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Kathryn Cooper Weddings: Adirondack Elopement Photographer
Though the Adirondack Mountains in Upstate New York haven’t changed much in decades, this area is becoming increasingly popular for elopements, small weddings, and full-weekend celebrations.
Ideas and photos by ADK wedding photographer Kathryn Cooper Weddings
Elope in New York’s Adirondack Mountains!
This area of the world is so popular because it remains a largely untouched area for outdoor explorers, hikers, campers, and adventure seekers. And for folx looking to elope, the Adirondacks are a most perfectly private, beautiful area with nature as far as the eye can see.
It’s no coincidence that as a New York elopement photographer, I’ve been having more and more couples request my services up in the Adirondack mountains!
What is an ADK Elopement Like?
There are quite a few websites and posts that give locations for eloping in the Adirondacks. That’s awesome and helpful (and I’ll give a few locations below), but it doesn’t quite give the feel of the Adirondacks.
So…what are the Adirondacks like–and what is an ADK elopement like?
I think of this region of New York like a huge, mountainous backyard with different weather patterns and activities. It’s a huge summer camp of opportunity for those who enjoy the outdoors. Couples who vote for an Adirondacks elopement tend to be laid-back, lovers of the outdoors, and hikers. Those are my types of couples! Intimate ADK elopements go for views and stress-free schedules over guest count and fancy florals.
Here, it’s laid-back, beautiful, and full of fun, whether that’s a boat ride, discovering a new waterfall, or hiking to a view in your wedding attire. This means enjoyment for everyone involved, low costs, and pretty much 0 stress. No wonder Adirondack mountain elopements are becoming so popular!
Where Are the Adirondacks?
When one speaks about the Adirondacks, most think about Lake George and Lake Placid. Shopping outlets, roller coasters, mini golf, boat rides, the old Olympic host town…That’s well and good, but many people looking for an Adirondack elopement want more peace and quiet.
The Adirondack Park is a massive swath of protected land, and the only way to truly understand its size is a map.
Want a mind-blowing fact? The Adirondacks in Upstate New York encompasses an area so large, several National Parks would fit into it. Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Everglades, and Great Smoky National Parks could all fit into the ADK’s 6 million acres.
Luckily, this area is primarily trees and mountains. The true heart of the Adirondack mountains is in Keene Valley, which is also where the famous hikers’ 46 High Peaks (Adirondack High Peaks, all 4,000 feet and higher) are.
I’m Kathryn Cooper Weddings, a creative New York elopement & wedding photographer. Though I’m based in the Hudson Valley, NY, my couples will pay a small travel fee to have my help planning and of course photographing their ADK elopement. I know so many of the areas, and enjoy speaking with my couples to get a sense of where and when to plan their celebrations. and non-traditional couples are my people.
What You Need to Bring for an ADK Elopement
- Hiking boots!
- Leggings/long johns
- Smores, because you’ll almost certainly have a fire
- Mosquito spray, especially in May during black fly season
- Layers (think jackets, gloves, and jackets in spring and fall; light layers in summer
- Extra rags in your car in case of mud
- Food, water, and snacks (there aren’t a ton of restaurants open late, so either pre-order a gourmet meal to heat up, reserve a space in town, or cook!)
- A swimsuit
- A hat for the bright sun
- Tick spray and long socks
- Your sense of adventure!
- Your Leave No Trace ethics
The Best Part About an Adirondacks Elopement?
While so many areas–including national parks you wouldn’t expect, like Arches National Park or Yosemite National Park–are completely packed, there is a massive space in the Adirondacks with very few people. I’m not talking about the popular lakes, mountain peaks, and tourist area, but the secret spots off the main roads. Heck, even hiking a bit and avoiding the weekends means you’ll have gorgeous views and silence! As an ADK elopement photographer, I can advise you on where to go–and even take you along to my favorite secret Adirondack locations!
Where to Elope in the Adirondacks
You rarely need a permit for ADK elopements, but you always want to check with me, your photographer, or a local ranger (depending on where you’re looking). After your official elopement, you can take photos pretty much anywhere.
I recommend places that are off the main roads and away from the major tourist locations. Go for a type of spot that’s important to you, whether that’s on a mountaintop, at a fire tower, on top of a 46er, at a log cabin, by a river, or in back of an AirBnB rental (often allowed here).
- Rent a cabin with a beautiful yard
- Say your vows by one of the rivers with a view
- Hike up to a beautiful local fire tower for amazing views
- Rent a spot at a local campground and get married in the woods
- Drive up Whiteface and say vows at the top of the mountain
- Gather some friends and family for a day of campfire shenanigans
- Ask me about my favorite little waterfalls, and enjoy being surrounded by nature
- Hike up a mountain before sunrise, and elope at the top of a mountain with not a person around
- Have a tent wedding right by your campsite!
- String up hammocks, go fishing, and SUP on the water following your vows
- Rent a space right outside your hotel lodge
- Say vows on a fishing dock
- Book out Marcy Field and have a huge open space for your elopement
- Head to one of the local covered bridges
- Set out Adirondack chairs (yup!) and use a custom arch
- Go on a hike and get married with amazing views
The Best Time of Year to Elope in the Adirondacks
When it comes to time of year, it all depends on the weather you like. If you enjoy snow, then you’re in luck: Late November/December through April is typically snow.
If you are looking for spring weather, you’ll want to elope in late May at the earliest, or early June (but beware the black flies!). Summer is the most crowded, with lovely weather. My favorite season? Fall, of course! Fall in the Adirondacks is really late September/first week of October. By late October, there are no leaves left on the trees–and even early October can be risky.
Eloping in the Adirondacks is awesome, and super simple. Questions? Feel free to contact me here or at info@KathrynCooperWeddings.com for ideas and help, and I look forward to being your Adirondack elopement photographer! It’s hard to pick a more beautiful, stress-free spot than this~
Kathryn Cooper Weddings: ADK Elopement Ideas | Upstate NY Elopements | Adirondacks Elopement Photographer NY