How to Elope in Grand Teton National Park
So you’re considering getting married to one another with an elopement in Grand Teton National Park?! You’ve come to the right place. As a traveling elopement photographer and national park fanatic, I can assure you that without a doubt, choosing to elope in Grand Teton will be an experience filled with epic views and an unforgettable experience.
This is an information-filled blog post that will give you everything you need to know to start planning your Grand Teton elopement experience.
Grand Teton National Park Elopement Tip #1
Reflect on why you two decided to elope
Although this step may seem silly to some, I highly recommend taking the time to think and be conscious about the answers to the following questions before starting the next steps of planning your Grand Teton National Park elopement. The answers may feel super obvious to you, it helps so much to have thought more consciously about them – or even better, have written down these answers on paper or on the notes app on your phone. It will also help you stay grounded throughout the planning process and help you create an elopement day that’s true to you!
- AWhat aspects of eloping make you feel most excited?
- AWhat about a more traditional wedding didn’t feel true to the two of you and your relationship?
- AWhat drew you in on choosing Grand Teton National Park as the location for your elopement?
- AWhen you initially think of your Grand Teton National Park elopement day, what words come to mind? What do you picture the two of you doing? What kind of landscapes were you drawn to when researching this location online?
As your photographer and planning guide, I value creating an experience for your Grand Teton Elopement day that allows your experience in front of the camera to feel effortless and comfortable.
Grand Teton National Park Elopement Tip #2
Where to fly into for the easiest access to Grand Teton National Park
You’ll fly into Jackson Hole Airport (JAC) located in Jackson, Wyoming which is a super quick drive to Grand Teton National Park and the neighboring town of Jackson Hole. The airlines that you’ll want to look in year-round are American Airlines, Delta, and United Airlines. Frontier has a direct flight between Jackson Hole and Denver in the summer as well! They’re not super active on Instagram, but I really enjoy following their account and the photos they post so I’ll link that here.
Grand Teton National Park Elopement Tip #3
When to elope in Grand Teton National Park?
I think the answer to this question varies greatly based on your interests and the activities you’d like to include during your trip to elope in Wyoming!
Mid-to-late July is a beautiful time to visit if you’re looking to take advantage of a variety of summer activities during your visit to Grand Teton National Park such as hiking, kayaking, camping, fishing, etc. The chance of snow is far less during this time and there is more opportunity to hike in a variety of places without the limitations of unmelted snow. The weather is also beautiful – it’s rarely unbearably hot and we’ve always experienced perfectly cool nights and early mornings during our visits.
If you don’t mind the unpredictability that can come with fall in the mountains, late September to early October is a beautiful time to visit to get photos with breathtaking foliage. I love the “go with the flow” nature of elopements and weddings during the fall – there’s no telling what kind of weather we might have but it’ll be beautiful in its own way nonetheless.
If you’re both really into winter sports, such as skiing, snowboarding, or snowmobiling – then winter is obviously the time for you to visit and thrive. Not as much of the park is accessible, but that doesn’t mean that beautiful views are out of reach. Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is located in the area and there are also unique activities such as dog sledding tours.
This photo is from a trip I took to Grand Teton National Park in mid-June! The snow-covered peaks that you get during this time are beyond beautiful.
Grand Teton National Park Elopement Tip #4
Where to stay for your trip to Grand Teton National Park
During the summer, if you’re able to plan enough in advance to snag a spot at lodging within the park, I would highly recommend that experience for your Grand Teton elopement. It’s nice to be able to take some time disconnected from cell service, for the most part, and really soak in the beauty of the park and the wildlife that inhabits it. Even if it’s just for the night following your elopement, there’s something magical about being able to step outside and being right in front of some of the most magnificent mountainscapes you’ve ever witnessed.
Outside of the park, my husband and I really enjoyed our stay at Wyoming Inn Jackson Hole. We were able to walk to dinner and it was a relatively quick drive into the park, which didn’t make the sunrise wake-up feel as early! There are a ton of great lodging options in Jackson Hole, as well as Airbnbs too! Just make sure when you’re searching Airbnb that you double-check the location, some of the towns that will populate the search are a little further away than you may be looking for.
Camping or staying in cabins at KOAs, such as Jackson Hole KOA, has always wielded wonderful experiences since I was a child. They have cabins and campsites with electricity as well as really well-kept showers and facilities!
Linked here are several places within the park that would be the perfect spots to stay! The Colter Bay Campground and Headwaters Campground at Flagg Ranch are the only spots with showers accessible. That can pose an (understandable) issue when it comes to getting ready on your elopement day.
There are so many amazing locations to explore for your Grand Teton National Park elopement!
Grand Teton National Park Elopement Tip #5
Obtaining permits from the park, your marriage license, and finding an officiant!
What permits are required to get married in Grand Teton National Park?
After we’ve landed on where you’d like the official location to be where you say your vows, you and your significant other would fill out the permit found here no later than two weeks prior to your elopement day and pay the $200 permit fee. I highly recommend starting this process sooner than two weeks in advance to ensure you’re able to get your ideal spot and date and coordinate with the park if they have any questions.
There are also two chapels located within Grand Teton National Park, St. Johns Episcopal Church and Chapel of the Sacred Heart. Having your ceremony at either of these locations does not require a permit from Grand Teton National Park but may include fees from those chapels.
How do we obtain a marriage license for our Grand Teton Elopement?
It’s super easy to acquire a marriage license prior to your official wedding day. This official website breaks it down into super easy steps, so you know exactly what to make sure you bring with you on your trip in order to make the process go as smoothly as possible. There is no waiting period and your marriage license is valid for 1 year.
Who can legally marry us on our elopement day?
The official Teton County website linked above also included this PDF of some local officiants. Wyoming requires two witnesses at your ceremony – one which can be me and another that can either be someone you invite or a fellow park visitor we ask to witness the official marriage!
Grand Teton National Park Elopement Tip #6
Find a grand teton elopement photographer you connect with
When planning your elopement day in Grand Teton National Park, I cannot emphasize enough how much of a game-changer it is to find a photographer that not only knows extensive information about the area but that you connect with, too.
Think about it – this person just isn’t another vendor at your wedding where 100+ other people will be in attendance. They’re essentially third-wheeling one of the most important days of your life, helping you plan an experience that dreams are made of, and capturing it all for you to treasure for years to come.
When helping couples plan their elopement in Grand Teton National Park (or anywhere I travel), it’s really important for me to get on the phone with them from the start so that they understand who I am, what I offer, and how I am here to serve them on such a special and intimate day. It also really means a lot for me to ask them questions and better understand what they envision for their elopement day to create something that’s unique to who they are as a couple, rather than a cookie-cutter day that could be anyone’s!
Learn more about the experience of working with me and my Grand Teton National Park elopement packages on my experience and pricing page. Please feel free to contact me more and I’ll send over a pricing guide and give you all of the details about how I can serve you to craft the elopement of your dreams.