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32 Best Places to Elope in Montana in 2023 [Full Elopement Guide]

couple kissing while standing with horses

Post Summary: If you've been looking for the perfect place to elope in the western U.S., I have to tell you how epic Montana is! Maybe you want to elope in the middle of the mountains, in front of a stunning lake, or right by a glistening glacier - Montana has it all. Below is a guide to the 32 best places to elope in Montana in 2023!

couple walk together mountain landscape

Alright friends, we’ve made it out of the Pacific Northwest (for now) – and we’re movin’ onto Montana!! I’m absolutely in LOVE with this amazing state that’s home to Yellowstone + Glacier National Parks, the stunning Bighorn Mountains, hot springs galore, and scenic views basicallyyyy everywhere you look. That’s why, if you’re a couple looking for your perfect elopement destination I want to encourage you to consider eloping in Montana! I’ve put together this comprehensive guide to the 32 best places to elope in Montana in 2023 to help you navigate through alllll the most beautiful places in the state – because trust me, there are plenty.

Whether you’re dreaming of saying your vows in front of an alpine lake with mountains reflecting in the water, or in the forest after relaxing in a nearby hot spring, orrrr making it official after wrapping up a glorious hike in the mountains, Montana has SO dang much to offer. I can’t wait for you to look into all of these beautiful locations, and to find the one that’s right for your Montana adventure elopement. As always, happy exploring!

couple looking at mountain forest landscape

The Ultimate “How to Elope in Montana” Checklist

Before I present my massive list of locations to you, I wanted to give you a quick checklist that I thought would be helpful as you plan your Montana elopement. Here’s a simple list of the basic steps to follow for how to elope in Montana, and THEN we’ll dive right into the epic locations I’ve got for ya!

1. Pick a date around the best time to visit

When it comes to picking your Montana elopement date, I highlyyy recommend choosing a date around the seasons + weather. Once you have your eyes on a few locations on the list below, look up what the best time of year is to visit each location: research what weather conditions are like, what trail/road closures could potentially happen, when views are the best, and when there are the least crowds. This will ensure you pick a location + date + time of day that helps you avoid crowds as much as possible, see the epic landscapes in all their glory, and be comfortable with + prepared for the weather conditions!

couple walking on trail mountain landscape

2. Choose your location(s)

Here’s the hard part: nailing down your final location(s). And I purposefully added an “s” onto there because yes, you can totally visit multiple locations for your elopement! I love when couples choose one location for their ceremony (where weddings are permitted), one location for their couples portraits, and maybe another location for a first look, a bonus hike, or a fun activity. It’s really great having that variety not only in your elopement photos, but also in the vibe of the day. You can go from hiking a mountain to swimming in an alpine lake to getting some R&R in a hot spring in the middle of the forest!

couple holding hands looking at mountains

3. Hire your Montana elopement photographer + other vendors

Now that you have your heart set on a location + a date (or a season/month), it’s time to reach out to vendors! I recommend reaching out to your dream Montana elopement photographer first, as photographers tend to book up very quickly + far in advance. And if you REALLY have your heart set on one specific photographer, narrow your date down to a season or month, and choose your final date based on when your photographer is available! Once you’ve done that, see if your photog can recommend other vendors to you so you can create the perfect team to help make your day come to life.

couple standing together near mountain

4. Book your lodging

Next up: book your lodging! Find an Airbnb, VRBO, hotel, lodge, resort, campground, whatever floats your boat – and make sure it’s somewhere you can be super comfy, relaxed, and where you’ll have space to celebrate, whether you want to stay by yourselves or with a few of your fave guests.

If you’re considering eloping in Glacier National Park, I added a bunch of great places to stay near the park in this Glacier National Park elopement guide, including lodges, Airbnb’s, & campgrounds!

house forest mountain landscape

5. Apply for a Special Use Permit

Don’t forget to apply for a Special Use Permit if your elopement location requires one – especially for Glacier National Park, since they take wedding reservations pretty far in advance! For each location on the list below, I included what permit you need, if any, so you can start looking into that application ASAP.

couple holding each other

6. Apply for a Montana marriage license

Along those same lines, make sure you get your Montana marriage license, too! You can head to this section of my Glacier National Park elopement guide to learn about Montana’s marriage laws + the process of getting your license!

flowers and grass

7. Schedule your activities

We’re getting closer to the big day – woohoo! It’s time to plan out all the activities you want to incorporate into your elopement, such as horseback riding, helicopter tours, white water rafting, ziplining, having a picnic lunch, etc. It’s important to plan these as far in advance as possible to make sure you can include everything you want to into your timeline with plenty of time to get to each location + activity. 

boat on water mountain forest landscape

8. Do last-minute prep + research

Finally, make sure you do plenty of last-minute prep when the day is getting closer! Look into current weather conditions, any unexpected road + trail closures, highway statuses, and prepare for any emergency scenarios that could come up. The last thing we want to happen is for us to get to your elopement location, only to find that weather or construction caused a closure that we didn’t know about – that is the beauty of backup plans!

couple hugging in front of water mountain landscape

How to Get to Montana

Traveling to Montana is super easy, thanks to the many international airports + multitude of smaller regional airports! If you’ll be flying into Montana, definitely rent a car so that you have all the freedom to explore wherever you want, whenever you want, without having to rely too much on public transportation – especially if you'll be out in the middle of nowhere with no actual access to public transportation.

There are 5 international airports in Montana:

It also makes for a kickass road trip destination if you’re driving from somewhere like Washington, Oregon, California, Wyoming, etc. I highly recommend breaking up the trip if you’ll be driving, and spending the night in some cozy Airbnb’s along the way to make it even more enjoyable + memorable. Then, once you get to Montana, it’ll be time to tie the knot and explore the stunning state as much as you can!

bride on horse

35 Best Places to Elope in Montana in 2023

Now who’s ready to get to the locations?! Below are the 35 best places to elope in Montana in 2023, separated into different regions of the state. For each location, I’ve included a few things: what airport is closest + how long the drive is, the closest town, and what permit(s) you need. Can't wait to see which one(s) you pick!

Glacier National Park Elopement Locations

Because it’s a national park, every location inside of Glacier NP requires you to follow the same set of rules + restrictions. Please note, however, that not all of these locations are on the Glacier NP permitted wedding locations list – so some may be listed because they’re great spots for elopement portraits, and not necessarily your official, formal ceremony!

Closest airport: FCA

Drive time from airport: 30 minutes

Closest town: Coram

Permit(s) needed: Entry Pass, Special Use Permit, Vehicle Reservation

1. Going-to-the-Sun-Road

2. West Glacier – Lake McDonald

3. West Glacier – Avalanche Lake

4. East Glacier – St. Mary Lake

5. Many Glacier – Grinnell Lake

6. Many Glacier – Lake Josephine

7. Two Medicine

8. North Fork

If you’re considering eloping in this stunning park, do NOT miss out on my brand new , in-depth Glacier National Park Elopement Guide, which includes every piece of info you need to know!!

couple holding each other looking at mountains

Bozeman Elopement Locations

9. Sage Lodge

Closest airport: BZN

Drive time from airport: 1 hour

Closest town: Merriman

Permit(s) needed: None

couple holding each other

10. Fairy Lake

Closest airport: BZN

Drive time from airport: 1 hour

Closest town: Bridger

Permit(s) needed: Special Use Permit for groups of more than 75 people

11. Custer Gallatin National Forest

Closest airport: BZN

Drive time from airport: 2.5 hours (to the town of Red Lodge)

Closest town: 

Permit(s) needed: Special Use Permit for groups of more than 75 people

12. Hyalite Canyon Reservoir

Closest airport: BZN

Drive time from airport: 50 minutes

Closest town: Patterson

Permit(s) needed: Permit may be required for groups of more than 75 people

13. Sacajawea Peak

Closest airport: BZN

Drive time from airport: 1 hour

Closest town: Bridger

Permit(s) needed: Special Use Permit for groups of more than 75 people

couple holding hands water forest mountain landscape

Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness (Shoshone National Forest) Elopement Locations

14. Monument Peak

Closest airport: BZN

Drive time from airport: 4 hours

Closest town: Mc Leod

Permit(s) needed: Permit may be required for groups of more than 75 people

blue flowers

Flathead National Forest Elopement Locations

15. Flathead Lake State Park

Closest airport: FCA

Drive time from airport: 35 minutes

Closest town: Bigfork

Permit(s) needed: Permit may be required for groups of more than 75 people

16. Hungry Horse Reservoir

Closest airport: FCA

Drive time from airport: 1 hour 15 minutes

Closest town: Hungry Horse

Permit(s) needed: Permit may be required for groups of more than 75 people

17. Mission Mountains

Closest airport: FCA

Drive time from airport: 1 hour 15 minutes (to the town of Condon)

Closest town: Condon

Permit(s) needed: Permit may be required for groups of more than 75 people

couple walking on trail mountain landscape

Kootenai National Forest Elopement Locations

18. Leigh Lake

Closest airport: FCA

Drive time from airport: 2 hours

Closest town: White Haven

Permit(s) needed: Permit may be required for groups of more than 75 people

19. Murphy Lake

Closest airport: FCA

Drive time from airport: 1 hour

Closest town: Fortine

Permit(s) needed: Permit may be required for groups of more than 75 people

20. Trapper Peak

Closest airport: FCA

Drive time from airport: 3.5 hours (to the town of Darby)

Closest town: Darby

Permit(s) needed: Permit may be required for groups of more than 75 people

couple standing on plains in front of hills

Big Sky Elopement Locations

21. Ousel Falls

Closest airport: BZN

Drive time from airport: 1 hour

Closest town: Big Sky

Permit(s) needed: None

couple walking together in plains

Whitefish Elopement Locations

22. Whitefish Lake Overlook

Closest airport: FCA

Drive time from airport: 25 minutes

Closest town: Whitefish

Permit(s) needed: Special Use Permit required for groups of more than 30 people

23. Whitefish Lake State Park

Closest airport: FCA

Drive time from airport: 25 minutes

Closest town: Whitefish

Permit(s) needed: Special Use Permit required for groups of more than 30 people

24. Lion Mountain Trail

Closest airport: FCA

Drive time from airport: 20 minutes

Closest town: Whitefish

Permit(s) needed: None

couple kissing in plains

Lolo National Forest Elopement Locations

25. Blue Mountain

Closest airport: MSO

Drive time from airport: 1 hour

Closest town: Lolo

Permit(s) needed: Special Use Permit required for groups of more than 75 people

26. Primm Lake

Closest airport: MSO

Drive time from airport: 1 hour

Closest town: Miller

Permit(s) needed: Special Use Permit required for groups of more than 75 people

27. Jerry Johnson Hot Springs

Closest airport: MSO

Drive time from airport: 1.5 hours

Closest town: Lolo

Permit(s) needed: Special Use Permit required for groups of more than 75 people

couple standing on bridge

Bitterroot National Forest Elopement Locations

28. Little Saint Joseph Peak

Closest airport: MSO

Drive time from airport: 35 minutes (to the town of Florence)

Closest town: Florence

Permit(s) needed: Noncommercial Group Use Permit required for groups of more than 75 people

29. Glen Lake

Closest airport: MSO

Drive time from airport: 45 minutes (to the town of Stevensville)

Closest town: Victor

Permit(s) needed: Noncommercial Group Use Permit required for groups of more than 75 people

couple standing in front of window

Other Elopement Locations

30. Makoshika State Park

Closest airport: BIL

Drive time from airport: 3.5 hours

Closest town: Fallon

Permit(s) needed: Special Use Permit required for groups of more than 30 people

31. Bighorn Canyon

Closest airport: BIL

Drive time from airport: 1.5 hours

Closest town: St Xavier

Permit(s) needed: Special Use Permit

32. Paradise Valley

Closest airport: BIL

Drive time from airport: 2 hours

Closest town: Livingston

Permit(s) needed: None

bride standing with horse

Montana Elopement Photographer

That’s my cue – hey friend, I’m Katie!! I’m an adventure-loving, love-obsessed Montana elopement photographer who is SO ready to document your incredible elopement in Montana. I’m freaking in love with everything about Montana, from the glaciers to the mountains and everything in between, and I believe so wholeheartedly that it’s a phenomenal place to have your adventure elopement.

If you’re looking for a photographer who will be ready to help you find the perfect Montana elopement location, help you plan your ideal timeline, guide you through the process of getting your marriage license, and more – then I’m your gal.

Let’s get to know each other a little bit more here, and then you can reach out to me here when you’re ready to get this thing started – I can’t wait to help you bring your wildest Montana adventure elopement dreams to life!

bride sitting on horse

Montana Elopement Packages + Pricing

Elopement Packages and Pricing for Montana

  • 4 hours – 2 days of elopement photography coverage anywhere in Montana
  • Your own personal elopement guide & consultant
    • Unique and personalized location scouting
    • vendor recommendations
    • permit and marriage license assistance
    • hand-crafted elopement timeline
    • Created just-for-you activity list
    • Unlimited guides and resources
    • 100+ page How to Elope Guidebook
  • Optional complimentary officiant service
  • Digital online gallery with full resolution image and printing rights
  • Sneak peak images within 1 week
  • Photographer travel fees covered anywhere in Montana

Starting at $6,500

couple walking together near water mountain landscape

More Northwest U.S. Elopement Locations

If you’re still unsure of where you want to elope, don’t worry! I’ve been working hard on creating TONS of elopement guides for couples in the northwest U.S., from Arizona to Oregon to Washington to California and more. Check out some of my all-time favorite elopement locations guides below, whether you want to elope in the sunny Arizona desert or the luscious forests of Oregon!

Best Places to Elope in Oregon

Best Places to Elope in California

Best Places to Elope in Yosemite

Best Places to Elope in Arizona


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