If the idea of a big wedding filled with forced convos makes your anxiety kick in, then an Idaho elopement might be just the thing for you.
But understanding where to get started planning your elopement can feel overwhelming – especially if you’re not familiar with the process. Well, friend, you’re in luck because I put together an easy step-by-step guide on how to elope surrounded by the breathtaking natural scenery in Idaho.
- Benefits of an Idaho Elopement
- Choose Your Destination
- Pick Date & Time
- Get an Idaho Marriage License
- Decide on the Details
- Book Travel & Lodging
Why an Idaho Elopement?
You *could* elope anywhere. But not just anywhere will do for one of the most extraordinary days of your life. Eloping to Idaho checks all of the boxes: scenery, budget, and raw, intimate vibes.
It’s More Intimate
Imagine this: you, your partner, an officiant, and the surrounding landscapes of Idaho as far as the eye can see. There’s nothing more intimate than an Idaho elopement.
Unrivaled Natural Beauty
Sweeping plains. Majestic mountains. Serene lakes. Lush national forests. Idaho nature sure knows how to turn up for your wedding day.
Break out of the event center routine and take advantage of the striking Idaho landscapes.
Feel drawn to the vibes of moody Oregon and California but don’t love the costs associated with those destinations? Idaho delivers on scenery but with a budget-friendly price tag. You’ll feel like you’ve escaped to Narnia – but on a TJ Maxx budget.
Don’t blow your budget on your destination. Save it for the florals or the dress.
Choose Your Idaho Elopement Destination
There’s an Idaho elopement location for everyone. From mountains to forests, you’re sure to find a spot that fits you perfectly.
You won’t necessarily need to “formally” book a natural location – like you might with other wedding venues in Idaho. But you might need permitting if you go for a state or national park. When you’re planning your elopement, check to see if there are any local permitting or licensing requirements to hold your wedding ceremony.
Here are a few of my favorite outdoor wedding locations in Idaho:
- Coeur D’Alene Lake
- White Cloud Mountains
- Sawtooth National Forest
- St. Anthony Sand Dunes
Pick a Date & Time
Spring? Summer? Winter? Fall? Idaho is beautiful year-round. Depending on where you live, the seasons of Idaho might vary slightly from your home state.
The Spring season in Idaho peaks in April and May. For gorgeous florals and vibrant greens, plan a Spring wedding in Idaho. Early to mid-October is the best date range to capture those fiery sunset colors for beautiful fall foliage.
Keep in mind that peak wildfire season ranges from July to October, so there’s a chance that smoke (or even fire) can derail even the best-laid plans.
Idaho wilderness can be just a tad unpredictable, depending on what time of year it is. Always plan a backup location or date to make sure you’re prepared for any scenario.
How to Get a Marriage License for Your Idaho Elopement
Getting an Idaho marriage license is pretty straightforward.
To apply for a marriage license, you’ll need to go to a county recorder’s office, so, unfortunately, you can’t complete the Idaho marriage license application online.
Idaho doesn’t mandate a waiting period, which is perfect for eloping because you can get married that same day.
The typical cost of a marriage license in Idaho is about $30 – but it can cost up to $20 more on Saturdays. Bring cash because many recorders’ offices don’t accept checks or cards.
According to Idaho elopement laws, you’ll need to provide proof of identity (i.e., social security number, state-issued ID, or birth certificate.) No blood test is required.
Decide on the Details
Now that you’ve mastered the paperwork portion of your Idaho wedding license, you can focus on the details that will make your wedding.
Pick attire to suit your vibes. Earthy, refined, boho. Whatever it is, this is where you get to express yourself. A great outfit sets the stage for unforgettable photos and indelible memories.
Elopements aren’t your average wedding ceremony, so not just any old vows will do.
Write your own. Or don’t. That’s the magical thing about eloping. It’s all totally up to you. Remember what brought you together, what you love most, and what keeps that fire burning bright.
Need some inspiration? You can find a whole trove of examples scattered across the internet.
Accessories & Florals
When in doubt, add florals and accessories.
Just keep in mind that if you’re going to be doing any hiking or walking to your destination, you don’t want to be weighed down with a bunch of extra accessories.
As time moves on, memories can fade. But photos can capture your intimate day in a way that the mind can’t.
Hiring an Idaho elopement photographer might be one of the most essential steps in planning your elopement day.
This is one place where you don’t want to skimp on the budget. A skilled Idaho elopement photographer can work with you to capture your favorite memories of your elopement wedding.
The party shouldn’t stop after the ceremony. Plan some post-ceremony festivities, even if you opted out of a big wedding. Make it a party of two. Or three. Or ten.
Make it your own. Whether you want to grab burgers at an iconic local fast-food joint or rent ATVs and explore the mountain adventure, find a way to celebrate your union in a way that’s meaningful to you.
Book Your Travel & Lodging
Last (but not least), you’ll need to book your travel and lodging. If you’re from out-of-state, book those flights early! If you’d rather take the scenic route, you can even book train trips throughout scenic Idaho.
One secret to a stress-free elopement day is finding lodging close to your ceremony location. With an elopement, you only need to worry about accommodations for yourself – and maybe your officiant or photographer. Get off the beaten path with local stays or remote cabins.
Plan Your Idaho Elopement Today!
So, are you convinced that elopement is for you?
With an elopement, you don’t need to worry about all the messy details that often come with planning a big wedding. Idaho’s sweeping landscapes are the perfect place to plan your intimate elopement. Just use this checklist to make sure you’ve got everything you need for your big day.
Contact me today so we can walk through your Idaho elopement journey together.