How to Elope in Washington State
It’s no secret that I am a huge fan of the state of Washington, so of course in my opinion I think planning to elope in Washington is truly one of the best decisions you can make! There are beaches along the coast, numerous mountain ranges, trails leading through magical forests and rugged deserts all within Washington state. Not many places allow you to start your day on a hike up to an amazing view at a historical fire lookout and end your day watching the sun set over the water on the coast. And to top it all off, Washington state has not one, not two, but THREE national parks just waiting for you to adventure in.
Still need more convincing? In this blog, I’m going to be breaking down all the things you need to know about eloping in Washington! And, you can also check out my lists of the best places to elope in Washington and the best elopement backdrops the evergreen state has to offer (warning: these resources will really seal the deal for you to choose Washington as your elopement destination; prepare to fall in love with Washington!). My hope is that by the end of reading this blog post you will be in full planning mode for your very own Washington elopement!
How to elope in Washington: a checklist
Choose a time of year
Hire a rad elopement photographer
Choose an epic location
Apply for a marriage license
Choose the Best Time of Year to Elope in Washington State
Choosing the best time of year to elope in Washington is essential when planning your best day ever! You’ll want to think about what your dream day looks like and I’ll help you narrow down the best location based on details like length of hike, backdrop and so much more! There are four seasons here in Washington and they are all truly beautiful in their own way. I’m here to help you choose the best time of year for your Washington state elopement.
Summer is by far the most popular season to elope in Washington. Picture your elopement day with snow free trails, wildflowers, sunny skies and a lower chance for rain. You can see why July through September is truly a dream come true for many couples. These are the peak months for elopements in Washington and for good reason. Click here to see what I mean!
Fall is personally my absolute favorite season for a Washington elopement! In my opinion, October is truly one of the dreamiest months. You have larches and all the changing colors of the foliage. Leavenworth is the perfect location for a fall elopement in Washington for two reasons: one it’s Oktoberfest so there’s plenty of activities to do, and two, this part of Washington is known for its sunny skies. Just imagine the perfect blue sky with all the fall colors as your backdrop. And if you need help picturing what a fall elopement in Leavenworth might look like, click here.
Winter is my least busy elopement season in Washington, but I do have a handful of couples wanting a snowy adventure! Winter can be pretty diverse in Washington depending on the location you choose, with chillier temps and overcast skies. On the coast you’ll have cooler temperatures, but it’s snow free. We can also make our way up to the mountains where you’ll have that winter wonderland backdrop you may be envisioning. Or, we can adventure to an old growth forest that is snow free year round! And there are so many winter adventures to choose from including: backcountry skiing, touring, skiing at a resort, snowshoeing and so much more! Looking for some dreamy winter elopement inspo, click here!
Spring has some of the most diverse weather, from sunshine to cloudy skies to snow, you can experience everything in one day. But don’t let the weather scare you, there are some incredible locations for a spring elopement. Specifically, we can head to a waterfall and still make our way to the mountains where it is snowy and go on a winter adventure all in one day! The days start to become longer (earlier sunrise and later sunset) making it the perfect time of year for a sunrise to sunset session! Need help envisioning what a waterfall elopement could look like, click here!
Book your Washington Elopement Photographer and Vendor Team
I think a common myth about elopements and adventure weddings is that they are 100% details-prep-planning-free (in comparison to larger, traditional weddings). Now, there are definitely fewer details to think through for an elopement, but there are some major to-do’s that you and your partner will not want to gloss over. A few of the important details to think about when planning your elopement include securing a place to stay, creating a timeline, and finding the perfect trail and backdrop for your elopement. Details like these are why it’s so important to hire the right team to help your elopement dreams become reality. Here’s some of my favorite people to work with:
Videographer: Emerald Media
Now, you are in luck! I happen to know a pretty awesome elopement photographer with a fun personality and an incredible recipe for chocolate chip cookies (cough, cough lol). Truly, getting to support my couples with the behind-the-scenes details and planning is one of my favorite parts of my job! I research different hikes and mountain ranges to find the best location based on the couple’s preferences. I have connections to planners, florists, makeup artists and even officiants who specialize in elopements to make your vendor team an all-star lineup. I even offer different elopement packages to best fit your dream elopement, from full day to multi-day elopement packages. Want to know more about my elopement packages? Click here and let’s get the conversation started!
Choose the Perfect Location in Washington for your Elopement
I always talk about how stunning and diverse the Pacific Northwest is, making it the perfect location for your best day ever! This region truly is so beautiful! But, narrowing down all of the beauty can become overwhelming when trying to choose the perfect spot for your elopement. I work with each of my couples to narrow down the options Washington has to offer based on their preferences of backdrop, length of hike, time of year and more! Want to read more about some of my favorite areas I recommend to my couples? Check out these elopement resources:
Washington State Elopement Inspiration
How to Elope in Washington: Logistics of a marriage license
Remember the dream elopement vendor team I mentioned earlier? This is when it really comes in clutch to have the all-star lineup! You’ve got the incredible partner, the stunning dress, the dreamy flowers and the epic elopement backdrop. But, you cannot forget one of the most important witnesses to your adventure-packed vows: your marriage license! Read about all the information you need to know about getting a marriage license for your Washington elopement by clicking here. Also, you’ll need to have someone ordained to officiate your elopement ceremony and two witnesses present (and yes, I’m happy to be a witness, if needed!).You can either hire an officiant, have a friend or family member become ordained to legally marry you. If you are hoping to hire a profession, I cannot recommend Another One Ties the Knot enough. And if you are wanting to have a family member or friend officiate, they can get ordained online from the Universal Life Church.
Still have questions about planning your Washington state elopement? Check out my Elopement Planning Guide!
Adventures to do During Your Washington Elopement
There are so many adventures for you to choose when you elope in Washington! From camping, to incredible hiking, to picnics and more, there truly is something for everyone to enjoy! Here’s some ideas to help you plan the best elopement and post elopement adventure ever!
You can go camping after your elopement. During the process of narrowing down your elopement location, I’ll help you find the best campsite for the location and size you’re desiring. This is a great option to keep the elopement day or weekend relaxed and easy-going. Click here for camping elopement inspo!
Rent a cabin
Pitching a tent not your cup of tea? No problem! There are amazing cabins for rent throughout the mountain ranges of Washington. I can help suggest some amazing locations and cabin hosts. Check out this Airbnb blog post for some inspiration!
Have a party
After you’ve tied the knot on top of a mountain at a historic fire lookout or on the bank of a dreamy alpine lake, you can meet up with friends and family for a celebration! Want to know other ways you can include your friends and family in your adventure elopement? Read this blog post, because I share all the ideas of ways to make your best people feel apart of your best day!
Celebrate on the mountain
You can layout an epic picnic spread after you’ve said, “I do!” This is such a fun way to enjoy a meal with an amazing view by just packing your picnic and hiking it up to your elopement location. Check out this amazing sunset picnic at a Washington fire lookout.
Continue the adventure
For the couples who want an adventurous elopement from sunrise to sunset, my full-day elopement package is for you! With this package, I’m able to document all the adventures throughout your elopement day. Airbnb Experiences are a great way to plan excursions and adventures on your elopement day. Imagine ending your elopement out on a sailboat as the sun sets. Or, you can spend the evening wine tasting at a local vineyard. Truly, the adventure options in Washington state are endless!
Plan your honeymoon
After your best day ever you may be wondering what adventures can my new spouse and I go on? I have the perfect resource for you! Click here for my Washington State Honeymoon Guide to help inspire you for your post elopement adventure!
Wow! You are now ready to elope in Washington state! Are you ready to say, “I do” to the Evergreen State? Still have some questions about planning your adventure elopement? Let’s connect and we’ll make your elopement your greatest adventure yet!
Ready to explore more elopements, weddings and adventures? Wander away below!
Between the Pine is an adventure elopement and wedding photography brand created by Mollie Adams. Based in the Pacific Northwest, Mollie travels with her camera in hand to document “I dos” in epic landscapes including Washington, Oregon, California, and Hawaii.