Savanah and Tyler’s Autumn Elopement Adventure in Girdwood, Alaska

Savanah and Tyler’s Autumn Elopement Adventure in Girdwood, Alaska

Savanah and Tyler planned an autumn elopement adventure in Girdwood Alaska, where the contrast of crystal blues and autumn reds gifted them a truly spectacular backdrop. From glacial ice walls to cutting up her wedding dress the next day and turning it into a cool top, this elopement adventure is the perfect inspiration to elope in Alaska.

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About This Magical Elopement in Girdwood: Blue Glacial Walls and Autumn Colors

Photography by Sam Starns

Savanah and Tyler had a two day adventure:

Day 1 – Consisted of the first look, exploring many areas via heli, and exchanging vows, with a break for a packed lunch before heading back to sign their marriage license.
Day 2 – Started with Savanah texting saying she wanted to cut up her dress for that day’s outfit. They explored and enjoyed the beautiful backdrop before deciding to end the day at Matanuska Brewing Company for dinner and beer.

Sam shares some fun moments fom this couple’s wedding adventure:

  • Savanah and Tyler met at their place of work (Publix) and to incorporate that into their day, they both wore Publix merch socks.
  • They also wanted to include their 3 cats, so Sav had a talented creator on Etsy embroider the likeness of them on a denim jacket.
  • They eloped with no guests, and an Alpine Air Alaska employee served as their witness (I was the officiant).
  • Savanah applied and styled her makeup and hair – something I usually don’t advise but she KILLED it!
  • When Savanah said she wanted to cut her dress, I knew it was going to be epic, but had NO idea she was going to make it look so good. She completely altered the whole look with a pair of scissors and her “all in or nothing” attitude.
  • I used a drone to capture some of the day’s moments from afar, as requested by Tyler – they both wanted some jaw-dropping glacial ice wall shots.

Check out some more places to elope.

Leaving No Trace and Permit For This Elopement

“Alaska by helicopter might seem like an extra step, but the places helicopters are allowed to land do not require a ceremony permit with just a few guests! Because these locations are also usually inaccessible via hike, there are no set trails to follow. Be aware of any sensitive/delicate plants, and in cases like this where it’s remote, you want to minimize impact by spreading out and not going single-file!” [Sam, the photographer]

Learn how to leave no trace during your elopement.

Top Tips For This Elopement Location From The Photographer

  • If you are landing near a glacial wall, it is not advisable to go very close to it, in case of collapse. Stand at least as far away as the ice wall is tall!
  • Sometimes mountain passes can cause inaccessibility for helicopters, so be flexible with potential landing locations! To maximize your chances, go during drier months (May, July, September – avoid August, in my experience) and choose a helicopter outfitter that won’t have to cross mountain ranges to get to a particular spot.

Be Intentional and Embrace the Moment

“Savanah and Tyler embodied the spirit of fun and play during their elopement. They were truly up for anything – I mean, Sav cut up her dress for their second day! If you’re not afraid to play and embrace the magic of where you are, your images will reflect that. These two were very intentional about having an adventure where they could see a bunch of different places while still focusing on being present with one another.” [Sam, the photographer]

Memorable Moments During This Elopement

From the photographer:

“I was so insanely excited that we got to visit so many places, some I’d been to before and others I hadn’t. Savanah and Tyler wanted to make sure we had enough adventure time, so they booked 7-8 hours with Alpine Air. Their gallery is one of the most diverse in terms of backdrops I might have ever photographed! A helicopter really cuts down on the travel time between locations.”

Final Words of Advice For Couples

“When traveling from across the country, be sure to add in extra days between your arrival and your elopement! Savanah and Tyler fortunately had an extra day or two, but with travel delays, still managed to only have about 24 hours in Alaska before they were set to elope. To manage any jet lag and mitigate travel issues, I highly suggest arriving at least 3 days before your elopement!” [Sam, the photographer]

Learn how to elope.


Photography | Sam Starns

Helicopter Charter Company | Alpine Air Alaska
Dress | Allure Bridal Boutique | Model of dress: Lillian West Style #66225
(Savanah’s) Shoes | Nisolo | Model of shoes: All-Weather Amalia Boot in “Tobacco”
Suit Attire | Studio Suits | Suit Model: Royal Brown Heavy Tweed Suit
Hair and Makeup | DIY by the bride
Custom Embroidered Jacket | Etsy Shop
Restaurant visited on Day 2 | Matanuska Brewing Company 

Photos From This Elopement

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