| February 20, 2019


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As an adventure elopement photographer, I’ve seen a lot of amazing places. I’ve been to a lot of amazing locations with couples and I’ve enjoyed some of the most incredibly secluded spots.

So, believe me when I say that Jordyn and Connor’s helicopter elopement in Alaska was one of the most mind-blowing, incomprehensible, and secluded adventures I have ever been on.

Why see just one amazing location when you can see three with a helicopter ride?

Jordyn and Connor traveled all the way from Nevada for their idea of a perfect, just us elopement day, which, for them, meant helicoptering to three absolutely jaw-dropping, glacial locations near Palmer, Alaska that were all their own.

I discovered that a helicopter is basically a cheat code to the most incredible day possible. It’s an absolute whirlwind of epicness where you’re moving from one jaw-dropping location to another. You get all the amazing, secluded places to yourself in one stunning sprint — no hike-ins required.  


  • 1st: An incredible ridge overlooking a giant lake full of icebergs.
  • 2nd: An enormous and jaw-dropping glacier-fed lake
  • 3rd: A 180-degree view of Knik Glacier

Jordyn and Connor’s secluded and wild helicopter fueled Alaska elopement 

First looks on the banks of Knik RiveR

They started their morning getting ready separately in their Airbnb. They both wanted to keep their wedding attire a secret until their first look, so when we headed to the Knik River Lodge where the helicopter would take off, Jordyn hopped into the car with me and Connor followed along in his own vehicle. It was on the beaches of the Knik River — with gorgeous mountains surrounding them — that they had their first look.

Signing their marriage license as an officiant

Before we took off, we headed inside the lodge so I could sign their marriage license (the whole Adventure Instead team is ordained, so any of us can sign as your officiant). We had a super quick legal ceremony, snagged a few people (while there were humans around) to sign as witnesses, said the few sentences you need to say to legally get married —the ‘do you takes’ and the “I now pronounce yous” — and climbed into the helicopter.

We were on our way for the most absolutely magical adventure.

The first Heli drop and the start of their adventure!

The first spot we planned to land was high up on the ridge on an enormous glacial lake full of icebergs. When we landed, we did a Heli drop — where the helicopter is still running — so we had to be extra careful with the Heli blades.

The view was entirely worth it. From where we were standing, we could see four different glaciers. The helicopter landed, let us off on the ridge, and then flew away — Jordyn and Connor had total seclusion and privacy.

They grabbed their rings and said their vows all in the presence of four awesome glaciers in the midst of a glacial lagoon. One of the most beautiful parts of Jordyn and Connor’s day was when they exchanged their rings. Jordyn wanted to surprise Connor with his wedding band, so that day was the first time he’d ever seen it — it was a solid gold ring that had been crafted by his grandfather and engraved by his father. Rings are one of the things — besides pictures — that are the long-lasting pieces of your wedding day. Something unique and memorable you can have forever, so something like this is always incredibly special.

When Jordyn and Connor exchanged their rings, they were entirely alone. Or, so we thought. We found out pretty quickly they did have one uninvited guest show up — as soon as Jordyn and Connor said their vows and popped their champagne, a black bear peaked his head up over the ridge before running off.

Show-stopping views before landing next to incredible glaciers 

After that excitement was over, the helicopter picked us up and flew us to the next amazing spot — a huge lake fed by multiple glaciers. All of the icebergs in this lake were huddled into the corner and giant chunks of ice were breaking off the glaciers. We landed and I documented more stunning places as Jordyn and Connor explored on their special day. We climbed back into the helicopter and prepared for Jordyn and Connor’s third and final location — a spot that had a 180-degree view of one of the biggest glaciers in Alaska, the Knik Glacier. As we flew to that final spot, we looked down into the huge, deep crevices of the glacier — we could see the icy blue water from the melting parts of the glacier. The scale and sheer awesomeness of this glacier were truly incomprehensible.

There’s something so unbelievable about flying over a massive glacier and then being able to land on it. When you’re buzzing around from place to place in the sky, you know what you’re seeing is beautiful, but when you’re actually able to land and explore on what you were seeing from above, it’s almost impossible to soak it all in.

A confetti cake, campfire, and cuddles

When we flew back to the Knik River Lodge, Jordyn and Connor had a private dinner waiting for the two of them (the kitchen stayed open late just for them). They shared a confetti cake as their wedding cake because it was also Connor’s birthday — another fun surprise courtesy of Jordyn.

Alaska is a pretty unbelievable place, especially in the summertime, when it’s known for being the Land of the Midnight Sun. By the time we built a giant campfire at the lodge, it was almost 10:30 at night and it was still blue hour. In the light of the setting sun, and among the sparks of the campfire and the rugged wildness of an Alaskan landscape, Jordyn and Connor had their first dance.

Jordyn and Connor’s day flying over Alaskan glaciers was absolutely unforgettable

Jordyn and Connor wanted to experience a completely wild place where they could be entirely alone for their elopement, and Alaska was exactly that. It feels so untouched, so incredibly remote. Being dropped off in those places and left alone with no civilization, no people, no roads for miles and miles was unbelievable — because of that, Jordyn and Connor were able to have the seclusion and excitement they’d been dreaming of.

Our packages can make your dream Alaska elopement a reality

There are some adventures — some elopements — where everything just comes together perfectly. The weather is glorious, the lighting is just right, the locations are entirely secluded, and the day is pure magic — Jordyn and Connor’s adventure elopement was exactly that. Alaska is unlike anywhere on Earth and we cannot wait to keep exploring it with other couples and to weave their love stories into the incredible wilderness.

Maddie Mae

Elopement Photographer

& Planning Consultant

About us

Adventure Instead

Your Elopement Photographers & Planning Consultants. We are Maddie Mae, Amber, and Tori. We're your photographers, your elopement consultants, your cheerleaders, and your go-to adventure buddy on the day you say your vows.

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