If you’re looking to run off to tie the knot in an epic destination surrounded by gorgeous scenery, look no further than Alaska! In this guide, I’m going to share everything you need to know about how to elope in Alaska, from why and when to have your elopement to the legal stuff and the most amazing locations for your big day.
Alaska is the largest US state, and it shows in its endless landscapes that offer picture-perfect views and abundant wildlife. Alaska boasts massive mountains, lush forests, cascading waterfalls, stunning coastlines, and more. Talk about the perfect wedding backdrops!
And, if you’re looking to extend your trip for an unforgettable honeymoon, Alaska is a fantastic place for it. Whether you and your love enjoy getting adventurous in the mountains or on the water, relaxing seaside, or a mix of both – Alaska’s got it all.
When planning when to have your Alaska elopement, you’ll need to consider the experience you’re looking for in terms of activities, budget, and weather.
Personally, I think May and September are the best months to run off and exchange your vows in Alaska because it’s right before and after peak season.
Alaska’s busy season is during summer, June through August. The weather is warm, wildlife is plentiful, and the day is longer. With this comes larger crowds and higher prices. You still get to experience the good parts of this before and after the summer season while finding fewer crowds and lower costs.
Alaska winters are also incredible if you’re dreaming of a winter wonderland elopement. You’ll experience lots of snow, offering an unmatched backdrop for your elopement ceremony. It’s important to note that Alaska’s winters only have about 5 hours of daylight per day.
Experience an epic winter elopement in Alaska with a bit higher temperatures and more daylight hours during February and March.
If you’re looking to get married in Alaska legally, there are a few requirements and steps to take.
If you’re not a resident, you can still obtain an Alaska marriage license for $60. Learn more here or check out this quick guide:
For your ceremony, you’ll need two witnesses and an officiant. And, guess what? Among the Pines (that’s me!) is not only an elopement photographer, but I can also act as a witness and officiate your wedding.
Want to keep things easy and skip the Alaska marriage license? You can always do the legal stuff in your home state before you ‘unofficially’ elope in Alaska.
Now for the fun part! While Alaska is filled with some of the world’s most remarkable elopement locations, here are some of my absolute favorites. Whether you and your love are looking for a hiking adventure, a peaceful lakeside wedding, or an elopement with various backdrops, there’s something for just about every couple.
Denali National Park spans over 6 million acres of wilderness in south-central Alaska. It’s also home to North America’s tallest peak, Mount Mckinley. With its massive size, it’s just about impossible not to find the perfect spot to say ‘I do.’
You can find countless hiking trails, various waterfalls, and wildlife galore in the park. There are gorgeous snowy mountains during winter, while the park boasts vibrant wildflowers in the summer. Talk about endless photo-ops!
Just below the national park in south-central Alaska, is Denali State Park. Denali State Park is a smaller version of the national park but doesn’t lack picturesque backdrops and fun activities.
The park boasts forested wilderness with stunning landscapes and is the ideal destination for couples who appreciate hiking and camping. While there are tons of spots to elope within the park, Byers Lake is one of the most peaceful and beautiful.
I recently headed to the small mountain town of Girdwood to photograph this magical elopement, and I’m still drooling over it! Situated just south of Anchorage, Girdwood is one of Alaska’s most charming and beautiful areas. It’s also a fun place to stay and explore before and after your elopement.
Girdwood is found within a rainforest and is surrounded by the Chugach mountains. What better way to exchange vows than surrounded by glaciers and forests while chasing waterfalls?!
If you want to experience an adventure like no other when you elope in Alaska, I highly recommend the Hatcher Pass. This iconic mountain pass winds through the Talkeetna Mountains in southwest Alaska.
The Hatcher Pass goes for about 60 miles and offers tons of amazing elopement locations. Stop and explore rolling hills, luscious fields, famous red cabins, and colorful wildflowers. There are tons of locations for you to find your perfect elopement spot.
Although the Wrangell St. Elias National Park is often overlooked, it’s the largest in the United States. Elias National Park is nestled in the mountains off the beaten path in southeast Alaska and offers jaw-dropping views.
There are various elopement locations in the park to fit just about every couple’s style. The Ultimate Thule Lodge offers a mix of adventure and luxury, while a helicopter tour from above takes you to various glaciers and mountain tops.
Many couples choose Anchorage for a convenient Alaska elopement location that offers various activities and stunning scenery. It’s Alaska’s largest city and offers so much to see and do.
There are many places to hold your elopement ceremony, from intimate lakeside spots to mountainsides to charming lodges and inns. Best of all, they’re all right in the city or just outside.
Our final Alaska elopement location is the fabulous Kenai Fjords National Park, where you can find glaciers, and coastal fjords and islands. It’s located in south-central Alaska and covers almost 700,000 acres of the Kenai Peninsula.
Kenai Fjords National Park is the perfect place to elope if you love the water and mountains. And, what better elopement day experience than boating while exploring glaciers, watching whales, and checking out the fjords?!
Now that you have the details on how to elope in Alaska, here’s a quick checklist for you to make things easier.
I hope this guide has you excited to elope in Alaska. If you need help planning your dream elopement, Among the Pines is here for you. I offer elopement photography for adventurous dreamers and can help you plan the most perfect day.
CHLOE + CONNER
Brooke is professional, prepared, and provides all the peace of mind that a bride needs on her wedding day. Because of our conversations leading up to the day, I had no doubt that she would capture every important moment and more. Throughout the day, she was present and helpful, but never overbearing or controlling. She beautifully captured the moments that happened naturally & her experience allowed for insight and ideas that I wouldn't have thought to ask for but that I'll now cherish forever! She is flexible, understanding, and patient, and looking back, we can't imagine our day without her. If you are looking for someone to capture your wedding day, or just any day, Brooke is your girl. She goes above and beyond to serve her clients, and she is absolutely gifted at what she does.
"SHE GOES ABOVE AND BEYOND TO SERVE HER CLIENTS, and she is absolutely gifted at what she does."
Linden + Brent
In the end, her creativity and our happiness totally shine through in every single photo. Brooke made both of us feel so at ease, from our individual sessions before we had our first look, to strolling through downtown Ouray, to our ceremony and in the scenic spots we visited afterwards. Her talent is beyond compare and we are absolutely thrilled with our gallery of photos we will treasure forever. We give Brooke our highest recommendation and can’t wait to work with her again!
"Throughout the entire planning process, Brooke was honest and flexible, and made it clear that her goal was for us to be 100% happy."
Emily + Nick
Brooke is hands down the most talented photographer I have ever met in my entire life. I gave her my inspiration and she took it and made it into something entirely unique and beautiful. Brooke was able to work with my budget and offer me options. Along with all of this, she was always there to communicate with me from ideas to concerns. The day of never goes as planned, she was thrown curveball after curveball and dodged them all with ease. The photos we received memorialized the best day of our lives and we are forever grateful for the beautiful artwork she created.
"we are forever grateful for the beautiful artwork she created."
ERICA & ZACH
Brooke was booked to do our wedding June 6th. However, the virus hit and we were afraid we wouldn’t be able to have our wedding in June so we decided to go ahead and get married with just our parents there. I called Brooke and told her our plans and literally we were getting married in a week and she was so quick to say yes and capture our day for us. She helped make our day very special. She was super fun and made Zach and I feel very comfortable. I got my pictures back and I felt so overjoyed to see the happiness and love I felt on that day. Even though we didn’t have our wedding like we planned, it was still very special and Brooke was a big hand in that. She truly captured some very special memories that I will have for the rest of my life.
"SHE TRULY CAPTURED SOME VERY SPECIAL MEMORIES THAT I WILL HAVE FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE."
Our wedding was in Kentucky in September. Brooke not only traveled for us but made a custom package for us because we had a unique situation. She took pictures the day before, and just seemed to be in the right place at the right time. She met with me before the wedding and we communicated a few times up to the wedding about my specific requests, and she hit the nail on the head. I am so very thankful for Brooke's story-telling, organic nature. She captured our wedding for exactly what it was and what I will remember it to be...full of joy, laughter, love and hope for the future!
"I AM SO VERY THANKFUL FOR BROOKE'S storytelling, organic nature."
JENNA + JOSH
KRYSTAL & BRANDON
She’s professional, creative, organized, kind, and just a blast to be around. She made my husband comfortable instantly in front of a camera so she’s a miracle worker too. We can’t stop staring at our photos! So many people keep telling us how amazing they are!
"YOU WON'T FIND A PHOTOGRAPHER BETTER rounded than brooke!"
Jessica & Robby
Brooke has a true talent. She is able to tap into and capture moments you didn’t even realize were happening. Absolutely 100% recommend Brooke and her beautiful pictures. We booked her services for our engagement pictures and then immediately realized we needed to have her for our wedding also. I’m already preemptively dreaming of the anniversary shoot I want!
"Brooke will make you feel comfortable and like a friend - she will take your ideas and inspiration and produce something better than you thought."
Rori + Eli
Brooke truly listened to what we wanted as a couple, our hopes, and took time to understand our "vibe," which came through in her work she delivered.
I can't thank Brooke enough for her amazing work - seriously the BEST decision we made and brings me to tears each time I look at these beautiful, photographic memories we'll have forever.
ALYSSA & HUNTER
Not only is Brooke an amazing photographer, but she is so fun and easy to work with! She made the whole process feel natural and comfortable for someone who typically feels awkward and weird while getting pictures taken! I love all of the pictures and I highly recommend Brooke as a photographer!
"SHE MADE THE WHOLE PROCESS FEEL natural & Comfortable."
ALI & KYLE
That's exactly what Brooke does, she captures a story. No words needed. You can see it and feel it. You can remember the exact moment and how you feel for that person and see how they feel about you. Her intuitive eye has only gotten sharper. I can’t wait to see what other adventures await for her to capture.
"SHE CAPTURES A STORY, NO WORDS NEEDED. you can see it and feel it."
Christy + Austin
Brooke is the absolute best. She truly went above and beyond for my fiancé and I to be able to get our engagement photos taken with the fall colors. Our engagement session with Brooke was such a special experience and a memory we will cherish forever.
Brooke is so sweet, fun, personable and incredibly talented. We could not be more in love with our engagement photos!