How to Elope in Glacier National Park
I’m sure you’ve seen photos all over the internet of gorgeous weddings in the beautiful State of Montana. The backdrop that Glacier National Park provides will take your breath away! Wondering how to elope in Glacier National Park? These eight easy steps will help guide you along the way and ensure your big day goes off without a hitch!
Here are the eight easy steps on how to elope in Glacier National Park:
First things first – photography! There are so many amazing photographers in the Flathead Valley offering an array of shooting styles, experience and price ranges. However, their schedules can fill up very quickly, especially in the Summer, so it’s always best to book your photographer first. Find someone whose photos draw your eye and who you feel comfortable with. Most importantly, you must click with them as you’ll be spending a good portion of your day with them!
Do you want to remember your day in motion? If so, now is also the time to hire a videographer. Likewise, the above applies to a videographer.
After you find your photographer and videographer, they will be able to give you their availability and then you can proceed to step #2.
Then, based on your photographer and videographer’s availability, check your calendar to see what dates would work. We suggest narrowing it down to three dates and three times.
There are so many breathtaking locations to get married within Glacier National Park. For a complete list, click here. We also suggest narrowing it down to three locations just as you did for your dates and times.
After that, you can move on to step #3.
The process for obtaining a permit for a wedding in Glacier National Park is relatively simple, however, it can take some time. Therefore, please make sure you do it as soon as you can, but no earlier than 12 months before your wedding date.
Remember how we suggested choosing three dates, times, and locations for your wedding? This is because you have the option to write in alternatives in the event your first choice is not available. You will list your first choice as your “Preferred Location” along with your preferred date and time. Below that is an area to write in “Alternate Date(s), Location(s), and Time(s).” This is where you will write in your second and third choices. The park always does their best to accommodate your preferred date, location, and time. However, in the event your preferred choices are not available, they will resort to your alternatives.
Along with your completed application, the park requires a non-refundable processing fee of $100. This fee can be paid via check or credit card.
The wedding permit application can be found by clicking here.
– It is very important to list your photographer and videographer, along with their contact information on the permit application under “Proposed Activity.” The permit will also cover their services, so it’s important to list them.
– If you have any equipment such as tables or chairs, make sure to account for that on your application. For example, most locations have a one-hour maximum, so if you want a 6:00 pm ceremony, but you want a little time before the actual ceremony to get set up, we suggest putting 5:45 pm for “Set-Up Begins”, 6:00 pm for “Activity Begins”, 6:30 pm for “Activity Ends” and 6:45 pm for “Removal Completed.” However, not all locations allow equipment such as chairs, so please contact the park to confirm before submitting your application.
After your application is processed and approved through the permit office, you will receive your official permit with the date and time. Now you will be able to work on hiring your final vendors! These vendors can include your officiant, florist, baker, caterer, and hair and makeup artist.
In the State of Montana, pretty much anyone can perform a wedding ceremony. They do not have to be ordained. In the past, we have had a brother or sister of the couple officiate or a parent or even a friend. If you’re coming to Montana to elope and won’t have anyone traveling with you, hiring a wedding officiant may be your best option. There are so many wonderful officiants in Montana who create beautiful ceremonies! Here are a few of our favorites.
Naturally, you want some gorgeous flowers and there are some very talented florists in the area that can create a beautiful bouquet with matching boutonniere (or two bouquets or two boutonnieres) for you! Here are a few of our favorite florists.
Moreover, if you want something sweet to share after the ceremony, the options are endless. The Flathead Valley has some super talented bakers who can create just about anything for you!
Realistically, how often do you actually get to have your hair and makeup professionally done? It’s pretty rare, right? So enjoy it and soak up every second of it! Here are a few of our favorite hair and makeup artists.
Now that you have your date locked in, you can book your flight and hotel accommodations! Glacier Park International Airport is the ideal airport to fly into. However, there is also an international airport in Missoula which is about a 2.5-hour drive from Glacier.
The Flathead Valley has so many amazing places to stay from Airbnb rentals to lodges to full-service resorts. Here are a few of our favorite spots.
Clear Sky Resorts
Great Northern Resort
Grouse Mountain Lodge
Izaak Walton Inn
North Forty Resort
The Firebrand Hotel
The Great Bear Inn
The Lodge at Whitefish Lake
West Glacier RV Park and Cabins
Thankfully, getting your marriage license in Montana is super easy! To make things faster, be sure to apply for your license before you arrive in Montana. The marriage license application can be found here. Be sure to arrange your travel so you have one day, Monday-Friday, where you can go to the Clerk’s office in Kalispell to get your official license.
Additionally, can we say that the actual marriage license itself is very pretty? Make sure you get a photo with it on the big day!
For more questions about obtaining your marriage license in Flathead County, click here.
The big day is here and you’re going to have so much fun! Soak up every second of the day and enjoy the time in Glacier taking epic photos, and most importantly, getting married! It’s such an exciting experience!
Lastly, after you get your photos from your photographer, put together an announcement so you can tell everyone you eloped! If your photos won’t be ready for a few weeks, see if the photographer can send you some sneak peeks to use on your announcements. You can make beautiful announcements on minted.com. Message us today for a 25% off coupon code!
Most importantly, did you know we offer all-inclusive elopement packages? We understand that planning a wedding no matter the size, can take lots of time and energy and be quite stressful. Because of this, our all-inclusive elopement packages were created! The packages include a photographer, proper permitting for a Glacier National Park wedding ceremony, an officiant, a fresh floral bouquet with matching boutonniere (or two bouquets or two boutonnieres – LOVE IS LOVE) and hair and makeup services! In addition, there are even options to add on a small cake and champagne toast. Let us tackle all of the little details for you, so all you have to do is get to Montana, grab your marriage license, and get married!
If you’re interested in learning more about our all-inclusive elopement packages, click here for more information.
Above all, we are so excited that you are considering getting married in the beautiful State of Montana! We hope that this information was very helpful in figuring out how to elope in Glacier National Park. Have questions? Please do not hesitate to reach out! In the end, we are always happy to help however we can.