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5 Crucial Elopement Tips from a Montana Wedding Planner

You’re engaged, yay! We bet you’re SO excited to start diving into wedding planning and making your wedding dreams come to life. But tell us if this sounds familiar: You’ve started researching the many Montana wedding venues and vendors and have become increasingly overwhelmed by the options, and the pressure to choose just the right ones has become heavier and heavier. You start out excited and eager only to quickly become frustrated and confused, and you’re thinking “How am I going to pull off the wedding of my dreams?”


That’s where we come in! Here at An Epic Elopement, we live and breathe weddings and elopements. We are readily and uniquely equipped to guide you through the Montana wedding planning process. We’ll take all that stress and anxiety off your plate, so you can actually enjoy this special and fleeting engagement season, and still end up with the most amazing Montana wedding!


We’ve been planning weddings for years and years, and we’ve learned a pro tip or two along the way. When we work together, we apply all that knowledge and experience towards your big day, and bring your wedding vision to reality… and that starts today! In this post, we’ll supply you with 5 crucial elopement tips that will help you plan your dream Montana wedding.


We’ll walk you through the elopement of one of our dear couples, Erin and Eric, providing you with handy tips and important things to know about planning a Montana wedding. By the end of this post, you’ll feel more at ease and excited about wedding planning once again!


Let’s get started!


Elopement Tip #1: Curate the Top Montana Wedding Vendor Team

When Erin and Eric first came to our lead planner, Katie, they were in a similar boat to what you may be in now. They knew they wanted to get married in Montana, but didn’t quite know where to start. Katie worked with them side-by-side from the very beginning to bring their Montana wedding to fruition.


This started with curating their dream Montana wedding vendor team! This first tip is perhaps the most important, as the vendors you work with can make or break your day. Out of the hundreds of thousands of wedding vendors out there, you need to select the most experienced, friendly, and reliable ones. Especially in Montana, there’s so much to know about Glacier National Park’s rules, regulations, permits and seasonality (keep reading to find out more about this!). So even though you may find a stellar wedding vendor, if they are not well-versed in how a Montana wedding goes, you may find yourself in a sticky situation on the day of.  


It’s also important to find wedding vendors that you gel with and that align with your personalities and tastes! After all, you’ll be working closely together throughout the process and on the day of.


Luckily, when you work with our team, we’ve already done the hard work of extensively vetting the wedding vendors out there! From the hundreds of Montana weddings and elopements we’ve planned and coordinated, we’ve curated the absolute BEST wedding vendor options just for you! In our preferred vendor list, we have multiple Montana wedding photographers, Montana wedding venues, hair & makeup artists, cake bakers, musicians, rental companies, transportation options, and much much more!


When you work with us as your Montana wedding planner, you get access to our shortlist of tried and true vendors, which saves you literally hundreds of hours of research! This is especially important and convenient when planning your Montana wedding from afar, like Erin and Eric did.


When Erin and Eric heard this, they were sold on working with us! Erin even said that one of her favorite parts of the day was meeting and working with all the wedding vendors we curated for her!



Elopement Tip #2: Consider the Season

Our second elopement tip for you is to consider the season and time of year that you get married in. Here in Montana, our peak seasons are spring and summer because of the downright gorgeous weather during those months! This is the ideal time to enjoy all the outdoor activities we have to offer because temperatures will be moderate, the sun will be out, and the chances of inclement weather are much lower. However, this time is of course busier and can be more expensive due to the high volume and demand.


Erin and Eric chose to have their Montana wedding in Glacier National Park in the fall, which is a wonderful option to avoid the heavier crowds and still enjoy nice weather. We love that they chose autumn because it is less busy during this season, which meant they got to have a more private ceremony even though it was still within the national park!


Elopement Tip #3: Choose Your Glacier National Park Ceremony Site Wisely

This brings us to elopement tip #3: If you want to have your Montana wedding in Glacier National Park, make sure you do your research to find the right ceremony site! We helped Erin and Eric choose their best ceremony spot within Glacier: Ryan Beach. Situated on the banks of Lake McDonald, this site would allow them to have both the lake and a panoramic mountain backdrop for their ceremony.


Choosing your ceremony site within Glacier wisely is crucial. You need to consider what type of backdrop you want, how much effort and travel time it takes to get to that specific spot, how to obtain the necessary permit, and if there are any road closures to factor in. For Erin and Eric, Ryan Beach was perfect because they brought a small handful of guests with them, so they were more able to easily navigate the park together.


We assisted them with securing the 2 hour permit for their ceremony and carefully planned out their wedding day timeline around this. We calculated the necessary travel time and best places for everyone to meet on the day-of to hike over together. We also liaised with each of their wedding vendors to coordinate timing and day-of logistics. Not to mention that leading up to their Montana wedding day, we monitored the weather and any potential road blocks within Glacier to proactively troubleshoot if needed.


This part of the Montana wedding planning process can be tricky, but luckily, we handled it all for Erin and Eric!


Elopement Tip #4: Book a Glacier National Park Adventure Session

Tip #4 is our favorite one! If you have a Montana wedding, you absolutely must book a Glacier National Park adventure session! Whether it’s before your ceremony or after, going on this adventure photo shoot is a “can’t-miss” activity because it’ll give you the best wedding photos!


This photo time will also give you a chance to explore Glacier with just the two of you (and your awesome Montana adventure photographer). You’ll get to soak in the moment and see parts of the park that you may not get to see otherwise.


Erin and Eric’s adventure session was one of Eric’s favorite parts of their Montana wedding! He said, “The photography session was fun because it was outdoors and beautiful plus we got to be silly with poses.” Our couples have a ton of fun during their adventure photo shoots and we always recommend booking one!


It’s worth noting that you may want to take hiking around the park for these photos into consideration when choosing your wedding dress. While you should ultimately choose your dress based on how it makes you look and feel, you may want to consider how easy it is to move around in and how heavy it might be when hiking around Glacier.


Erin reminded us of this tip when we asked her after the wedding if she would change anything about the day. While she absolutely loved everything, if she had to choose something to change, it would have been to get a lighter weight dress with a lighter train.


But she looked radiant in her beautiful dress and looked stunning in photos nevertheless!  

Elopement Tip #5: Don’t Forget the After Party!

Our final elopement tip for you is to remember that you can have your cake and eat it too! Just because you elope, it doesn’t mean you have to forgo any wedding traditions that you may want. After Erin and Eric’s Montana wedding ceremony, they enjoyed a beautiful and delicious wedding cake. They got to have their special cake cutting moment and kick off the post-wedding celebration with a sweet treat!


After their adventure session, they headed back to Kalispell to enjoy dinner with their loved ones at Mercantile Steak. Then, they continued the fun at their after party at KM Bar.


And most importantly, they lived happily ever after!


A Word from Katie:

Erin and Eric, your Montana wedding at Ryan Beach was breathtaking! I loved working with your two and seeing how happy you were on the day of. The pictures turned out stunning and I hope when you look at them, you remember all the magic of the day! Best wishes to you both!



Vendor Team:

Venue: Glacier National Park - Ryan Beach

Coordinator: An Epic Elopement 

Hair & Makeup: Bridal Bliss 

Officiant: Best Day Officiants – Raul


Let’s Plan Your Montana Wedding!

Based in Kalispell, Montana, An Epic Elopement specializes in all-inclusive elopements, micro-weddings, and intimate weddings. Here, you get the full experience of having a traditional wedding, but with a little more adventure included!


Are you ready to start your elopement journey? Send me a note describing your vision and let’s make it happen!



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