A bride throws her head back laughing as her groom holds her and they stand next to a lake after figuring out how to elope in idaho.

How to Elope in Idaho: Complete 2024 Guide to Your Perfect Adventure

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Eloping in Idaho is a stunning choice for couples seeking a breathtaking backdrop for their intimate ceremony, but you might be wondering how to elope in Idaho. At Scenic Vows, we’re passionate about capturing love stories and Idaho’s picturesque landscapes is the perfect location for your elopement. So, let’s dive into how to elope in Idaho so you can create your dream celebration amidst nature’s grandeur.

Why You Should Elope in Idaho

Before we get into how to elope in Idaho, let’s talk about why you should elope in Idaho! Idaho boasts an array of diverse landscapes, from majestic mountains to serene lakeshores and lush forests. Imagine exchanging vows against the backdrop of cascading waterfalls or amidst wildflower-studded meadows. The natural beauty here is unparalleled, offering an intimate and romantic setting for your special day.

5 Best Locations to Elope in Idaho

There are so many incredible elopement locations in Idaho but here’s a list of our top 5 favorites to get to you started. And if you’re interested in reading more about Stanley, Idaho check out this Adventurous Side-by-Side elopement we photographed there!

  1. Sawtooth National Recreation Area: Pristine alpine lakes, jagged peaks, and endless dog and bike-friendly trails make this area an elopement haven. The Sawtooths offer breathtaking vistas for an intimate ceremony and there are never any people around!
  2. Shoshone Falls: Known as the “Niagara of the West,” these majestic falls provide a dramatic and awe-inspiring backdrop for your elopement.
  3. Craters of the Moon National Monument: Surreal volcanic landscapes with rugged lava fields and intriguing formations create a unique and otherworldly setting for a memorable ceremony.
  4. McCall: Known for Payette Lake and the surrounding wilderness, McCall is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Picture saying “I do” amidst towering pines or along the shores of the crystal-clear lake.
  5. City of Rocks National Reserve: Iconic granite spires and quiet solitude make this an ideal location for an adventurous and secluded elopement.

How Much Does it Cost to Elope in Idaho?

This is an important question when trying to figure out how to elope in Idaho. Here are a few rough estimates of what the cost might be to elope in Idaho. Keep in mind that there is quite a range here and your budget will just depend on what you want to include in your day.

  • Photography: $6000-8000
  • Accommodations: $500-2400/4 nights
  • Marriage License: $30
  • Flights: $500
  • Car Rental: $400
  • Bouquet: $75-200
  • Hair and Makeup: $300

Best Time of Year to Elope in Idaho

Spring and fall offer mild weather and stunning landscapes. However, summer provides more accessibility to higher elevations, while winter boasts a serene snowy backdrop for adventurous souls.

Spring in Idaho for an elopement offers blossoming landscapes with vibrant colors, ideal for enchanting photos. The weather tends to be mild, making outdoor ceremonies comfortable. However, spring showers can be unpredictable, potentially impacting outdoor plans. Additionally, popular spots might be crowded due to tourists.

In summer, Idaho dazzles with warm weather, providing endless outdoor venue options for elopements. Long daylight hours ensure beautiful ceremonies and photo opportunities late into the evening. However, summer might attract more crowds to sought-after locations, and some areas could be quite hot for a ceremony.

Winter in Idaho offers stunning snowy backdrops, creating a magical ambiance for elopements. The landscape looks like a winter wonderland, perfect for unique and picturesque photos. Yet, the cold temperatures might pose a challenge for an outdoor ceremony, and travel logistics could be affected due to snow-covered roads.

Fall in Idaho showcases breathtaking foliage, adding a rich tapestry of colors to the backdrop of an elopement. The mild weather and fewer tourists allow for more intimate ceremonies. However, fall can be brief, and timing an elopement during peak foliage might be challenging. Plus, weather changes might affect outdoor plans unexpectedly.

Ready to Elope in Idaho? We know just where to start to keep things easy, stress-free, and exciting!

Obtaining a Marriage License and Rules: How to elope in Idaho

One very important step in figuring out how to elope in Idaho is obtaining a marriage license. Couples must visit the county clerk’s office together to apply. They’ll need valid identification, such as a driver’s license, birth certificate, or passport, and may have to provide additional documents if previously married. The application fee varies by county but typically ranges from $30 to $60. Each county has its own clerk’s office handling marriage licenses. For example, in Ada County, couples can find detailed information and apply through the Ada County Clerk’s Office website here.

Once the marriage license is issued, there’s no waiting period to marry in Idaho. Couples can tie the knot immediately upon receiving the license. Idaho does not require witnesses for the marriage ceremony, and couples have the unique option to self-solemnize their marriage (meaning you can marry yourselves and don’t need someone like a minister or pastor to do it for you). After the ceremony, the signed marriage license must be returned to the county clerk’s office that issued it within 30 days for it to be recorded and certified. This step finalizes the legal process of marriage in Idaho.

10 Activity Ideas for Your Idaho Elopement

Now that you’ve started to figure out the logistics of how to elope in Idaho, it’s time for the fun stuff: figuring out what you want your Idaho elopement to look like! Here’s a list of 10 awesome activities you can include in your day.

  1. Scenic bike rides along mountain trails.
  2. Picnics at secluded lakeshores.
  3. Sunset disc golf games.
  4. Romantic hikes to hidden waterfalls.
  5. Stargazing under the clear Idaho skies.
  6. Kayaking or canoeing on tranquil waters.
  7. Exploring local farmer’s markets for fresh produce.
  8. Horseback riding adventures.
  9. Brewery or winery tours for a relaxed celebration.
  10. Wildlife watching in nature reserves.

Elopement Checklist for How to Elope in Idaho Adventure

We know there is a lot to figure out when planning how to elope in Idaho so here’s a checklist for you to use to keep you on track.

  1. Choose your elopement location.
  2. Secure necessary permits and licenses (we’ll help with all of this too).
  3. Book accommodations.
  4. Finalize ceremony details and vows.
  5. Plan activities and logistics.
  6. Pack essentials for the day.
  7. Get married.

Scenic Vows: Capturing Your Idaho Adventure

In case you read all the way to the bottom and don’t know who we are, we’re Becky & Brian of Scenic Vows. At Scenic Vows, we’re dedicated to encapsulating the raw emotions and beauty of your elopement in Idaho. With a passion for storytelling through photography, we aim to make your day effortless and unforgettable and we’ll help you with figuring out how to elope in Idaho. Our personalized approach ensures that every moment is captured authentically, reflecting your unique love story against Idaho’s stunning landscapes.

Eloping in Idaho offers an unparalleled experience, weaving together nature’s grandeur and the intimacy of your love story. With stunning landscapes, seamless procedures, and the expertise of us at Scenic Vows, your Idaho elopement will be a cherished memory for a lifetime.

Contact Scenic Vows today and embark on your journey to
an Idaho elopement beyond compare.

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