October 25, 2021 /

How to Plan Your Sun Valley Idaho Elopement

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Bride and groom strolling in the open fields in Idaho during their wedding shoot; image overlaid with text that reads How To Plan Your Sun Valley Idaho Elopement

Sun Valley Idaho Elopement Guide

If you’re dreaming about a Sun Valley Idaho elopement, you have such a treat in store for you. The Sawtooth mountains are such a hidden gem in the PNW, and the beauty in this part of the world is transcendent. But where do you start with your planning? 

Eloping can be as simple or as decadent as you desire – and this freedom is one of the great things about it. There are a few elements, though, that you’re always going to have to decide on. In this guide, we’ll dive into the best time of year to have a Sun Valley Idaho elopement, the different locations to consider, the lodging to pick, and few thoughts on vendors and things to do.

Choose a Time of Year For Your Sun Valley Idaho Elopement

A Sun Valley Idaho elopement is going to look really different depending on the time of year you decide to plan it! Up here in the mountains, the winters are pretty extreme, and the low temperatures last even into springtime. If you’re dreaming of spending hours outdoors, exploring lush scenery & wild views for your adventurous elopement, I’d suggest that you make plans in the summertime or early fall.

Pick a Location

A Sun Valley elopement in summer or fall

A Sun Valley Idaho elopement in the summertime is truly one of the most breathtaking experiences you could ever have. Nestled right beside Sawtooth National Recreation Area, Sun Valley is the gateway into miles of gemlike lakes, wild rivers, intricate valleys, and stunning views – all crowned by the most striking mountains.

Bride and groom stand next to each other and share a light laugh at Sawtooth Wilderness, taken by Alexa Ann Photography

Follow Highway 75 up into Sawtooth and you’ll discover tons of dirt roads leading to large vistas, hikes, & wild camping. There are so many intimate, secluded places for you to elope amidst beautiful mountains here, it’s almost pointless to give you specific directions! But a few highlights for you to consider as you plan your Sun Valley Idaho elopement are the dramatic Alturas Lake, intimate Fish Hook Creek, or, closer to Sun Valley itself, the White Clouds vista. It would be worth creating a shortlist of spots to check out and then heading there a few days early or on a scouting trip to find your perfect ceremony site.

A Sun Valley elopement in winter

A Sun Valley Idaho elopement in winter is a very different experience than at any other time of year. Feet of thick snow blanket the scene & the lights of the charming town glow through the early nightfall. It’s this time of year that you’ll find Sun Valley the busiest and most full of life, as the tourists and vacationers come in to enjoy the slopes.

 

Thick snowfall & freezing temperatures make most of Sawtooth and the surrounding landscape fairly inaccessible during the winter months here. The only real way to explore the stunning beauty is on a snowboard or a pair of skis, so my advice would be to only plan a winter Sun Valley Idaho elopement if you want to make snowsports the main event.

If celebrating your marriage by raising a glass on top of a pristine mountain – and then tearing up the powder on your way down the slope – sounds like fun to you, first of all: you’re awesome. Secondly, you might want to consider a winter wedding at The Roundhouse, reached only by gondolas, and offering some of the best views of the valley.

Find Lodging for Your Sun Valley Idaho Elopement

One of the great things about planning a Sun Valley Idaho elopement is that you’re not short of beautiful places to stay. This charming location has plenty of accommodation for winter visitors, so if you’re heading there in the summer or autumn, you should have plenty of options!

Airbnb

This is usually what I’d suggest for any couple planning an elopement. One of the reasons you’re probably considering eloping in the first place is privacy – the kind of sweet intimacy that only comes from being with the most important people. Having a whole home to yourself just makes sense! There are some amazing Airbnb options in Sun Valley and the surrounding area, with luxury cabins & rustic getaways that are perfect for a Sun Valley Idaho elopement.

Close-up shot of bride wrapping her arms around the groom as he carries her beautiful floral bouquet during their elopement shoot with Alexa Ann

Renting a Property

Sun Valley has the unique perk of a variety of cottages and small homes that are available to rent short-term. Some of these are so whimsical and charming – it’s definitely worth a look.

Hotels

The magnificent Sun Valley Lodge resort has to be on your list if you’re considering a Sun Valley Idaho elopement. It was recently redone, and its lavish property boasts incredible views and access into the mountains. Sun Valley Inn is perfect if you’re looking for something luxurious but with a little bit more of a rustic, Old-World kind of charm. The Limelight Ketchum has more of a modern edge – it has a great spa, and it plans amazing weddings of all sizes. 

Choose a Florist

Your flowers are something you absolutely want to get locally so that they can be as fresh as possible. Luckily, there are some amazing local florists in Sun Valley. Pictured here are florals from Flower Farm Boise. I also love Bloom Theory’s wild arrangements, and Floret Design has done some really special bouquets for elopements in the Sawtooth mountains.

Things to Do

There are so many things to do in this part of the world – a million ways to celebrate life and make your elopement so very memorable. In the winter, as I’ve mentioned, there is nowhere better for snowsports. In the summer, when the trails open up, you have hiking, camping, & horse riding. The rivers and lakes hold a whole world of watersports, too – paddleboarding, white water rafting, kayaking, swimming, & fly fishing. If you’re looking for adventure, you’ll find it here! For more ideas, check out this resource on the activities in Sun Valley.

Groom carries bride in bridal style as they laugh during their elopement shoot in Sun Valley, Idaho captured by Alexa Ann Photography

Planning a Sun Valley Idaho Elopement

I hope this has smoothed the path slightly for you as you plan your Sun Valley Idaho elopement! It really is such a special place.

For even more details – including discussions about getting an Idaho marriage license and an elopement checklist – make sure you read my complete guide to eloping in Idaho!

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Bride wraps her arms around the groom as they smile during their elopement; image overlaid with text that reads How To Plan Your Sun Valley Idaho Elopement

 

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