Real Wedding: Laura and Greg’s National Park Elopement

Laura and Greg hopped on a plane to Wyoming and found the perfect spot to elope: the breathtaking Grand Teton National Park.

The couple had backpacked through the mountainous park a few years earlier and fell in love with it’s rugged beauty.

“We could not have had a more perfect wedding,” says Laura.

Dustin Prickett of Sunglow Photography did an amazing job capturing their special day!

wyoming and elopement

Laura, 27 & Greg, 29

Grand Teton National Park, WY

Wedding Date: May 22, 2012

Number of Guests: 0 (just the photographer, officiant, and witness)

Wedding Cost: $5,000

Wedding Ceremony Location: Schwabacher’s Landing

Wedding Reception Location: The Mural Room in Jackson Lake Lodge

Grand Teton National Park elopement

bride and groom eloping

Jackson Wyoming elopement

city hall wedding

Wyoming outdoor wedding

bride getting ready

groom getting dressed

Why did you have an intimate wedding?

It felt right for us. We thought that the planning/budgeting stress would take away from our enjoyment of the day and what’s most important about the day- our commitment to each other.

Grand Teton National Park cabins

groom writing vows

wedding note

bride getting ready

What are some the challenges that you faced planning an intimate wedding?

The most challenging part was explaining to our family and closest friends that we wanted to elope. But things like that are never as bad as you imagine them to be. We even got a lot of supportive comments from friends and family, many of whom thought our ceremony perfectly fit our personalities and relationship.

wedding guests at airport

bride and groom eloping in Wyoming

bride reflection in car mirror

Was it difficult to pare down the guest list?

We knew that as soon as we added anyone, it would quickly and easily turn into a bigger event that we wanted, so we kept it with just us.

Wyoming national park elopement

bride crossing creek

Did you have any ‘issues’ with the small guest list from friends and family? If so, how did you address them?

Our parents were the most disappointed with our news, which we completely understood, but they were ultimately very supportive of our decision and thrilled for us. Both Greg’s and my parents gave us a reception in each of our home states after our return, so we were able to celebrate with friends and family at each party, which we loved.

Grand Teton National Park elopement

bride in Grand Teton National park

groom helping bride cross creek

Wyoming National park elopement

What were the highlights of the ceremony?

The spot we chose was on a small peninsula surrounded by the Snake River with the Grand Tetons as our backdrop. The only challenge was that we had to construct our own “isle” out of logs to cross the river! Luckily, this wasn’t too much work, and it added so much emotion to our ceremony and the pictures. We also worked with our officiant to personalize our ceremony and add readings and prayers that were meaningful to us. Reading the vows that we had written to each other was a favorite moment for both of us.

Wyoming outdoor elopement

bride and groom eloping by mountains

bride wearing pink cardigan

National Park elopement ceremony

bride and groom in Grand Teton national park

 

What were the highlights of the reception?

We loved getting to spend some time after the ceremony exploring the park a little bit more. Our photographer came with us, and was able to capture so many amazing photos. The temperature was dropping throughout the day, so taking cover inside the lodge was a perfect ending to our morning. We loved getting to reflect on the morning ceremony with each other, knowing that this was the beginning of our life together, while watching the snow roll in over the mountains through the mural window.

restaurant elopement reception

bride and groom looking at the mountains

bride and groom in doorway of log cabin

rustic wedding bouquet

Wyoming national park elopement

What was the best thing about having an intimate wedding?

The best thing was how stress-free the entire event was. We were on our own schedule for the most part, and we could not have had a more perfect wedding.

bride and groom in Grand Teton National Park

mixed flower wedding bouquet

What advice do you have for couples who are considering an intimate wedding?

Be honest with yourself and your own wishes. People may have a lot of expectations for your wedding, but above all they want you to be happy and to have the perfect wedding for you. Try to minimize how much other’s expectations influence your wedding planning and decisions.

bride and groom in Grand Teton National Park

Vendors

Photography: Sunglow Photography

Rings: Etsy

Venue: Jackson Lake Lodge

 

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9 Comments  |  Filed Under: Budget Weddings ($10,000 or less), Elopements, Outdoor Weddings, Real Weddings

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Comments

  1. Posted by Brady on January 3rd, 2013 at 2:10pm

    The setting! So perfect! Even in the big wide open space, you could feel the intimacy of this elopement - love it!
  2. Posted by Dustin Prickett on January 8th, 2013 at 10:23am

    Thank you so much for the feature! It was really special to document this elopement.
  3. Posted by Christina on January 8th, 2013 at 11:40am

    You're welcome Dustin. I love this wedding!
  4. Posted by Agatha on January 14th, 2013 at 11:23pm

    Such a beautiful setting for an intimate event. Makes me glad I'm having an Intimate Wedding too!
  5. Posted by Hannah on January 22nd, 2013 at 11:08pm

    How special to return to a sacred place. I can't imagine how tough it would be to let your parents in on the news that it would just be the two of you. So glad to hear they were supportive!
  6. Posted by Megan on June 26th, 2013 at 8:52pm

    I love, love, love this! I want this to be my wedding. The idea of a big wedding sounds awful to me. Thanks for the inspiration.
  7. Posted by Samantha DeArman on September 22nd, 2013 at 10:31pm

    My question is where did you backpack as in what trail did you take to discover this amazing location! i love the location so much and am always looking for places and stumbled across this website. just gorgeous location.
  8. Posted by Sherry on November 26th, 2013 at 1:37pm

    I love Grand Teton! So beautiful.
  9. Posted by Danielle on February 23rd, 2014 at 2:09pm

    Man you guys did my dream wedding! I am having a small 12 person wedding but I would have loved to get married in front of the Tetons. But I guess Florida it is...
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