Glacier National Park is a gorgeous location to elope. You seriously can’t beat the views for stunning elopement photos. Before I show you the gorgeous Glacier National Park elopement of Kasandra + Keaton, let’s chat how to elope in Glacier National Park.
Glacier National Park is the ideal place to elope with just the two of you. But most ceremony locations will allow up to 15 guests (including you and all your vendors). I would recommend eloping in Glacier National Park if you want an intimate ceremony with just the two of you or up to 10 guests. Don’t think you could cut your guest list down? I would recommend having your ceremony at an airbnb and then adventuring into Glacier National Park for photos and alone time. (That’s what this couple did for their Glacier National Park elopement!)
The best time to elope in Glacier Nation Park is normally June or September. The crowds around this time are normally on the lower end so you can explore and be completely vulnerable with your partner without 25 strangers watching. That being said, the most popular to elope in Glacier National Park is the summer. In the summer, you’ll find way more gorgeous wildflowers to frolic in and you’ll have access to the most possible trails. If you don’t mind the crowds then the summer is your prime time for gorgeous views. That being said, a sunrise elopement is always an option to decrease the crowds while still capturing that golden sunlight with the stunning wildflowers.
Glacier National Park has over a million acres. So it can seem a little overwhelming trying to figure out exactly where to elope in Glacier National Park. There are 6 locations that are pretty widely recommended: Lake McDonald, Logan Pass, Two Medicine, Many Glacier, Polebridge, and Big Bend. The pictures from this elopement were at Lake McDonald and Big Bend. These are the main spots for portraits that is super mountainous!
If you’re coming from out of state, you’ll definitely want to obtain a Montana wedding license when you arrive. You can get it anywhere in Montana, where you fly into, where you’re staying, or where you’re eloping, doesn’t matter as long as it’s in Montana. Google the county that city is in followed by “[County] clerk office marriage license”. That should point you in the direction to find exactly what you need for that county clerk’s office. As of July 2022, licenses are $53 and you have 180 days to mail it back to the county you got the license from. Your license will be valid to get married throughout Montana, not just the county you got it in. If you need any help with it at all, I am happy to help all of my clients with their marriage licenses no matter where they are getting married!
Permit regulations are always changing but as of July 2022 here’s the current information. During peak months, many national parks require an entry permit regardless of the reason you’re visiting. I’ll help you work through all of these details with knowing what permits are needed! In general, if you are planning to elope in the park (exchange vows and legally get married in the park), you will need a Special Use Permit (SUP). If you simply want portraits in the park a permit isn’t needed. I, of course, help with getting all of the up to date information and that help is always included in my elopement services!
Glacier National Park is bear country, so keep this in mind and be prepared just incase. Also dogs are only allowed in developed areas. They aren’t allowed on the trails at all, even with a leash.
I wasn’t originally supposed to be Kasandra + Keaton’s photographer. Their original photographer had to back out close to their date, so we had a limited amount of time to plan their Montana elopement. Kasandra said it was truly a “God thing”. It could not have felt more like we were meant to cross paths. These two are SO loving, friendly, hard-working, and intentional.
Their day was truly perfect despite some speed bumps in our plans. The weather didn’t cooperate with our plan, and we couldn’t hike to the original location, but Kasandra + Keaton trusted me and had the most carefree attitudes. All that mattered to them was being married and having beautiful photos to remember all of the moments with their favorite people. We were able to do just that!
For their ceremony, they rented an Airbnb cabin, but for their portraits, we went out into Glacier National Park and took some dreamy photos. When it comes to elopements and trusting the weather, having backup locations is a necessity. This proved to be very helpful on their elopement day when the weather kept changing throughout the day. It POURED during and after their ceremony and was drizzling the entire time we were in the park. Kasandra + Keaton couldn’t have cared less that we didn’t get to do their original hike because absolutely nothing was stopping their happiness that day. We got so soaked that Kasandra’s dress was even dripping water!
Kasandra + Keaton did exactly what they wanted to to elope in Glacier National Park. Nothing more, nothing less. They played rock paper scissors to see who went first with vows, popped some champagne, cut a cake, and had toasts before adventuring out into Glacier National Park. I personally love when couples feel free to do what makes their hearts beat the hardest on their elopement or wedding day. It’s your day! All that matters are all of the things that make you feel the most alive together.
The most special and memorable moment of their Montana elopement was the dime that appeared on the front step of the cabin before the ceremony. It had just started raining during their first look, and on my way into their Airbnb, I saw a dime on the step. It was on heads, so clearly good luck! I felt something within me telling me not to pick it up, so I asked Kasandra if she wanted some good luck for the day. She teared up immediately, and said: “He’s here.”
Kasandra’s dad passed away years ago. Over the years, every time he shows her he’s with her he leaves a dime for her. Dimes have been found in passenger seats, in the bottom of a bag, on the step, and more. It’s always been in pivotal moments for Kasandra too. Once she saw the dime, she was even more ready to start the ceremony to officially marry Keaton.
Now that you are a little teary-eyed, let’s see these two elope in Glacier National Park!
Photography + Planning: Claire Hunt Photography
Venue: Airbnb and Glacier National Park
Kasandra’s Dress: Weddings by Design Des Moines, Essence of Australia
Keaton’s Suit: Express
Florist: Mums Flowers Montana