Often times winter elopements are centered around the holiday season with glowy holiday lights and crackling fires. However, do you want all your wedding photos dancing with holiday ornaments and field stone fireplaces? If you do, you picked a great season to wed. If you don’t, you also picked a great season to wed.
Unlike a summer or fall wedding in New England where the sun doesn’t really set until after 7pm winter weddings can be limiting because of daylight constraints. If you don’t get married before 4pm, then all your photos will be taken with flash or external light sources because it will be pitch dark out. You may be restricted to only indoor photos if the venue or location you are at does not have good exterior lighting. If you like the romance and coziness of the season, this is great. You won’t even have to put a coat or boots on.
If you are an outdoorsy person or love to shop, consider this an excuse to by a new outfit. If you love swaddling in scarfs and fun p-coats, then daytime winter weddings can be fashionable and fun – OUTSIDE. Hopefully these few photo comparisons will help show how winter can be fun both day and night.
New coat for him, a cape and ear muffs for her.
A gorgeous knit sweater dress!
Night time by the fire.
If you can brave a few seconds outside, usually there are some fun twinkle lights to be found.
Winter is upon us and there are lots of fun things to do in the White Mountains while you are here. Not all “Elopements” are just two people. Sometimes there are witnesses, and sometimes a few extra family members. Whatever the group size, there are many ways to get out and enjoy your time while you are here. That may just entail shopping in one of our many outlet stores and sampling treats from locally owned restaurants, but if you are looking for a little adventure, put your smiles on and head over to Cranmore Mountain for a few hours of tubing!
Another thing of course is skiing. If you know how, or even if you don’t, there are loads of resorts to go to, and all have learn to ski programs.
8 questions with a Justice of the Peace: 1. How long have you been a Justice of the Peace and how/why did you become one?
I was a Notary Public as part of my job. I attended a friends wedding in the White Mountains and they had to search for a JP who was willing to hike into the back country. I remember wishing I could have done that for them, and soon after, a couple who worked at the AMC asked me to become a JP and marry them. I became commissioned in 2001 and once I was established, I decided that my niche would be weddings in unusual places around NH.
2. What is the difference between a Notary Public and a Justice of the Peace?
Both are appointed by state governments and share similar responsibilities: Acknowledgements, oaths, affirmations, warrants, depositions, and witnessing signatures. The difference is that a JP may also perform marriage ceremonies.
3. How many weddings have you performed?
As of May 2013, I have performed 430 wedding ceremonies and hope to finish this year around 500.
4. What are some of the most interesting locations or ceremonies you’ve encountered?
Because of my experience, especially with the AMC, places that might seem odd or exciting to others, are actually very normal parts of my life: The summit of Mount Washington, Tuckerman Ravine, any AMC hut, any waterfall or mountain top throughout the White Mountains, etc. The most memorable wedding took place on the shoulder of Mount Washington though. A bagpipe player and I hiked down from the summit to do a wedding at Lakes-of-the-Clouds Hut. Right after the wedding, he and I began to hike back to the summit but we were caught in a lightning storm. By the time we managed to reach the summit and drive back down to the valley, we discovered the gate at the bottom of the road would not open because the power was out in the area. After all that, we were stuck on the other side of a gate!
Other interesting spots include having to take a boat to an island on Lake Winnipesaukee and then take a small raft across an inlet to another island to do the ceremony at sunset. I also did a ceremony at Sandy Island Camp on Winnipesaukee, which happened to be a family camp my grandparents had managed for two decades. I often perform ceremonies at inns and B&B’s around the region and many, including those taking place in winter time, will take place outdoors. Locations such as the Stonehurst Manor have great views of Mt. Washington as a backdrop for the ceremony, leaving the couple with amazing photographs of their special day. I also recommend the laid back nature of a weekday wedding at places like Cathedral Ledge or near the banks of the Saco River, both nearby to my work place.
5. What was your favorite ceremony that you performed?
I can’t say that I can pick just one, as so many have been wonderful.
6. What is the most satisfying part of your job?
Connecting with the couples beyond the business transaction and then staying in touch or visiting them later. I also see people at their happiest.
7. How have you grown your business?
My business took off a few years ago largely due to finally having a website www.kimthejp.com that worked for me as well as a downturn in the economy. Many couples chose to do smaller, more intimate ceremonies in an outdoor setting with just a few guests. Additionally Meghan Simone made a short video of some ceremonies we had done together that I put on my website and that helped couples see and hear what my ceremonies might sound like. Professional associations such as www.findajp.com , www.nhjpa.com, and Jackson Area Chamber of Commerce have been helpful as well as relationships with local hospitality businesses.
8. Are couples free to choose their own vows, etc?
Absolutely! I’m here to provide as much or as little help as desired/needed for the ceremony and they can do just about anything they want. I have samples and helpful hints at www.kimthejp.com for couples to get started.
It’s sad to report that Nestlenok Farm did burn down. I wanted to post here so people do know that they are still slated to open for sleigh rides and winter fun this upcoming season. Lauren + Matt’s engagement took place at Nestlenook Farm February of 2009 and you can see the inn building behind them in this first photo. In preparation for their 2010 wedding at Whitney’s Inn, in Jackson, we took some fun photos “on snow” back in the chapel where Matt proposed. Nestlenook offers romantic sleigh-rides, great for popping the question, ice skating, and hot chocolate! Did I mention the outside fire pit? I can’t help but revisit these photos this year, as Nestlenook is a favorite winter setting for photos, even if the Inn no longer there.
Considering a winter wedding in the White Mountains? Elopements in North Conway put you in the heart of the valleys best shopping, dining, and provide loads of lodging options. You are also really close to some stunning scenic spots for photos. The Conway Scenic RR and nearby views at the North Conway Country Club provide an excellent backdrop. Of course, some couples may prefer to take a scenic train ride while they are here. The RR does run during some weekends in the winter, and when this couple went into the ticket office they did get a round of applause from waiting passengers. How will you spend your time in the White Mountains? Check the local Mount Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce website for additional ideas. If you want my take on winter activities, read more here.
Fall time in New England through the New Year is always a great time to sneak away to the White Mountains of New Hampshire to get married or renew vows. The colors are AMAZING! What a palate to choose from! Just look at the leaves for inspirational colors! Deep reds, oranges, purples, greens of all shades, I need my old fashioned Prang Crayon box to list them all!
Another beautiful fall day in New England. The backdrop for this NH Elopement was Jackson Falls, a perfect place for a wedding in Jackson, NH. Amy and Mike were staying at The Inn at Ellis River, which offers great romance packages complete with champagne and cake! Carrie at Dutch Bloemen Winkel put together this stunning fall wedding bouquet! Carrie now has a store front open in Jackson Village! Mike was such a ham, these two had great personalities and were so fun to spend time with. Amy has a great story about her dress you can read here.
Considering a Fall elopement in Jackson New Hampshire? Here are a few reasons to escape and tie the knot.
The return of the Pumpkin People! The fall colors, the unseasonably warm (or cold) weather, an excuse to wear a festive pashmina with your dress, and you could stay at the The Inn at Ellis River! Look what their Romantic Wedding for Two Package Includes (as of 9/28/13 via their website, here.)
Having your ceremony at the Inn or nearby Jackson Falls
A small bridal bouquet and boutonniere color coordinated with your dress
A small wedding cake in your choice of flavors
A bottle of champagne or sparkling cider
Served in silver flutes that are yours to keep as a memento of the day
A candlelight dinner for two at an elegant Jackson restaurant
Two nights in our Bridal Veil Falls room with fireplace and jacuzzi for two
Three great reasons to Hike and Wed in the White Mountains in September:
1) Crisp drier air and great visibility!
2) Less crowds – mid week elopements are always a great idea.
3) No bugs!
This Wedding Ceremony took place on Sugarloaf Mountain in Crawford Notch in July with Justice of the Peace, Christie Girouard. We escaped a rain storm that threatened us but ended up passing south of the Notch. Accommodations – Sugarloaf I or Sugarloaf II Campgrounds (they are side by side). For directions, maps, and trail description visit Hike New England. Most camp grounds are open through the fall holiday weekends – and again, a lot less busy.
People keep asking me why we went to New Hampshire to get married. Honestly, I was at a loss of in the planning phase until I came across your blog. Your pictures from other weddings helped me quickly make up my mind that I wanted to go to Jackson, the covered bridge, and have you as our photographer. Your links also helped me with the other planning. I kept going back to your blog for ideas. – Sherry
One of my favorite places for a wedding in Jackson, NH is at Jackson Falls. There are many easy to access locations right along the river. Kim the JP officiated this ceremony in one of my favorite locations at the falls. This particular rock allows couples to be right on the water, and provides views up and down stream. If the water level is high you can always have the ceremony up by the bench which sits rather high above the water while still providing stunning views up stream to the green iron bridge. For inclement weather you can move the ceremony in towards the walking path and picnic tables too. Lots of places and photo ops at the Falls…just don’t wear your stiletto heels. Take advice from this couple, Sherry had a fun sparkly pair of shoes with a wide low heel, easy to walk on rocks, roots, and the trails.
There are no rules that say you can’t get married in the middle of your favorite hiking trail. I can bet that you will be the only person who has wed in that exact spot, and there is something special and personal about that. Wedding Ceremony on Sugarloaf Mountain in Crawford Notch with Justice of the Peace, Christie Girouard. Accommodations – Sugarloaf I or Sugarloaf II Campgrounds (they are side by side). For directions, maps, and trail description visit Hike New England.
Thanks again for capturing our big day for us. It really was a pleasure to work with you and between the photographs and all of the info on your website you definitely helped make our trip great! -Amy and Tye
No wedding is complete without taking in some of our famous breath taking scenery. One of my favorite ways to do this, and get a great thrill is the Bretton Woods Canopy Tour. You will need a few hours, but it’s worth every second!
It’s never too late to tie the knot, as this Jackson wedding took place 14 years after their first meeting! A road trip from Michigan many moons ago landed them in New Hampshire on a covered bridge tour. Who knew all these years later they would end up driving back here to celebrate their commitment to one another. Many thanks for your friendship… congrats :)
Looking for a quiet time to escape and tie the knot? These may be your last two weeks before Jackson Falls has an array of summer time splashers. We were the only ones at the falls this past Tuesday night! Hard to believe, we all commented how quiet it was. I must say this makes taking photos a LOT easier too! They picked a great time of day for their ceremony as well. 6pm – so there was nice soft late day sunlight. Kim The JP officiated and they stayed at the Inn at Ellis River. Stay tuned for more photos in coming days!
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