Elope in Alaska | Your Stellar Alaska Elopement Guide
I can already tell you’re my kinda folks going and googling things like “elope in Alaska.” Hi, I’m Des! An elopement photographer obsessed with Alaska and all it has to offer couples just like you–adventurous, out-of-the-box, and appreciative of the great outdoors. In this guide we’ll discover all you need to know on how to elope in Alaska and having a blast along the way!
When thinking on how to elope in Alaska, it’s much like planning an Alaskan adventure while throwing an elopement ceremony into the mix! That’s what our couples love about eloping–the ease and peace you receive! So let’s hop to where to elope in Alaska and then cover the how of an Alaska elopement!
Where to Elope in Alaska
As elopement photographers, we help eloping couples find the perfect ceremony and adventure locations while they elope to Alaska! Alaska even made our list of the Best Places to Elope in the US, so you already know the locations are balls to the wall! Here are some of the most gorgeous areas for your Alaska elopement!
Elope in Alaska in Denali National Park
You know we had to go for it. As one of Alaska’s top tourist destinations, Denali National Park makes a great elopement location as well with Denali being the highest peak in North America. Don’t let the crowds keep you away; this park is big enough for everyone to have their space. With over 6 million acres, this park has ample hiking elopement trails, drive-up views, and heli-accessible locations for when you elope in Alaska.
Elope in Alaska in Kenai Fjords National Park
The outdoor activities abound when you elope in Alaska, and Kenai Fjords is no exception. Having your Alaska elopement featuring this gorgeous landscape and adding on some adventures like kayaking, mountaineering, or fishing is always a great idea! The only downside is maybe not being able to keep your eyes on your partner the whole day, because you’ll be distracted by the vastness of the fjords. We don’t think that’s a terrible problem to have on your elopement day though. 😉
Elope in Alaska in Glacier Bay National Park
If you’re wanting to elope to Alaska so you can check out glaciers, Glacier Bay National Park would be a great option! The blue hues and reflection on the waters in the park are unmatched anywhere else on the globe (okay, maybe that’s a hyperbole, but you get it… it’s really blue there!). There is nothing like exchanging vows at your Alaska elopement and hearing the sway of millions of years worth of glaciers working their way through the stone.
Elope in Alaska in Katmai National Park
This Alaska elopement location will have you feeling all kinds of peace and seclusion! This national park began as a way to nurture the volcanically disrupted land, and it now houses the United States’ densest population of brown bears. You can only access the park by boat or a small plane, but it will be worth it to elope in Alaska and get to experience wildlife and the peace that comes with that kind of seclusion.
Elope in Alaska at Hatcher Pass
When you picture Alaska, you might be picturing a lot of blue ice. Hatcher Pass is not your typical Alaska view! It is full of lush green foliage, soft rolling hills, and a certain moodiness that rolls in with the fog. Hatcher Pass is also known for abundant wildflowers at the right time of year and would be a perfect Alaska elopement location!
Elope in Alaska in Fairbanks, Alaska
If you’re looking for a “city feel” but also want the possibility of seeing the northern lights, then head to Fairbanks, Alaska while you elope in Alaska! There are mountains within an easy drive (about an hour or so), so you’ll have access to any type of amenities you’d need when you elope in Alaska.
Now that we’ve covered where to elope in Alaska let’s discover how to elope in Alaska!
How to Elope to Alaska
How to Elope in Alaska: Step 1 | Know why you’re choosing Alaska.
Choosing your elopement location should be intentional and well thought out. After all, the hope is to only do this thing once so we want to get it right. Some couples choose to elope in Alaska because of the sheer grandeur of Mother Nature. Some choose to elope in Alaska because it’s a brand new adventure to them! And some choose to elope in Alaska because of Alaska’s glaciers and the chance to see them before their glory withers.
The key is to lean into why you’re choosing Alaska.
Once you’ve determined your why, we’ll best be able to create you Alaska elopement around that answer. It might sound a little woo-woo, but believe me–the best elopement experiences for couples are when their day is fabricated around their inner why.
How to Elope in Alaska: Step 2 | Hire professionals who can guide you in your elopement experience.
You’re probably choosing Alaska (at least in part) because you’re attracted to the gorgeous landscapes and outright wilderness of it all. It is one of the harshest environments in the world, and you’ll need to come equipped for anything during your Alaska elopement.
Now to the eloping part. You’ll need to hire some professionals for that portion too! Finding the right elopement photographer and guide to eloping (ooooo that could be me) is critical when planning your Alaska elopement.
An experienced elopement photographer is well-versed in researching new places, marriage legalities, travel logistics, and any other question or detail that will arise during the planning process.
As elopement photographers who are passionate about Alaska, we advocate for you and this land by following Leave No Trace Principles and educating you on how we can best preserve the land we love so much.
Hiring professionals will ensure your elopement experience is well planned and 100% personalized to you and your relationship!
But let’s keep going to step 3 on how to elope in Alaska!
How to Elope in Alaska: Step 3 | Research the weather and time conditions of the season you’re thinking of eloping to Alaska.
As we mentioned earlier, weather can be an absolute beast in Alaska and very unforgiving. The key is to choose the right time of year for your preferences and tolerances. We wouldn’t recommend any winter elopements as the temperatures are too harsh and the sunlight is essentially nonexistent.
However, a well-timed summer elopement can bring you sunny days and mild temperatures to enjoy your Alaska elopement!
Unless you’re native to Alaska, learning how to elope in Alaska will involve some careful thought and preparation when considering weather and time conditions, and we can’t help to guide you through it!
Lets continue onto step 4 on how to elope in Alaska!
How to Elope in Alaska: Step 4 | Choose your Alaska elopement location.
This might be our favorite part!! (besides the actual eloping, of course!) Alaska will leave you breathless with the amount of options for your elopement location.
You can choose from glaciers, the oceanside, rugged mountains, and high alpine lakes! There’s even more than that to be listed! When you choose to elope in Alaska, you’re choosing a vast wilderness with stunning landscapes at every turn.
You’ll need to consider a few things when choosing your Alaska elopement location:
- How much travel do I want to be involved in my elopement day?
- Do I have any guests I need to accommodate with travel?
- What is my travel budget for within Alaska?
- What is my physical capability?
Some elopement locations within Alaska are as simple as walking out of a parking lot into an array of snow capped peaks and woodland creatures. Other locations may involve chartering a small plane or boat (which we always think is an amazing idea)! It depends fully upon how long you want your day to be and how fast paced!
The truth is any location in Alaska can be slow paced with enough time put into the schedule so you (and any potential guests) can be relaxed and fully present while you elope in Alaska!
How to Elope in Alaska: Step 5 | Take care of legalities.
More good news about your Alaska elopement! The process to marry legally is easy as can be! You’ll simply need to apply for your marriage license in person or by mail to the local division. You can find more info here for your specific Alaska elopement scenario. and hang out in town for the 3 day waiting period. This is a good time to retreat, enjoy Alaska’s beauty, and prepare mentally for your elopement! Plus if your potential guests are coming in later, you’ll have a few days of quality time before your time is partially split.
Alaska requires an officiant and two witnesses. Dan & I are legally ordained and can officiate so your guest (and vendor) count stays down! We are also usually very easily capable of finding witnesses nearby if you don’t happen to bring any guests along.
How to Elope in Alaska: Step 6 | Finalize elopement and travel details.
You’ll need a few things before you set off to your elopement, not the least of which being a preparedness to be fully present on your wedding day! This is easiest when a nifty little elopement checklist has been put into place. We have one over at our planning checklist, How to Elope! Check that out for a checklist of what to think through and bring along for your elopement!
Next, solidify all travel logistics! Unless you’re native to Alaska, the choice to elope to Alaska means you’ll likely by flying for your Alaska elopement. If you’ve chosen one of the more secluded locations up above you’ll need to double check any chartered tour or guide has been booked and confirmed.
Alaska is a wild place, and things can often go awry. That’s why it’s best to be prepared and double check all reserversations when you elope in Alaska. It’s time to double check with your vendors too! If you’ve hired us as elopement photographers, then we’ll be following up with you too and providing you with your personalized gear list, a general packing list, and official travel recommendations to get you most prepared for your time in Alaska for your Alaska elopement.
How to Elope in Alaska: Step 7 | Show up fully prepared and present.
You’ve double checked everything. Arrived in town and applied for your marriage license. And now we wait until your elopement date! The day is coming quickly, so be sure you take this time to invest fully in your relationship. Take in every moments with each other so you can best remember this commitment.
You’re fully present, but let’s not forget how special it is to elope in Alaska. That means we’ll need to abide by Leave No Trace principles as well.
Prepare to elope in Alaska by brushing up on Leave No Trace as well as specifics for your elopement location. Once you’ve prepared yourselves for your elopement, your commitment to each other, and your commitment to steward this land well, we’ll be fully ready for you to elope in Alaska! And we’ll be popping bottles by a glacier soon enough!
We hate to say goodbye so soon though! So feel free to check out some additional resources we have for eloping couples to help you plan and feel peace about your elopement experience.
Now that you’ve got all the steps down pat, let’s talk quick Alaska elopement faq’s!
FAQ’S on How to Elope in Alaska
How much does it cost to elope in Alaska?
The cost may vary wildly depending on how adventurous you’d love your Alaska elopement to be! Eloping with the legalities in tow will cost $60 for your license fee. Photography for your elopement ranges from $10k-$4k depending on who you choose to book with, and miscellaneous vendors such as florals, hair and makeup, and local adventure gear cost $2k-$3k. If you choose to charter a private boat, plane, or helicopter, your costs may increase by as much as $10k for a full day adventure complete with guides.
Who can officiate your wedding while you elope in Alaska?
An ordained religious leader of your choosing may officiate your wedding in Alaska. They must be 18 or older and ordained. In addition to this, Alaska offers anyone the ability to be a “Marriage Commissioner.” They will only need to be older than 18. There are no additional requirements making Alaska one of the easiest places to find an officiant for your elopement. Find more information on that here.
Can you get married without an officiant when you elope in Alaska?
A lot of eloping couples choose to forego an official officiant while adventuring around during their Alaska elopement. You may choose to instead marry in your home state legally before or after your elopement and reserve the commitment ceremony for while you’re hopping around glaciers or kayaking among the fjords.
How much time should I plan for my Alaska elopement?
Couples are most satisfied when they utilize all portions of their day in Alaska! If eloping in the summer an all-day elopement will rack up on time, so we love helping couples adventure at sunrise and have their ceremony, retreat back for a nap in the middle of the day, and come back out for a sunset adventure and more photos. Alternatively, with the right sleeping schedule, couples may choose to have their ceremony at sunset, stay up through the few hours of the night doing something fun like roasting marshmallows or stargazing, and getting back out at sunrise for an awesome adventure. You will want a minimum of 6 hours during your Alaska elopement!
Elope to Alaska: Your Alaska Elopement Packages
As traveling elopement photographers, we (my cutie hubs and I) offer elopement packages anywhere, but we especially love the state of Alaska! Here is our most basic Alaska elopement package that will apply to all of your elope to Alaska dreams!!
includes all Alaska elopement locations requiring basic transportation
6 hours of elopement photography with 2 professional photographers
unlimited planning assistance
personalized full vendor referall list (so you hire folks you can trust)
elopement timeline assistance and drafting
unlimited, online high resolution gallery
ceremony officiant included
permit assistance if applicable
personalized elopement location scouting and referal list
personalized packing list
online, personalized print store for your gallery
all photographer permit and travel fees included
All of this goodness comes to $4000 for your Alaska elopement! This is our basic half day package with two photographers, but we’d love to chat more about what package may be perfect for you!! Contact us, and we’ll start chatting about your Alaska elopement in one of these stellar location! If you’re not quite ready to talk yet, keep scrolling for a few more planning resources!
Additional Resources for Eloping Couples
How to Elope | The ultimate elopement planning checklist, because sometimes we need to be a little type A
How Does an Elopement Ceremony Work | So you can start daydreaming about how to put your day together!
Glacier National Park Elopement | In case you need a guide to elope somewhere mind blowingly “Alaska-esque”