Three words to sum up this dog friendly elopement in Glacier National Park? Intentional. Emotional. Exhilarating. Attempting to summarize this day with words difficult. Stepping back into this day over the summer, the sun is out, we hear the birds through the trees, the water laps on the rainbow rock shores. It’s one of the most beautiful places we’ve ever seen. That kind of serenity doesn’t come around in life often, but these two deserve the most special place on earth for their wedding day.
Jessica & Curtis seriously have our hearts from this day forward. They are hands down the sweetest, most hilarious couple and we were so incredibly lucky to capture their elopement day. Ya’ll, they even brought us a goodie bag filled with treats all the way from Saint Louis and you know we returned the favor with getting them hooked on Coldsmoke beer and huckleberry everything. These kind hearted people deserve the full tour guide treatment and we are here for that.
Having their dog, Ryka, there for their ceremony meant everything to them. Whether or not you want your fur baby at your elopement is just one of the things to consider before eloping. Glacier National Park doesn’t allow dogs outside of the parking lot, so we went into planning beast mode to get them the perfect elopement location for them. We choose a mountain lake just outside of the park where they get ready in the campground and say their vows for a dog friendly elopement. For more information on dogs in Glacier, see their pets information page.
After the ceremony, we notice a note on the couple’s car. It is a handwritten note from a couple who owns an AirBnB up the road. They witnessed the couple’s beautiful ceremony and offered them their cabin for the night. The happy tears flow and the gratefulness we all feel is overwhelming. The pure freakin KINDNESS of people is absolutely astounding!
After we gather ourselves from the crying, because… emotions, we go on with the adventure. We take Jessica & Curtis to experience the delectable goodness that is huckleberries in Montana. Yes, that’s right, we’re talking huckleberry milkshakes and huckleberry pie!!! Elopement couples forget that they can make an adventure out of their day! The beauty of eloping is that we are your tour guides through your dream vacation spot.
We drive up the Going to the Sun Road in Glacier National Park where we experience the epic mountains of Logan Pass.
Our top 5 tips for how to plan a dog friendly elopement
know when they’re allowed
Most National Parks have strict rules on where and when dogs are allowed on trails and even in parking lots. The first step in the planning process if you’re considering eloping with your fur baby is to check the rules of where you are eloping. Always check the “pets” section on the national parks website that will outline the rules clearly.
keep temperature in mind
When it’s hot out, it’s dangerous to keep dogs in cars for long periods of time. If your fur baby is only a small part of your elopement day, make sure it is cool enough for them and keep them in your AirBnB or in an air conditioned car.
consider your dog’s outdoor or hiking experience level
When taking your dog on the hike, ask your photographer for specific trail condition. Hikes with extensive rock scrambling or high elevation gain might be unsuitable for dogs who are not used to these types of long hikes. We want a good experience for our humans, but also our four legged friends. Choose a hike that is suitable for your dog’s outdoor experience.
learn about dog friendly leave no trace guidelines
If you hike with your dog, abide by the leash requirements of the area. If you hike with your dog off leash, be sure they are staying on the trail. When dogs go off the trail, they are walking on vegetation and may cause damage. Also, if they go #2, you may not notice it and be able to pick it up. Dogs cause disturbance to wildlife when they dig holes, so avoid that as well.
pack the essentials
Dogs need their own set of equipment for any elopement whether you’re hiking with them or not. Be sure you have plenty of water, a collapsible water bowl, a harness if leashed for long periods, poo bags, snacks and treats, cooling vest if they heat easily, cute bandana or bowtie collar, leash, and paw protection if they have sensitive paws.