In the wedding and photography world, everyone talks about “golden hour.” It’s that time as the sun is setting when the light is so soft, warm, and glowing that it bathes everyone in gold. In my opinion though, sunrises don’t get enough credit! Having a Glacier National Park elopement at sunrise means that you’ll get a different kind of golden hour; one that turns the sky light pink and lavender with tinges of orange and gold.
Choosing to have a Glacier National Park elopement at sunrise also means that you’ll get to enjoy the quiet serenity that only falls over the park in the early hours of the morning. You won’t need to worry about many, if any, hikers at that time, which means complete privacy for your nuptials.
Cheyenne and Aubrey understood and loved all of this, so they decided to have their Glacier National Park elopement on a beautiful July morning with just two of their loved ones. If you’re curious about how to plan and execute a Glacier National Park elopement at sunrise, keep on reading! I’ll go through our planning process step by step and show you exactly how we pulled it off!
Step 1: Hire an Elopement Planner
When many of my couples come to me, they know they want to elope in Montana, but are unsure of how to make that happen. That’s where I come in! The elopement services I offer are all-inclusive, meaning I scout and book all the necessary vendors for you. I assist in selecting a ceremony location, create a full elopement day timeline, and figure out all the logistics for you!
At An Epic Elopement, we are experts in the west Montana area and wedding industry, so you can trust us to choose only the best vendors for your big day. We know the ins and outs of getting around Glacier National Park and we stay on top of any updates with the roads in the area. We will advise you on how much drive time to plan for, what shoes to wear, what to bring (or we can bring things on your behalf!), and we can even officiate your ceremony!
I was elated when Cheyenne and Aubrey chose me as their Glacier National Park elopement planner. They are such a sweet couple, who simply wanted to be together on their big day, so that’s what we did for them!
Step 2: Select Location for your Glacier National Park Elopement
When we work together, I will always assist in choosing a ceremony location because I know how overwhelming it can be! There are so many amazing spots to have your Glacier National Park elopement and it can be tough to choose just one! That’s why Cheyenne and Aubrey actually chose two locations for their elopement day!
They decided to hold their first look at Ryan Meadows and have their ceremony at Big Bend. Finding Ryan Meadows can be insider knowledge that locals (and experienced wedding pros!) would know about. It’s not your typical tourist spot, which makes it the perfect, private locale.
Cheyenne and Aubrey’s first look here was incredibly sweet and special! Cheyenne was a stunning bride in her white, long-sleeved gown with flowing skirt and faux fur shawl. Aubrey was equally as dapper in his dark blue suit and deep turquoise tie with a subtle bird pattern. We had him face the lake and mountains as Cheyenne walked up behind him. She gave him the biggest hug before he turned around and saw his soon-to-be wife. The love in that moment was palpable!
The two friends they invited to their Glacier National Park elopement were actually their officiant and musician. After the first look, they all spent time at Ryan Meadows for praise and worship before starting the journey to Big Bend for the ceremony.
Step 3: Determine Wedding Colors & Design
If you think that elopements don’t have a wedding design, think again! While you won’t have elements like table centerpieces, you’ll still have your wedding gown, bridal bouquet and boutonniere, and possibly a wedding cake!
It was important to Cheyenne and Aubrey that their Glacier National Park elopement day was simple and beautiful, focusing on their love and the natural beauty of the park. Thus, we went with colors that would complement the mountains and surrounding landscape. We chose a rich red and purple with a light pink accent.
Their cutie wedding cake was classic white with floral accents, but we had their amazing cake baker spread buttercream on the outside to look like mountains! It was a subtle tribute to Montana’s beauty and Cheyenne and Aubrey loved it!
Step 4: Book Rockstar Vendors
Having a Glacier National Park elopement can be tricky if you’re trying to do it on your own! There are day-of logistics that you don’t want to think about on your elopement day, like who is going to bring the cake, cake set, plates, floral, rings, marriage license etc. What if someone gets lost (trust me, it’s easy to do) in the park or runs late?
That’s why I coordinate everything on your behalf on the big day and also why I only book the BEST vendors for you! The vendors I’ll recommend and hire for you have years of experience, know how to navigate the park, and are true professionals! You’ll never have to worry about a thing with them in your corner.
For Cheyenne and Aubrey’s Glacier National Park elopement, we booked We The Blackwells, Rose Mountain Floral, Montana Wildflour, and Melanie Hobus . This was truly a rockstar team, which is exactly what you want when you get married at sunrise! That early in the morning, there won’t be time to call in a backup vendor if someone falls through, so that’s another reason why I’m so glad Cheyenne and Aubrey trusted me to coordinate their elopement!
Step 5: Get Married!
The week of the elopement, I always send all the vendors a complete elopement day timeline to ensure that everyone is on the same page. The timeline includes an hour-by-hour (sometimes, minute-by-minute) breakdown of what needs to happen when.
On Cheyenne and Aubrey’s elopement day, the timeline started with hair & makeup at 2:30am (shoutout to rockstar hair & makeup artist, Melanie Hobus !). Once everyone was all dolled up and dressed in their wedding finest, Cheyenne and Aubrey did a blindfolded prayer together. They each wore a blindfold and held each other’s hands as they said a prayer together before all the festivities began. This was a great variation on a first touch!
The lovebirds then went to Ryan Meadows for their first look. When that concluded, they all made their way to Big Bend, stopping along the way for photos. When they arrived at Big Bend at about 8am, the sun was just starting to peek over the mountaintops.
They exchanged custom vows and rings atop a small boulder between the mountains in a beautiful ceremony. Each of their vows brought them both to tears and elicited a hug or two. It was moving to witness!
When they were declared an official married couple, they shared a loving kiss and hug before cutting into their cake. They then journeyed through Glacier to get epic adventure photos on mountains, in caves, and by waterfalls! At the end, they even jumped into Lake McDonald to get the coolest shots!
Step 6: Live Happily Ever After!
It was such a pleasure working with Cheyenne and Aubrey for their Glacier National Park elopement! I was overjoyed to see them so happy on their big day and I could tell they had so much fun together from beginning to end! I hope that this wedding story illustrates how special it is to have a sunrise Glacier National Park elopement. I also hope that the process doesn’t seem as overwhelming as it did when you first started reading this post!
No matter where you are in your elopement planning process, I would be honored to assist! Together, we can bring your elopement vision to life, just like we did for Cheyenne and Aubrey.
Final Word from Katie:
Congrats Cheyenne and Aubrey! Your sunrise elopement was just as lovely and perfect as the two of you are. Thanks for being so wonderful to work with! I wish you both much happiness and many adventures in your future together!
Venue // Glacier National Park - Big Bend
Coordinator // An Epic Elopement
Photographer // We The Blackwells
Florist // Rose Mountain Floral
Baker // Montana Wildflour
Hair & Makeup // Melanie Hobus
Let's Plan Your Glacier National Park Elopement!
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 elopement vision and let’s make it happen!