Written by our rad team member, Jessica Dastous
Washington State Fall Elopement
Do you dream of dramatic colors like reds, oranges and yellows during your best day? Well then a fall elopement is for you! Picture yourself standing at the edge of an alpine lake, taking in the larches and all the fall colors, as the sun sets behind you. You exchange vows during golden hour, and explore the most stunning mountain overlook your eyes will ever see. Ashley and Clay experienced just that during their fall elopement. Keep scrolling to see their stunning gallery from their best day ever!
Meet the couple of this adventurous Fall Elopement
Meet Ashley and Clay, the couple of this adventurous fall elopement. Ashley and Clay are originally from the midwest, but to kick off their transition into van life, they drove all the way to Washington for their best day ever in the mountains! The night before their elopement in the fall, Drew and I met up with Ashley and Clay at the trailhead. We all camped in our vans and got to know each other around the campfire (well a lantern “campfire” because burn bans) with their pups running around wearing light up collars.
The next morning, we all woke up just before sunrise and headed to the trail for their hiking elopement. We ventured to a stunning overlook, where Ashley and Clay changed into their wedding attire just before the sun rose. Ashley and Clay enjoyed their first look as the sun started to peek over the mountains to create the most stunning colors. From there, we took some time to adventure and explore the overlook with their pups of honor, of course. After, we hiked back down to our vans and made coffee together. We sat around and enjoyed each other’s company before heading off to their next fall wedding destination!
After taking a short break, I met back up with Ashley and Clay at one of the most incredible Airbnbs in all of Washington! Ashley and Clay chose to book an Airbnb during their elopement in the fall so they had a place to shower and could enjoy getting ready with a hair and makeup artist. After Ashley finished getting ready, she and Clay sat down together before putting their elopement attire on and wrote their vows. On the way to their fall elopement, we stopped at one of my all time favorite places in the Snoqualmie Pass area, Laconia Market and Cafe, then headed to their final destination of the day, a sunset hike in the Cascades. We set out on the trail and hiked to the most beautiful alpine lake. We explored the shores and took in all the fall colors. As sunset neared, we sprinted almost a mile to an overlook for their ceremony! We caught the final moments of light as Ashley and Clay exchanged vows during their hiking elopement. As nightfall grew closer, we sat at the overlook enjoying our sandwiches we had packed and soaked in all the moments from their day. We ended their best day ever in the mountains by hiking down with headlamps lighting the way.
Five of the best hikes for a Fall Elopement in Washington State
These are some of my all time favorite hikes for a fall elopement in Washington state. Just a heads up, the hikes listed below can be pretty popular during the fall months due to stunning larches and fall foliage. I highly recommend exploring these trails during a week day and absolutely planning your hiking elopement during the week to ensure you have more privacy and less onlookers during your fall elopement.
This alpine gem is nestled between two of Washington’s tallest and most stunning mountain peaks! You’ll be greeted by its aquamarine waters, with groves of larches near the shore. Just 8 miles round trip, you will not be disappointed planning your fall elopement here.
This loop hike is sure to satisfy everything you are craving in a fall elopement. With many changing mountain faces to stunning larches near alpine lakes, it does not disappoint. A little over 7 miles and you are sure to experience your best day ever.
A little over 10 miles round trip, this dog friendly hike offers picturesque mountain views, glaciers and even waterfalls! Once you reach the top you’ll experience 360 degree views of Cascade peaks.
Experience fiery fall colors, stunning alpine meadows and view Canada in the distance, this 7 mile hike is the ultimate destination for your fall elopement. Deemed one of the most popular trails in the North Cascades, you’ll witness hillsides covered in reds, yellows and oranges as far as the eye can see. Plus, you can bring your pup of honor along with you if you choose to elope here!
Located in Mount Rainier National Park, this 6.9 mile hike sees fewer hikers than most of the trails leaving from Paradise Visitor Center. You’ll experience a dense old growth forest, waterfall and full views of Mount Rainier herself.
Seven things to pack for your Fall Elopement
Curious what to pack during your elopement in the fall? Below are my top recommendations for your fall elopement in Washington state:
- A puffy jacket
- Neutral colored leggings
- Rain jacket
- Hand warmers
- Extra pair of hiking socks
- A thermos full of your favorite fall drink
During the fall, the weather can be pretty variable. Oftentimes during the day, the temperature can be cool and as night rolls in it can get even more chilly. Having layers like a puffy jacket, leggings and base layers under your suit will help you stay warm and make it easy to add or remove if needed! I always recommend my couples bring a raincoat because it is the Pacific Northwest and weather can roll in quickly! Hand warmers, gloves and extra socks are essential during the fall months and will help you stay warm if it is a cool day. Finally, you should always bring a thermos full of your favorite drink to celebrate! Whether that is coffee, tea, a pumpkin spice latte or maybe even some whiskey (my favorite of course), you can celebrate with a cheers to end your fall elopement day!
Needing more fall elopement inspo?
How to choose a Fall Elopement Package
When choosing a fall elopement, I highly recommend our sunrise to sunset or the sunset elopement package for all of our couples. During the fall months both sunrise and sunset are not at crazy times like the summer. Typically, you can hike up to an overlook and watch the sunrise around 7 am and catch the sunset around 6:30 pm. No early mornings or late nights…talk about a win-win if you ask me. If you choose the sunrise to sunset package you will get the best light twice during your hiking elopement. Plus, this gives you two options in case it is cloudy in the morning or evening or maybe mother nature has something else in store. Ashley and Clay had stunning colors the morning of their fall wedding, but with wildfires nearby their sunset was not as dramatic. Looking to start dreaming up your fall wedding? Both of these elopement packages can be found here!
Meet Your Fall Elopement Photographers
We feel most at home in the outdoors, so it’s no surprise that is where we gravitate towards as your fall elopement photographers. Between the Pine was founded by Mollie in 2018 and she has hiked hundreds of miles all over the Pacific Northwest and Kauai, to capture couples during their fall elopement. Since 2018, we’ve grown our team and hired two incredible photographers (cue Dawn and Kass)! Dawn has been photographing elopements all over the Pacific Northwest for the last seven years and is truly incredible when it comes to capturing all the in-between moments of your fall elopement! Kass was previously an outdoor recreation guide and knows all the best locations to adventure during your fall elopement. She transitioned from guide to photographer six years ago and hasn’t looked back since! Our team at Between the Pine is passionate about our jobs and adventuring to the most beautiful locations to document your best day ever. We know the Pacific Northwest like the back of our hands and are dying for a reason to head back to the mountains, forest and everything in between! Click here to learn more about the Between the Pine team, your fall elopement photographers!