A Sunrise to Sunset Elopement in Glacier National Park
I’ve known Taylor since I was 7 years old… and never in the 20-something years that I’ve known here did I ever think I would be blessed with the opportunity to (a) be her wedding photographer, and (b) be the one and only witness for her elopement in Glacier National Park.
It was actually me who approached Taylor and Nevin about photographing their wedding day… I was just starting up my elopement photography business and they were planning for an intimate wedding in Portland, Oregon. Thankfully, they didn’t resist my request and were so happy they had a photographer they could trust fully for their wedding!
However, 2020 brought one disaster after the next, and Taylor and Nevin ended up deciding to reroute their intimate wedding plans for an adventurous elopement in the mountains. We spent some time together talking about all of their options including downsizing and postponing… but once I mentioned a spontaneous elopement for just the two of them, their eyes filled with excitement and I could instantly tell there was no turning back.
For the next couple months, I helped them craft an itinerary that focused on experience and intentionality – turning their wedding from a party for others to one of the greatest adventures of their life.
Once we decided on an adventurous elopement for these two, the next step was figuring our where. I think this is where a lot of couples looking to elope get stuck… unlike a conventional wedding where you just look at venues near home, eloping gives you the opportunity to get married almost anywhere in the world, and this level of freedom can be both liberating and overwhelming.
Before landing on Glacier National Park, I interviewed Taylor and Nevin a little bit to get a better understanding of (a) their favorite places they’ve ever been, and (b) their top bucket list locations. Eventually, we landed on Banff National Park, but with the Canadian borders being closed we decided on the next best thing – Glacier National Park in the Montana Rocky Mountains.
Glacier had everything these two were looking for… comfortable accommodations, accessible hikes for a sunrise elopement, pristine blue waters, enormous mountain peaks… truly a nirvana for the romantic adventurers.
Not only did these two opt for a sunrise elopement, but they also decided to head back out for sunset for even more photos.
After waking up at 3am for their elopement ceremony, Taylor and Nevin knew they would want to retreat back to their accommodation at The Glacier Guides Lodge for a nap and a good meal out, so we were sure to find a ceremony location that was super accessible to a parking lot so we weren’t spending all day hiking in and out.
Unfortunately, with accessibility often comes popularity and traffic, we had to be super intentional about the time of day we spent at their chosen location. We arrived well before sunrise when the water was still and there was literally nobody else around for hours, and found ourselves a quiet little corner by the water that we trusted people wouldn’t be visiting until at least mid-morning.
Then, after a restful afternoon, we headed back out for a lake-side picnic and to watch the sun set over the mountains beside Lake McDonald – the perfect way to close out their wedding day.
Did this story inspire your own Glacier National Park elopement? Be sure to check out this guide where I’ll walk you through things like best time of year, airports to fly into, places to stay, elopement vendors near the park – everything you could need to start your planning for an elopement in Glacier National Park!
Other stories on the journal
Once we decided on an adventurous elopement for these two, the next step was figuring our where, and Glacier National Park had everything these two were looking for… comfortable accommodations, accessible hikes for a sunrise elopement, pristine blue waters, enormous mountain peaks… truly a nirvana for the romantic adventurers.
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