Everything You Might Secretly Be Wondering About  Planning Your Elopement


about eloping

Will I save money if I plan an adventure elopement instead of a wedding?

You might have heard that the average wedding in 2024 costs $35,000—but honestly, from what we see in the industry, that number is low, especially if you’re near a major city. And bigger guest lists mean more expenses, from food & drink to finding a venue that accommodates 150 people.

Just like weddings, elopements range in cost, but on average our couples spend between 15-30K. That includes our fees as well as attire, lodging, travel, and more. True elopements with just the two of you usually require a smaller budget than microweddings or adventure weddings. Costs increase as you cover catering for a larger group of guests, have more elaborate florals, and hire a coordinator to wrangle guests (and vendors).

I love the idea of an adventure elopement, but hiking isn’t really my cup of tea. Can we still make this happen?

Of course we can—we’d estimate that close to half of our couples are first-time hikers. And some of them aren’t hikers at all—which isn’t a prerequisite for enjoying nature. 

We firmly believe that nature is for everybody, whether you want to backpack 10 miles or tie the knot at a drive-up overlook.

You wouldn’t believe how many stunning places there are for an elopement which require just a few minutes’ walk. Some you can even drive right up to. Just say the word, and we’ll share our suggestions with you.

How many guests can we invite to our elopement?

At Between the Pine, we typically call it an adventure elopement if it’s just the couple and their officiant (okay, and maybe their dog).

If you invite guests, we think of that as an adventure wedding or a microwedding—and we have a cap of 30 people. Once we have 15 guests, we require that you have a day-of coordinator to organize everyone and preserve your guest experience (our clients never regret it).

It’s also important to know that in some cases, public lands specifically prohibit groups above a certain size, such as 15. As we plan your elopement, we take group size into consideration. 

Do you reschedule adventure elopements for weather?

If you ask us, there’s truly no such thing as bad weather for an elopement. Moody, misty skies? That’s a moment. Slowly drifting snowflakes? Your photos will look like Narnia. 

The secret is preparation: Not only do we always have a Plan B for every wedding, but we also have a Plan C (...and sometimes even a Plan D). We’re also familiar with local microclimates, so we know how to shift things if it’s raining at one site, and how quickly a downpour can pass.

For each plan, we’ll have a day-of timeline, and then we’ll bring everything—and we do mean everything—that we could possibly need to have a good time, stay as warm and dry (and safe) as possible…and get amazing photos. Not to mention clear umbrellas, which are honestly our favorite prop of all time.

If there’s a case of truly extreme weather, rescheduling may be on the table, but 99% of the time, we roll with Mother Nature (and the results are stunning—just have a look).

Will we really be alone at our location for our adventure elopement? 

Most of the trails we’ll use are on public lands such as state and national parks, so we can never guarantee that we’ll be completely alone.

However, we’ve got some tried-and-true strategies for minimizing the number of people we run into: we only book adventure elopements on weekdays, since there are fewer people on the trails. And since we’ve got years of experience photographing adventure weddings, we already know which trails will yield epic photos—without having tons of people.

One last note: it also depends on where you want to go—for example, Yosemite is always going to be more crowded than remote areas of Kauai or our beloved North Cascades National Park.


Do you also help us plan our adventure elopement?

 You bet! Once we’ve settled on a location, we’ll prepare a completely custom guidebook for you that includes recommendations for vendors—like who bakes the best wedding cake in the area; lodging that’s cozy and looks good in getting-ready photos; and even advice on fun activities nearby for you and your guests.

The guide also includes trail reports (with photos, of course), so that we can decide exactly where we’ll head on the day of. With weather in mind, we’ll plan multiple routes so that we always have a safe and scenic choice, rain or shine.

As we get closer to the day, we’ll send you a detailed day-of timeline, and we’ll adjust as needed for weather and other surprises.

I know you regularly photograph elopements in Washington, Oregon, Colorado, and Kauai. But what if my dream elopement destination is somewhere else—would you consider coming?

The answer is yes, of course! 

We’ve also photographed elopements in Utah, Iceland, and Alaska, and we’re open to traveling just about anywhere. Just fill out the contact form and let us know about your dream elopement location.

I’m from out of state but want to elope out West. Is this realistic?

A hundred times yes! We’ve helped dozens of out-of-state couples plan destination elopements in the Pacific Northwest, the desert Southwest, Kauai, and elsewhere.

Over half of our clients are from out of state, and the majority of them have actually never been to their location before they elope!

Our famous elopement planning guides contain advice on where to stay, what to pack, and what vendors to book, plus everything you need to know about marriage licenses at your destination. (Oh, and we’ll also throw in a list of can’t-miss activities for your honeymoon!)

How far in advance do I need to book my adventure elopement?

Each May, we release our dates for the following year. (Want to be notified as soon as we do? Join our waitlist.) But if you’re just a few weeks or months away from your ideal elopement date, reach out! We’ve been known to hold a few dates for last-minute couples.

Here’s our travel schedule so you have an idea of where we’ll be when (we’re pretty much always booking Washington, Oregon, and Colorado in-season, though). If you’d like to go further afield, we recommend reaching out as soon as possible.

One of us (or one of our guests) requires an accessible venue. Is it possible to have an ADA-accessible adventure elopement?

Absolutely! Our biggest passion in life is giving everyone the opportunity to get outside in a way that works for them.

There are plenty of scenic places that are also ADA-accessible. When we chat for the first time, you can walk us through your specific needs and we can suggest specific locations. We even wrote an article on our favorite ADA-accessible elopement locations in Washington specifically—but if you’re holding a ceremony outside of WA, we still have recommendations.

Just a note: we’re conscious of the fact that disabled people do not have marriage equality. If getting married will cause you to lose your disability benefits, but you still want to celebrate your love, we’re here to support that. Reach out and we’ll plan an amazing celebration, with or without a marriage license.

What type of adventure elopement packages do you offer?

We offer 4 elopement packages, each with different coverage based on how many locations you want to visit (and whether you’re planning on guests). Each package is carefully crafted to make sure you—and your guests—have a dreamy experience.

You can learn more about each package here—and if none of them is a perfect fit, reach out to us to talk about how we can go even bigger.

What’s the best time of year for an adventure elopement?

In the Pacific Northwest (Washington, Oregon, and northern California), most of our couples choose to elope during the summer or fall. The same is true in Colorado—many of our favorite spots are far easier to access in summer or early fall. That said, if you’re dreaming of a snowy elopement, we can definitely make that happen.

Kauai is best in the winter and spring months, and for desert spots in southern California, we strongly recommend late fall and early spring.


What sort of safety precautions do you take?

Every Between the Pine photographer is Wilderness First Aid-certified, and we each carry a complete first-aid kit as well as a Garmin inReach, which allows us to text or send for help even if we’re outside of cell phone coverage.

We also closely monitor the weather in an area to make sure it’s still accessible for our group—we’re looking out for wildfires, storms, and even places where snow hasn’t melted yet. We’ll let you know if we need to take an alternate route or pack some special gear if you’re up for it.

How will I carry my elopement attire and flowers to the location?

One of these days, we’re going to be able to truthfully say that our mule does the heavy lifting.

But until that day comes around, you have us to help carry everything to your ceremony site. We’re seasoned pros when it comes to tying bouquets to backpacks, not to mention packing suits and gowns so they don’t wrinkle along the way—lots of couples choose to wear regular hiking gear until we get to the elopement location.

Do you officiate elopements?

This is one of the few things we don’t do. We want to be able to capture all of the sweet moments during the ceremony itself, and we can’t do that if we’re also conducting it. 

But when we send you a planning guide, it will include recommendations for trusted officiants in the area, as well as advice on how to get ordained if you want a friend or family member to be your officiant.

We’re also all ordained, so if you want to read each other your vows and then have someone sign the papers to make it official, it would be our pleasure!

Can I bring my dog along on my adventure elopement?

There’s nothing that we love more than a pup-of-honor! If your dream elopement wouldn’t be the same without your dog, we’re going to make it happen. We’re experts on elopement locations that allow dogs…in fact, we wrote an entire guide about dog-friendly elopements.

Can we do an overnight elopement?

Yes! Bring on the camp stove and the sleeping bags. Our two-day adventure elopement package is perfect for an overnight backpacking wedding.


How long does it take to get my pictures?

We don’t think you should be left hanging! We will get you a sneak peek within 7 days (and there might even be some behind-the-scenes footage up on our Instagram before then).

Your fully edited gallery will be available within 14 weeks of your elopement.

Do you offer albums?

Yes, absolutely! While all of our packages include personal printing rights, we’re also thrilled to compile an album for you. (We know that sometimes, it can end up just another thing on your to-do list.) We have an heirloom-quality printer we use for both albums and wall art.

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You’ll be retelling the stories—and showing off the pictures—for decades.

Ready to start planning your adventure elopement?