Top 5 Reasons to Elope in a Winter
If you're thinking of eloping in any of the busiest National Parks I highly recommend considering shoulder season such as fall, winter (unless if roads are accessible) or early spring.
- Permits: are so much easier to get for the popular National Parks. Parks such as Arches, the Tetons, Rocky Mountain National Park require obtaining special use permits at least 6 months in advance for the busy summer season, but ideally up to 12 months. In a winter time you can apply for the permit few months before your elopement day and you will most likely get it.
- No crowds: If you have ever been to a National park in a busy season you know how crowded it can get. Many parks enforce reservation system (Yosemite, Rocky Mountain, Arches, Zion), have long entry lines and most iconic locations are very crowded not allowing for the intimate elopement you're looking for.
- No tourists at the most iconic locations. Eloping in a an off season allows you have the best locations all to yourself. Thinking of eloping in the Arches? Odds are high you will have some amazing pictures under the arches with no-one but your partner.
- Accommodations are so much cheaper in an off season. Winter is a low season for most of the Utah mighty 5 National parks and Airbnbs are less expensive plus you don't have to worry about booking everything way in advance.
- Temperatures are colder but that also means milder especially if you're thinking of eloping in Utah where summer months are scorching hot. Southern Utah offers winters in the 30-50s range with little to no snow and mostly clear skies.
If you're looking to elope in Utah make sure to read my other blog on how to.
Best Winter Elopement Locations
I am an elopement photographer specializing manning in Utah, Wyoming and Colorado Elopements so I am going to recommend my favorite locations accordingly. Hands down Utah is the best place to elope in a winter. We have 5 National Parks here plus many beautiful Public lands locations. Utah desert is still at high altitude but it offers milder temperatures, blue and sunny skies and beautiful views.
Some the best locations to elope in a. winter are Zion National Park (make sure to read y blog on 'how to'),my favorite Moab and the surrounding area, Arches National Park, Canyonlands and Capitol Reef. Utah desert provides amazing landscape, rock formations for any elopement or outdoor weddings plus some places you will see snow laying on the ground. Because the temperatures are much warmer than in Northern Utah you can enjoy being outside, hiking, having a picnic or basking in a sun.
If you're looking more for winter wonderland elopement with beautiful mountains in the backgrounds Slat Lake City has some of the most accessible locations with 'the best snow' on earth. Any skiing fans would know that. Park City offers just that as well combined with great winter snow activities. Another beautiful location is American Fork and Provo Canyon, except many mountain roads remain clones in a winter.
I personally love the Grand Tetons as elopement locations as well. Although it'll be cold and snowy there are still many locations very accessible by car, many roads in the park will be still open and on a clear day you will see the majestic Tetons right in front of you.
How to Prepare for Winter Elopement
First of all it depends where are you eloping and what temperature should you expect. If it's any mountain location you have to bundle up. Once the sun goes down the temperatures dip to frigid 20s and you want to make sure you're staying warm and cozy.
- I always tell my couples to wear long underwear, warm merino wool socks, winter boots with good grip and have hats and gloves. Even if you don't want any photos with scarfs etc you should have it handy for the breaks in between photos
- Bring a thermos with hot beverage and some snacks. That goes without saying, you want to stay warm and comfortable during your elopement and drinking a warm tea will make sure you're hydrated and warm
- bring blankets or something warm to sit on. Also make sure you both wear warm coats.
- If you're eloping in a snow wear a dress that will stand out from the white snow. You don't want to blend in with the background that's why different state of beige dress is helpful Also make sure to wear a jacket or coat in a different color.
- Make sure you flowers won't wilt in freezing temperatures. I recommend buying silk flowers or wood flowers from sola.
- have. vehicle that's capable of driving on dirt roads and in snowy conditions if necessary. 4x4 is always the best choice for Utah and Colorado.
- If you're planning on bringing pets make sure they are prepared for the cold and more on dogs in my previous blog.