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!
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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 near their Many Glacier elopement. 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.
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 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.
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 for their Many Glacier elopement. 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!
A Quick Stop to Get Out of the Rain
Another question we 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!
West Glacier vs East Glacier
Glacier National Park is enormous. 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!