Elope in Idaho: Your Ultimate Guide

photo of lgbtqia couple for the elope in idaho guide

Why should you elope in Idaho?

After living in the Pacific Northwest all of our lives, it’s hard to not brag about how gorgeous it is. We think Idaho is often overlooked when talking about the most beautiful little corner of the States. We would love to see more people come elope in Idaho.

Alluring and wild, just like you

Idaho has been the locals’ best kept secret for a long time. Anyone living here knows that is no longer the case, as people have been moving to Idaho in droves after topping a few nationwide best place to live lists. Although a lot of people are open to sharing our beautiful home with others, I think many can understand the hesitancy locals have to welcoming people who may not share the same love for the land that many Idahoans have.

We strongly believe that people should come visit Idaho and see why we love it so much. Just as long as you are willing to keep the land pristine, respect the wilderness, and have a kickass wedding here.

Let’s fucking do this
Bride and Groom kissing in a field, during sunset photos in Idaho

Looking to elope in Idaho? Our tips for the best elopement experience!

Firstly, the best tip we can give you is: make sure that you are following your desires, not other people’s expectations. Don’t settle on a location just because you don’t want people to complain about the distance. Don’t invite people just because they expect to be invited.

Secondly, pick a location that speaks to you, invite the people that mean the world to you and that you want to share your day with. In other words, create a day filled with things that are meaningful to you, and be intentional in keeping the focus on you and your love.

couple stands together holding hands during their elopement in idaho

If you’re unsure still on what you want your day to look like, here’s some advice for you. First of all, call your partner over to you, if they aren’t already. Secondly, sit down together and face each other, close your eyes, breathe, and think about what a perfect day would look like with each other. Don’t worry about logistics or cost, just dream about it.

Where would you wake up together? What would you do? Where would you say your vows? Who is there with you? Describe your perfect day to each other and brainstorm a way to make both of your visions come to life!

This is your time to be extra af
photo of a musician playing during an elopement in idaho, next to information on how to elope in idaho

Decide who you want to invite to your Idaho elopement. You can keep it to your closest friends and family, or choose to make it just you two, since Idaho doesn’t require any witnesses to get married.

Just remember that no one has the right to be at your wedding, and you should only bring along the people that mean the world to you. Those that you truly want there to witness this important moment in your life!

Above all, be sure that the people you do invite want to be there to celebrate you two and the love you share.

and leave the bad vibes and the drama behind

Best Locations to Elope in Idaho

Something you should decide before almost anything else, is where in Idaho you want to elope. Deciding the location first is helpful when trying to determine other factors, like reaching out to vendors local to that area, or a correct estimate for a vendor you would want to travel with you.

Certain vendors, like your photographer, can be super useful in helping you find a specific location for your elopement if you aren’t quite sure where you want to go at first. We recommend giving them a general area you want to go in order to book, then they can dive deep into doing the research on the specifics for you.

The Sawtooths

One of the most epic mountain ranges in Idaho, the Sawtooths boast rugged mountain peaks, hundreds of trails and gorgeous alpine lakes. These mountains have opportunities for the most experienced hikers and backpackers to take to the trails and elope at a picturesque mountain lake. However, it still serves as a lovely location for those who aren’t hoping for strenuous exercise on their wedding day.

There is a lot of opportunity to incorporate some outdoorsy activities if you are looking to elope in The Sawtooths. Take a dip together in the fresh alpine lakes, have a romantic canoe ride in Redfish Lake, or get steamy together in one of the many natural hot springs in the area. In other words, there are so many options to have an experience you will never forget for your wedding day!


If you haven’t heard of it, McCall is a picturesque lakeside town located a couple hours outside of Boise. In the summertime, it’s definitely a hotspot for people looking for a weekend escape in the mountains. There are a lot of great camping spots, or cute little Airbnb’s to stay at. If you’re looking for a bit of luxury, check out The Shore Lodge. There are also a lot of great activities to try in the McCall area such as kayaking, canoeing, jet skiing, boating, camping, hiking, and off roading in the summer. There is also killer snowboarding, skiing, and snowshoeing opportunities in the winter.

There’s also plenty of options for a gorgeous elopement backdrop. You can elope on the beaches of Payette Lake. You can find a gorgeous waterfall to say your vows in front of. Or you can wander into the forest like the woodland creature you are. If you want to get spicy, rent out a luxury boat and say your vows in the middle of the lake. Get married while snowboarding in Tamarack. Or paddle out to one of the little islands in Payette Lake and climb to the top of a rock to tie the knot. If you’re looking to elope in Idaho any time of the year, McCall is a great choice!

Elope in Idaho in front of the Teton Mountains at sunset

The Tetons

The Tetons are technically in Wyoming, but the impressive range is just across the border from Idaho. Although going into the National Park is certainly a great option, you don’t have to leave the state in order to appreciate it’s beauty. We highly recommend checking out Driggs or Tetonia, if you’re looking to incorporate the breathtaking backdrop of the Tetons into your elopement.

Couer D’Alene

Located at the tippy top of Idaho, just a hop, skip, and a throw from Canada, Couer D’Alene is one of the largest cities in Northern Idaho. It is well known for it’s outdoor activities that has drawn many people, including many high profile celebrities, (does the letter K ring any bells?) to it’s pristine lake shores and beautiful resorts. CDA is a great choice if you’re looking to enjoy destination wedding vibes, without having to travel far away.

Brides elope in idaho with their best friend as their officiant overlooking the snake river canyon

Snake River Canyon

If you’re looking for some gorgeous boho/desert vibes, Snake River Canyon is the location for you! There are a few gorgeous locations to set up your elopement along the rim of the canyon. Otherwise, you can always venture down to say your vows along the river banks. During sunset, Snake River Canyon has some of the most dreamy, golden colors that will give you that perfect desert look all year round.

City Elopement

Venturing throughout the state, Idaho has a few cute countryside towns to visit if you are looking for quaint and rustic. However, if you’re looking to have an elopement with more of a city vibe, Boise is pretty much your only bet. Boise is the largest city in Idaho, both in terms of population and area. It’s also pretty much the only city in Idaho that gives off a bustling, big city vibe (kind of). Although the buildings here are small compared to the big skyscrapers of New York or Dubai, they still make for a pretty skyline without compromising the beauty of the mountains outside of Boise.

Rent an Airbnb

Airbnb can make things very easy if you are looking to elope in Idaho. For example, there are so many cute listings that can fit your aesthetic of a cute little honeymoon location. Furthermore, they can also work great for your ceremony and reception. If you’re looking to explore a certain location, you may want to book a place that is convenient to that area. However, be sure to talk to the host to make sure they won’t have a problem with a small gathering for your elopement!

Unique activities to do when you elope in Idaho

City elopement photo of a bride and groom holding hands and running across the street

One of the fun things about eloping, is the opportunity to incorporate activities that are meaningful to you and your significant other. If you guys spend a lot of time rock climbing for example, think about spending some time rock climbing on your special day! If you aren’t sure what to do, here’s some examples of activities that you can incorporate into your day if you’re eloping in Idaho.

  • Get married in a hot air balloon.
  • Get steamy with a stop at one of Idaho’s many natural hot springs!
  • Book a lake cruise from the Shore Lodge in McCall. Spend a romantic evening on Payette Lake watching the sunset.
  • Canoe or kayak out to one of the little islands in Payette Lake and say your vows.
  • Go skiing or snowboarding in your wedding attire.
  • Take a private helicopter or plane tour.
  • Spend a romantic evening stargazing in Idaho’s Dark Sky Reserve. The only one in the country and one of only 16 such reserves in the world!

You don’t have to get crazy, as long as your day is meaningful to you that’s all that matters!

Elopement Vendors We Love

Elopement Planners

  • Emily Aitken Events


  • Officiant Pauline Downey


  • Dream Farm Flowers
  • Rust + Thistle
  • Wildflower Floral

Wedding attire

  • Rue de Seine
  • Reclamation
  • Reformation


  • Savory and Sweet
  • Figgy Bakes
  • Gimme Some Sugar


Oftentimes, people think it’s crazy to suggest an all day or even two day elopement. In reality, an all day wedding is extremely common, many couples even make a whole weekend of it. An all day elopement or all day wedding doesn’t mean an all day photo shoot. This just means your photographer will be there to capture the things throughout the day that you spend doing together. It is very common to want to relive every moment of your wedding day. Similarly, why wouldn’t it be the same for an elopement?

When planning out your elopement timeline, think about the locations that may be included in your elopement day and try to plan enough time between them. Remember, it’s your day, you can slow down and enjoy it. Or you can pack it full with your favorite activities. Certainly, you can even do a bit of both and maybe take a nap in between 😉

Don’t forget to enjoy the f*ck out of your day

Bride and groom run through a pasture hand in hand as the sun sets in Donnelly Idaho

Example Timelines

11 AM Have brunch together
12 PM Begin getting ready
2 PM First Look
3 PM Head out to the airport for a private helicopter/plane tour
4 PM Touch down in a remote location for the ceremony
4:30 PM Ceremony
5 PM Explore and take portrait photos
6:30 PM Everyone heads back into town
7 PM Dinner reservations with the whole crew
10 PM Bar crawl with those who want to party!

bride and groom drink champagne during their elopement reception as they elope in Idaho

11 AM Getting ready begins
1 PM Spend some time writing vows
2 PM First Look
3 PM Arrive at the elopement location
3:30 PM Ceremony
4 PM Explore and take portrait photos
6 PM Back to the Airbnb for dinner prepared by a private chef
8 PM Cake cutting
9 PM Enjoy some time cuddling around the firepit

how to elope in McCall Idaho, on a lake boat timeline suggestion

Day 1
2 PM Getting Ready Begins
4 PM First Look
5 PM Head out to the docks and load onto a private party boat
6 PM Ceremony begins on the deck
6:30 PM Take portrait photos as the sun begins to set
7:15 PM Dinner is served and the epic reception begins

Day 2
1 PM Head out on a hike and explore some beautiful natural hot springs
2PM-4PM Spend a few romantic hours soaking in that newlywed feeling, and enjoy beginning your married life together!

In conclusion, that’s pretty much it! You are all ready to start crafting your perfect elopement in Idaho! We hope you found this little guide helpful, and decide to take the leap in an epic way.

If you are interested in having us tag along on your journey, fill out the contact form below!

Elope in Idaho with us!



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