Intimate Many Glacier Elopement at Lake Josephine

Brides stand holding hands at the edge of Lake Josephine on their elopement day after their intimate ceremony.

Intimate Many Glacier Elopement at Lake Josephine

Cindy and Kate came all the way from Texas for their intimate Many Glacier elopement at Lake Josephine. They had never been to Montana before but quickly and understandably fell in love. We met them the night before their Many Glacier elopement at our favorite bar in Columbia Falls, Gunsight Saloon, where we talked all about Montana and how amazing it is. They were stoked to learn about our van life lifestyle and shared how they dreamed of doing something similar. *Spoiler alert, they now live in their RV and travel the country (you’re welcome C&K!). 

But back to their elopement day! We’ll be sharing what to do when the weather doesn’t cooperate, how to incorporate fun special touches to your attire, how to have a first look when you have to drive over an hour to get to your ceremony spot, and more! Keep reading to learn more about this intimate Many Glacier elopement!

Are you already convinced that a Glacier National Park elopement is the way to go? Click the button below so we can get to know each other!

Brides stand holding hand and kissing in Glacier National Park.

First Look at Many Glacier Hotel

This is a question we get asked often: “How do we have a first look if we have to drive together to get to the location?”

Well, there are a few ideas but what Cindy and Kate chose to do was to get their hair and makeup all set and ready to go and then wait to get dressed. They drove together to the Many Glacier Hotel where we met them in the lobby. We had scouted out the hotel and found that there were two women’s restrooms, on opposite sides of the hotel where they could each get dressed separately. 

Once they were dressed, we arranged the first look for them out on the deck of the hotel. It started to rain right as we headed outside, so these big umbrellas came in handy. As they turned around to show each other their outfits for the first time, you could see the tears in both of their eyes. They looked so amazing and weren’t even fazed by the drizzling rain. 


Two brides stand on a deck holding umbrellas in the rain with their backs to each other.
First look for two brides on the deck of Many Glacier in Montana.
Brides walk towards the camera, sharing an umbrella and looking at each other.
Two brides move to embrace after their first look in Many Glacier, Montana.
Two brides stand up an umbrella after their first look in Glacier National Park.

Intimate Lake Josephine Ceremony

Lake Josephine is tucked back behind a range of mountains. It requires a 1.2-mile hike through the woods, along the shoreline of Swiftcurrent Lake, and then leads you down a hill to the base of the lake. It’s pretty magical because you don’t really know what’s coming and then BAM there it is!

Cindy and Kate invited their closest family members and the group of us headed out on the hike. Since their Many Glacier elopement took place in May, there was still snow on the ground on the trail, but the rain had stopped as we hiked out to the lake.

Cindy’s brother officiated their ceremony (such a special idea) as their parents looked sat on the beach watching. The sun popped out for a nano-second as they read their vows to each other, it was magical.

One of the benefits of planning a Many Glacier elopement in May was that there weren’t any other hikers out there during their ceremony. Another bonus was that the boats weren’t running yet for the season, so we didn’t have to worry about a boatload of random people stopping by.

Two brides lead a group of family members on a trail in the woods.
Two brides hold up their wedding dresses as they walk along a dirt trail in Montana with their family walking behind them.
Brides stand looking at each other with the officiant behind them.
Officiant reads as brides stand facing each other during their intimate elopement in Glacier National Park.
As officiant prays, brides and family bow their heads at the intimate ceremony.
A woman wearing a wedding dress lifts up the dress as she walks on a path in Glacier National Park with people walking behind her.
Bride and her father walk arm in arm while she holds a colorful bouquet.
Bride is walked towards her wife by her father as her family looks on.
Brides stand facing each other holding their bouquets at their intimate Many Glacier elopement at Lake Josephine.

Special Touches to their Outfits

It’s always fun when couples decide to add a few special touches to their outfits that mean a lot to them. Cindy and Kate wore matching Vans sneakers and mountain socks. They each had a small charm attached to their sneakers with the other’s initials on them. They also had “We eloped” and “Just Married” signs that they hung on their backpacks while we went for a walk! 

Their florist, Mum’s Flowers in Whitefish, did an incredible job also! They wanted bright, colorful, and unique bouquets and they were exactly that!

Matching vans shoes with mountain socks.
Bride holds colorful bouquet out in front of her on her wedding day.
Brides stand holding hands facing each other in their raincoats and backpacks on their elopement day in Glacier National Park.
Brides drink champagne on their elopement day while hiking on a trail.
Brides walk hand in hand along a trail with their raincoats and backpacks with Just Married signs.
Brides stand next to each other on a bridge while holding their colorful bouquets.
Brides walk along a dock at Swiftcurrent Lake in Glacier holding their colorful bouquets.
Brides hold up their wedding dresses to show off their matching shoes and socks while standing on a rock in Glacier National Park.
A Quick Stop to Get Out of the Rain

Another question we get get asked all the time is “what happens if we get bad weather on our elopement day?”

 Usually our answer is, “We love weather!”, but we definitely won’t do anything to put anyone in danger or to make anyone miserable. So when we saw that the weather wasn’t looking the greatest on Cindy and Kate’s Many Glacier elopement day, we made sure to have a backup plan. 

 After the ceremony, the four of us headed off on a short hike to show them some of our favorite views in Many Glacier. Unfortunately, Mother Earth had different plans and the clouds rolled in, leaving us with pretty poor visibility. Instead of panicking, we headed back to the hotel to warm up and take a little break from the rain. They were able to eat some food and we all enjoyed a wedding drink! Having a backup plan for elopement days is HUGE and something we always make sure we have!

Brides walk holding hands across a creek, while wearing rain jackets.
Two brides stand on a rock while on twirls the other on their elopement day.
Brides sit facing each other and holding hands at a table inside.
Brides stand on a large rock while a waterfall flows next to them.
Brides hug while standing on the deck of Many Glacier Hotel with the mountains behind them.
Elopement cake with mountains and flowers
A wedding cake with the couple's last name sticking out of the top and mountains decorating the cake.
Brides kiss at the edge of a lake on their elopement day.
Brides toast each other while sitting next to each other at a table during their elopement day.
Brides walk hand in hand along a rock wall as their dresses blow in the wind and the mountains are behind them.
Brides share a kiss while embracing each other on their wedding day.
Bride dips her new wife while the stand on top of a rock in Glacier National Park.
One bride wraps her arms around the others shoulders and stands behind her hugging.
West Glacier vs East Glacier

Glacier National Park is ginormous. It’s split into several sections which makes it feel more possible to see a lot of it! The sections are West Glacier (where Logan Pass and the Going-to-the-sun-road are), St. Mary’s, Two Medicine, and Many Glacier. The Going-to-the-sun-Road acts as the divider, splitting the park into the West and the East. Most people tend to go to the West side of Glacier when they visit, especially if they are short on time. We always love suggesting having your elopement on the east side of Glacier, for several reasons we’ll list below.

  1. The East side of Glacier tends to have fewer people. It’s more remote to get there so people often don’t want to make the drive. But we’re telling you, it’s 100% worth it.
  2. There is more wildlife on the east side, at least from our experience. We’ve seen handfuls of Grizzly bears and tons of moose on the east side of the park.
  3. There are more locations with better views for your elopement ceremony! Ok, this might be a personal thing, but we think the views are better over on the east side. The mountains are bigger and more remote, making for incredible photos!

If a Many Glacier elopement sounds right for you, head over to our contact page and fill out our form. We’ll send over an invite for a zoom call where we can talk about your vision and see how we can help! And if you’re not sure you want to elope in Glacier, check out this blog post with other incredible Montana locations!