winter elopement guide

Winter elopements are becoming increasingly popular as couples seek a more intimate and unconventional way to tie the knot. While summer may be the traditional season for weddings, winter offers its own unique charm and opportunities for a romantic and memorable elopement. If you’re considering a winter elopement, this guide is here to help you plan the perfect day. From choosing the best winter elopement locations to tips on how to dress and activities to make your day extra special, I’ve got you covered.

Why Choose a Winter Elopement?

Winter elopements offer a one-of-a-kind experience that allows adventurous couples to break away from traditional wedding norms and create an intimate and unforgettable celebration. Choosing a winter elopement can be an excellent option for those who want a unique experience.

One of the main reasons to choose a winter elopement is the stunning natural beauty that the season brings. Imagine exchanging vows against a backdrop of snow-covered mountains or a picturesque winter wonderland. The enchanting landscapes of winter provide a breathtaking setting for your special day and offer endless possibilities for stunning photographs.

Additionally, winter elopements allow couples to avoid the crowded and busy wedding season of summer. Instead, you can enjoy a more serene and peaceful experience with fewer tourists and distractions. This allows you to fully immerse yourselves in the moment and truly focus on each other.

Winter also offers a variety of exciting activities that can be incorporated into your elopement day. Whether you’re snowmobiling through the snowy wilderness, skiing down pristine slopes, or exploring the trails on snowshoes. These activities can add an extra layer of excitement and create unforgettable memories for you and your partner.

Best Time To Elope in Winter

winter elopement ideas

The best months to elope in the winter are January through March. December is an option, but plane tickets and lodging are bound to be far more expensive due to the holidays. Furthermore, if you’re not planning on being in high elevation, you might not have much snow during December depending on your location. If a holiday elopement is what you’re looking for, I can’t say enough about Leavenworth Washington.

This german town is set up to be a Christmas wonderland during December. Lights, events, and stunning mountains all around.

Dressing for Your Winter Elopement

When it comes to dressing for your winter elopement, it’s all about finding the perfect balance between style and functionality. The cold weather doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice looking your best on your special day.

Start by layering your clothing to stay warm and comfortable throughout the day. Consider wearing a beautiful long-sleeved wedding dress. You can also add accessories like a faux fur stole or a knitted shawl to add an extra touch of warmth and elegance. You can also easily where nude tights. This website offers a variety of skin tones. If you prefer to wear something warmer, fleece lined leggings are the way to go.

For footwear, opt for boots that are not only stylish but also suitable for winter conditions. Choose boots that are waterproof, insulated, and have good traction to prevent any slips or falls on icy surfaces. And for the groom, a tailored suit with a warm coat and a trendy scarf. You can also add any base layers underneath.

From snowmobiling to skiing, winter elopements offer a wide range of activities to make your day extra special. These activities can also influence your outfit choices. If you’re planning on snowmobiling through the snowy wilderness or hitting the slopes, it’s important to dress appropriately. Opt for waterproof and insulated clothing that allows for easy movement. Layering is key, so wear a thermal base layer, followed by a mid-layer for warmth, and finish off with a waterproof and windproof outer layer. Don’t forget to wear warm socks and bring extra pairs to stay comfortable all day.

If you’re planning on exploring the trails on snowshoes, opt for waterproof and insulated boots to keep your feet warm and dry. Layering your clothing is important, so wear a moisture-wicking base layer, a thermal mid-layer, and a windproof and waterproof outer layer. Don’t forget to wear a hat and gloves to protect from the cold.

Winter Elopement Activities

winter elopement switzerland

One of the advantages of a winter elopement is the opportunity to have a small wedding and truly immerse yourself in the experience. Whether you’re planning to elope just the two of you or surrounded by your closest loved ones, the intimacy of a small wedding allows for more meaningful moments and genuine connections.

If you’re an adventurous couple, consider incorporating winter activities into your elopement day. Imagine skiing down pristine slopes, snowshoeing through scenic trails, or snowmobiling through a snowy wilderness. These activities not only provide thrilling experiences but also allow you to take advantage of the beautiful winter landscapes and create breathtaking photographs.

For a more relaxed and cozy elopement, you can embrace the winter season by having a bonfire and roasting marshmallows, going ice skating on a frozen lake, or even having a snowball fight. These activities add a touch of fun and playfulness to your day and create joyful moments that you’ll cherish forever.

No matter what activities you choose, the key is to tailor them to your preferences and interests as a couple. Consider what excites you both and align your activities with your shared passions. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or a mix of both, the possibilities for winter elopement activities are endless. Here’s a list of ideas for your winter elopement!

  • Visit a Christmas Tree Farm
  • Explore on a snowmobile
  • Snowshoeing on a gorgeous trail
  • Skiing or Snowboarding
  • A winter picnic with a bonfire and hot chocolate toasts
  • Ice skating on a frozen lake
  • Sled dog ride!
  • Seeing the northern lights (Alaska, Iceland, Norway, etc.)
  • Check out a frozen waterfall
  • Explore ice caves (there are tons in Alaska and Canada)
  • See bison at Yellowstone
  • Visit a hot spring
  • Rent out an Igloo Dome to see stars or the northern lights!

Best States for Winter Elopements

Planning a winter elopement is all about finding the perfect location to create a magical and unforgettable experience. Luckily, there are several states in the US that offer breathtaking landscapes and unique settings for your winter elopement.

One of the best states for winter elopements is Colorado. With its majestic snow-covered mountains and charming ski towns, Colorado provides a picturesque backdrop for your special day. From the stunning Rocky Mountain National Park to the picturesque town of Aspen, there are plenty of options to choose from to create a truly romantic and intimate elopement.

If you’re looking for a winter wonderland experience, Alaska is another great option. With its vast wilderness and stunning landscapes, Alaska offers a truly unique and adventurous elopement experience. Imagine exchanging vows under the dancing Northern Lights or against the backdrop of a frozen waterfall. You can even go on a helicopter ride and land on a glacier.

For those who prefer a more rustic and cozy setting, Vermont is an excellent choice. With its charming small towns, covered bridges, and scenic landscapes, Vermont provides a quintessential New England winter experience. Whether you choose to elope in the quaint town of Stowe or amidst the picturesque Green Mountains, Vermont will surely offer a romantic and intimate elopement setting.

Other states that are known for their winter beauty and are ideal for winter elopements include Montana, Utah, and Wyoming. Each of these states offers stunning natural landscapes, from snow-capped mountains to frozen lakes, providing endless opportunities for breathtaking elopement photos and unforgettable memories.

Internation Winter Elopement Locations


Norway is beyond stunning. Stay in a hotel literally made of snow, so the northern lights, or even do a railway tour of the mountains. There’s no shortage of insane activities to make your elopement beautiful and beyond memorable.


Saunas, Northern lights, arctic wildlife, and icebergs. Greenland is an ultimate winter location for seriously adventurous explorers. Wether you want to go dog sledding, or check out a guided tour. There are so many amazing ways to experience this place. All while having an amazing non traditional wedding.


Iceland is known for its fjords, waterfalls, hot springs, and overall stunning landscape. This place feels like an absolute dream. Wether you want to check out the iconic locations, or get out and find privacy in the secluded wilderness. You have both options right at your finger tips. You can even go see a volcano.


Canada has a ton of easily accessible National Parks. And they’re well versed in the cold out there. See moose, bears, ice caves, and so much more. There are endless hiking options. Although, if you aren’t a big hiker, there are also a ton of spots where you can drive right up and be in the heart of the mountains.


Check out the winter markets, and the famous glacier express. Wether you want to see the snowy villages, or catch wildlife at Jura Vaudois Nature Park. The options here are endless, and awe-inspiring. This is also one of the best places for snowboarding and skiing! A skiing elopement is truly a one of a kind experience and I would highly recommend Switzerland for that option.

Winter Elopement Tips

Planning a winter elopement can be an exciting and adventurous experience, but it’s important to consider a few tips to ensure everything goes smoothly. First and foremost, be prepared for the weather. Winter can be unpredictable, so make sure you have backup plans in case of inclement weather. Have warm blankets and hand warmers on hand to keep everyone comfortable during the ceremony.

Communication is key when planning a winter elopement. Make sure to clearly communicate with your vendors, such as the photographer and officiant, about your expectations and any specific requirements for the day. This will help ensure that everyone is on the same page and that your vision for the elopement is executed flawlessly.

Consider hiring a professional elopement photographer who has experience shooting in winter conditions. They will be able to capture the beauty of the season and create stunning photographs that you’ll cherish for a lifetime. Hi! You can contact me here!

Lastly, don’t forget to take care of yourself. Stay hydrated and make sure to eat well throughout the day. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of the elopement, but taking care of yourself will ensure that you have the energy to fully enjoy and embrace the experience.

Get the Right Rental

Make sure your car is all set for snowy conditions. If you are antsy about driving in the snow, you can also consider hiring an experienced driver for the day!

Have a Back-Up Location

Winter is unpredictable. Sometimes locations aren’t accessible. I always recommend couples having one to two back up locations. Possibly one that’s at lower elevation and would be easier to access if there’s simply too much snow.

Add More Time for Travel

When deciding everything you’re going to do, and creating your timeline, consider giving yourself ample time for travel. There are a lot of factors that can slow you down in winter conditions, from driving to hiking. That aside, the last thing you want is to feel rushed on your wedding day. Give yourself a TON of time between locations, and enough time to enjoy each activity.

Winter Elopement Packages

I’m Emilee, an elopement photographer who helps with all of the planning. I’m here from start to finish to help you find the perfect location, get permits, create your timeline, recommend vendors, and any other damn thing you need. All of my planning is included in my packages! You can chat with me here.

My packages start at $4,400 for winter elopements. Ready to strap on your snow boots? Let’s chat!

Don't forget your free elopement planning checklist


You see a stranger’s puppy & it takes everything in you not to run up & cuddle it.

Your dress gets dirt on it, and you shrug.

You think ice cream & wine is always an acceptable dinner option. Always.

You LIVE for the feeling of sunshine on your skin & wind in your hair.

You’re already screaming YASSSS WHERE DO I BOOK YOU?

I'm Emilee

I'm an elopement photographer who specializes in planning, crafting, and documenting untraditional weddings. I believe a wedding day should be filled with traditions that resonate with you. I'm here from start to finish to make that happen. Want to chat about your plans? Click below to set up a free consultation! 

You see a stranger’s puppy & it takes everything in you not to run up & cuddle it.

Your dress gets dirt on it, and you shrug.

You think ice cream & wine is always an acceptable dinner option. Always.

You LIVE for the feeling of sunshine on your skin & wind in your hair.

You’re already screaming YASSSS WHERE DO I BOOK YOU?

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