How to Plan an Adventure Wedding | Amy Galbraith Blog

How to Plan an Adventure Wedding

The idea of an “adventure wedding” is certainly growing in popularity. You might picture your wedding day to be just the two of you saying your vows on top of a peak. Or maybe you’re choosing a venue where you and your guests can plan an epic weekend together. Either way, adventure weddings require a bit more planning than a traditional wedding and it’s good to be prepared.

A couple dances in a field of wildflowers at their mountain wedding in Leavenworth, Washington by adventure wedding photographer Amy Galbraith

What is an adventure wedding?

An adventure wedding can mean a lot of things. In general, it’s when a bride and groom decide to throw the idea of a traditional wedding day out the window and do things their own way. Adventure weddings often happen in the mountains or other scenic location that is special the the couple. They might choose a destination that they’ve never been before. They may also choose to hike a trail that is special to them to say their wedding day vows. There really aren’t any rules, and that’s the beauty of it! Adventure weddings give couples the opportunity to have a wedding day that focuses on the things that matter most. To take away societal pressures and to have an epic wedding day that is uniquely “them”. Below are a few of my best tips on how to plan an adventure wedding.

A couple kisses among a snowy winter scene at Snoqualmie Pass in Washington

Choose your Adventure Wedding Location

You can really have an adventure wedding almost anywhere. Maybe you still like some of the ideas of a traditional wedding and choose to book a venue specific for weddings. There are a lot of benefits to this, especially if you plan on having over 25 guests attend. If you love the idea of an elopement or a ceremony with just a few people, the options are literally endless. You can get married in a national park, a scenic lookout in your own city, take a helicopter to a remote destination, or tie the knot on top of a mountain peak.

A couple hikes along the Pacific Crest Trail near Mt Rainier National Park during their adventure wedding with photographer Amy Galbraith

Find an Adventure Wedding Photographer

A photographer that specializes in adventure weddings and elopements is an incredible resource. Adventure wedding photographers love doing location research and help plan timelines. They can also give you tons of advice on local vendors to hire. You can choose a photographer that is local or you can choose one that travels to the destination you are planning your wedding at. They may even help you decide on the perfect time of year to elope if you don’t have your date set yet. Hiring a photographer that has knowledge of your wedding location’s road closures and seasonal weather is super helpful.

A couple gets married on a sunny spring day in Leavenworth, Washington. The bride is wearing a pink floral wedding gown.

Finalize your Date

This can be done before or after hiring your photographer. The date isn’t always set in stone when initially planning an adventure wedding. For example, say you want to get married in Grand Teton National Park in April. However, you come to find out that the road into the Park isn’t open that time of year. You may then decide to schedule your wedding around a time when you will have full access to the Park. You’ll also want to consider time of year and weather. Your photographer can help you plan and decide on the best time of year for your adventure wedding.

A bride and groom stand on top of a mountain on their wedding day in Jackson Hole, photographed by adventure wedding photographer Amy Galbraith

Hire Additional Vendors

Whether you are eloping or having guests, use local resources and find the best vendors in your wedding location. Planning early is essential so you can book the vendors you connect most with. There are planners who specialize in adventure weddings and elopements. They can be a helpful resource when putting together logistics on your wedding day. You’ll also want to consider a makeup artist, florist, food, videography, and music. Even if you are eloping, you might want to hire a private chef to come to your AirBnb. Or maybe you want a solo violinist to come play during your mountain wedding ceremony. There are vendors that specialize in so many different types of weddings and you are sure to find one that fits your needs. Ask your planner or photographer if they have worked with any that they love as well!

A bride hikes on a sandy beach on her wedding day in Washington

Start Planning Logistics

There are so many things to consider when planning your adventure wedding to keep everything flowing smoothly. If you’re planning a winter wedding, what will you do if the roads close? Do you have a safe vehicle to travel in? If you are planning a hiking wedding, start breaking in your shoes. Be sure to purchase a backpack that can hold everything you’ll need. Also, start prepping any attending guests about the difficulty of the hike. If you’re wedding is in a destination you’ve never been and other guests are attending, consider putting together a wedding website. This can include lodging options, recreation ideas, and tips on how to get to and from the airport to your wedding destination.

A bride and groom walk along a trail in Grand Teton National Park on their wedding day, photographed by Jackson Hole wedding photographer Amy Galbraith

Prepare and Adventure Away!

In the last few weeks leading up to your adventure wedding, make sure you have everything you need to stay comfortable on your wedding day. Be sure to bring along extra snacks, extra clothing, any outdoor gear you might need, and of course your vows 😉 Most of all, sit back and enjoy the carefree adventure day you’ve planned together. Your wedding day deserves to be epic!

Have you decided to have a non-traditional wedding? I specialize in adventure weddings and elopements and would love to chat more with you! Email [email protected] to hear more!

How to Plan an Adventure Wedding | PNW & Jackson Hole Elopement Photographer Amy Galbraith

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© Amy Galbraith Photography, LLC

Pacific Northwest wedding & elopement photographer based in Port Angeles, Washington
email: [email protected]


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