Elopement Photo Ideas for Glacier National Park + Beyond!


Elopement Photo Ideas for Glacier National Park + Beyond!

So you’ve chosen to elope in the Crown of the Continent?!  In the treasure state of Montana?  And you need some juicy elopement photo ideas?  As Kalispell Montana photographers we come stocked with elopement photo ideas to personalize your day so your elopement photo ideas come to life, but we thought we’d share some elopement photo ideas that have inspired our couples in the past!!  We’ll start with a few elopement photo idea tips and then get down to the business of our favorite 13 elopement photo ideas specific to Glacier National Park!

Related: Eloping in Montana | The Ultimate How-to and Location Guide

3 Tips to getting the best elopement photos!


Elopement Photo Tip 1: Choosing the right location for your elopement photos

When brainstorming elopement photo ideas specific to Glacier National Park, it’s easy to run wild dreaming of those landscapes and all those dreamy photos.  However, it’s best right off the bat to think through your priorities.  Glacier offers a ton of different landscapes for your elopement, but you’ll likely need to think through what we call the “Glacier National Park Wedding Pick Two Triangle.”  Below you’ll find our pick two triangle to help you prioritize the scenes for your day.  Often couples find they can only have 2 of the 3!  For example–accessible locations may either be private or scenic.  Usually they are not all 3.  And you can choose any combination of the two!  Often guests are the top factor to consider when needing to decide how accessible your location should be.  Next is your physical capabilities.  From another angle–privacy may be of huge importance when considering your elopement photo ideas.  A private, yet scenic location is often not accessible easily… It may require some sweat.  🙂  Likewise, a private and accessible location may not have those massive views you’re thinking of when you think Glacier National Park.  Have no fear though–we’ve got locations and timeline ideas to help you access all 3 location features!!

Related: Glacier National Park Wedding Ceremony Locations so you can see what some of our favorite locations feature!

glacier national park ceremony location

Elopement Photo Tip 2: Choosing the amount of time needed for your elopement photos

I’m not just saying this as a photographer–great photos (nay, great art!) takes time!  Our couples will tell you the same!  These stunning photos require adequate time to bounce from location to location, time to think creatively, and time for you to get comfortable in front of the camera!  Lighting is a huge factor when thinking through elopement photo ideas specific to Glacier National Park so time is of the essence!  The worst thing in the world is feeling rushed on your wedding day and not getting that quality time to snuggle in and live out your best elopement photo ideas!!  Most of our solo couples book either full days with us, and most of our couples with guests choose a 2 day experience!  This leaves room for a relaxed wedding experience and stellar elopement photos full of creativity and fun!


Elopement Photo Tip 3: Coming prepared with gorgeous, yet functional attire

When considering elopement photo ideas, you may already have your attire picked out!!  Or …you may be in need of help!!  Our biggest tip for getting the best elopement photos is to choose attire that is reflective of your style and 1000% functional.  This may mean opting for a looser fitting attire if you’re hiking, or it may mean choosing hiking boots instead of heels and loafers so you can have firm footing next to your waterfall of choice!  We’ve got some fun elopement photo ideas related to your attire below, so we’ll keep this tip short!!  Now… onto the good stuff: our top 15 elopement photo ideas for Glacier National Park!

Elopement Photo Idea: Hike to Avalanche Lake after your ceremony!

We know when you come along to Glacier National Park you’re likely thinking of hiking Avalanche Lake!  We’d insist, however, that you save this hike for your wedding day or your day after session with us!  This is our top elopement photo idea for a reason!  This trail gives you an up close look at old growth forests, rushing waterfalls, and the expansive Avalanche Lake!  This is one heck of an elopement photo idea that our couples have loved!  To get the best lighting, though, we’d recommend hiking this at sunset and night hiking out.  It’s only a little scary. 😉  But makes for some epic elopement photos!

Elopement Photo Idea: Jump in a waterfall on the Going to the Sun Road (or just look cool beside it ;))

Glacier National Park has some of the most stunning waterfalls in the continental US!  As such, it would be such a pity to not use them as a backdrop when thinking through elopement photo ideas in Glacier National Park!  You can head over to the east side of the park or Many Glacier to see year-round falls or you can bask in the glory of early-season falls coming off the Going to the Sun Road!  But let’s take that elopement photo idea to the max… Jump in & get wet!

Elopement Photo Idea: Do a private vow reading before or after your public ceremony

Of course you’ll need the epic elopement photo ideas, but some of our couples favorite elopement photos are of them during their private vow reading.  Whether you elope with just you two or have guests, we’d recommend spending adequate time reading those vows to each other so you’re the only one listening.  This means Dan & I will have on our longest lenses so your elopement photos reflect who you are–vulnerability and all.  We’ll help you put time in your timeline so you can have those quiet moments to live in what you came to do and commit to each other–making for one heck of an authentic elopement photo idea.

Or see more of Jake + Erin’s Avalanche Amphitheater Wedding!

Elopement Photo Idea: Have a fun outfit change 

This is one of our easiest elopement photo ideas to accomplish!  Bring a fun outfit or accessory for your elopement photos!  You can do part of your day in more formal attire but change into something a little more adventurous or trendy for later!  Alternatively, a great elopement photo idea to easily spruce things up is to simply add a fun layer to your set up (as you’ll definitely need to bring layers to this national park).  Another elopement photo idea we love is choosing a 2 day elopement experience so you get to live out all your elopement photo ideas like these 2 couples!

Elopement Photo Idea: Do a sunrise or moon-lit first look 

Your elopement photo ideas don’t have to be cookie cutter because we’re not afraid of photographing when the sun is down.  🙂  Choosing to do your first look at sunrise to catch that gorgeous mountain glow or having it under the moonlight only visible by lanterns is a great elopement photo idea to add depth to your wedding day!  Your day doesn’t start once the sun comes up so your photos shouldn’t start then either!  Your elopement photos should tell the whole story, and we’ll be stoked to help you plan and live out your snuggliest elopement photo ideas and moments.

couple elopes at st mary lake

Elopement Photo Idea: Bring your fur-baby along 

We’ve got two pups… and most of our clients have fur babies too!  Glacier National Park isn’t known for being pet-friendly, but there are several developed areas that make for great photos with your loved fur baby!  Bringing your fur baby along is a great elopement photo idea to keep your whole family involved and get some gorgeous family photos you’ll hang on your walls!

Elopement Photo Idea: Have a snuggly picnic with just you two

Our most calorically dense elopement photo idea yet: plan a snuggly picnic with your boo!  If you bring guests along escaping away for a lil private picnic is the best way to ensure you get a scenic and filling meal.  Don’t nobody wanna be hangry on their elopement day!  Plus it makes for some adorable elopement photos!  Our pro-tip is to hire charcuterie geniuses such as Gina MacNeil Catering to put together your grub!

And check out Apgar Amphitheater Wedding to see more of Margaret & Mike’s day!

Elopement Photo Idea: Take a romantic wedding canoe onto Lake McDonald 

One of our favorite elopement photo ideas to keep things relaxed, unique, and adventurous is renting a canoe to take onto Lake McDonald!  This gorgeous boat is a Montana-made canoe that only makes its way into the park roughly 10 times per year!  If you’re lucky enough for the boat to be available and the weather to accommodate, you’ll be in no short supply of amazing elopement photo ideas with this canoe!  Up close or far away your elopement photo dreams will come true snuggling in this canoe!

Of course since this company is kinda secretive you’ll have to contact us to get their contact info. 🙂

Elopement Photo Idea: Get ready together under the stars in a tent 

Calling all adventurous souls:  this elopement photo idea will ignite your wanderlust!  If you’re lucky enough to snag a campsite in the national park or if you choose a nearby dispersed campsite (we have some local ones that are our FAVE), take advantage of that tent and those glowy Glacier National Park skies!  Crisp mornings in Montana make for a great elopement photo idea when utilizing unique light like lanterns and stars!

Related: Montana Backpacking Wedding

tents set up at leigh lake montana
groom helps bride get ready in tent during elopement
couple kisses in tent during sunrise at leigh lake
groom puts necklace on bride during leigh lake wedding
eloping bride squeezes groom in front of leigh lake montana
eloping bride pulls groom close
bride and groom explore mountains in montana

Elopement Photo Idea: Celebrate with your guests all casual

A lot of our couples bring guests along to enjoy their wedding day with them!  Some of their favorite photos are of them getting to celebrate in unique ways.  Elopement photo ideas to include your guests include a fun pizza party, grilling out, charcuterie spreads, or a yummy catered dinner.  Elopement photo ideas should include ways to help your guests feel included and a part of your day too!  You can always explore solo after if you want!

Elopement Photo Idea: Make s’mores by the campfire 

When those nights get a little too crisp to survive by just the light of a lantern, you may employ the elopement photo idea of cozying up by a fire!  And if you’ve already got a fire going… why not make some s’mores?! (and bring enough to share lol).  We’ll grab all those snuggly fire-side pics and be sure your day doesn’t feel over just because the sun goes down!  Just be sure your elopement photo ideas don’t conflict with fire safety policies of the park.

Elopement Photo Idea: Have a waterside ceremony 

It’s almost guaranteed… if you’re getting married in Glacier National Park… you probably want not only scenic portraits but a scenic ceremony too!  Glacier National Park has several lakeside ceremony locations that will make every last part of your wedding day look straight outta Pinterest!  It’s important, however, to abide by the parks regulations on acquiring a ceremony permit!  To obtain the permit of your dreams, you’ll need to pay close attention to their participant counts so we don’t go over!

Elopement Photo Idea: Stay out after dark

We’re not afraid of the dark, and you shouldn’t be either!  Some of the best elopement photos happen once the sun goes down.  After dark elopement photo ideas could include hanging by the fire, stargazing, adventuring by lantern light, night hiking, and so much more!  We’ve had couples do all these and more so think creatively about how you want to stay out after dark on your elopement day.

Elopement Photo Idea: Lodge in a cozy treehouse or yurt

You’re not the average trip-taker so leave those average lodging options behind for something much more unique.  Getting ready photos and snuggly sessions just hit different in fun lodging options like a treehouse or yurt.  Both of these are located within 30 minutes of Glacier National Park and make for a super cozy place to stay and get ready for your day!

Elopement Photo Idea: Hire a private chef for you & your guests

When bringing guests along for your wedding day they’ll no doubt be wondering how you’ll celebrate with them afterwards.  Hiring a private chef to cook for your guests at your lodging is a killer way to get amazing elopement photos while keeping everyone fed and happy (especially you!).  Hiring a private chef for everyone is also a guaranteed way to keep your elopement photos pinterest-worthy and your tastebuds happy!  Hiring The Chef Guys to prepare your feast is always our recommendation when having a formal dining experience to enhance your elopement photos.  Did we mention ALL of their food is drool-worthy?

Honorable mentions for our favorite elopement photo ideas


Ride in a hot air balloon!

Of course you can’t technically ride a hot air balloon in Glacier National Park, but a hot air balloon tour of the Flathead Valley is a great elopement photo idea to spice up your elopement timeline!  Our biggest tip for a hot air balloon ride is to opt for sunrise!  Sunrise tours are the most forgiving with weather so your odds of actually taking off are much better!  Hot air balloon tours are a great elopement photo idea to get a unique look at Glacier National Park!

Take a chartered helicopter tour!

Only a few businesses have the right to fly a helicopter over Glacier National Park!  The national park service is actually phasing out all helicopter tours over the parks within the next 3 years so snatch up this elopement photo idea while its still available!

Go off-roading around the reservoir!

One of our favorite activities is utilizing some off road trails around the Hungry Horse Reservoir!  A great elopement photo idea would be to kick up some infamous Montana dust by traversing these trails to get big views of the reservoir while wearing fun attire in your ATV!

glacier national park elopement
wedding couple on hiking trail

Summary: 15 Unique Elopement Photo Ideas for Glacier National Park

  • Hike to Avalanche Lake
  • Jump in a waterfall on the Going to the Sun Road 
  • Do a private vow reading 
  • Have a fun outfit change 
  • Do a sunrise or moon-lit first look 
  • Bring your fur-baby along 
  • Have a snuggly picnic 
  • Take a wedding canoe onto Lake McDonald 
  • Get ready under the stars in a tent 
  • Celebrate with your guests
  • Make s’mores by the campfire
  • Have a waterside ceremony
  • Stay out after dark
  • Lodge in a cozy treehouse or yurt
  • Hire a private chef for you and your guests


Hiking wedding photographers

Yo.  You need a hiking wedding guide and photographer.

Imma be so honest.  We love hiking weddings, and we love helping couples plan their elopement days to be full of meaning and intention.  Kick that tradition crap outta here, and let’s plan something magical together!

You deserve for your wedding day to bring you peace in the great outdoors, and this is only a taste of how we help our couples.

All of our elopement packages come with professional elopement photography, two photographers, and unlimited planning assistance.  We think this is the best way to serve eloping couples, and we can’t wait to chat!

Contact us about photographing your elopement!

The Best Places to Elope with Family | Your Ultimate How To Guide

Welcome to your elopement dreams full of mental peace and adventure in America’s most beautiful state (I mean as Montana elopement photographers, we’re biased, but hey!). Eloping in Montana offers so much to couples just like you–gorgeous landscapes, minimal crowds, affordability, and to be frank–the wild. As elopement photographers we’ve compiled our best elopement tips for eloping in Montana we share with our couples, and we’d love to share with you! We’ll cover where to elope in Montana, when to elope in Montana, and the how of eloping in Montana!

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Hey, it’s us!

We’re Des & Dan! Husband & wife elopement photographers, planners, and officiants! We help couples like you create elopement days full of meaningful details, authentic moments, and creative experiences because we believe you deserve a wedding day where you are truly heard—a wedding day you can truly remember.

We’d love to help in any way you can, so check out our other free planning resources or send us an email by hitting contact! We’d love to hop on the phone and see what you’re envisioning for your elopement day.

You deserve this.

Des & Dan


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