You’re eloping! How rad! We are so excited for you, and we are so stoked that you found your way to this resource on how to elope in Alaska. This guide will dive into epic locations, activities, legal aspects, and other fun tips to plan an awesome Alaskan elopement. Let’s go!
Let’s be real, the breathtaking beauty of Alaska really speaks for itself. Incredible, massive, snow covered peaks, lush greenery, rocky cliffs, and icy-blue glaciers all sound like an elopement dream! Picture yourself adventuring in a helicopter on your elopement day flying over mountains as far as the eye can see. You and your loved one get dropped on a secluded glacier that’s like nothing you’ve seen before. You marry the love of your life surrounded by beautiful, snowy landscapes. After your elopement, you go dog sledding, soak in some hot springs, or watch the grizzlies catch salmon! At the end of the day, you snuggle up in your private cabin and watch the Northern Lights. What. A. Dream.
Alaska has beauty to offer for everyone. Whether you are interested in a long hike or an adventure that lands you far away from the nearest person, or you want an easy stroll, you can still find an epic place to elope in Alaska. The ammenities are unmatched, and the experience you create is definitely one to last a lifetime.
Alaska is huge and is covered with beauty and wildlife. We recommend planning some extra time after your elopement to really soak in all that the state has to offer. The variation of terrain is unmatched which makes Alaska easily one of our top recommended elopement destinations, along with Iceland, Colorado, California, and Washington. If you’re down for a full send adventure, Alaska is for you.
Because Alaska is so big, it’s a good idea to dive in to a longer elopement adventure. Some of the best locations are remote and take some work to get to. Also, the wildlife is so incredible, and you might want to spend more time gazing at their beauty. Spending extra time all adds to the memories that you make in your day. Trust us, it’s worth it!
A few aspects that make Alaska one of the best elopement destinations:
Our all inclusive elopement packages have everything covered, including adventure activities, accommodations before and after your day, gourmet meals and so much more. Check out the details, and let’s have an epic day!
Denali National Park is home to the United States’ tallest mountain. This park is full of gorgeous mountain views, hiking, and glaciers! There are even luxury accommodations in the middle of Denali that are totally private and only accessible by helicopter. This is one of the many reasons why Denali is so popular as a destination to elope in Alaska. The views will make your jaw hit the floor, and your elopement would provide an awesome opportunity to take in glacial landscapes and towering mountain peaks.
Eloping in Denali requires a $200 special use permit. There are two separate applications depending on the size of your group, and permits must be applied for 10 days in advance.
Hatcher Pass is one of the most popular elopement destinations for Alaska, and for good reason. This stunning mountain pass has epic views that are both accessible, and views that you can work for. The area is abundant with gorgeous peaks, wildflower fields, and lakes. Hatcher pass is also great for hiking, biking, skiing, and snowboarding. There are cabin rentals on the pass so you can really submerge yourself in the location for your adventure elopement, and there are areas that are accessible enough that your family can come along!
If you’re at the starting point for how to elope in Alaska, Hatcher Pass is definitly a destination to be considered. You can check out more info on AllTrails here. Certain areas of Alaska that are located in an Alaskan state park require a special use permit or a commercial use permit. This is all dependent on location and group size.
The Kenai Peninsula is a large area near Anchorage. This vast, expansive wilderness also contains Kenai Fjords National Park (more on that below). This area is perfect for those who want to combine their love of the ocean with their love of mountains. The area is abundant with rugged mountain peaks, but is also a prime location for whale watching, fishing, kaying through fjords to glaciers.
This area is abundant with cute towns and accessible, gorgeous views. You can plan a sturdy adventure, or you can plan a calmer day. Our favorite locations within the Kenai Peninsula are Homer, Seward, Kachemak Bay, and Cooper’s Landing. Some areas do require a permit, especailly within Kenai Fjords National Park.
Portage Pass is a 4.4 mile trail located in Whittier, just above the Kenai Peninsula. This stunning hike offers beautiful views of mountains, Portage Lake, and Portage Glacier. This area is popular both for tourists and as a destination to elope in Alaska, so there is a chance you will be sharing it with other nature lovers. We recommend eloping here on a weekday.
Portage Pass Trail has a steep incline both ways, but the views of the glacier are stunning and worth it!
When it comes to how to elope in Alaska, Matanuska Glacier is easily one of our favorite location options. The glacier is listed as “gigantic” on Travel Alaska’s website, and that is spot on. The glacier has a nearly spike-like quality that extends high up, much like a mountain peak. This is the largest glacier in the US that you can drive to, and you can even take a guided tour of the glacier year round. You can also access the glacier via self-guided tour, but the prefessional tour is worth it (and supports the local economy). This is also a fun area for camping!
One of the coolest things about this area is that you can also explore ice caves and canyons! Imagine being underneath a giant ceiling of blue, glacier ice! This is an awesome way to add some fun to your adventure elopement.
This is a gorgeous area located closer to the Canadian border in comparison to the other destinations on this list. This is a national park, America’s largest at that, and goes from sea level all the way to 18,008 ft in elevation. For reference, this expansive park is the size of Yellowstone, Yosemite, and Switzerland combined! This incredibly beautiful national park contains some seriously diverse wilderness, with some of North America’s largest volcanos and the greatest concentration of glaciers all in one national park! Wow!!
This park is the epitome of an adventure playground. The area is so mountainous that road access into the park is limited, and the popular choice is to get dropped in via helicopter. Talk about an elopement adventure full of awesome experiences and memories! This is a great elopement destination to have a secluded, epically beautiful adventure elopement.
These destinations are all located along the end of the Cook Inlet. Anchorage contains a major airport, which makes all of these areas easier to access from the lower 48 states. These towns all have something special to offer, including accessible views, incredible hiking, abundant glaciers, and outdoor activities like hiking, kayaking, paragliding, dog sledding, and so much more!
These destinations are perfect if you want to see beautiul peaks, rocky terrain, lush forests, cascading waterfalls, and icy glaciers. Even though the area is relatively accessible, you can still find your own remote, secluded area to spend your day.
This destination is located within the Kenai Peninsula, but is so spectacular that it needed its’ own section! Here you will find epic glaciers, vast mountain peaks, lush forests, and abundant wildlife. You can see bears, mountain goat, otters, sea lions, orcas, humpback whales, and so much more all while adventuring this national park. The glaciers are truly stunning, and the activities to add to your adventure are endless. Kenai Fjords should be a top choice when debating how to elope in Alaska because the beauty is truly unforgetable.
This national park requires that their special use permit applications be submitted two weeks in advance of your big day.
One reason people choose to elope is because they want something simple. The chaos, stress, and amount of work a wedding takes just doesn’t appeal to them. We get it. Sometimes permits, licenses, and the legal side of eloping can start to feel a little complicated. Take a deep breath. We are here to guide you every step of the way when you elope in Alaska and help you make sure you have all of your ducks in a row!
Not only do you need one, you should want one. Permits were created to help control traffic and abuse against the wilderness around us. They exist to protect the land we are using. As an advocate for the environment and choosing to leave the spaces better than we find them, I fully understand that securing a permit is doing my part to help take care of the land. We expect our eloping couples to want to take care of the land too. You want the mountains and nature to stay beautiful and cared for so you can continue to visit your elopement location years and years later!
Permits do not give you exclusive use to a space. They exist to regulate the space, but typically not to reserve it for only you. However, we have never had other hikers or visitors show disrespect towards our couples when they are getting married. Typically, the cost of permits goes directly to the preservation, protection, and growth of public lands. It might be an extra step, but you can feel good about your purchase.
Not all locations require permits, but most national parks or public areas do. We can make sure that you have all of your ducks in a row with permits. Some are very easy to get, and some require you to plan ahead. The cost of most permits is dependent on location, typically $50-$300.
If you want to do your own research, some good words to google are “special use permit” “commercial use permit” “elopement permit” or “wedding permit” + the location that you want to elope in. You will find accurate information on national park, national forest, or ranger district websites.
Have more questions? Our client guide and planning process is structured to answer all of your questions when it come to how to elope in Alaska.
You can not legally get married without a marriage license, but you can still have a commitment ceremony or a symbolic ceremony. These ceremonies are very real and still unify you as a couple, even if you can’t file taxes together.
Alaska has a three business day waiting period that begins when a marriage application is received. You then have three months to seal the deal before your license expires. Your license will cost $60, and you can mail or fax in your application form. For your ceremony, you are required to have one officiant and one witness.
Absolutely! In some cases, like international elopements, this is what we recommend!
You might even already be married by the time you decide to plan your elopement. Couples make this choice for a variety of reasons, like tax or health purposes, military reasons, immigration, you name it. Your day is still epically special even if you are already married.
Again, the day you get married is spiritual, emotional, mental, and heart guided. It is so much more than when you sign a piece of paper. If the legal aspect is getting in the way of having the elopement of your dreams, sign the documents at home. Your vows will still hold all of the weight.
If you’re not sure what is the best fit for you, we can help you walk through your options. Sometimes legally getting married during your elopement makes sense and adds to the fun. If you feel like it’s taking away from the fun, then don’t let that into your day. You can sign the papers anytime.
When we say, “expect the unexpected”, this is what we mean. Of course, no one can predict every lightning strike, flash flood, or moose charge. However, we do everything we can to take preventative safety measures. For example, we will check the weather far away from canyon locations because it does NOT need to be raining where you are (or currently raining) for a flash flood to happen. Watershed from 50 miles away can create flash flood conditions.
We also will do everything we can to stay below treeline during a storm, and we know the best measures to take if you are about to be struck by lightning. We are educated in wildlife safety to minimize the risk of being hurt by local wildlife.
This only scratches the surface of wilderness safety and first aid, and this isn’t meant to scare you. It’s to let you know that dangers of the wilderness are very real, and you might encounter these adventures during your day. It’s also to let you know that your safety is important to us, and we will stay educated to keep you in good hands. Some things are out of our control. This is a calculated and accepted risk. Don’t let it keep you from the beauty of the backcountry.
Yes, really! Altitude sickness is no joke, and I can tell you from first hand experience that it is miserable. Preventing altitude sickness is a “better safe than sorry” scenario. You would much rather do too much than not do enough and be sick your entire elopement day.
To prevent altitude sickness, we recommend:
Though unlikely, this is a very real possibility. While chances are low that you will actually get struck by lightning, there are inherent risks with outdoor adventures. It’s much more common to experience a sprained ankle, sunburn, or something that involves a quick and easy recovery. We will do everything we can to prepare for and mitigate any risks. Things still happen, and it’s all part of the accepted adventure.
For insurance purposes, we require that you follow all rules for any activities that we participate in. For example, if we rent a canoe, your lifejacket will be required.
If you do get injured, we are first aid certified and will take care of you to the best of our abilities, or call on experienced medical personnel to step in. We care about all of our clients and will keep you in good hands.
This is another opportunity for me to say that what happens and what’s included when you elope in Alaska is up to you. If you want to do your own hair, skip the cake, and say your vows in the cabin back yard, cool. If you want all of the works to take your day up a notch, cool. Your day is immensely special no matter what you do, and we are here to help all of the moving parts come to life.
Your elopement is just as important and deserves just as much thought, care, attention, hype, and everything in between as a traditional wedding day. Instead of going all out on party favors and a venue, you are intentionally going all out on activities that are in line with you and your love story. So, yes, it’s totally okay to make your elopement big and full of fun. This is a chance for you to create a day full of things that you and your partner love.
There are a lot of activities that go hand in hand with adventure elopements, but there are a few that are next level. If you really want to take full advantage of the experience when you elope in Alaska, here are a few places to start:
We will help you coordinate activities, vendors, and anything else you need to have an epic day. We have great recommendations for our clients to keep their day sustainable, to support local, and we have options to accommodate disabilities. The outdoors are for everyone, and we are stoked to help make them accessible.
Want to kick your feet up and just show up to an awesome day? We’ve got you covered. We offer all-inclusive package that cover every vendor you might need, adventure activities like helicopter rides or a sailboat excursion, and even a massage in the morning. Our all-inclusive packages also take care of luxury accommodations the night before and after your elopement. We will have a few questionnaires for you to fill out so we can lock in your vibe, and then you really get to just show up and have an awesome day!
Alaska is a bit of a beast. No matter what season you pick, you should be prepared for unexpected weather and have backup plans in place.
May is one of the best months to elope in Alaska (along with September). This is right before the summer crowds hit, but the weather will still be enjoyable. Spring is also when many of the wildlife make their spring migrations!
Summer is an awesome time to elope in Alaska and will give you a chance to take full advantage of the season of the midnight sun. In the summer, southern Alaska sees 19 hours of daylight with the sun setting after 11 PM! This will give you the ability to celebrate all day long with an awesome adventure.
The fall colors in Alaska are absolutely stunning. The weather can get unpredictable in the fall with higher chances for rain, but the scenery is worth it! September is one of the best months to elope in Alaska for jaw-dropping scenery.
The snow is absolutely beautiful in the winter in Alaska. If you want a dreamy wintery elopement, this is the time! Keep in mind that daylight is only about 4-5 hours long in the winter, so you might want to create a multiday adventure.
This is another area where you really get to pick your own adventure. Alaska has really unique accommodations that allow you to submerge yourself in the experience of the environment. Depending on what your dream elopement looks like, you could spend the surrounding days sleeping in:
That list only scratches the surface! Depending on where you decide to elope, we are happy to give you suggestions on great places to stay to really make your elopement memorable.
You are already on the right track to an epic day by deciding to elope in Alaska. This wild, stunning, incredible destination will give you an adventure to remember no matter what you have planned. Like most of our elopements, our biggest tip is to GO WITH THE FLOW and have a backup plan. Alaska’s weather can be unforgiving and unpredictable. This might mean that you need to hold off for a day or two because of a blizzard or some dumping rain. This all contributes to the story that is your love journey, and will still make your day memorable.
To stay prepared, we recommend bringing sunscreen (even in the winter), investing in a really good rain jacket, and bringing bug spray! Make sure you have warm enough gear to stay outdoors in the elements, and take the time to create a plan B. When all of that is taken care of, have an AWESOME time at your Alaskan destination elopement!
We would love to go on an adventure with you! Michael and I are a traveling adventure elopement photo, video, + planning team. We chase loving souls and deep emotion, and we go wherever the wind takes us. Check out our blogs below for recent work, or reach out to plan your epic day. We can’t wait to get you in front of our lens!
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