How to Plan a Helicopter Elopement

March 6, 2023
How to Plan a Helicopter Elopement

Photo by Candice Marie Photography

Perhaps one of the most epic ways to get married is a helicopter elopement. There’s something completely different & unique about planning a wedding day just the two of you, jetting off to some of the world’s most beautiful landscapes and saying your vows next to immense glaciers and towering mountains. 

One of Whistler’s most popular helicopter elopement companies, Blackcomb Helicopters, are experts in planning adventure helicopter elopements. Whether you’re a thrill-seeking duo looking for a perfect adventure wedding or a couple searching for a unique way to say ‘I do,’ a heli elopement is a perfect choice. However, planning this type of elopement is definitely different than planning a traditional wedding, and there are fewer resources online about how to plan a helicopter elopement online. This is precisely why we created this guide along with Blackcomb Helicopters to walk couples through each step when planning their helicopter wedding. 

Photo by Candice Marie Photography

How to Plan a Helicopter Elopement in 2023

1. Decide on a General Area

Deciding where to have your helicopter elopement is perhaps the most exciting and toughest decision to make. There are plenty of fantastic options, and you should choose one that speaks to who you are as a couple. What is important for you to have on your wedding day? Is it a mountain? Lakes? Glaciers? Write down a list of what your dream location would include, and narrow down where you’d like to have your helicopter elopement based on those details. 

Photo by Candice Marie Photography

2. Research Seasonal Weather

Helicopter elopements are always weather dependent. So when planning your day, it’s vital to leave wiggle room in case of inclement weather or delays. Sometimes, flights may not be able to go out at all. We know that’s not ideal for a wedding day, but researching the weather can help limit that risk. Look up weather patterns for each month in your desired region. At first, you may be dreaming of a June elopement, but if you find out June is more susceptible to rain or weather and will likely have snow, it could be worth altering your original dates and going for an August elopement instead. 

It’s also important to remember that summer at lower elevations isn’t the same as summer in the northern Rocky Mountains. June weddings in the far north are often still covered with snow. If you’re looking for a winter wedding, book between November and June. Expect very cold conditions from November to March, with more spring-like temperatures but a wintery look from April to June. For a Summer wedding, aim for late July to early October when the snow has melted, and the lakes are thawed. Whether you envision a snowy spring wedding or a summer alpine lake elopement, helicopter elopements fly all year round!

Photo by Candice Marie Photography

3. Have a Backup Plan

Helicopter elopements are for adventurous, spontaneous, and open-to-change couples because no matter how much you’ve researched and planned your day, things can change in the blink of an eye! It is impossible to control inclement weather, which is why Blackcomb Helicopters recommends picking a location where even if the weather is not ideal, there are still plenty of beautiful locations to elope if the original plan falls through. Whistler is a fantastic example of this; whereas a cancellation might be disappointing, but the area is packed with scenic alpine lakes, waterfalls, lush forests, and mountains to go to instead. 

Photo by Candice Marie Photography

4. Plan Your Perfect Elopement Day

Many details go into this section regarding how to plan a helicopter elopement. Because it is not a traditional wedding, normal wedding checklists don’t quite work. When it comes to planning your perfect elopement day, keep these things in mind: 

  • Guests – helicopter elopements are intimate, and seating is an extremely limiting factor for who can join on your heli adventure. Blackcomb Helicopters seat up to five passengers. This is enough space for the couple, a photographer, an officiant, and one other person. Multi-flight excursions are possible, but logistics for two helicopters can be more difficult, so keep that in mind. 
  • Ceremony location – There are many ways to do an adventure elopement. Some plan to get married in an intimate ceremony with friends and family present, then take a flight after to celebrate, exchange vows, and take photos. Some couples have their ceremony during their helicopter elopement. There is no right or wrong way to do it; just do what feels right. 
  • Research landing locations – Most helicopter elopement companies offer multiple locations to land. Depending on your flight, you can visit one or multiple locations. Most heli elopement companies, such as Blackcomb Helicopters, have their landing locations listed on their website. You can see their landing locations or Whistler here
  • Vendors – Choosing vendors that understand and are experienced with heli elopements is extremely important. Local vendors know the system very well and will ensure you will get the perfect day from the moment you land. Many of these vendors have been to the locations before and already know the best spots and tips. In addition, if the weather does affect your elopement, local vendors will also have essential knowledge of the area to choose a backup location quickly. 

And although some unique planning elements go into a helicopter elopement, there is a major advantage here. Planning a helicopter elopement can be done last minute! Unlike wedding reception venues that often have to be booked a year in advance, many helicopter elopement companies encourage & love the spontaneous nature that is sometimes behind this elopement style. In fact, most helicopter elopement couples only book a few months (or a days!) in advance.

Photo by Candice Marie Photography

5. Know the Cancellation Policy

Cancellation policies can differ based on each helicopter elopement company’s policy. However, booking with a company with a more flexible cancellation policy is always recommended. Weather happens, things arise, and a helicopter elopement can be a big investment for some couples. Blackcomb Helicopters has the perfect example of a flexible cancellation policy, with a full refund offered up until 24 hours before the flight time. 

Photo by Candice Marie Photography

6. Pack Smart 

If you are unfamiliar with high-altitude and mountainous regions, this will be an extremely important section. In most of Canada and the Nothern United States, snowpack can last well into July. Helicopter elopement companies often have a required packing list for couples before they head out on the adventure. And yes, you absolutely can still wear your tux/wedding dress! Here are the biggest packing requirements & tips: 

  • Wear appropriate footwear – Pack your heels in a bag and wear safe, enclosed footwear with grip soles for the helicopter ride and walking around. Many times the landscape is uneven, and it’s best to be safe and not wear heels unless for photos. Many couples choose to have fun with the change in footwear and get additional pictures of them in wedding attire + hiking/snow boots. It just adds another unique element to your day! 
  • Bring a coat – Weather changes quickly in the mountains, and summer days in the valley below can still mean near-freezing temperatures high in the alpine. Wind and unexpected weather can also occur at any time in the mountains. An easy but safe packing list includes a coat, gloves, earmuffs, and hand warmers.

Photo by Candice Marie Photography

If you are interested in planning a helicopter elopement in western Canada, you can contact Blackcomb Helicopter here or call 604-938-1700

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