A Breathtaking Two-Day Hatcher Pass Alaska Elopement
If you’re looking for some inspiration for your Alaska Elopement, look no further! Shenae & Colin’s multi-day elopement had it all: an intimate ceremony at Hatcher Pass, a helicopter tour flying amongst the bluest glaciers, and a hike in the rain! There was so much love, excitement, and adventure in these two days and we’ll never be able to forget it!
If you’re already convinced that an Alaska Elopement is for you, head over to our contact form and get in touch today!
Day 1: Private Elopement Ceremony at Hatcher Pass
Colin & Sheane started their day getting ready together at their adorable rental Historic Farmhouse in Palmer, Alaska. As Shenae finished curling her hair and applying her makeup, Colin packed up their bags for the day. The weather forecast was all over the place so we brought lots of layers and rain jackets, just in case! Colin and Shenae decided not to have a “first look” and instead, they helped each other get dressed and put the finishing touches on their attire!
Once they were dressed and ready to go, we all jumped in their truck and headed for Hatcher Pass. It’s about a 45-minute drive from downtown Palmer to Hatcher Pass, but the whole way is stunning! Alaska is like Glacier National Park, but on steroids!
As we drove to Hatcher Pass, we all crossed our fingers and hoped that the rain would hold off until after their ceremony. We drove up to a beautiful overlook and met up with their officiant, Laura with Say Yes Alaska. She led us out to the ceremony spot and made things official for Shenae & Colin! It was a beautiful ceremony that had us all wiping tears away as they said “I do.” And the sun came out! It was perfect.
Popping Champagne on Top of a Glacier in Alaska
After the ceremony, we explored a little bit of Hatcher Pass, taking in the incredible views that surrounded us each way we looked. Shenae & Colin turned on their elopement playlist (full of amazing songs they had downloaded earlier) while they sat together, cuddling to keep warm. We always remind couples to really try and stay in the moment with each other. This is a special day so it’s super important to remember to be present!
As the clouds rolled back in, we took that as our sign to get going! Plus we had to head off for our helicopter tour! We drove to Knik River Lodge where we were given a helicopter briefing and were introduced to our tour mates and our pilot, Christian. If you have a chance to take a helicopter tour with Knik River Lodge, we highly recommend asking for Christian! He was super knowledgeable, funny, and confident! Our tour included three stops, all of which were absolutely breathtaking. They were all very different too which was awesome to see the diverse landscape that Alaska has to offer.
Our second stop was at the top of a grassy mountain that had a glacial field flowing behind it. Christian spotted a big rock that overlooks the glacier and suggested Colin & Shenae pop their champagne there! And oh my gosh, what an epic spot. They looked like they were standing on the edge of the world!
If you’re dreaming of an Alaska elopement, make sure and include a helicopter tour in your day! And make sure to hire elopement photographers, like us, who know the best spots to go! Ready to get the planning started?!
Blue Glacier Pools and Sunset Dinner
The third and final stop was probably the coolest location for an Alaska elopement! We flew over a bright blue glacier pool and Christian landed the helicopter just above it, on a glacier! He handed out crampons (a metal plate with spikes that slide over your shoes) for each of us to put on to help with our grip on the ice. We made our way over to the pool, all so excited to see the blue color. It was the most amazing thing we’ve ever seen!
After landing back at Knik River Lodge, the four of us realized just how hungry we were! So we grabbed a table at the restaurant there, The Raven’s Perch. We had a corner table which provided us with great views of the mountains as the sunset. The restaurant has a great menu with a variety of dishes including salmon, seared scallops, ribeye, and loaded mac n’ cheese!
Day 2: Letters from family and Private Vows
Shenae & Colin started day two by reading letters from their friends and family back home. This is a great way to include people in your day even if they aren’t there with you. They sat together on the couch in their “Bride” and “Groom” t-shirts, reading the letter together. It was very intimate and sweet and definitely brought up a few tears!
When they finished reading their letters, they changed into their second set of wedding clothes. Yes, that’s right. Since they celebrated their elopement in 2 days, they both brought two sets of clothes with them! Why have one wedding dress when you can have two? We went outside where they shared their personal wedding vows with each other. This is a great idea if you want the privacy of reading your vows to each other or if you know you will get too emotional to read them during your actual ceremony. Shenae and Colin shared their love, promises, and commitments to each other as the wind whipped around them.
After they read their vows, they put their elopement playlist on and danced around in the front yard, laughing, spinning, and just having a great time!
Hiking in the Rain at Hatcher Pass
Shenae & Colin changed into their hiking clothes and the four of us drove back up to Hatcher Pass to go for a hike! There are tons of hiking trails around Hatcher Pass, some relatively short and easy and some that are longer overnight hikes. We opted for a shorter one since it was raining! We all threw on our rain gear and headed off for a hidden lake. As we climbed up the mountain at Hatcher Pass, we could see Palmer below us. Since it was September, all of the leaves were vibrant colors of yellows, reds, and oranges! It was beautiful. After hiking at Hatcher Pass, we headed back into town for some beers at one of the local breweries in town, Matanuska Brewery!
Best Time to Elope in Alaska
Now, a lot of people will probably tell you that the best time to have your elopement in Alaska is the summertime. Longer days, better weather, etc. However, we are big fans of visiting later in the year when the summer crowds have left. Shenae & Colin’s Hatcher Pass Alaska elopement took place in early September. The fall colors were beautiful and we didn’t see hardly any other people at Hatcher Pass. Yes it rained on us and it was cold, but overall, September is a great time to visit!
Tips for Eloping in Alaska
If you are planning an Alaska elopement, we highly recommend giving yourself plenty of extra days to play with. The weather can be a bit fickle and often tours have to reschedule due to this. By giving yourself extra time, you can reschedule and do everything you want to!
We also recommend picking only a few places to explore instead of trying to see it all! Alaska is HUGE! And there are so many beautiful and diverse places to see. If you only have limited time, we highly suggest staying put and exploring one or two areas. That way, you’re not spending your whole trip driving/flying/taking the train!
If you’re ready to hire your elopement photographer for your Alaska elopement, fill out our contact form here so we can chat!
Florist: Garlands of Grace Florals
Officiant: Say Yes Alaska
Groom’s Suits: Soto and Co.
Helicopter Tour: Alaska Helicopter Tours