A Northern Light Fairytale: Jen and Mel’s Elopement in Alaska

When Jen and Mel, a lively Australian couple, decided to get married, they wanted their wedding to be an intimate and adventurous experience – one that wouldn’t just involve them saying “I do,” but also building memories with their beloved son. They sought a destination completely novel to them, and thus, their eyes landed on the spectacular expanses of Fairbanks, Alaska. In what can only be described as a delightful testament to love and adventure, the couple embarked on a two-day elopement experience under the Northern Lights, captured masterfully by Sam Starns.

The Adventure Begins

Day one of their journey found Jen, Mel, their son, and their photographers hopping onto snowmobiles, zooming through birch boreal forests at exhilarating speeds. As the Alaskan wilderness unfolded before them, they sighted dog sledders and even a moose and her calf! A cozy, wood-fired pizza lunch followed this adventure, setting the tone for their first wedding portraits amidst a local wildlife reserve. Encased in the tranquility of snow-laden trees, the couple experienced what they described as a “winter Narnia”.

Nightfall ushered in the most cherished moment of their adventure: their wedding ceremony under the Northern Lights. Dressed in their wedding attire and huddled in a heated yurt, Jen and Mel tied the knot as their son read a heartfelt letter to his moms, and a few lucky sled dogs watched over, making the moment even more poignant. Following their nuptials, they hopped onto dog sleds to chase the ethereal Northern Lights, marking the end of an extraordinary day one.

Day Two: Embracing the Cold

The second day’s agenda involved snowshoeing to a glacier and ice cave, with an expert guide leading the way. Jen and Mel also found time to engage in playful banter,culminating in the question of who should be crowned the “taco queen”.

Sam Starns, the mastermind behind capturing these moments, had some tips to share about eloping in Alaska. “Winter elopements come with unique challenges,” she says. “From icy roads to trails that can be lost under snow blankets, couples must be prepared to tread with care.” Her top tips? Go slow, hire a photographer who knows how to operate in extreme cold, and get an experienced guide to ensure safety and respect for the environment.

When asked about her experience working with Jen and Mel, Sam fondly reminisces, “They are some of the most genuine people I’ve ever met. The couple had a perfect blend of meticulous planning and carefree enjoyment. We had such an amazing time that we decided two days weren’t enough and met up for dinner before we left. We even have plans to visit them in Australia someday!”

Reflecting on the elopement, Jen and Mel recall the challenges they faced with a chuckle. From getting stuck in waist-deep snow to navigating time zones and paperwork for their marriage license, their journey wasn’t without hiccups. Yet, in retrospect, they wouldn’t have it any other way. “Our elopement was stress-free, intimate, full of love and adventure. Plus, we made lifelong friends in Sam and Rachel,” they share.

Despite the geographical distance and the cold Alaskan weather, Jen and Mel managed to incorporate a bit of their Australian home into their celebration. Their wedding cake was adorned with floral recreations of native Australian flowers. This, coupled with their son’s letter and dog sledding under the Northern Lights, stand out as the highlights of their wedding adventure for Sam.

As their fairytale wedding under the Northern Lights concluded, Jen and Mel returned home with hearts full of joy and memories to last a lifetime. They took the road less traveled for their elopement, proving that sometimes, the unconventional choice is the most beautiful one. Their story serves as an inspiration to all couples contemplating an intimate, adventurous, and meaningful wedding experience.



Photography – Sam Starns Adventure Elopements 
Virtual makeup assistance – Meaghan Whalen at Black Fern Beauty.
Gown – Stunning Wedding Dress, Brisbane
Suit – Hugo Boss
Snowmobile – Rod’s Alaskan Guide Service
Dogsled/Yurt – Last Frontier Mushing Co-op
Vow Books – The Keeper Co.