Where to Elope in Washington State

April 30, 2022

Elopement, Resources

Couple smiles at the camera as they elope in Washington

I believe Washington is the best state for elopement. Being born and raised in Seattle makes me slightly biased, but no one can deny the variety of landscapes offered throughout the state. If you are planning an elopement, it’s likely that you want epic views, mountains, greenery, or maybe snow! Below are my top four recommendations on where to elope in Washington. In each section, I cover where to find location permits, weather based on season, and an interesting fact about the area that you may not already know!

Location Summary

Elope at Mount Rainier

Couple's elopement pictures at Mt. Rainier in Washington

Mount Rainier is majestic. This beloved PNW elopement spot is conveniently located two hours south of Seattle. Mount Rainier National Park has a variety of hikes that lead to elopement-worthy views, accommodating every fitness level.

There is much to be said about the history of Mount Rainier and her geological makeup. Did you know that Mount Rainier has the most glaciers out of all the national parks? Winter elopements are stunning and filled with crystallized frozen forests and crisp mountain views. In the summer you will witness an ocean of wildflowers and hidden meadows sprinkled throughout the park. 

Pro Tips:

  • Mount Rainier permits take four weeks to obtain. 
  • You need to apply for a special events permit, found here.
  • Your photographer will apply for a separate photography permit.
  • The number of people you invite will affect your elopement location availability.
  • Check out a full Mount Rainier Elopement Gallery here.

Elope at The HOH Rainforest

Couple portraits in Hoh Rainforest, a beautiful spot to elope in Washington

The HOH Rainforest is a popular Washington elopement location. The scenery is stunning and easy to get to. The HOH Rainforest is located two hours outside of Port Angeles and right outside of Olympic National Park. Here you will find moss-covered trails and mystical old-growth forests. Even though this location is popular and easily accessible, there are plenty of hidden locations for your elopement.

From June to September you will have sunshine peeking through the treetops and access to any location in the forest. Shooting during fall and winter (October through the end of February) creates Lord of the Rings vibes with overcast skies, soft light, and sometimes rain. Spring can be beautiful but it’s hard to predict the weather. There is usually more rain during this time so I recommend shooting during the fall, winter, and summer months for this location.

This rainforest gets its name from the powerful and famous HOH River. The HOH River Trail is a popular hike and elopement spot. Rainforests aren’t as common in the United States, but this one stands out as one of the best temperate rainforests in North America. Every time I arrive at this spot I feel like I’m on set for a Lord of the Rings movie!!

Pro Tips:

  • Permits typically take four weeks to obtain, apply for one here .
  • Bring extra shoes! This location is green and gorgeous because it’s always wet.
  • Decide your vibe before helping your photographer scout for the best spot. Do you want dark and moody or something bright? The options are endless!

Elope at Mount Baker

Couple portraits at Mt. Baker, a beautiful spot to elope in Washington state

As a local to the PNW, I usually enjoy taking my couples to less popular trails and spots. That is not hard to do when eloping at Mt. Baker. There are multiple lakes in the area that create incredible contrast against the mountains. We liveee for a water/ mountain reflection photo!

Mount Baker is known for having the best fall and winter landscapes to elope in Washington. The fall has stunning golden foliage and the winter has unforgettable snow caps. In the summertime, you will find blue skies and temperatures ranging from 65 to 80 degrees. This is my favorite time to shoot elopements at Mt. Baker! It’s perfect hiking weather with incredible sunrises and golden hours.

Aside from her obvious glory, Mt. Baker is also scientifically interesting. Did you know that this mountain is the second-most thermally active volcano in the Cascades? Ironically, it is also the most glaciated of the Cascade Volcanos, which means it has the highest volume of snow and ice. Read more about this incredible place to elope in Washington!

Pro Tips:

  • You can obtain your permit here.
  • Decide what landscape you want for your photos: this will allow your elopement photographer to pick the best trail. There are many entry points.
  • Choose your season and dress appropriately.

Elope at Ruby Beach

Elopement portraits on the coast at Ruby Beach

This elopement location is out of a fairytale. Ruby Beach is located off the Olympic coastline, in Olympic National Park. The remoteness of this location is what draws so many elopement couples to it. Ruby Beach is located 27 miles south of the town of Forks, Washington or three hours from Seattle, Washington. There are an endless amount of spots to shoot at and ways to make this elopement unique.

You can shoot your elopement here all year round! The protruding rock formations, misty water, and untouched landscapes make this location incredible in photographs, even when it’s gloomy out. It’s tough to find secluded areas to shoot at during the summer due to tourists! It’s not impossible but more planning will be required to find spots without too many people.

My favorite fun fact about this location is the origin of its name. Ruby Beach was named after the ruby-like crystals found in the sand! #thatscute

Couple elopement portraits at Ruby Beach

Pro Tips:

  • You can obtain your permit here.
  • Don’t be concerned about getting a bit dirty. Since it is a beach, you will get wet 🙂
  • Pack snacks. This remote location is worthy of an all-day exploration!

I love being an elopement photographer. Having the opportunity to co-create with my couples on planning their dream day, is a gift! If you have any questions about where to elope in Washington, reach out to me here! I would be honored to be your photographer and can’t wait to hear about your vision.

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