laid-back elopement.
  • The Ultimate Guide about Helicopter Elopements in Alaska
  • Ketchikan: A cute & cozy waterfront town that embodies the Alaskan vibe


Permits and Legalities

  • Obtain the necessary permits for your chosen location. Each park or venue might have specific regulations.
  • Check the legal requirements for getting married in Alaska and ensure you have all the necessary documents.


Photography and Videography

  • Hire a professional elopement photographer and videographer who are experienced in capturing the beauty of Alaska’s landscapes, but equally experience with rapidly changing weather patterns in a colder climate. (Hi, that’s me)
  • Plan a pre-elopement photo shoot to get acquainted with your photographer and create some stunning memories – even if that means traveling a bit more and going somewhere else amazing. Yes, it will cost more money, but yes – it will just add to the fun of this memorable time of life.


Dressing for an Alaskan Elopement

  • Layer up! Alaska’s weather can change quickly, so opt for clothing that can be easily adjusted.
  • Embrace cozy and stylish outfits that blend with the natural surroundings.
  • Wear comfortable, full-coverage, boots or shoes meant to fend off water and the natural elements. I love my Merrell hiking boots. I’ve worn them for Icelandic elopements and walked through shallow glacier water and my feet felt warm the entire time. Depending on the time of year, I would also encourage you to wear thermal undergarments as well to keep warm.


Getting There and Getting Around

  • Book your flights well in advance to secure the best deals.
  • Rent a car or consider guided tours for seamless transportation between locations.
  • I encourage you to consider a private chartered plane or helicopter to see the wilderness from the air.



Cruising through the inside passage during an Alaskan cruise wedding

Photo Credit: Unsplash. Let’s replace these photographs with your own Alaskan cruise wedding!


The Big Day: Your Alaskan Elopement

The day has finally arrived, and your Alaskan elopement is about to begin! Here are some tips for making it truly unforgettable.

Embracing Local Traditions

  • Incorporate Native Alaskan traditions into your ceremony to add cultural significance, if appropriate.
  • Consider including a “ring warming” ritual, where your rings are passed among your guests to bless them with good wishes.


Choosing the Perfect Ceremony Spot

  • Scout your chosen location beforehand to find the most picturesque and meaningful spot for your vows – or equally trust a photographer who is capable of doing that research themselves or is already familiar with the area.
  • Consider factors like accessibility, safety, and privacy when picking the perfect spot.


Weather Watch

  • Be prepared for any weather condition, from sunny skies to rain showers or even a light snowfall.
  • Have a backup plan in case the weather takes an unexpected turn.


Adventure Activities

  • Make your elopement a thrilling adventure by adding activities like hiking, kayaking, dogsledding, fishing, hunting, snowmobiling, train-touring, or a scenic helicopter tour.
  • Create memories that go beyond the ceremony itself!


Capturing the Magic: Photography and Videography Tips

Your Alaskan elopement is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and capturing its magic is essential. Here are some tips for stunning photographs and videos:

  • Golden Hour: Embrace the soft, warm glow of the golden hour for your elopement shoot. The light will lend an ethereal quality to your pictures. The same goes for sunrise, but it will be highly dependent on the location. Refer to your professional photographer for this advice for your chosen elopement location.
  • Landscape Focus: Let the vast and breathtaking landscapes take second-center stage in your photos. Obviously you are on the main stage. 🙂
  • Action Shots: Don’t be afraid to capture candid and action shots during your adventure activities. So when your partner is helping you cross some rocks, get out of the helicopter, or change your shoes for portraits from hiking boots to something with a wedge (if desired) – your authentic story becomes part of your gallery of incredible photographs. A truly professional elopement photographer will get both the curated and emotion-filled posed portraits, but also the truly authentic photojournalist moments – and magically make them feel like they are all flowing and connected incredibly well.
  • Drone Photography: Consider hiring a drone photographer for unique aerial shots of your elopement location.
  • Videography: Should budget allow, I highly encourage you to hire a professional elopement videographer as well.



Alaskan elopement guide

Photo Credit: Unsplash


FAQs: Answering Your Curiosities

Q: How much does an Alaskan elopement typically cost?

A: The cost of an Alaskan elopement can vary widely depending on factors such as location, number of guests, and additional activities. On average, couples can expect to spend between $5,000 to $20,000. In short, much less spendy than the typical/traditional wedding.


Q: Are there accommodations available near elopement locations?

A: Yes, Alaska offers a range of accommodations, from cozy cabins to luxurious lodges, near popular elopement spots. Be sure to book in advance, especially during peak seasons.


Q: Can we have a winter elopement in Alaska?

A: Absolutely! Winter elopements in Alaska can be incredibly magical, with snowy landscapes and the chance to witness the Northern Lights.


Q: How do we legally get married in Alaska?

A: To get married in Alaska, you’ll need a valid marriage license, which can be obtained from any Alaska court. Both partners must be present to apply for the license.



Photo Credit: Unsplash. Book me for your own northern lights experience and we will capture our own. 🙂


An Alaskan Elopement Guide Conclusion

Congratulations, adventurers! You have now unlocked the secrets to crafting the ultimate Alaskan elopement. Alaska’s breathtaking landscapes, intimate settings, and abundance of love and adventure await you.

Embrace the spirit of the Last Frontier as you exchange vows amidst nature’s grandeur and create a love story that will stand the test of time. From the moment you say “I do” against the backdrop of glaciers and mountains, your journey as a couple will be forever intertwined with the beauty and wildness of Alaska.

So, what are you waiting for? Let the ultimate guide for an Alaskan elopement take action – and reach out to me to be your elopement photographer. I’d love to be there for you.



Since you are here learning about everything about Alaskan elopements, you might also be interested in these other helpful Alaskan articles on Luma Weddings!