A-Z Guide to Planning a Winter Elopement in 2024

A winter elopement wedding can be a bit challenging to organize and pull off. Regardless of the small size of the wedding party, ample preparation is still needed to ensure its success.

Here are the key steps to planning an unforgettable winter elopement wedding:

  • Accept the Absence of Family and Friends
  • Choose a Location and Winter Elopement Package
  • Prepare Suitable Wedding Attire
  • Prioritize Warmth
  • Hire an Experienced Winter Elopement Photographer

Planning the Perfect Winter Elopement Wedding

Accepting the Absence of Family and Friends

An elopement wedding is typically a stress-free affair. However, the significant trade-off is the absence of your closest friends and family members. Elopement weddings generally include fewer than 10 people. The core concept of eloping often involves escaping traditional norms to tie the knot for various reasons, ranging from family disapproval to the desire for a simple yet beautiful ceremony.

While you may experience a sense of sadness due to your loved ones’ absence, it’s crucial to remember your reasons for eloping. If they genuinely care for you, they will understand.

“A winter elopement wedding can be a bit challenging to organize and pull off. Regardless of the small size of the wedding party, ample preparation is still needed to ensure its success.

Here are the key steps to planning an unforgettable winter elopement wedding:

  1. Accept the Absence of Family and Friends
  2. Choose a Location and Winter Elopement Package
  3. Prepare Suitable Wedding Attire
  4. Prioritize Warmth
  5. Hire an Experienced Winter Elopement Photographer

Planning the Perfect Winter Elopement Wedding

Accepting the Absence of Family and Friends

An elopement wedding is typically a stress-free affair. However, the significant trade-off is the absence of your closest friends and family members. Elopement weddings generally include fewer than 10 people. The core concept of eloping often involves escaping traditional norms to tie the knot for various reasons, ranging from family disapproval to the desire for a simple yet beautiful ceremony. While you may experience a sense of sadness due to your loved ones’ absence, it’s crucial to remember your reasons for eloping. If they genuinely care for you, they will understand.

Choosing a Location and Winter Elopement Package

A variety of stunning winter locations are available for elopement weddings. The first step in the planning process involves picking the ideal spot. This could be a location within your state or an overseas destination, depending on your preference. After selecting the location, consider reaching out to local wedding coordinators and choose a suitable winter elopement package.

Winter elopement packages range from basic ones, covering only essentials such as the officiant, venue decorations, airfare, accommodation, and a small reception dinner, to comprehensive packages that include a photographer, hairstylist, makeup artist, and even a honeymoon tour package. Select a package that best suits your preferences, ensuring a harmonious relationship with the coordinator for a genuinely stress-free wedding.

Preparing Suitable Wedding Attire

fitting wedding dress

t’s crucial to consider the cold winter temperatures when choosing the wedding dress and suit. The bride’s dress should feature long sleeves to protect her from the cold, with options like wool or fleece tights underneath for extra warmth. The groom should opt for a suit made of heavier material, like wool or tweed.

Footwear should also be appropriate for snowy conditions. Finding stylish snowshoes for a wedding ceremony can be challenging, so ensure the shoes are spacious enough to accommodate thick wool socks for warmth and protection against wetness. Mid-calf or higher boots are ideal to prevent snow from entering. Consider stylish warmers like matching scarves, beanies, and hand-warmers that can be temporarily removed for photoshoots.

Bride’s Hair And Makeup

The bride’s hair and makeup should also be suitable for snowy conditions. A neat hairstyle that can accommodate a winter hat is recommended. Waterproof eye makeup is a must as the intense cold can make the eyes water, and a lot of blush may not be necessary as the cold can naturally redden the cheeks.

Prioritizing Warmth

woman walking winter

Dealing with the freezing cold is one of the significant challenges in a winter elopement. Various strategies can help maintain warmth before, during, and after the ceremony. These can include using hand-warmers, wearing multiple layers of outerwear, having a fire pit around which the wedding party can huddle, or keeping a car running with its heater on for warm refuge when needed.

Hiring an Experienced Winter Elopement Photographer

The wedding photographer you hire must specialize in winter elopements. They should be skilled in couple photography and know how to adjust camera settings to capture the best photos without overexposing the shots due to the white snow.

Your wedding coordinator may recommend photographers, or you can search for elopement photographers online, selecting one whose style aligns with your vision and budget. Meeting the photographer before the wedding can foster comfort and relaxation during the shoot.

Other Wedding Essentials

Remember to select an officiant—any religious figure or ordained individual who can make your marriage legally binding. A loved one could even officiate, adding a touch of intimacy to the ceremony. Additionally, prepare your vows and the wedding rings.

Navigating the legalities of getting married abroad can be tricky, as laws vary from state to state. Ensure your marriage will be recognized by securing a marriage license before your trip. Check if a witness is needed for the marriage to be legitimate and prepare all necessary travel documents, like birth certificates, blood tests, visas, etc.

Post-Wedding Celebration

Many elopement couples plan an intimate post-wedding dinner. This also serves as a perfect opportunity for a small photoshoot. If you’re in a winter location, make the most of the setting by engaging in winter activities like skiing and sightseeing. Some couples use their winter elopement wedding as their honeymoon.

Checklist For Winter Elopement Wedding

  1. Travel and Accommodation
    • Location
    • Transportation
    • Hotel rooms
  2. Vendors
    • Photographer
    • Wedding coordinator
    • Videographer (optional)
    • Florist
    • Baker
    • Live musician
  3. Attires
    • Wedding dress
    • Shoes
    • Groom’s suit
    • Jewelry
    • Hair accessories
  4. Ceremony
    • Officiant
    • Vows
    • Rings
    • Marriage license
    • Witness

Top Winter Elopement Locations in the USA

Yosemite National Park In California

yosemite national park-winter

Yosemite is an incredible park with scenic views. It looks amazing all year round but even more so during the winter. The best part is that getting married during the winter season means that there are fewer tourists and less traffic to deal with. Taft Point and Glacier Point are excellent spots but you’ll need to hike in order to reach them.

Zion National Park In Utah

zion national park

This is a gorgeous winter location. You can drive all the way to the top of the park or down the valley and witness gorgeous rock formations all around you. You may get married here in the months of December to February when there aren’t a lot of tourists so that you can have some privacy and fresh blankets of snow all around you.

Page, Arizona

page arizona

This location is best known for its winding slot canyons in bright orange shades. This place has amazing winter weather and there are barely any tourists during the winter season. You’ll need a permit and a tour guide to navigate the slot canyons. The unique rock formations are good sets for your wedding photos. Some of the most famous locations in Page, Arizona include the Horseshoe Bend and Lake Powell.

Mount Hood National Forest in Oregon

alps view wedding

This is the perfect wedding elopement location if you want a classic winter wonderland look. It’s a favorite among couples because it’s easily accessible. The majority of the area is snow-free but a quick drive to the mountains will give you snow-capped ranges. There are so many options for your winter elopement, but the crowd favorite is the Trillium Lake. It’s a famous summer spot during the summer but it becomes a magical enclosure during the winter.

Big Bend National Park in Texas

big bend national park

This is a great option if you want something warm during the winter season since the desert setting remains throughout the year. The Big Bend National Park is so big and wide that it’s no problem to find a private section just for you and your partner. After your wedding, you can enjoy desert-related activities like star-gazing, wildlife observation, and more.

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