Elopements often seem like they are reserved for spring, summer, and fall months. The weather is warmer and you can head out without as many layers. But let me tell you, there is something absolutely magical about a winter elopement. There’s nothing like the fogginess from your breath as you say your vows or the warmth you feel cuddled under a blanket together on top of the most beautiful snowy mountain.
Of course, winter elopements can be quite cold, but if you can get past the frigid temps, you just might have yourself one of the most insanely magical experiences. Not to worry though, because I’ve got you covered. From hand warmers to finding your snowy backdrop, here is my quick guide on how to prepare for a winter elopement.
First things first, you need to find your perfect winter wonderland location and I can help. Something I highly recommend is finding a location that you know is accessible all year. This means it’s not deep in the Colorado Rockies where the only known road is closed off whenever it snows. That might not work very well. There are so many beautiful wintery scenes that don’t require snowshoeing to get to. But if snowshoeing is your thing, I’m so down!
It’s also wise to have a backup location, just in case you can’t access your original ceremony spot due to unforeseen weather. I recommend renting a cute cabin that could act as a backup spot (it could even be the backup to your backup location). Because let me tell you, I sure do love Airbnb elopements.
Hiking in your wedding shoes on a warm day isn’t probably the best idea. But on a snowy, winter’s day? It’s going to be a no for me. Here’s the thing, your feet (and hands) are the first to succumb to the cold. You want to have the right socks and shoes on your feet to keep them extra cozy and warm. Finding the right hiking boots is essential and you want to look for certain features when you’re hiking through the snow.
Features to look for in your snow boots:
If you’re going to purchase new boots for your elopement, do it well in advance so there’s plenty of time to break them in. There’s nothing worse than going on a hike with brand new boots and getting painful blisters all over your feet.
Even if you’re going on a short hike and plan to wear your wedding attire, chances are we’ll be out in the elements for quite some time. If you want to make sure you are warm the whole day, there are a couple of things I recommend you wear (or pack). First, there’s nothing like fleece-lined leggings to save the day when it’s below freezing outside! They are even great for men to wear underneath their suits. For ladies, you could incorporate a warm shawl or wrap if your dress doesn’t have sleeves. Otherwise, I suggest wearing your warmest winter coat, something to cover your ears (but not mess up your hair), and the coziest gloves. And let’s not forget to mention your absolute warmest pair of socks!
Yes, you need a backpack. I recommend it for all of my hiking elopements with a distance of over a mile, especially if you are planning to change into your wedding clothes when you get to the ceremony spot. It’s definitely more than necessary for a winter elopement—even on shorter hikes. If you choose to change into your dress when you get to your location, make sure your backpack is big enough to hold it safely, along with additional clothes for warmth.
Here’s what I recommend having in your bag:
When you’re planning a winter elopement, the last thing you’re probably thinking of is trying to include too many outdoor activities. After all, you want to get out and back inside as quickly as possible. But hear me out. There are so many fun winter activities you won’t want to miss out on. Things like skiing or snowboarding, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, dog-sled rides, sleigh rides (yes, they’re a thing places), ice skating, and so much more. Of course, if you’re not into any of those activities, you could just opt for planning a warm, indoor reception with just the two of you or any guests you invite at a local restaurant or back at your Airbnb.
No matter what you choose, your winter elopement will be exactly as you want it to be. You get to marry the love of your life in an authentic, intentional way—there’s nothing more memorable than that. If you’re ready to start planning your winter elopement, I’m ready to help! Contact me today and let’s get the snowballs rolling!