HOW TO ELOPE IN NORTHERN IDAHO
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 October, I had the privilege of following Mieka and Russell on their journey to celebrate their engagement. In this guide, I will tell the story of M&R, 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!
What an amazing day to celebrate the engagement of this sweet couple. Before we could take off on this epic journey, we first had to plan. M&R are an adventurous couple. They love hiking, backpacking, exploring, camping, and they have been known to participate in a few Spartan races. 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 with a sunset timeline (as my couple decided they were not early birds) and a moderate hike. This hike would only be a 2-mile climb up with 1,482 elevation to a mountain top in beautiful Idaho. We decided to make this happen in October, but knowing how quickly the weather can change from summer to winter here, we planned for that first weekend of the month.
MEET MIEKA AND RUSSELL
MIEKA & RUSSELL'S DAY
We arrived at the trailhead, packed up our packs, and made sure we were prepared for the hike before setting off. With a picnic basket and blanket in hand, M&R found a quiet little spot to spread their blanket and enjoyed a Charcuterie board with crackers, cheese, salami, and some nuts. After the picnic, they were full of energy and excitement. We stowed the picnic basket and dawned our packs which were stuffed with clothes and goodies for along the trail and we headed out. We took the hike easy and enjoyed the beauty that surrounded us. Plus we wanted to keep Mieka’s makeup and hair fresh and gorgeous!
As we reached the summit the view was spectacular in every direction. We spent about an hour exploring and taking pictures. M&R had made signs that hung on their packs announcing their wedding date, which was such a perfect way to announce their engagement! They changed into warmer clothes and we just spent time enjoying the day having fun taking photographs. As we waited for the sun to begin its descent in the sky the couple enjoyed some alone time and took a little break for some hot cocoa and cuddles.
As the sky began transforming into an impressive array of burgundy and blues, M&R changed into their formal attire for the final portion of their photoshoot. We began the dance of capturing amazing photographs as the sky and valley created an unbelievable backdrop. Warm hugs, sweet kisses, and some fancy dance moves made the ending of this day completely amazing. The sun said its goodbye and slowly faded away. We changed into warm clothes and we began our trek back down the mountain. We enjoyed the friendly conversation and a feeling of peace as the sky turned dark. We decided to add another layer of clothing as the air-cooled and we brought out our headlamps to make our way back to the car. This day was exactly how it had been envisioned. Northern Idaho had delivered what It had promised with an amazing hike, incredible views, and the creation of unforgettable memories.
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 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.
Beautiful fall colors sweep this state in the fall. Be prepared for jaw-dropping yellow and orange backdrops. Shimmering aspen trees and waving meadows.
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.
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.
4 miles each way up and back 3,700 elevations rated difficult
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.
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
SILVER MOUNTAIN RESORT
This is a fun winter activity. You could go night skiing after your elopement!
TIMBERLINE ADVENTURES ZIPLINE
7 zip lines that vary in height, speed, and challenge.Lake Coeur d’ Alene 3 ½-4 hours $99.00/ person
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.
TUX SHOPS IN N. IDAHO
2310 N 4th St, Coeur d'Alene, ID 83814
901 E 3rd Ave, Post Falls, ID 83854
HAIR & MAKEUP
Owner Jenn Sandin
Sunflower Cottage and Village Decor
Dragon Flower Design
Your officiant for custom, intimate nature weddings and elopements in the Pacific Northwest.