If you’re planning a Montana elopement, it’s pretty plain to see why you’ve chosen this stunning Northwestern state. Montana is nicknamed “The Last Best Place” for a good reason: it’s a state filled with abundant wildlife, sweeping mountain views, and some of the most beautiful locations I’ve ever had the honor to visit and shoot. But there’s an endless list of reasons to plan a Montana elopement, and it goes way beyond the epic sights of Big Sky Country. Don’t get me wrong: two epic national parks, nine national forests, and literal glaciers are already a few big perks of eloping in Montana. But there are a few other reasons why you should make Montana your must-visit spot for your wedding day.
Below, I’ll share a handful of reasons to plan a Montana elopement, and if you’re looking for a Montana elopement photographer, go ahead and reach out to me here!
1. Eloping legally in Montana is a cinch
Some states make you jump through lots of fiery hoops to get your marriage license, and the experience can be less-than-pleasant. Similarly, some states have a waiting period, which can pose a challenge, especially if you’re traveling out-of-state. But guess what? If you’re getting married in Montana, there is no waiting period! Meaning once you receive that marriage license from the Clerk of District Court, you’re wedding-ready! If you’re eloping in Montana, be aware that your marriage does need two witnesses (if you’re solo, your photographer or any passersby can help out with this!), but anyone who is ordained can legally officiate, meaning it doesn’t need to be someone from a church or clergy.
2. There are endless bucket-list spots to elope in Montana
You can close your eyes and point your finger on a map of Montana, and chances are, wherever you pointed is going to boast the most incredible scenery. To show you some numbers, Montana has quite the lengthy list of locations perfect for an elopement. Here’s what the state offers to those considering eloping in Montana: two National Parks, nine (!!!) National Forests, hundreds of mountain ranges, dozens of picturesque lakes, endless trails with varying accessibility, and, oh yeah: it’s one of the least-populated states I’ve had the pleasure of shooting, truly making things feel like you’re in a world on your own.
And about those two National Parks: Glacier National Park (pictured throughout this article) and Yellowstone are two of the most stunning parks in the United States, and the fact that they’re both in Montana should give you enough reason to want to look into a Montana elopement even more than you already were!
3. Montana’s seasons offers a variety of elopement options
Depending on the vibe you’re looking for for your elopement, the seasons in Montana are so dramatically different from one another and give you so many options to plan a day that feels exactly the way you want it to. For instance, when I shot a Montana elopement at Glacier National Park in the summer, the days lasted forever. The sun didn’t even fully set until about 10 pm, meaning you have the maximum amount of time to soak in your wedding day! The humidity is non-existent, and the wildflowers really show off, allowing spectators to really soak in all of the sights. Springtime is similar in a lot of ways to summer, though it may be rainier (or even snowier) than the summertime weather forecasts.
But let’s say you’re hoping for more drama, more mood. Winter in Montana is truly like a scene from Frozen, and is worth bundling up in plenty of layers to go out and explore! Fall is juuuust right, though winter weather tends to show up as you inch closer towards October. The fall foliage is unbeatable, though, and worth the potential frostbite! But don’t worry: if you’re with me, I’ll always provide the handwarmers so you can stay toasty 😉
4. You get more bang for your buck in Montana
While lodging and accommodations can get pricey if you wait too long to book, everything else truly is financially efficient, and you won’t be shelling out hundreds on fancy dinners and crazy excursions. Montana is somewhere to visit for epic sights, and for the most part, those sights are all pretty damn affordable! Of course, if you’re looking to ball out with an epic Airbnb or once-in-a-lifetime adventure experience, there are plenty of options to make it happen. However, it’s not a necessity, and if you come to elope in Montana and plan to only hit up one of its national parks, you won’t be shelling out nearly as much cash as with other less affordable states in Montana’s surrounding areas.
If you’re at the beginning states of planning your Montana elopement, or are looking for a Montana elopement photographer, I’d love to help share more info with you! You can reach out to me here and share all of your elopement plans with me so far. Let’s make your Montana elopement one you’ll never forget!