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A Montana Elopement at Lake McDonald Lodge

Back in the day, eloping used to mean going to the courthouse and having a judge marry you. An elopement can still mean that (and there’s nothing wrong with that if that’s your jam!), but there are SO many other ways to elope these days. Some options include having a backyard ceremony as we saw become increasingly popular with the onset of the pandemic, jet setting on a plane to a foreign destination, or having an intimate Montana elopement in the mountains!


There’s something so romantic about running away to Montana to marry the love of your life. It could have something to do with the surreal landscape that Glacier National Park provides as the backdrop to your day. It could be because of all the epic adventures you can go on during your Montana elopement weekend, including hiking, kayaking or boating. Or possibly, it’s because you’re tying the knot amidst the quietness and solitude that only the mountains can offer.


Whatever the reason, a Montana elopement sure is special! One of our beautiful couples, Jodi and Mitch, knew this, as they embarked on an elopement adventure with just the two of them during their wedding weekend. They made it official lakeside at Lake McDonald Lodge within Glacier National Park. As we relive their wedding story, we’ll take you their journey to become husband and wife.


We hope that you’ll find as much inspiration and joy in their Montana elopement as they did!


Is a True Montana Elopement Right for You?

The first step in planning any Montana elopement is deciding if a true elopement is right for you. By a true elopement, we mean just you and your soon-to-be spouse. Here at An Epic Elopement, we specialize in true elopements, but also micro weddings (up to ~50 guests) and intimate weddings (up to ~50-75 guests). Most often though, we see our couples get married with a handful of their closest people, approximately 10-20 folks.


But how do you know if you should invite anyone or stick to a private and intimate ceremony? Here are a few factors we recommend considering:


1.     Wedding Vision

What type of wedding excites you? Picture your wedding day and being surrounded by just your immediate family and closest friends. Then, imagine what it might be like if you were to tie the knot with just the two of you. Which picture gives you butterflies? Your elopement or wedding day should ultimately be the day of your dreams, so while this may sound cliché, it’s true: Follow your heart!


2.     Wedding Budget

Consider your total wedding budget and see if there’s room in it to celebrate with a large group, just a handful, or just you and your fiancé. Guest count is the number one factor that affects the wedding budget, so if you’re looking to save money, a true elopement may be right for you. You could even take the money you saved and put it towards your honeymoon in Montana after the ceremony!


3.     Wedding Location

Do you have a dream wedding venue in mind? If so, the venue may determine how many people you’re able to have. Especially if you’re getting married within Glacier National Park, this is a very real factor to consider, as some sites only accommodate up to 15-20 people. For more information on the possible wedding locations within Glacier, check out the full details in our blog post below:




Lake McDonald Lodge:

Jodi and Mitch decided that they would have a true Montana elopement and tie the knot with just the two of them present! They selected Lake McDonald Lodge for their lodging and wedding venue. This Swiss chalet style lodge sits just 10 miles from the west entrance of Glacier along the banks of Lake McDonald. Its proximity to the entrance makes it a breeze to access and provides breathtaking views of the famous lake and surrounding mountain range.


These lovebirds got married on the beach area of the Lodge with the gentle waves of the lake breaking softly behind them. As you’ll soon see, lush green forestry helped set the stage for their wedding ceremony. Some mist and fog rolled in that day, but they served to create an even more sacred and ethereal atmosphere for this couple.


Meet Your Montana Wedding Officiant!

Did you know that our lead wedding planner, Katie, really can do it all? Not only can she flawlessly design, plan, and coordinate all the details of your Montana elopement or wedding, but she can also officiate the ceremony! She is an ordained Montana wedding officiant and absolutely loves the opportunity to marry the couples she grows so close to over the planning process!


If you’re hoping to keep the crowd at your wedding small or simply have a sweet and meaningful ceremony, having Katie officiate and coordinate is the perfect choice!


She works so closely with you to plan your wedding, so by the time your Montana elopement day arrives, it’s like a close friend is marrying you! She also makes sure to intentionally get your input on what you would like to be incorporated into the ceremony script. From Bible verses or quotes that are significant to you to special anecdotes that you’d like to reminisce on, Katie can personalize your ceremony to perfectly fit you and your fiancé.


One fun thing she likes to do is ask you individually prior to the wedding day 5 things that you love about your partner. Then, during the ceremony, she reads them aloud as a special surprise for each of you. This was her favorite part of Jodi and Mitch’s Montana elopement, as they gave such sweet and loving answers!


Glacier National Park Adventure Session:

After Katie pronounced Jodi and Mitch husband and wife on that lovely Montana day, they sealed the deal with a kiss! Then, it was time for their Glacier National Park adventure session! Together with their photographer, they explored the shores of Lake McDonald and the Lodge’s beautiful grounds to capture the most amazing newlywed portraits.


We loved how Jodi’s peach and coral bridal bouquet popped against the natural scenery of Glacier and her exquisite wedding dress. That day, she wore an ivory wedding gown with a light, tulle skirt and classic lace details on the bodice. And because she anticipated their adventure session, she made sure to wear comfy shoes! We love a practical, adventurous bride!


Jodi and Mitch’s Montana elopement was ultimately such a special day! With just the two of them, they were able to have the utmost intimacy and privacy for their nuptials and spend quality one-on-one time together for their adventure photos. They also had the flexibility to celebrate however they wanted afterwards, whether that meant sharing a special dinner back at the Lodge, having a picnic within Glacier, or simply spending time together amongst the beauty of the mountains.


A Word from Katie:

Jodi and Mitch, it was my complete honor to officiate and coordinate your day! I had so much fun getting to know the two of you individually and as a couple. I am so grateful I had the chance to witness your love! Cheers to the happiest forever!




Venue: Glacier National Park – Lake McDonald Lodge 

Coordinator & Officiant: An Epic Elopement  


Let’s Plan Your Montana 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 vision and let’s make it happen!



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