How to Elope in (North) Idaho — Tips for Clients // Coeur d’Alene Elopement Photography

How to Elope in (North) Idaho — Tips for Clients // Coeur d’Alene Elopement Photography

A couple years ago, I started getting a lot more inquiries to photograph small weddings. Intimate weddings, I called them. I started shooting weddings with less than 50 guests. Then, I was getting inquiries for weddings with less than 25 guests. And now, I occasionally get to shoot an elopement or two in the Inland Northwest. A lot of people have told me that they can’t find much information on how to elope locally, usually it’s for an Las Vegas or NYC elopement. So, I thought I’d share some of the things I’ve learned, and hopefully you can plan the wedding or elopement of your dreams with lots less stress! Win. :)

How to Elope in North Idaho // Emily Wenzel Photography

How to Elope in (North) Idaho.

Eloping in Idaho is, in a few ways, a lot easier than eloping in Washington. First of all, there is no waiting period to get your Idaho marriage license. That means you could walk in there this morning, and get married this afternoon. Bam! Just that easy. Second, unlike Washington, which requires two witnesses to a marriage, Idaho only requires the officiant’s signature, so you can get married with no guests, just your officiant – and photographer! – in attendance. Here’s the Kootenai County marriage information page. Their office is in Coeur d’Alene — and yes, they’re even open on Saturdays.

Coeur d'Alene Resort Wedding Photographer // Emily Wenzel Photography

Now that you’ve decided to elope in Idaho, and figured out how to get your marriage license, it’s time to decide where to get married. You could call a court judge, and get married at the courthouse, but there are so many beautiful places in Idaho to get married. When Sara & Joel decided to elope in Idaho last year, and rented a cabin on Hauser Lake for a long weekend, and brought their sweet pups along! In doing a quick search, I found so many cute places on AirBnB, that I made a list. I love this yurt in the mountains near Sandpoint! If you’re local, maybe consider getting married at home. How sweet would it be to say you got married in your own backyard? But, if you’re like me, and your backyard isn’t exactly picturesque, you could choose a beautiful park, like the City Park in Coeur d’Alene. If the lake isn’t exactly your thing, why not hike up a trail at Q’emiln Park in Post Falls and get married in the woods?

Elope in North Idaho // Emily Wenzel Photography

Or, maybe my favorite, splurge on a couple fancy nights at a boutique hotel (like the Blackwell Hotel in Coeur d’Alene) and elope there! Many of the hotels have small elopement packages. The bonus of booking a package at one of the hotels? They often take care of details like an officiant, and give you extra perks like a massage or breakfast in bed. Both of those things sound amazing to me! :)

Lastly, once you’ve decided to elope, get in touch! Weekday elopement coverage starts at just $700 right now, and is the perfect way to share your wedding with all those friends and family who won’t be with you on the day of your wedding. I’m happy to recommend locations, officiants, and other vendors – like a florist! – to make your intimate wedding feel as special as it is.

Cave B Winery George Washington Elopement // Emily Wenzel Photography

Leslie & Drew — Cave B Winery Elopement Preview // Seattle Wedding Photographer

Leslie & Drew — Cave B Winery Elopement Preview // Seattle Wedding Photographer

Leslie got in touch with me last month about photographing their elopement at Cave B Winery during their trip to Washington. You all know how much I love these little elopements! Everything worked out perfectly, and I cannot wait to share more of these images with you in the coming months.

Leslie & Drew, thank you for trusting me to capture your elopement! I hope you had a fantastic time at Dave Mathew’s all weekend!!

Elope in Washington // Emily Wenzel PhotographyElope in Washington // Emily Wenzel Photography
Cave B Winery Elopement // Emily Wenzel PhotographyCave B Winery Elopement // Emily Wenzel Photography

Sara & Joel — Leap Day Elopement // North Idaho Wedding Photographer

Sara & Joel — Leap Day Elopement // North Idaho Wedding Photographer

Sara emailed me last fall to tell me about this crazy idea she and Joel had: they were going to rent a cabin for a weekend at a lake in Idaho and get married. Would I photograph their elopement?

Uh, yeah!

And then she tells me: oh, yeah, we want to get married on Leap Day. What a fun idea! And so, over the next few months, we emailed back and forth. We met up when they came out to Idaho (from Montana) to get their license, we met up for lunch. And it was such a blast to witness their simple, heartfelt, ceremony.

This was, to date, my smallest wedding ever. These two, the officiant, their two pups, and myself, witnessing their love. I’ll be posting a bit more about eloping in the Pacific Northwest later this year, but needless to say, I’m here to photograph your wedding – no matter how big or small – and help you bring your vision to life.

Sara & Joel, thank you for being a part of my life. Thank you for trusting me with your memories, for welcoming me into your little home for the weekend, and letting me love on your puppies. It was a joy to meet you both, you made this my most memorable Leap Day ever! :)

Winter Elopement Ideas // Emily Wenzel PhotographyWinter Elopement Ideas // Emily Wenzel PhotographyWeddings with Dogs // Emily Wenzel PhotographyWeddings with Dogs // Emily Wenzel PhotographyWinter Elopement Ideas // Emily Wenzel PhotographyLeap Day Elopement // Emily Wenzel PhotographyWinter Elopement Ideas // Emily Wenzel PhotographyWinter Elopement Ideas // Emily Wenzel PhotographyWinter Elopement Ideas // Emily Wenzel PhotographyWinter Elopement Ideas // Emily Wenzel PhotographyWinter Elopement Ideas // Emily Wenzel PhotographyWinter Elopement Ideas // Emily Wenzel PhotographyNavy Blue Wedding Dress // Emily Wenzel PhotographyNavy Blue Wedding Dress // Emily Wenzel PhotographyWeddings with Dogs // Emily Wenzel PhotographyWeddings with Dogs // Emily Wenzel PhotographyNavy Blue Wedding Dress // Emily Wenzel PhotographyEmilyWenzel_North-Idaho-Elopement_IMG-0018Navy Blue Wedding Dress // Emily Wenzel PhotographyNorth Idaho Elopement Location // Emily Wenzel PhotographyNorth Idaho Elopement Location // Emily Wenzel PhotographyNorth Idaho Elopement Location // Emily Wenzel PhotographyNorth Idaho Elopement Location // Emily Wenzel PhotographyLake Cabin Elopement // Emily Wenzel PhotographyLake Cabin Elopement // Emily Wenzel PhotographyLake Cabin Elopement // Emily Wenzel PhotographyHauser Lake Elopement // Emily Wenzel PhotographyHauser Lake Elopement // Emily Wenzel PhotographyMountain Elopement // Emily Wenzel PhotographyHauser Lake Elopement // Emily Wenzel PhotographyHauser Lake Elopement // Emily Wenzel PhotographyHauser Lake Elopement // Emily Wenzel Photography