How to Plan a Winter Elopement in Idaho

The Cold Never Bothered Me Anyway - If you’re someone who actually likes the snow, you'll want to read this post about how to plan a winter elopement in Idaho because it can definitely still be an option if you’re wanting to elope! If you’re not fully convinced, read this:


Imagine yourself waking up in the cutest and coziest little A-Frame cabin in the woods. You sit up in bed and look out the window and there is snow gently falling. The ground sparkles and the trees are flocked in the sparkling snow. You get up and put on your fuzzy slippers. You start a fire in the wood stove and make some yummy hot chocolate or coffee. You go and peek out the door and open it slightly, just to hear the pure sound of the silence of the snow falling on the ground. All the trees are flocked with the sparkling snow. It's so peaceful outside!


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Now if that gave you a little cozy feeling in your stomach, then maybe a winter elopement isn't completely out of the question after all! As you read on, you can learn more about these topics for planning a winter elopement in Idaho:


  • Where to elope in Idaho in the winter

  • What dresses are best to elope in the winter

  • The best kinds of men's suits for a winter climate

  • Some fun activities you can do in the snow

  • Ways to stay warm while taking photos

  • Must have winter gear to bring with you


Where To Elope In Idaho In The Winter:


Idaho is a state that gets all 4 seasons, so in the winter, all of Idaho gets snow. But I have some places picked out that would be perfect for your winter elopement regardless!


  • Farragut State Park: For the longest time I thought Farragut wasn't accessible in the winter because the main gate is closed. But if you keep following the road down, there's a spot where you can turn to access the park! The mountains still have their amazing views and this time of year, they are snow capped! So as good of a spot Farragut is to elope in the summer, it's just as beautiful in the winter! There is available places to drive right up to see the amazing views by the lake, so we don't have to worry about hiking to get the views.


  • Elkins Resort on Priest Lake: Priest Lake is stunning 365 days of the year, and it's one of the best places to elope in Idaho! Priest Lake is known as the Crown Jewel of Idaho, and is absolutely gorgeous even buried under some snow. It would make a perfect place to host your winter elopement! Consider Elkin's Resort for your winter elopement to be surrounded by mountains that can be seen for miles, and for a place to stay as well! We could be out all day taking amazing photos of all your fun activities we planned, and then come back to eat and warm up.


  • McCall: McCall is the perfect place for your winter elopement! I shot a winter elopement in McCall in February of 2021! There was so much snow, and it snowed the entire time of my visit as well as all day during the elopement! The day was still so much fun though! The Visit McCall website has a whole section on winter sports and activities you can do! The website is super helpful if you're planning to elope there! There are places to rent snowshoes and other winter items as well if you don't own any.


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  • Stanley/Sun Valley: If you love mountains and snow, look no further than Stanley! The Sawtooth Mountains surround this quaint mountain town. Nearby Sun Valley is another popular place to visit in the winter because of the ski resorts and other winter activities. Even if you aren't really into winter snow sports, these places have great restaurants and stunning views if you want to keep your elopement more laid-back and simple. If you need more reasons to visit Stanley in the winter, click the link to read 8 reasons to visit Stanley in the winter. Or if you want picture evidence of how beautiful it is to have an elopement in the winter in Stanley, check it out from JuneBug Weddings.


The Best Dresses For Your Winter Elopement:


If you've always dreamed of a princess style wedding dress, a dress with lots of layers of tulle and fluff would come in handy for a winter elopement because all those layers could help you stay warm! If you'd prefer to wear a fitted, mermaid style wedding dress, you definitely still can! You could get one with beautiful sleeves, or you could add on some layers like a cute cape or fuzzy shawl. Whatever your dream dress is, we can make it work because this is your day! If you want to wear a thin, silk dress, just be prepared to be cold, haha!


If you live in North Idaho and are on the hunt for the perfect dress, here's some of the best local shops you can visit, both in person or online!


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This photo was taken in Farragut State Park!

- Best Local Shops to Visit:


- Best Online Shops for Affordable Dresses:


The Best Kinds of Men's Suits for Your Winter Elopement:


Grooms want to stay warm too! There are thicker materials for suits that will help keep you warmer. Materials like tweed, wool, cashmere, flannel, and herringbone are thicker and are meant for colder climates. More common suit materials are cotton and polyester, and these aren't meant for cold winter elopements, so avoid those when suit shopping. Another thing you can do is to layer. Wear a long sleeve dress shirt, a vest, and the suit jacket on top. Follow this link for more info about winter men's suits.


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If you are wanting to stand out more with your suit, get a colored suit! An emerald green, warm orange, or a deep red/maroon color, for example, would complement the other colors you are incorporating and will stand out nicely in the snow.


Some Fun Activities You Can Do In The Snow:


If winter didn't have any fun activities to do, not very many people would like winter. But luckily, there's a ton of fun things you can do and that you can incorporate into your elopement! Here's some ideas:


  • Snowmobiling

  • Snowshoeing

  • Skiing/Snowboarding

  • Snowball Fight

  • Ice Skating

  • Sledding

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Now these don’t have to be done in your wedding gear (but you totally could if you wanted to because how cute are the images above?!) It’s about making memories while doing activities you enjoy! You could do them the morning of your elopement, or after! Plus, snow looks magical as is. Imagine the adorable photos you would get while doing any of these! As mentioned before, most of the time you would be able to rent what you need if necessary. They rented these snowshoes at one of the available rental shops in McCall!


Now how about staying warm while doing these fun activities for your elopement?


Ways To Stay Warm While Taking Photos:


Accessories like mittens, scarves, fur wraps, capes, winter boots, ear muffs, and beanies are functional to keep you warm while looking good for photos.


- Sledding photos would look great with some cute boots and beanies.


- A snowball fight would be perfect paired with some mittens and ear muffs.


- Ice skating would look like a dream with a flowy, fuzzy scarf and tall boot socks.


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Some other things we can do while we are out shooting are keeping the car running, so we can take breaks to warm up and run back to the car that's already warm! Another thing for brides is to wear a pair of fleece lined nude leggings under your dress to keep your legs warm without it showing in the photos! If you don't own any, you can order some or I have a pair for you already in my elopement kit!


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If you're not about doing any strenuous activities, that's fine too! Snow has a way to make anything look magical just by standing in it, like these snowy bridals! Imagine some fluffy snow falling. A fur wrap, colorful florals, and your smiling face would look stunning against a snowy landscape.


And since it gets dark early, imagine some cute indoor photos by a fireplace! Or how about spending the evening in an Idaho hot spring while enjoying some yummy drinks and thinking about how amazing your day was!


Let's talk some more gear you can bring to be as warm as possible!


Must-Have Winter Gear To Bring:

  • Beanie

  • Gloves or mittens

  • Hand and foot warmers

  • Extra blankets

  • Cute props like a mug of hot chocolate

  • Earmuffs

  • Neck gaiter

  • Scarf or cape/shawl

  • Nude leggings

  • A warm jacket to wear in between photos

  • Waterproof winter boots, not just cute ones

  • Wool socks


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Winter might make you think that there isn't much to do, but really there is! Talk to your photographer about what kinds of activities you and your partner enjoy, and the photographer can work that into a timeline special to you! Another reason winter is a great time of year to elope is because there's not as many people. So if you are craving a private ceremony experience, the only other witnesses you'll have are the snow capped mountains. If you're still not convinced, check out this blog post about a couple from Florida who wanted a winter wonderland elopement and came to Idaho!


Here's what they had to say after I photographed their elopement:


"When planning for our elopement in Idaho & coming from Florida, Karlie made the whole process smooth from start to finish. No detail was left out. She made our wedding day experience one we will never forget and the photos we get to cherish for a lifetime. I highly recommend Karlie for all your photography needs. She puts a lot of time and effort into planning your session and truly goes above and beyond."


Contact me if you're interested in planning a winter elopement in Idaho this winter season! I love shooting elopements in the snow, they are always so fun, magical, and memorable!


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