Written by our rad team member, Jessica Dastous
Washington State Adventure Wedding
Do you dream of having an adventure wedding in the Pacific Northwest, with mountain backdrops, stunning wildflowers, Mother Nature’s greatest gift – a rainbow and being surrounded by family? If this sounds like you, then Washington is the ultimate destination for your best day ever. Karleigh and Hunter, the couple of this dreamy two-day adventure elopement, wanted to include guests in their big day, but also wanted the incredible views of the Pacific Northwest which is why they chose to explore over the course of two days. Keep scrolling to see their adventure wedding and the stunning rainbow that appeared just as they exchanged personal vows with each other!
Meet the Couple of this Adventure Wedding
Meet Karleigh and Hunter, the couple of this stunning two-day adventure wedding in Washington state. Karleigh and Hunter reached out to me about six months before their adventure wedding because they saw a previous elopement of mine that happened to be one of their co-workers. They decided then and there they wanted to have an adventure wedding and knew the Pacific Northwest was their dream destination. Karleigh and Hunter are travel nurses and are originally from Missouri. They fell in love with the Pacific Northwest while they were traveling for work. One of the most important things on Karleigh and Hunter’s list was including family in their adventure wedding. Having an elopement with guests and creating an experience for them to enjoy the place they both fell in love with, while also adventuring themselves was how they envisioned their family elopement. Karleigh and Hunter chose a two-day elopement package so they could enjoy their time with family and also take the time for themselves to explore together as a married couple.
We started their adventure elopement at a stunning Airbnb located on Lake Cle Elum. Karleigh and Hunter had their first look at the cabin, then ventured to a field nearby that was covered in wildflowers and was absolutely breathtaking. After venturing through the wildflowers, we headed to meet their family for a celebratory meal before heading to their ceremony location. Karleigh, Hunter and their family enjoyed a stunning sunset ceremony with snow capped mountain views and a lake as their backdrop. After they exchanged their I do’s, everyone celebrated their love by roasting marshmallows at the beach campfire.
The next day after Karleigh and Hunter’s family elopement, we set out on a hike with the entire family that led to a stunning waterfall. Then Karleigh, Hunter and I headed to one of my all time favorite mountain overlooks. We adventured through the forest and got to the top of the ledge where Mother Nature greeted us with an incredible rainbow. Karleigh and Hunter exchanged personal vows with the rainbow and mountains as their witnesses, then watched the sunset beyond the peaks to end their two-day adventure wedding. Karleigh and Hunter had the most wonderful elopement with guests, that even included their two pups of honor Fern and Sid. They truly got to enjoy everything the Pacific Northwest has to offer and show their family why they love this incredible place so much!
Looking to plan an elopement with guests, click here for my full guide on how to include family and friends in your adventure wedding! Or if you want to have your furry friends by your side as your pup of honor, click here on how to plan a dog friendly elopement.
Three things to consider when planning an adventure wedding
When planning an adventure wedding, it is so important to consider how many guests you would like to include in your best day ever. This will dictate where you can have your adventure wedding ceremony and also the location for your celebratory meal. Keep reading for more details on things to consider when planning your adventure wedding.
One of the most important things to consider when having an adventure wedding is the guest count. Determining how many guests will be in attendance will dictate where you can and can’t go for your ceremony and celebratory meal. Usually I tell my couples the sweet spot is 15 people (which includes the couple). If you are looking to plan your adventure wedding in a national park, most trails only permit up to 15 people so it can get tricky if you envision your day surrounded by more guests. There are other areas such as national forests and state parks that allow for a higher guest count, but it is important to keep in mind how many people you would like in attendance during your adventure wedding.
Where to have a ceremony
As I said before, guest count plays a major role in where you can have your adventure wedding ceremony. Usually couples do not want to have a ceremony with a lot of random bystanders, so location is important when planning your best day ever. Finding a spot that feels more intimate and secluded, without interruptions from hikers is what I specialize in as your adventure wedding photographer. I know many trails and locations that are less known, with less foot traffic, that would make the perfect destination for your family elopement. You also want to consider the distance and accessibility you may need for you and your guests. Click here to read my guide on ADA accessible adventure wedding locations!
Where to have the celebratory meal
Like your ceremony location, finding a place to host a celebratory meal is also dictated by your guest count. Airbnb’s are a great location to host a celebratory meal, but many have strict rules on how many people can be on premises at the airbnb location and also may not allow events. You should always be mindful when booking an airbnb, because it may not accommodate everyone or be able to host a reception. Another option is to find a local venue during the week to host your adventure wedding celebration. Having a celebratory meal during the week is one of the best kept secrets. On the weekends these venues are often booked and can be expensive, but during the week many are empty and will let you rent by the hour so you can save a ton of money if you choose to have a weekday elopement with guests. I have a ton of locations I recommend to my couples who are looking to adventure during their elopement day, while also enjoying the comforts of a venue where they can have a celebratory meal surrounded by family and friends.
Looking for more adventure wedding inspo?
Have you dreamed of saying your I do’s at the base of a waterfall or with a stunning mountain backdrop, but don’t know where to begin? Well look no further, because I have all the real life adventure wedding inspo that you need to start dreaming up your best day ever. Whether you plan on having an elopement with guests or just you and your partner exploring one of the incredible destinations on my travel schedule during your adventure wedding, I’ve got you covered!
Check out these real adventure weddings:
Meet your adventure wedding photographer
I feel most at home outdoors, so it is no surprise that is where I gravitate towards as an adventure wedding photographer. In college, I was known as the “granola girl” because my outfits were always fit to go to class or hiking (not that I ever skipped class to go to the mountains, lol). From my days of exploring the hills of the Ozark Mountains, I am now hiking mountain trails across the Pacific Northwest, exploring the bases of waterfalls in Kauai, taking in all the lush green forests I can find and experiencing as many mountain top views in Washington as possible. I am passionate about this job of mine and adventuring to the most beautiful locations to document adventure weddings with the best couples. I’m a Pacific Northwest-based elopement photographer who knows the state of Washington, the national parks, national forests, state parks, and other adventure wedding venues well. Basically, I’m dying for a reason to head back to the mountains, and I’d love for your adventure to be the reason! Click here to learn more about me, your adventure wedding photographer!