A Hatcher Pass Styled Elopement With a Getting Ready at Lulus Tents
Palmer, Alaska is one of the top places to elope because it has so many options for couples to explore. One of them is the famous Hatcher Pass, which everyone knows and loves. But there are also some pretty amazing glamping options for your elopement like at Lulus Tents! Get all the details to better help you plan your own adventure in Alaska.
Are you already convinced Alaska is the perfect elopement location for you? Explore our Alaska elopement packages to get started!
About This Styled Elopement at Lulus Tents and Hatcher Pass
“We began at sunrise with the ‘bride’ getting ready at Lulus Tents and Events (a glamping site on the Knik River near Palmer, Alaska). Hair and makeup were done on-site. When the groom showed up, we did an actual first look near the river. They then popped the champagne and had a breakfast celebration with champagne and a chocolate-covered strawberry charcuterie board. Then we took some more intimate photos of them in one of the glamping tents before heading out to Hatcher Pass.
At Hatcher Pass, we drove to nearly the top over winding dirt roads. We found a pull-off and asked the couple to just explore the area. As the sun came up, the clouds rolled in and they were literally in the clouds. We then drove down into the valley of Hatcher Pass where the famous little red cabins are located. We explored that area and said our goodbyes while the couple retreated to one of the cabins for their ‘honeymoon’.” [Sierra, the photographer]
Learn more about planning a glamping wedding.
Eloping in Alaska
“Like many of the beautiful locations in Alaska it once held massive glaciers that have since receded and melted to form this incredible valley. It’s located in the Matanuska-Susitna Valley (the Mat-Su) right outside of Palmer and about 90 minutes from Anchorage. The road up to Hatcher Pass winds through the Talkeetna Mountains and offers views of snowy mountain peaks, expansive tundra, flowing rivers, wildflowers, and the iconic red cabins. Many of the higher points in Hatcher Pass are closed for the majority of the year due to avalanches. The road over the pass from Palmer to Willow closes when the snow begins to fall (usually late September) and opens again on the 4th of July. About 2 miles up from the cabins and Independence Mine is Summit Lake, an absolutely stunning emerald lake near the summit of Hatch Peak.” [Sierra, the photographer]
Permit & LNT During Your Wedding Adventure
“Permits depend on the size of your party. For weddings and elopements with 20 people or more, you will need a special parks use permit. For small elopements and styled shoots with less than 20 people, you may need a non-competitive commercial permit. To find out if you need a permit you can contact the State of Alaska Division of Natural Resources, Department of Parks and Outdoor Recreation.” [Sierra, the photographer]
Other tips from the photographer regarding LNT (leave no trace):
- Hatcher pass has a few designated trails but much of it is off-trail. Keep vehicles on the paved road and never drive off the road unless you have an off-roading permit. When walking, try to stick to durable surfaces.
- There is a small restaurant around the center of Hatcher Pass. But if bringing snacks into the park, be sure to keep them in sealed bags to avoid attracting wildlife. After eating, pack your garbage into the same bags and seal them. Never litter, hold onto waste until you are able to dispose of or recycle it properly.
- Keep your distance from wildlife and never feed them.
Learn more about leaving no trace during your elopement.
The Cost of This Styled Elopement at Lulus Tents & Hatcher Pass
We asked Sierra, the photographer, to break down some of the costs and what other couples should expect:
- Florals: varies depending on how many florals you want and how extravagant you want them to be. You can get a simple bouquet and boutonniere for as little as $200, while a flower arch and other floral arrangements can be over $1000. For this shoot, the bouquet and boutonniere were about $375.
- Planner: Alaska is lucky to have a number of wedding planners that offer and sometimes specialize in elopement planning. Planning costs can vary depending on the level of planning desired but often start around $1200.
- Hair and makeup: Bridal hair and makeup usually start around $225 not including a tip or a trial run, and can run upward of $400.
- Dress: varies. There are dress rentals that cost a couple of hundred and gowns that cost a couple of thousand. For this shoot, we rented a dress from daliance gown rentals.
- Permits: elopement permits can range from $50-500.
- Officiant: many wedding and elopement planners are also officiants. Officiants often charge between $200-400 or more if there is travel involved (which there often is as Alaska is a vast state). But in Alaska, anyone over 18 can legally marry you so a friend can get ordained for about $100.
- Photographers: Most elopement photographers have a minimum number of hours, and often 3 hours is their base. For a short and sweet elopement prices can vary between $2500-4500 depending on experience. For an adventure elopement, it varies greatly depending on how adventurous you are getting. For half-day to full-day adventures, the average cost is somewhere between $4,000-8,000 and for a full weekend or 2-day adventure, photography coverage is usually $10,000 or more.
- Videography coverage is very similar to photography.
Learn more about elopement costs here.
Details From This Styled Elopement
“We started getting ready so early so we could capture the sunrise on the Knik river. It was still early enough when we made it to Hatchers that the air felt crisp and the flowers were dewy. Nobody expected the clouds to roll in the way they did. We embraced the fogginess of the adventure, and then at one point, the clouds were behind Paige and X while they were on the hillside. I told them to dance and I stepped back and let them dance in the clouds.” [Sierra, the photographer]
Photography | Wild Iris Studios
Glamping location | Lulus tents and events
Adventure location | Hatcher Pass and Hatcher Pass cabins
Planner and coordinator | Wild Rose Weddings and Events
Florist | The Teal Door Alaska
Charcuterie Board | Alaska Berry and Board
Wedding Dress | Daliance gown rentals
Hair and makeup | Beauty by Jaelynn
Hair accessories | Wild Things Alaska
Photos From This Elopement Inspiration