Yup, this town is small. Small enough that 90% of what few businesses are there completely shut down from October through April and there’s less then 75-people living there. But don’t start thinking about ghost towns and tumbleweeds JUST yet. Stanley, Idaho is the gateway to the magical and majestic Sawtooth Mountains. A portion of mountain range apart of the Rocky Mountains in central Idaho. Reaching a maximum elevation of 10,751 feet at the summit of Thompson Peak, the Sawtooth mountains are nothing short of absolute breathtaking perfection. You can opt to rent out Stanley Pioneer Park for epic views of the mountains or skip over to Sunny Gulch Campground. You can also hike up one of the many amazing trails on the Sawtooth’s in the summer when the snowpack isn’t so high. Whatever you choose to do, having your elopement in Stanley, Idaho is a perfect place for anyone who loves epic mountain views and stunning lakes.
Snuggled in-between the tiny towns of Bruneau and Hammet, Idaho and right off the Snake River lays home to the tallest single-structured sand dune in North America in Bruneau Sand Dunes State Park. These tall orange and red sand dunes are otherworldly and you’ll feel more like you’re in the Sahara Desert then in Eastern Idaho. Open year round, these sand dunes make for an incredible backdrop for your elopement if you’re looking for something away from pine trees, mountains and lakes. Avoid mid-day ceremonies during the summer as temperatures typically raise above 100-degrees. Instead, opt for sunrise or an evening ceremony and then adventure around the Snake River, Birds of Prey and Givens Hot Springs for even more epic photos of your day.
BRUNEAU SAND DUNES
Known for the Coeur d’Alene Lake, Coeur d’Alene Idaho is a summer hot spot for Idahoans and Pacific Northwesters alike. Over the last several years Coeur d’Alene has grown into one of Idaho’s hottest food spots with various restaurants, micro-pubs, breweries, coffee shops and winery’s, and that’s just on Main Street. There are several hot spots for larger weddings in Coeur d’Alene such as the Coeur d’Alene Resort and the Blackwell Hotel. However, if you’re looking for more intimate spots away from the summer crowds I’ve got you covered. There are several hikes around Coeur d’Alene Lake that just have some of the most incredible views, including but not limited to, Mineral Ridge, Fernan Lake Natural Area, Blue Creek Trail, Tubb’s Hill, and so many more. If you’re looking for lush forests, lakeside beaches or even small waterfalls for your elopement then Coeur d’Alene, Idaho may be the best fit for you.
COEUR D’ALENE, IDAHO
Known for the University of Idaho and being 6-miles from Washington State University, Moscow Idaho is not a common response when someone thinks of places to get married. Hence why I threw it up on today’s list. Moscow Idaho is smack dab in the middle of what is known as the Palouse Region, a region which is responsible for over 95% of the nation’s lentils. But it’s not the lentils that makes this spot such a killer spot to say “I Do”, it’s the never-ending rolling hills that these lentils are grown on that is the eye-catching draw.
From late April through June the hills are the richest shades of green I’ve ever seen. As the hills fade into July through August and even the beginning of September, the wheat fields turn golden yellow, brown and orange hues that illuminates in magical ways as the sun rises and sun sets. If you’re into endless landscapes that give you some of the most stunning sunsets you’ll ever see I would highly suggest looking into Moscow Idaho.
Sandpoint Idaho, about a 2-hour drive from Moscow, Idaho is home to the Kaniksu National Forest, Schweitzer Mountain ski resort, Lake Pend Oreille and right next to Scotchman Peak…the highest peak in the state of Idaho.
This region is some of the most beautiful in the state and it’s no surprise why I’ve captured several weddings, elopements and couples’ sessions here. Beautiful year round, from glorious hues of green, wild flowers and bear grass in the summer, to bold colors of birch and tamarack in the autumn and down to being covered in the most perfect blanket of snow in the winter, whatever your looking for, Sandpoint has got you covered. Sandpoint’s Lake Pend Oreille is easily as beautiful (if not even more) then the popular Coeur d’Alene Lake but far less populated is a stunning place for vows, epic bridals or just a beautiful afternoon before you get married. Sandpoint also is home to several old Forest Service lookouts turned air bnb’s as well as many amazing VERBO’s and cabins for cozy intimate wedding stays. Plus…it’s right by the Canadian border, so, honeymoon anyone?
Never heard of it before? If you’ve heard of Wallace, Idaho…or even been through Wallace, Idaho, then you’ve been through Avery. But seeing how it’s a small unincorporated community, it’s no surprise that even most Idahoans don’t even know about it.
So, since it’s so small, why on earth is it one of my favorite places for sessions and elopements; well, I’m gonna tell you. Placed right along the St. Joe River (which is one of the most beautiful rivers in the state of Idaho!) Avery is a smorgasbord of outdoor recreation and natural beauty that literally cannot be beat. From incredible hiking trails all through the St. Joe National Forest and the Lolo National Forest, the St. Joe River that is beautiful all year round, vintage lookouts turned air bnb’s, the Hiawatha bike trail, if you’re looking for a true outdoor mountain experience for your elopement, intimate wedding or session…Avery is your headquarters hands down.