HOW TO ELOPE IN NORTHERN IDAHO

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When deciding on a place to elope, Idaho should not be overlooked! This place is filled with beauty and scenic landscapes that would make any day feel magical. This state calls to people who crave adventure. It boasts a wild charm and scenery that will make for the perfect elopement. In December, I had the privilege of sharing a special day with Mike and Jenny. In this guide, I will tell the story of M&J, give you tips on the best seasons here in Northern Idaho, and attach extra resources to help you find a dress, suit, flowers, lodging, and more!

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What an amazing day to celebrate with  this sweet couple. Before we could take off on this epic journey, we first had to plan. M&J are an adventurous couple. They love hiking, backpacking, exploring and camping. Northern Idaho fit their personalities perfectly. During this stage, we discussed locations, time of day, and the time of year- essentially we covered what they wanted their day to look like. We decided on a hike in Northern Idaho in December with a moderate hike along a beautiful lake. This hike took us up and around the lake with some amazing spots to stop along the way to share vows, exchange rings, have a picnic and pop some  champagne .We decided to make this happen in December as this couple loved the beauty and feel that came with winter time Idaho.

MEET MIKE AND JENNY

MIKE AND JENNY'S DAY

 We set the date and started making plans. I did some scouting for a great place to take photos and decided on two locations near Couer D'Alene, Idaho. We started our day early, on a local dock with the fog creeping in the background. With it being only 25 degrees out, it was freezing. We kept Jenny wrapped in a blanket as much as possible but she was such a trooper. We all took a little break to warm up with some hot cocoa before heading to the trail head to start our hike.

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Our next location was a hike. We put on coats and gloves and ventured out, securing the Bouquet in Mike’s backpack. We had a picnic in a beautiful spot and popped some champagne. The sun finally warmed us up, and we were able to capture some beautiful moments. We found the perfect location to have their ceremony, where they exchanged rings and vows. It was such a beautiful, intimate moment, and I was honored to be there to capture their love.

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We ended this day with some amazing photography as the suns rays shed its light across the rocks and lake. M&J. ventured out on the edge to share some last hugs, kisses and dips before the sun faded away and we lost the suns light. We enjoyed the hike back around the lake and arrived back to the trailhead just as the sky turned to darkness.  This day was so perfect, it  started on the docks early in the morning and came to a close as the sun dipped behind the mountains. Capturing the entire day sharing special moments together and simply enjoying a relaxed day made this day perfect.

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RESOURCES FOR ELOPING

APPLY FOR A MARRIAGE LICENSE 

Marriage license cost $28.31 and requires cash

 

Must be 18 and appear together at the county recorder's office.

 

Must each have a social security card number and a second form of ID such as Drivers License, Passport, an original or certified copy of a birth certificate.

 

The couple does not have to be a resident of Idaho however the ceremony must take place in Idaho.

 

There is no waiting period, able to get married on the same day. No witnesses are required. Some photographers are ordained and can be the officiant, allowing for just the couple and the photographer to be present.

CHOOSING WHICH SEASON TO VISIT

Something to consider about the seasons is the popularity of trails and traffic you may run into. Summer generally has higher traffic due to the warm weather, while you may see fewer people during the colder seasons. Another thing to consider is what day you want to have your elopement. Weekends typically see higher traffic, not only on the trails but also with vendors. Vendors get booked up on the weekends rather quickly, so choosing a weekday might provide the most flexibility.

SUMMER

Summer is the season for hiking in this area. And the sunsets and sunrises are always spectacular.

 

Hiking is easier in the summer, so if you are planning on trekking up mountains, this may be the easiest time of year to do so.

FALL

Beautiful fall colors sweep this state in the fall. Be prepared for jaw-dropping yellow and orange backdrops. Shimmering aspen trees and waving meadows.

WINTER

Gorgeous snowy backdrops

 

Cloudy days can make for AMAZING, dramatic backdrops in the winter, you can do fun activities such as build a fire, roast s’mores, have a snowball fight, enjoy a sleigh ride, and more!

 

It may be cold, but there is something about winter photos that are just pure magic.

SPRING

Springtime in Idaho is all about new life, and the flowers that grow here grow in an abundance. They will create a fairy-like backdrop for your special day.

 

Another thing to consider about spring is trails will be rather mucky due to the melting snow and rain. Something to keep in mind when planning out your elopement.

HIKING LOCATIONS

SCOTCHMAN PEAK

4 miles each way up and back 3,700 elevations rated difficult

HARRISON LAKE

4.6 miles out and back

1,437 ft elevation rated moderate

CHILCO MOUNTAIN TRAIL

3.9 miles total up and back 1,482 elevations rated moderate

TURTLE ROCK AND BEDROCK RIDGE LOOP

2.2 mile loop rated easy.

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IDAHO ADVENTURES

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WESTERN PLEASURE GUEST RANCH

in the summertime, it is a full immersion, all-inclusive guest ranch experience. Most common is a week-long package including lodging, activities, and meals.In the winter you can enjoy a horse-drawn sleigh ride Spring and Fall enjoy guided 2 hr. trail rides. $75/ person

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SILVER MOUNTAIN RESORT

This is a fun winter activity. You could go night skiing after your elopement!

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TIMBERLINE ADVENTURES ZIPLINE

7 zip lines that vary in height, speed, and challenge.Lake Coeur d’ Alene 3 ½-4 hours $99.00/ person

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TRAIL OF THE HIAWATHA

A 15-mile bike trail with 10 train tunnels, crosses seven trestles and passes through a 1.5-mile long dark train tunnel. The trail crosses the border of Montana and Idaho.

LODGING

BRIDAL SHOPS IN N. IDAHO

Cloud Nine Bridal

www.cloudninecda.com

 

Affordable Elegance Bridal www.affordablebridalcda.com

 

Believe Bride

www.believebride.com

TUX SHOPS IN N. IDAHO

Tuxedo Gallery

2310 N 4th St, Coeur d'Alene, ID 83814

 

Touchdown Tuxedo

901 E 3rd Ave, Post Falls, ID 83854

HAIR & MAKEUP

Flawless Full-Service Salon and Makeup

208-765-1110

The Harestream

Owner Lindsay Hare

Hairstylist+Makeup artist+adventurer

509-981-5246

harestream.com

 

Suzanne La Valley Makeup artistry www.sandpointmakeup.com

 

Makeup by Alexa Elise

www.makeupbyalexaelise.com

 

CICIBird Beauty

www.cicibird.com

FLORALS

Fleurtations Florals

Owner Jenn Sandin

 

Sunflower Cottage and Village Decor

 

Dragon Flower Design

OFFICIANTS

Chanelle Carlin

Your officiant for custom, intimate nature weddings and elopements in the Pacific Northwest.

www.chanellecarlin.com