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If you’re planning a wedding, you may have heard the words “elope” and “elopement” tossed around. Eloping can seem like a dream come true, with the promise of a romantic ceremony away from the stress of planning and organizing a large event. But, is eloping really cheaper than getting married the traditional way? The average U.S. wedding costs $30,000. And in popular tourist areas like Jackson Hole, the cost of a wedding is easily well over that. In fact, wedding costs may be tripled or quadrupled in dreamy destinations.
Many couples are asking if an elopement is the better option for their budget. Let’s break down some of the associated local wedding and Jackson Hole elopement costs.
There is no easy way to say yes or no. In general, an elopement has less moving parts. There are not as many vendors to hire, or guests to accommodate. If you’re looking at the cost difference between a Jackson Hole Wedding and a Jackson Hole Elopement, the answer is an obvious YES. However, if you compare your local pricing to Jackson Hole pricing, you may find it’s not less expensive.
In a traditional wedding, your venue and associated rentals, caterer, planner, photo and video team, florist, and entertainment are the biggest portions of your cost. In an elopement, the venue and catering vendors are replaced with much more budget friendly wedding options. And the budget for other vendors are readjusted. That’s not say that destination elopements and micro-weddings can’t quickly add up. However, it’s pretty safe to say that you can elope for less than the cost of a traditional wedding.
If you’re planning to host your event at a Jackson Hole wedding venue, here are some some day of vendors you’ll likely be booking.
Costs can vary dramatically between a local or destination venue. Common pricing for local East Idaho wedding venues is between $1,000 – $4,000. For Jackson Hole wedding venues, traditional wedding day costs are around $8,000 – $30,000. Some ranches will require a full weekend or week booking with lodging included, significantly increasing your spend.
Diamond Cross Ranch – Moran, Wyoming
Planners and coordinators are a wonderful resource to connect you to local vendors for your big day! Their fees typically range from $2,000-10,000 depending on services desired. If you are getting married at a traditional venue, they may require you to have a wedding planner as part of your team. Full Service planning and set up will be more expensive than hiring a specialist for only day of coordination. We highly recommend Grand Teton Events, Destination Jackson Hole, Elope Jackson, and Lisa Mack Events.
Photography services might be considered a luxury, but we think they are a necessity! Typically, hiring local wedding talent will save you money vs flying someone in. We highly recommend hiring local because the landscape of Grand Teton National Park is vast. There are so many ins-and-outs to weddings in Jackson Hole, WY including lighting situations, best locations, and what to do when it rains! Photography and Videography costs vary greatly between rural areas and big cities. On average, a full day wedding costs $4,000-12,000. However, some professionals can be upwards of $25,000+ for a weekend full of events. At Janelle & Co, we offer great Grand Teton National Park elopement packages and full day wedding photography options.
These vendor prices may surprise you! In 2021, the cost per plate for wedding catering in Jackson Hole was between $95-125. This fee did not include beverage service. If you have 200 guests, those prices add up quickly even if you plan for a cash bar. This is about 2x the national average for a plated dinner service.
A 5 piece band could cost your between $4,000-6,000 for ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception coverage. DJ Services will range from about $2,000-5,000.
Jackson Hole Hair and Makeup Artist costs for the bride are typically between $275-600. For your wedding party, prices are typically $175-350.
Hiring a floral boutique like JH Flower Boutique will allow you the flexibility of purchasing a single bouquet and boutonniere for your elopement. They also offer large wedding packages for traditional events. Some wedding vendors will have a minimum purchase to book a wedding. I’ve seen minimums between $3,000-5,000 for florists.
Flowers by Chloe, Jackson Hole Florist.
Local officiant fees for Jackson Hole are between $300-350 for ceremonies in the park. There are some celebrants and officiants that can be upwards of $1,000.
Cindy Dahlin, wedding officiant.
When you’re planning a Jackson Hole Destination Elopement or Wedding, you have additional considerations like lodging and accommodations. Flights and transportation must also be planned in advance. Choosing a destination elopement comes at a greater personal cost for these two categories.
However, they pale in comparison to the fees of wedding venues, catering, and other vendors. Jackson Hole elopement costs are significantly less than a traditional Jackson Hole Wedding.
Flying into Jackson Hole Airport is the most convenient option for visiting Grand Teton National Park. However, it is not always the best deal. Between flights and car rentals, you may want to book into an airport further away and take the drive. Other airports to consider are Idaho Falls, Idaho; Bozeman, Montana; and Salt Lake City, Utah. These airports are within a 4 hour drive to Jackson Hole. Costs of car rentals will vary greatly upon demand as well. So, book early!
Lodging in Jackson Hole during the high season can cost “an arm and a leg”. It’s relative to how luxurious you would like your stay to be. The low nightly average is about $450, with the middle ground being about $600 per night in the summer of 2022. You’ll need to plan accordingly and decide the best option for you. While you’re in the area though, it’s worth thing about extending you stay. Take the opportunity of your Jackson Hole Elopement to honeymoon nearby as well! With a plethora of national and state parks with in a few hours drive, you can explore the great outdoors in Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana with ease.
Check out offers like the Bentwood Inn Jackson Hole Elopement Packages.
Overall, an elopement in Jackson Hole is sure to be a beautiful and memorable experience, but it requires significant planning and budgeting. By setting a budget, researching vendors, and deciding on the most important services, couples can craft their own unique and special elopement that’s worth the investment. Spend your money wisely, and you’ll never regret the memories you create. As the saying goes, “When it comes to memories, invest more in experiences than in things.” So, don’t hesitate to make your Jackson Hole elopement a reality. The possibilities for your special day are endless and worth the effort.
Inquire today about booking your Jackson Hole elopement photographer!
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