Let’s start off with the basics – where to fly into and stay as well as when are some of the best times to visit!
Where do we fly into for the easiest access to Grand Teton?
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.
When should we elope in Grand Teton?
I think the answer to this question varies greatly based on your interests and the activities you’d like to include during your trip!
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 GTNP 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.
Where should we stay during our trip to Grand Teton?
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. 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 wakeup 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.
The exciting part is next – how to go about eloping and getting officially married in Grand Teton National Park!
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 reccomend 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?
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.
An important note – same-sex couples are legally able to wed in Wyoming!
Who can legally marry us?
The official Teton County website linked above also included this PDF of some local officiants.
Wyoming requires 2 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!
How do we learn more about eloping in Grand Teton National Park with you as our photographer?
My elopement packages for Grand Teton National Park start at $3,500 and includes travel costs as well as the cost of the photography permit I have to obtain! I’d love to chat more about your elopement day – feel free to fill out the form on my contact page and I’ll be in touch with you with more information.