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How to Have a Winter Elopement

Winters are so beautiful, but there are some extra things you need to plan so you can stay warm when it is cold outside. Let's break down here how to have your winter elopement!

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A winter elopement is a great way to create an adventure full of meaningful memories and adventures that expresses who you are as a couple. Though some extra planning is necessary to make the most of your adventure, the stirring experience of pristine snowscapes or a cozy cabin with your favorite person in the world make it all worthwhile. I’m here, not only to capture your special day, but to also be a guide to your own unique experience. Maybe you already have an idea what you would like your winter wedding to be like, but if not, here’s a few tips and ideas for your winter elopement. 

Winter Wedding and Elopement Ideas

Feeling adventurous? Great! From skiing or snowboarding to backcountry snowshoeing and camping, winter is one of the best times for an adventurous elopement, and I’m here to help you plan and capture your one-of-a-kind day. But if these seem a little daunting to you, fear not! There are plenty of other options available. Maybe a couple of small hikes, a miniature road trip, or even just hanging out by a fire in a cabin is more your style. If so, I’m here for it! Whatever adventure you choose, I’ll do my best to make this the most special day of your life.

Adventurous Winter Elopement Ideas

What is the best way to enjoy your winter elopement? For those of us with an itch for adventure, the day of our wedding is a great time to enjoy the company of your best friend while enjoying some of your favorite activities. Skiing or snowboarding at your favorite resort is such a memorable occasion, making for some wild pictures and fun memories. Or, if you would prefer something more intimate, hiking, snowshoeing, or cross-country skiing in the backcountry is another great option. Even a winter camping trip isn’t out of the picture for those seeking an experience that is really out there! 

Winter Elopement Ideas for the Less Adventurous

But maybe you’re not up to any of those activities, or maybe would just prefer something more tranquil and quiet. Perhaps a mini road trip to a few gorgeous locations is more your speed. Just don’t forget the snacks! A private cabin, lodge, or AirBnB is also a fantastic option if you desire an undisturbed day spent sitting by a fire and relaxing with one another. You could even hire a private chef for some awesome food cooked just for you. 

How to Dress for a Winter Elopement

Dressing for a winter elopement is one of the more challenging aspects of a winter wedding. The key to dressing for a winter elopement is dressing in layers, both with base layers under your suit or dress (skin colored leggings under the dress look the best), and with a dress coat, sweater, or jacket that you feel good about being photographed in. Thick wool socks, warm winter boots and microspikes, and gloves or mittens are also a great idea. You may not love the way it may look, but your fingers and toes will thank you! 

Winter Wedding Dresses

Picking the perfect dress for your winter elopement will ensure that you not only look beautiful, but are also comfortable and warm. Dresses made of heavier materials will generally be warmer than other lighter materials. Another good option to look into when selecting a dress is long sleeves. Other options like shawls, wraps, faux fur, or even capes can be worn over your dress to help keep you warm and add some excitement to your photos. 

One last detail to consider when selecting a dress for your winter elopement is the color of your dress. Of course there is nothing wrong with the classic white wedding dress, but a more colorful dress can really pop against a winter backdrop and the photos will be eye-catching! If you want to look for a more colorful wedding dress, be sure to look at dress companies bridesmaid dress options. 

Traveling During Winter

When winter comes, there is always a risk of travel delays, canceled flights, icy roads, and other hazards and unexpected events. When planning a winter elopement, it’s best if you are staying in the area for awhile because then you can have a little more flexibility if the weather is severe. 

If you are traveling or flying somewhere for your elopement, be sure to leave a few days in advance in case of icy roads, snow storms, or cancelled or delayed flights. 

If you are traveling by car, be sure to know the roads and be aware of traction laws. Look up local road reports and pay attention to forecasts. With some traction laws, you may be required to carry chains with you in your car or have approved snow tires. Most winter elopement locations are not going to require anything like a 4WD car or high clearance, so as long as you have good tires and traction devices (if needed) you’ll be good to go! 

If you are travelling by plane, be sure to leave a few days prior to your elopement in case of weather delays. If you need to rent a car, check with the rental car company to see if there are traction laws, see if the cars have snow tires or include chains, or get a car that has all wheel or 4-wheel drive. And if you do have chains for your car, be sure you know how to put them on and use them. 

When traveling by car in the winter, also be sure to not drive around with a partially empty gas tank and keep food, clothes, and other emergency supplies in your car. You can expect the best but be sure to be prepared for the worst! 

Winter Elopement Packages

Hiring me as your elopement photographer isn’t just about some epic pictures. I’m here to be your wedding tour guide, helping with locations, vendors, tips and tricks for your desired activities, and a personalized timeline for your wedding day, all to make your elopement as stress free as possible. My packages cover a full day so your wedding day is captured from start to finish without any rush.

I have many different packages available, from an engagement or just a few adventurous photos, to an elopement anywhere in the world. Yes, really, anywhere! With most packages, you’ll get location scouting, vendor recommendations, a personal elopement timeline, and plenty of tips for your unique elopement. Afterwards you’ll be able to view an online gallery and shop and your own customized wedding album. For those who want to capture the moment they pop the question or for a simple couple’s session, I offer a package for anywhere in Idaho, Oregon, Washington, or Utah. This also includes location scouting, tips and tricks for your session, and an online gallery + shop. Whatever you decide, I really can’t wait to work with you and unleash your elopement!

Elopement Planning Checklist for a Winter Wedding

This checklist isn’t a comprehensive list of everything you should bring when planning a winter elopement, but it’ll help get you started! 

● Suit/dress 

● Heavier jacket you’re ok with getting photographed in 

● Shawl or fur wrap 

● Base layers such as long johns, undershirts, and leggings 

● Warm socks (the best are wool) 

● Gloves or mittens 

● Hand, foot, and body warmers 

● Insulated winter boots 

● Microspikes or other traction devices 

● Touch-up for makeup and hair 

● Thermos with warm food or drinks to help you warm up 

● Backpack for extra layers, mirror and makeup, snacks, ect. 

● Trekking poles 

● Activity specific items such as skis, snowshoes, goggles, or other gear 

I hope that this short guide answered a few initial questions you had and got you excited to have a winter elopement! If you have any questions or are otherwise interested in having a winter elopement, please reach out to me. I would love to help create your dream wedding and capture your adventure!

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Ready to elope?

As a fellow adventurer, I live for creating and capturing epic elopements for wild couples like you. Eloping is special, personalized, and raw. If you are considering eloping – get a hold of me below!

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