Everything You Need to Know to Elope in Alaska
Alaska isn’t known as “The Last Frontier” for nothing. This state is vast with its endless mountain ranges to miles and miles of coastline (all in one place!). No need to choose between the beach or the mountains anymore. With such a unique landscape boasting 16 national parks, you can elope and honeymoon all at once, and never tire of the epic views. As Alaska elopement photographers, we are stoked to share what we’ve learned.
Best Time Of Year To Elope In Alaska
This state is known for its intense, but incredible landscape that can vary greatly from place to place. So it’s important to research whichever region of Alaska you hope to visit before you do. And with spring and fall being so short-lived, Alaska’s weather can generally be lumped together into two seasons: summer and winter.
Alaska’s terrain is most accessible this time of year, showing off lush fields of wildflowers and plenty of wildlife roaming around. While it’s the busiest time of year, you can still skip the crowds if you come in May or September when tourist season isn’t at its peak. Summer is also witness to remarkably long days, with some regions, like Fairbanks, seeing a shining sun for a full 24 hours a day. And believe us, that midnight sun’s golden light is extraordinary.
This place becomes a winter wonderland during its longest season. At this time, sure you’ll see less sunlight, but you also might be lucky enough to experience the Northern Lights. For the skiers and snowboarders, Alaska’s winter is ideal with plenty of rad slopes to enjoy. We’d recommend planning an Alaska elopement towards the end of the winter months, like February or March, when the weather is less intense and we begin to see a bit more sun.
Alaska’s largest airport is the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC). Located in south-central Alaska, Anchorage’s airport will give you best access to the locations we’ve suggested here.
How To Get Around Alaska
Due to its grand size and wild terrain (Alaska is bigger than California, Texas, and Montana combined!), much of the jaw-dropping views will require a drive of some distance. So, we recommend renting a car for your Alaska elopement. Just grab one from the airport, and book it online ahead of time!
Alaska Elopement Permits
If you choose to have an Alaska elopement in a national or state park, you’ll likely need a permit. For example, Kenai Fjords National Park, one of our favorite locations, requires a Special Use Permit with an application fee of $100. It’s best to apply for these early because most parks require at least two weeks to process the application. (We help our couples with these as adventure elopement photographers!)
Alaska Elopement Packages With Photography
Our Alaska Elopement Packages include two photographers, location scouting, logistical planning, and pro elopement advice from these seasoned explorers. Starting at $4,200 for 4 hours of coverage, but you can add extra hours or even build a multi-day experience!
Alaska Elopement Locations
This scenic mountain pass is just north of Anchorage and stretches on for about 49 miles. Hatcher Pass is ideal for its access to all sorts of hiking trails, wildflower meadows, glaciers, and alpine lakes. With Hatcher Pass elopements, it’s super easy to just hop out of your car and do the dang thing, or turn it into a multi-day adventure like we did with this Hatcher Pass elopement.
- Lots of hiking and mountain views
- Fully accessible in the summer months
- Only 10 miles open in winter months
- Dog friendly
Kenai Fjords National Park
The Kenai Fjords National Park will transport you to the ice age with its 40 outflowing glaciers and fjords. Located on the Kenai Peninsula, this picturesque yet icy landscape isn’t far from charming towns like Seward and is perfect for an Alaska elopement. Keep in mind, though, that the Exit Glacier area is the only part of the park accessible by car.
- All of the views! Ocean, mountains, and glaciers
- Special Use Permit required
- Exit Glacier area road only accessible to cars in summer months
As the largest glacier accessible by car in the country, Matanuska Glacier is a unique experience only an Alaskan elopement can offer. Here, about 2 hours north of Anchorage, you can elope where the glacier meets the water, with a stunning mountain backdrop. However, it’s important to know that this glacier is on private property, and can only be accessed through a private tour.
- Actually on a glacier
- Year-round guided tours
- Family friendly
- Dog friendly
Situated on the Kenai Peninsula, this fjord is full of beautiful islands and quaint seaside villages. And, because of its direct access to the Gulf of Alaska, it’s packed with incredible marine wildlife like orcas, seals, and sea otters. We love Seward, the main town in Resurrection Bay, for its small town feel, local breweries, and coffee shops, not to mention breathtaking views.
- Lots of scenic islands like Fox Island and Rugged Island
- Access point to Kenai Fjords National Park
- Lots of pebble beaches framed by mountainscapes
- Great marine life watching and kayaking
This ski town found just south of Anchorage is very accessible due to the nearby Alyeska resort. With lots of activities and attractions so close, you won’t run out of ideas for an Alaska elopement in Girdwood, Alaska. For those looking for a less hands on mountain adventure, the Alyeska mountain tram has breathtaking views all the way up.
- Busy, yet adorable ski town
- Amazing hiking trails
- Plenty of nearby lodging and dining options
- Many nearby guided tours and experiences
Where To Stay In Alaska
Recommendations from a couple of seasoned Alaska explorers (and traveling elopement photographers)
Glacier Creek A-Frame Airbnb – Bear Creek
Tiny living with big views, this cozy A-frame is near Seward but remote enough to feel immersed in Alaska’s snowy terrain. Cozy up in a quiet residential area, just the two of you and then explore the nearby adorable town.
Oceanfront Inn Beach Bungalow Airbnb – Lowell Point
Crave the ocean but long for the mountains too? Get both at this oceanfront bungalow in Resurrection Bay, and watch the sunset behind the mountains while you’re lulled to sleep by the waves lapping on the pebble sand beach below.
Valley View Guest House Airbnb – Palmer
Located just across the Matanuska river from Palmer, this recently remodeled stay has unmatched views overlooking the Mat-Su Valley. Enjoy the unobstructed views in the covered porch from the barrel sauna or the hot tub.
Kenaii Fjords Glacier Lodge – Kenai Fjords National Park
As the only lodge in the Kenai Fjords National Park, you’ll have unparalleled access to the Alaskan wilderness. Close to lots of activities, sea kayaking, hiking, canoeing, fishing, bear viewing, you’ll also love the dining room and cedar sauna.
Orca Island Cabins – Resurrection Bay
At the mouth of Resurrection Bay, this private island glamping experience will completely immerse you with marine wildlife right outside your yurt. Enjoy whale watching and kayaking or sit back and appreciate the panoramic views from your very own private deck.
Salted Roots Alaska – Seward
Think Alaskan lodging with a modern twist for this beachfront boutique inn. With plenty of interactive community spaces and several lodging options like A-frames, cottages, and a renovated retro bus, it’s a great setting for an intimate wedding with your closest loved ones.
Shearwater Cove – Resurrection Bay
A kayaker’s paradise, these oceanfront yurts are only accessible via water taxi from Seward. This glamping experience in a remote wilderness setting offers awesome hiking trails and unlimited access to on-site kayaks.
Alaska Elopement Inspiration
01 | Helicopter Marathon
Stay at the Alaskan-chic Salted Roots cabins and enjoy the modern take on cabin lodging with your person. We’ll meet across the way for a touching first look moment before a water taxi sweeps us away to a private beach for your intimate ceremony. Then, we’ll add some adventure on a helicopter tour across several rad locations. The showstopper? Your first dance as a couple atop a bluff perched high above the ocean.
02 | Feels Among the Fjords
Make your base camp one of these breathtaking Airbnbs near Seward, where you’ll have your first look before a day full of adventuring in the Kenai Fjords glacier National Park. There, we’ll kayak through the icebergs to pick an unforgettable place for your ceremony and vow exchange. You’ll finish off the day with your first dance as a couple in Seward, a champagne pop, and cake cutting on a private beach.
03 | Ice Caves & Cute Pups
Book this one-of-a-kind stay in Palmer, AK where we’ll meet up for getting ready photos and a first look if that’s your style. After the tears have flown and we’ve captured your excitement beside the banks of the Matanuska River, we’ll meet our helicopter pilot at the Alaska Lodge who will fly us to your ceremony spot overlooking ancient glaciers. Our next stop? An ice cave expedition followed by an epic dog sledding experience. After we’ve fallen in love with all of the sledding pups, it’s time to head back to the lodge for a champagne toast. Then, the two of you can enjoy a delicious meal alone at the Ravens Perch.
04 | Cheers To The Chugach Mountains (And You!)
Stay at this cozy lodge in Hatcher Pass and we’ll hike up to capture your first look just outside of your cabin. Then, together we’ll capture your hike along the ridge of the April Bowl, to reach sweeping views of the Chugach Mountains for your ceremony. After vows are exchanged and all the feels are felt, we’ll head back down the pass for a celebratory drink and cake cutting with friends at the Matanuska Brewing Company
Let Us Show You How To Elope In Alaska
I know, we’re excited too! With us as your Alaska elopement photographers, we can craft an Alaska elopement unlike anything else.