If you are wanting to elope in a National Park, the Grand Tetons should be on your list for places to consider. The mountainous scenery and close proximity to activities and stays, makes it a perfect spot.
The couple found me on Instagram in early 2023 and inquired about eloping in the Grand Tetons. They are well versed travelers and had aspired to have mountain views as part of their vow exchange. We chatted and ran through the permitting process, the logistics and all the different options for portraits within the park.
To elope in the Grand Tetons, couples must submit an application with the National Park at minimum 30 days in advance and pay a $200 fee. Dependent on group size, there are multiple location options, and the park allows for “Reserved Site-Specific Ceremony Permits” or “Small Dispersed Ceremony Permits.” In order to protect the park and its resources, one permit is processed per day and a limited amount yearly per location. Having photographed in many different National Parks, I always recommend that couples apply as soon as possible for their permits as each place will have a different set of guidelines.
In January, we were able to apply and receive our permit for the Colter Bay Swim Beach. Fast forward to early June – it was elopement time! The couple signed their marriage license in their home state before traveling to Jackson, Wyoming.
On elopement day, we started at the Rustic Inn. We walked out to the little pond and river that runs through the property where the couple had their first look together on a bridge. We then hopped in the Jeep and drove into Grand Teton National Park.
Along the way, we stopped at a scenic lookout for portraits. There were tons of wildflowers in bloom, and we got a gorgeous afternoon with amazing weather!
At the Colter Bay Swim Beach, the mountain range popped in the backdrop behind the blue lake. The couple wrote vows for each other and exchanged them on the beach. We then roamed the trails in the surrounding area and had a celebratory cocktail at John Colter’s Ranch House.
Over the weekend that I was there, we got to know each other, exchange great conversation over drinks and country music and it was truly an amazing time being in Jackson to capture their day. Brittney and Bo had an intimate low-key elopement day, focused on enjoying their time together and doing the things they love.
Photography: Kelly Miller Studios
Hotel: Rustic Inn
If you’re planning a Grand Tetons National Park elopement and have been searching for a photographer to help capture those special moments.
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