If the idea of a big, traditional wedding doesn’t excite you. And if you’re drawn towards the more intimate ceremony against a backdrop of wilderness, then you’re in the right place! Welcome to the complete guide to planning your Alaska Elopement. In this guide, I’ve put together some amazing locations where some of my clients have decided to say “I do” along with all the fun details on how to elope in Alaska! Buckle up and get ready to dive into this complete blog that will 100% get you ready to decide if eloping in Alaska is the right move for you and your partner! And, I am being a little biased, because I really hope that you say yes to eloping here 😉
So, you want an Alaska Elopement, YAY!!! – Now What?
First step: think about what you want for your day and how you envision it going!
A huge plus to this process is that eloping in Alaska can be super cost effective!! Which means all your magical dreams can come true. You can have an elopement that is simple with a heartwarming ceremony with an officiant and a few witnesses (and of course me – your photographer) can make it super duper affordable. And, there are ways to make it more extravagant! Think: adventures, lush florals, larger ceremony and a reception nearby to party it up with your guests, a cozy place to stay, and a multi-day adventure. When I am helping my couples decide what is best for them, I always tell them to focus more about the overall experience that you are going to have and what is going to light your soul on fricking fire!
Second step: Focus on YOU!!
My rule of thumb is to ensure that you are happy and ready to have the best time ever!! And, do whatever the heck you want! Because that’s just how it should be! In the end, it’s all about figuring out what’s important to you and making the things that will make you happy looking back on your elopement for years to come a priority. Remember, this day is all about you two, so make sure it tells your unique love story and will feel good for an eternity!! If you are struggling with figuring out what to make a priority during your elopement then, don’t worry, I have all of it covered! I will guide you in the right direction based on what you and your partner love and cherish doing together.
Third step: Figure out all the details!!!
The best time to elope here, where you want to say your I Do’s at, figuring out what you want to do during your elopement and of course what you want to wear!! Which, I go over in detail below! Keep scrolling to hear my thoughts on eloping in Alaska and get all my insight!
Best Time to Elope in Alaska
Winter (December/February): Winter in Alaska is cold, with temperatures often dropping below 0°F, especially in the northern and interior parts. If you’re planning a winter elopement, be prepared for short days and snowy conditions. However, the snow-covered landscapes can be incredibly beautiful, and you might even get to see the Northern Lights!!
Spring (March/May): Spring temperatures can vary, from 30°F in March to up to 60°F in May. This season brings longer days and the melting of winter snow, leading to the beautiful bloom of wildflowers! It’s also a great time to witness wildlife as animals emerge from their winter hibernation.
Summer (June/August): Summer is the Most popular time to elope in Alaska! with temperatures ranging from 60°F to 80°F. The days are the longest during this season, with up to 19 hours of daylight in some areas! This is a great time for outdoor activities.
Fall (September/November): Fall brings cooler temperatures, ranging from 30°F to 50°F, and the changing colors of the leaves create such a stunning backdrop for your elopement!! This season also offers a chance to see the Northern Lights but be prepared for unpredictable weather and shorter days.
Best Locations for Your Alaska Elopement
I have SO many different options on locations of where you can say your I Do’s at in Alaska! But, here are my top 4 spots that I think can help you narrow it down! You seriously cannot go wrong with choosing any one of these places. As you are deciding your location, keep in mind what you want to have your elopement feel like, what you want included in it and what is going to be the most important to you and your partner. If these still don’t feel like the best option for you and your partner, please don’t hesitate to reach out and I can provide you with even more places that could be even better for you!! Ok, let’s get to it!!
Anchorage, the biggest city in Alaska, is where city life and wild nature collide! With room for about 200 guests, the city’s beautiful parks and stunning gardens are easy to get to and perfect for both big and intimate celebrations. Eloping in this busy city can generally cost you between $1,500 and $2,500 when you are considering having an officiant, florals and license! Some stunning pictures of Jessie & Mason that I captured in Anchorage.
The Whittier/Exit Glacier area is like a dream, with some of the most jaw-dropping glacial landscapes you’ll ever see! With room for about 50 guests, this spot is perfect for intimate weddings or elopements that want peace and quiet. Eloping here could generally cost between $2,000 and $4,000 with the adventures you want to have here, florals for you and your partner, and an officiant. Just a heads up! getting to this beautiful place might involve a hike or even a boat ride. Some images of amazing couples I’ve had the pleasure to shoot here!
Hatcher Pass / Matanuska Valley
If you’re dreaming of a mountaintop elopement with panoramic views, then Hatcher Pass and the Matanuska Valley are your spots for your Alaska elopement!! It has room for about 30 guests, these places are perfect for small, intimate ceremonies. Eloping here could generally cost between $1,500 and $2,500 if you are looking for an adventure with just you, your partner and your officiant. And also keep in mind that getting to some places might involve a short but beautiful hike!! But, so worth it, because the views are incredible!
Talkeetna, with its adorable small-town vibes and amazing views of Denali, is a hidden gem!! Perfect for small to medium-sized parties, it can accommodate up to 50 guests. The cost can generally vary from $1,500 to $2,500 with a florist, officiant and any other fun elements that you want to add to the elopement. This dreamy spot is easy to get to, with a bunch of stunning places within a short drive from the town center. I promise that you won’t regret deciding to elope here!
Wondering What To Do During Your Stay?!
I got you!! These are just a couple of things you can consider after your elopement/wedding day or add to your itinerary when visiting this amazing state!! Remember that you can do whatever the heck you want and have your day be surrounded around what you and your partner LOVE! Don’t worry about what others think and that will help you create an elopement experience that is so aligned and will make you feel like you had the best day EVER!
- Go on a glacier hike or ice-climbing adventure!
- Explore Alaska’s national parks, such as Denali, Kenai Fjords, or Glacier Bay.
- Relax in a cozy cabin with a hot tub, sipping champagne under the Northern Lights!!
- Go fishing in the world-famous Alaskan rivers or sea waters.
- Visit the charming coastal towns of Seward and Homer.
- Enjoy a romantic cruise around the stunning Kenai Fjords or Prince William Sound!!
What To Wear For Your Alaska Elopement
If you have never been to Alaska then you are going to want to listen up!! Because, this is one of the most important parts of the day! Your attire! Fortunately, your attire can make or break your elopement and so when you are completely prepared then you’ll be as happy as can be! Alaska’s temperatures fluctuate a lot and it could end up being really color or really warm during the middle of your elopement. So, here’s what I would recommend: dress comfortably for adventure, have layers on and wear the proper shoes.
If you want to climb mountainsides or adventure in the waterfalls, then a super tight dress is not going to be the best option. For adventures, I would recommend wearing a dress that you can move around freely in. Think: long, flowing dresses that can be moved around easily if you need walk around often. In addition to what you are wearing, I would completely nix the high heels and bring comfortable shoes like boots or tennis shoes. I promise you will not want to walk around and adventure in high heels!! But, I totally understand if you want a few photos in high heels or your fancy shoes, so, my recommendation is to bring them with you in a bag and you can do a couple snaps with you in them. Total win win situation! And, another tip, BRING LAYERS!! That way if it gets hot you will be able to take your layers off or if it suddenly gets cold you have a way to warm up easily!
Chelsa Paulk | Alaska Elopement & Wedding Photographer
Are you ready have an Alaska elopement?! As a photographer, I’ve had the incredible honor of being a part of numerous weddings and elopements in this STUNNING state, capturing precious moments of love amidst Alaska’s beautiful landscapes. So, if you’re ready to ditch the traditional wedding and elope in Alaska, let’s chat. Head to my contact page so we can talk about the idea you have for such a special day and how we can make it as magical as it deserves to be! Your dream Alaskan elopement is waiting for you, and I CAN’T WAIT to help you capture every moment of it!!