Whether you want to say your “I do’s” in a cave in the backcountry of Wyoming, wear your gown on horseback or hike to the tippy top of the Grand Teton to seal the deal, you’re in the right place. There are numerous places for the adventurous couple in Wyoming to celebrate your love. This ultimate Wyoming elopement guide will cover everything you need to know if you’re wanting to elope in 2022 or 2023. I’d love nothing more than to be your adventurous Wyoming elopement photographer, so fill out this form and let’s chat about the details of your big day!
One thing I’ve learned as an adventurous elopement photographer is that you don’t need to fit your elopement inside “the box.” When you take out the unnecessary traditions, the only thing required of you on your wedding is to sign a piece of paper. Although this may sound unromantic at first, it can definitely be the opposite. Removing unnecessary traditions opens up space to be filled with what actually makes you happy. That idea that you must have dinner and dancing at your wedding? You don’t have to do it! Waking up before the sun and having your wedding ceremony first thing as you board a hot air balloon (courtesy of Wyoming Balloon Company) to catch the sunrise and of course (beautiful photos) as you “kiss the bride” will be a moment you’ll truly never forget.
Obviously, an adventure elopement can take place in places other than the mountains. You can choose to elope at the County Courthouse, however not all courthouses allow ceremonies to take place on site. This is why it’s important to be prepared and do your research before committing to a location. If you decide to seal the deal in the backcountry, it’s critical that you take a few important steps for your own safety. Pack intentionally and be prepared for weather to change in the blink of an eye (literally). Don’t forget bear spray, plenty of food and water and if needed, hire a professional guide. Always make sure you have proper permits for your Wyoming elopement. If you’re not confident in your plan, remember the saying, “If you don’t know, don’t go!” There are so many gorgeous locations with easy access if you have a small crowd coming with you.
Depending on what county you decide to tie the knot in, you’ll need a marriage license. Call the County Courthouse for whichever county you’re eloping in and set up an appointment to get your marriage license. You may need a permit for certain locations as well. There is generally a fee that comes along with the permit, so be prepared for that. If you have absolutely any questions, don’t be afraid to reach out! I’m here to help.
As I mentioned above, a professional guide may be needed for the big day. However, a guide isn’t the only professional you should be hiring for your adventure elopement. You’ll obviously want epic photos (Hi! It’s me!) and if it’s in your budget, an adventure elopement planner would be ideal. I promise they’re worth their weight in gold. If you have a traditional wedding, your vendors are there to ensure you enjoy the day, your wedding planner keeps the schedule rolling on track and your photographer captures beautiful moments. With an adventure elopement, your vendors can do all the same things, while actually saving your life. Look for those vendors that specialize in adventure elopements. They’ll have a vast knowledge of locations and practices that will be very useful for your Wyoming elopement and will consider back-up plans and safety for everyone involved.
There are hundreds (if not thousands) of gorgeous elopement locations in Wyoming. Whether you’re wanting a backcountry elopement in the Tetons or want to have a small ceremony at St. Alban’s Chapel in Medicine Bow National Forest, you can’t go wrong. The amazing news about most of these venues, is that they’re either FREE or very lost cost. If you’re looking for hillsides covered in wildflowers and wildlife roaming around, most of these locations provide that throughout the summer and early fall. However, the snow can be beautiful, too! Most of these locations are very easily accessible for guests with roads, paved paths nearby. Here are ten STUNNING locations you’ll want to consider for your Wyoming elopement:
Keep the West wild. The 7 principles of Leave No Trace should be applied to every elopement or adventure in the backcountry. We already discussed the first principle of Leave No Trace, which is planning ahead and preparing. Travel and camp on durable surfaces only. Dispose of waste properly. Leave what you find. Minimize campfire impacts. Respect wildlife. Be considerate of others. For an adventure elopement, make sure you tag responsibly on social media! This means not giving away the location of private places or secret spots on social media. This truly helps keep the West wild. Always tell a loved one where you’re going and when to expect you back and most importantly, don’t forget to have fun on this amazing adventure!!
Finding local Wyoming wedding vendors that are willing to hike for three hours to capture the most epic shot and an officiant that doubles as a raft guide will be a decision you won’t regret.