Joe Connolly at Chugach Peaks Photography is definitely an expert at going the extra mile with couples who opt to elope under, shall we say, more unusual settings. Last year he personally photographed over forty (yes forty) elopements alone! He's flown, hiked, traversed, boated and done just about all else to capture amazing photos for his adventurous clients. That's the nice part about eloping. Less coordination, less people and less details open up opportunities for going big on experience and small on budget. We asked Joe to give us a few tips for couples who are eloping that will make their day even better. Here are his top tips, and some of his beautiful photos, for inspiration and guidance in planning your Alaskan elopement. Enjoy!
1) Be prepared for Alaskan weather. It's very possible that in the same day you will experience sun, rain, warmth, cold, and wind. Mountain weather means it is sunny in one valley and rainy in another. Being prepared, both mentally and physically to deal with the weather is essential.
2) Talk to people who know the area well who can assist you in your plans. Getting opinions from multiple sources is great - chances are you will be working with a few wedding professionals, or a hotel staff member, or marriage commissioner, who can all provide great advice.
3) Bring appropriate footwear! I have seen a bush pilot be forced to carry a bride on his back to their ceremony site because the bride brought only high heels and we landed next to a glacial lake. There was no way she could walk in heels, or barefoot, so the piggyback became mandatory. The pilot got a good tip, but you'd be better off investing in comfortable shoes!
4) Don't rush your day. There is no benefit to cramming your wedding experience into a 1-3 hour block. Spending the time to explore, relax, and take in the sights and sounds will make it a more enjoyable and memorable Alaska destination wedding.