Yellowstone Adventure Elopement

yellowstone national park adventure elopement geyser
I'm Jackie

Traveling wedding photographer + photography/small biz educator.

Mesmerized by the way two people love each other, each so uniquely.  I always leave room for dessert. Believe swear words are just sentence embellishers. Think indulgences are necessary in this life. 

hey hey

Parties with all the best people in their lives.

TOp categories

Love stories in all forms without the white dress... or maybe they wore white, it happens.

Just my little thoughts on different topics of planning your wedding day big party or just you two.

Stories of two lovers making it all about them, as they should.

Now I’m not sure you’re ready for all of the epicness of this Yellowstone National Park elopement! I shoot elopements quite frequently, often out in some of the most beautiful places you can find. But when two true outdoor enthusiasts decide they want to elope somewhere cool? You know it’s going to be a damn good time. And nothing says adventure like saying I Do in front a boiling hot column of water and steam shooting up from mother earth. 

Holly and Danny reached out about their Yellowstone National Park elopement with some ideas in their brain, but no solid plan. Their dear friend just happened to be a guide in the park, and on this day he doubled as their officiant, so they had the insider scoop on some dreamy locations. When they asked me if I was up for a hike to a geyser, I couldn’t scream “hell yaaa” fast enough! 

This elopement was extra sweet because it truly fit them as a couple. Holly wore a simple, classic rose colored dress with both a crown and bouquet of dried flowers and Danny looked dapper in his jacket. There was no big production or an abundance of details, just a picnic packed in a backpack and hiking boots slipped on. We met at the trailhead and headed out to see if we could catch a peek at the geyser in action! 

Round trip the hike was about 5 miles, but along the way were rivers and meadows and you know those dreamy landscapes our national parks have to offer. We knew that the geyser only erupts once every 3-4 hours…. Ish, usually a small eruption and then a larger to follow. At least that’s what we’ve read. We tried to time it as best as we could, but you just never know with mother nature and the only record of timing is at the geyser itself if people write it in the notebook. As we reached the view point, sure enough, the geyser shot into the sky! Like helllllllo and welcome to the show! 

We asked some others nearby if it was the first or second eruption. They told us the first, so we thought hey we just might make this work for the big one! We meandered down to the river for some photos, hoping the next eruption would start for the ceremony, but as time passed we realized it wasn’t gonna happen haha! 

So we continued as planned and they got married as the geyser just gurgled low in the background. After their ceremony, they took a minute just to soak it all in. This is something I will go to the ends of the freakin’ earth to advocate for – a little bit of time just to slow down and be with your partner. Elopements can sometimes feel rushed, as the coverage is only 4-8 hours for a lot of moving around and adventuring. It’s easy to always focus on the next move or getting those killer photos. But I always encourage my couples to slowwwww down. Whether it’s a first dance or a picnic or a snuggle session. In their case, they packed a picnic with some snacks and some kombucha + whiskey and just chilled. 

Before we knew it so much time had passed and sure enough the geyser started realllllly gurgling. It felt like a warning. Was she gonna make our Yellowstone National Park elopement dreams come true?!?! 

The first smaller eruption went off. And in the words of Danny himself, it was a tease. I knew at that moment that we were going to wait around for the larger eruption, I mean how could we not?! We took some more photos and before we knew it, this geyser gave us its best show. And we took some freakin’ epic photos. A perfect ending to the best day! 

As the sun set, we walked back to the trailhead and joked that the only thing missing from their Yellowstone National Park elopement photos was bison. And then right there in the field, we stopped to catch some bison before leaving.  The actual perfect ending to the best day! 
I love Yellowstone! But I also love Glacier and the Tetons and Olympic and Yosemite. You truly can’t go wrong with a national park wedding. If you’re looking for more adventure elopement inspo, check out this Grand Teton National Park elopement, it’s one of my absolute favs.