Last Updated on September 8, 2021 by vowsandpeaks

How to Plan a Winter Elopement

Bride and Groom Snowshoeing Winter Elopement Guide


There’s something so peaceful about winter – when the earth seems to sleep under a blanket of snow, the air feels crisp, and there’s quiet tranquility in the flurries floating down to the ground. 

Now imagine eloping in a winter wonderland, enjoying the silence that’s interrupted only by the crunch of ice under your feet and the occasional sound of falling snow. Imagine saying your vows surrounded by your own little haven of the brisk winter air and open skies. 

A winter elopement may require a little more planning than any other season – with shorter days, road closures, and hiking through the snow, but this guide will tell you everything you need to know to plan the most epic adventure and get you inspired with some winter elopement ideas!

Bride and Bride Hugging Winter Elopement Guide


One of the best things about a winter elopement is that even the places that are jam-packed with crowds in the summer are often totally empty in the winter! This means that on your winter elopement day you get to enjoy a lot more privacy as you say your vows.

Let’s face it: winter elopements are especially beautiful – most days are still sunny, so you can enjoy the snow, and the sparkle that sunny days create on the frost, without feeling the gloom that winter can be notorious for. Here are some of the best places to elope in the winter.


If you’re up for somewhere remote and beautiful, then Telluride is one of the best places to have your winter elopement. You really can have it all in Telluride. The town is only 12 blocks long and 8 blocks wide and boasts historic Victorian architecture, boutique shops, and plenty of local gems. But that’s not even the highlights of the area: The towering snowcapped peaks highlight some of the best skiing and backcountry snowshoeing for your winter elopement.

Bride and Groom Celebrating Telluride Winter Elopement


Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the most popular national parks in the country, but winters are much quieter! The towering peaks and jagged rock formations were carved by glaciers millions of years ago, creating the insane vistas the Rocky Mountains are known for. The snow creates an, even more, epic landscape of peaks, valleys, and frozen alpine lakes. And while many higher elevation roads close for the winter, the lower elevation trails stay open for snowshoeing. 

Bride and Groom Dancing Winter Elopement Guide


The town of Breckenridge sits cozily away from Vail and Silverthorne and is known for looking like something out of a snowglobe in the winter. For a winter elopement in Breck, you can hit the slopes to ski, or snowshoe some of the local trails. The town is laid back and inviting, and offers plenty to do in town once you’re done exploring for the day. Elope in the winter months and you catch the ice castles!

Bride and Groom Snowshoeing Winter Elopement Guide


You don’t want to be freezing your butts off all day – so keeping the weather in mind when you shop for your elopement attire will ensure you can have a full day of adventures! Keep reading below for what you should consider wearing for your winter elopement.

Bride and Groom Kissing Winter Elopement Guide


Staying warm and dry is key when it comes to winter elopements, so high heels and dress shoes probably won’t cut it – especially considering we’re going to be venturing out in the snow! I would look into Gortex or other winterized boots, as long as they’re waterproof.

If you get new shoes for the occasion, be sure to break them in before the big day! There’s nothing worse than a new-shoe blister. If your winter elopement location has some deep snow, consider adding some snowshoes to keep you from sinking – Yaktrax will provide you traction for icy conditions. 


Mermaid style and ball gown dresses may work for traditional weddings, but on your winter elopement day you’ll be hiking, snowshoeing, skiing, running away from snowballs lovingly hurled by your new spouse, maybe even all of the above. You’ll need a dress that will let you do that! Make sure your dress is comfortable and allows you to move freely – so you can enjoy your winter elopement day. 

For a winter elopement, you’ll also really need to think about staying warm. Dresses with heavier fabrics (like velvet or silk) can help, along with a cape or shawl on top for warmth and dramatic flair.


Just like elopement dresses, your winter elopement suits need to be comfortable and warm! Make sure you can move around without ripping through the jacket Superman-style. To stay warm, heavier fabrics (like tweed, wool, and velvet) will do the trick, and suits are handy because they always give you options for layering!


You aren’t done with your winter elopement attire yet! It can often feel toasty while you’re roaming through the snow, but once you stop for your ceremony it doesn’t take long for the cold to start biting. It’s important to be prepared – so I recommend some under layers to keep you warm. Nude leggings and thermal pieces work well, and it never hurts to bring some cold weather accessories, like gloves, scarves, and extra socks (wool socks are kind of magical – they’ll keep you warm in the winter conditions even if they get wet).

I also recommend bringing some hand warmers, and maybe a camping stove for some hot chocolate or coffee on the go. Because who doesn’t love hot chocolate?

Bride and Groom Snow Shoeing Winter Elopement Guide


You have to think of your winter elopement of more than a pretty backdrop – the whole point of a winter elopement is to have some fun in the snow! So plan for your entire day to be an experience. Think of the most epic, most fun, best day you could possibly have – nothing’s off limits! Here are some winter elopement ideas to get the gears turning.

Bride and Groom at Sunrise Winter Elopement Guide


Ready to hit the slopes. Snowboarding is an amazing idea for some post “I do” adrenaline, and yes, you can totally shred in your elopement attire! I would suggest planning your snowboarding adventure during the week so you can avoid the crowds and traffic of the weekend. You want to have the maximum amount of privacy and avoid sitting in ski traffic at all costs.


Snowshoes are kind of like little skis for your feet. They distribute your weight to allow you to walk on top of the snow without sinking in and provide some traction when things get icey. Some hikes can be difficult in the winter, but snowshoes will help you reach those jaw-dropping views for your winter elopement. I’ll even strap you in before we hit those snowy trails!


A snowmobile is basically a motorized sled! You can ride on snow and ice, going slowly to enjoy the views, or zooming (safely) around an open space. Whether you take a guided tour or venture out on your own, snowmobiling is a great way to explore the snowy areas fast! You can access remote areas super easily and get away from the ski towns traffic for your winter elopement.


Snuggle up in a horse-drawn carriage and travel the old-fashioned way! Many places offer rides to see local scenery and wildlife, and you can enjoy some hot chocolate and the sound of sleigh bells as you go. This might be the most romantic option of the bunch for your winter elopement.

Bride and Groom in Horse-Drawn Sleigh Ride Winter Elopement Guide


Planning a winter elopement has the added perk of less expensive travel and lodging, as most destinations are in their off-season. However, the holidays can be an exception! The end of December may not be ideal for an elopement as you might run into holiday vacationers and crowding at a lot of locations, especially in ski towns.

In high elevation spots, you could have a winter elopement as late as April! Snow in the mountains usually sticks around until summer, and it will be a little warmer. I recommend January through April, but check the expected conditions for your winter elopement location! This is important because snowfall can start early or late depending on the year. The best bet is to plan your winter elopement during traditional ski seasons.

Bride and Groom in the Snow Winter Elopement Guide


The shimmery ice crystals, freshly fallen snow, and wintry landscapes are beautiful, but a winter elopement comes with some added weather considerations. Especially in winter in the mountains, weather can be a lot more unpredictable this time of year, and getting stuck in a blizzard or an avalanche is probably not something you want for your wedding day. Make sure you’re prepared with safety gear and a backup plan, and that you know which roads will be open and which locations are safe to visit.

Bride and Groom Kissing Winter Elopement Guide


My name is Sean, and I can’t wait to help create your winter elopement package! I’m a free spirit who has dedicated my life to exploring this wild world and connecting to the people in it.

I know firsthand what an important and personal decision this is—my wife and I eloped to Northern Ireland. You’re trusting me to capture this amazing day, and I make it my responsibility to make sure you have an incredible experience from start to finish!

My passion has led me here, where I can follow my heart and share my love for the outdoors with others on their wedding day. It’s truly an awesome experience, and I’m stoked every time I get to guide and document your day!

Sound like the perfect match? Reach out so we can get started on your epic winter elopement package!

Winter Elopement Photographer