When Kamberly and James reached out about eloping in Alaska, they knew they wanted one thing: a winter wonderland. As locals to Anchorage, they also knew that temperatures would be chilly in December and daylight would be swift. But that would not stop them from celebrating in style, and doing something incredible to celebrate their love.
Alaska has so much to offer, and winter is no exception. Eloping in the winter in Alaska simply means that you need to come prepared, and be flexible. (Advice that comes standard with just about any elopement- but winter especially!) Another perk about eloping in the off season in Alaska is no crowds! I always recommend to my couples to seek shoulder season options for their elopement.
We watched the weather closely the week leading up to their big day, and on the morning of their elopement as the sun rose at 10 AM in Alaska, all looked good to go for their helicopter landing.
When we arrived at the Helicopter office, we checked in with the staff and got the cake, rings, and all my camera gear ready to go. With temperatures hovering around 13 degrees, hand warmers and a thermos full of coffee was a requirement!
We landed next to the Knik Glacier, a stunning backdrop of a 200ft blue ice shelf piercing through the snow – and it time felt like time stood still. The views were breathtaking. Winter in Alaska means that the sun barely rises and so it is essentially golden hour for 6 hours. Lighting is key when planning your elopement, and in this case we had it in spades. I generally recommend to my couples that we work around a sunrise or a sunset, but when you elope in Alaska in the winter, that is basically anytime!
We had a one hour landing on the glacier, and lucked out with zero wind. Kamberly and James opened their rings that they had hand picked and exchanged them against a stunning winter wonderland.
When you book your glacier landing elopement, you must charter a private helicopter. They do this for the fairly obvious reason that you don’t want some stranger on your elopement day! It also means that the price point goes up a bit. Base rides are for a 4 seater helicopter with an hour landing on the glacier. Depending on the season, you can often request multiple landings at different locations. It all comes down to your budget – but keep it in mind if you are wanting two distinct and incredible geographies for your Alaskan Elopement!
Also, the helicopters are all based on a weight dynamic- so if you want to bring supplies or materials out on the Glacier be sure to factor that in to your weight capacity. Your pilot/coordinator will tell you what the weight limit is. If they don’t, you can always ask!
After our hour’s landing, we climbed back into the helicopter. Our pilot took us on a bit of a tour over the ice shelf. In the mountains surrounding the Glacier, we spotted over 30 moose! In the winter months, Moose cluster together for warmth and protection. In this case, they were just hanging out on a mountainside and from the air looked remarkable!
Our final stop of the day was at Akrose Brewing Company just outside of Palmer, Alaska. Inside, we slurped down some delicious dark porters and chowed on a decadent cake. Guests inside were eager and excited to hear that they had just gotten married, and this was their celebration cake. All in all, it was a spectacular winter elopement in Alaska!
As an aside, Kamberly and James held a private ceremony that was officiated by family several days later. In Alaska, you are required to have an officiant and two witnesses for your marriage to be legal. So when considering how you want your elopement to unfold, make sure you keep this in mind!
Read more about the best places to elope in Alaska here – a Wandering Weddings Blog post on the all time greatest!