A Complete Guide to Planning Your Snoqualmie Elopement

Written by our rad team member, Kiersten Roy

There are SO many reasons to plan a Snoqualmie elopement, we’re not sure we can fit them all in a single blog post. In fact, we (specifically Mollie) love this area so much that it is where she shoots almost all of her elopements, not to mention it’s also where she lives and where our elopement cabin is located (more on that later). 

Located just 30 miles from Seattle, Snoqualmie Valley is an easily accessible and beautiful elopement location in Washington State. Though you’ll find a lot of Seattlelites flocking to this area on the weekends, the weekdays often leave this area deserted, allowing you to have privacy on your best day ever. Even as elopements gain popularity and other locations (like national parks) get more busy, Snoqualmie remains a hidden gem with the same incredible views, but without the crowds. 

All this to say, you can’t go wrong planning a Snoqualmie or Snoqualmie Pass elopement. If you’re ready to dive in, keep scrolling and learn all our top tips for planning your elopement in Snoqualmie.


Table of Contents


The 5-Step Snoqualmie Elopement Checklist

Ready to start planning your Snoqualmie elopement? Follow these 5 simple steps and you’ll be well on your way to celebrating your best day ever! 

Bride and groom stand by a lake and point out at the mountains during their Snoqualmie elopement

Choose Your Snoqualmie Elopement Photographer

We don’t mean to toot our own horn, but with almost all of our elopements taking place in this area every single year, we consider ourselves experts when it comes to planning a Snoqualmie elopement. From navigating logistics to weather patterns and uniquely scouted locations, we can’t wait to help you start planning your best day ever!


Bride and groom hold lanterns during their blue hour photos in Snoqualmie

Decide on a Time of Year and Day to Elope in Snoqualmie

One of the things we love most about Snoqualmie is that you can elope here any time of year. Seriously, whether rain or shine, this area delivers! Snoqualmie is made of two main areas – Snoqualmie Valley and Snoqualmie Pass. The Valley stays snow-free almost year-round (except for a couple of weeks in December and January), while the Pass is snow-free during the summer and early fall months. Not many areas can boast year-round accessibility, but Snoqualmie definitely can. Plus, if you want snow on your day, you can get the best of both worlds like Katie and Mick did. After exploring snow-free trails down in the valley, they drove 30 minutes up to Snoqualmie Pass where they experienced a winter wonderland. See more from their Washington State Adventure Wedding here.

As we mentioned earlier, Snoqualmie is a popular area to visit for Seattleites, so our last tip for choosing when to elope in Snoqualmie is to elope on a weekday to avoid crowds. 


Bride and groom exchange vows in the forest while holding clear umbrellas

Pick the Best Snoqualmie Elopement Location

When it comes to deciding where to elope in Snoqualmie, there are two main areas to consider – Snoqualmie Valley and Snoqualmie Pass. We love both of these areas and if you’re having a hard time narrowing down where to go, don’t worry. Because these areas are within 30 minutes of each other, you can easily experience both on your best day ever!

Gold Creek Pond

Brides cheer after their Gold Creek Pond elopement ceremony

If you’re looking for an ADA-accessible location for your Snoqualmie Pass elopement, Gold Creek Pond is the place! Not only is this 1-mile trail easy for all abilities, but it gives some of the most beautiful colors during sunrise and sunset. What’s better is that on a clear day, you can see the reflection of the mountains on the pond (which is not even a pond, it’s a lake). 

Franklin Falls

Bride and groom stand on a peninsula during their elopement photos in Snoqualmie

Just a short distance from Gold Creek Pond is Franklin Falls. This is a really fun location to explore (especially on an overcast or rainy day) but it’s equally as amazing as a midday adventure on a sunny day.

Middle Fork Road

Bride and groom walk across a suspension bridge during their elopement in the forest
Bride and groom stand in an old-growth forest holding hands during their Snoqualmie elopement
Bride holds groom's arm during their elopement in Snoqualmie

We LOVE Middle Fork Road, but this is one area that you just have to see for yourself! While the hikes don’t look impressive online, the in-person views are insane! Located in Snoqualmie Valley, this is one of the most popular trails with our couples for many reasons. Not only is the drive to Middle Fork Road just magical but there are plenty of drive-up and hiking locations to choose from. If you want to hold a celebratory picnic after your ceremony, Middle Fork Road has lots of picnic areas for groups, or just for the couple. By the sound of it, you’d probably think that this location is super popular, but that’s one of the best things about it. The trails are so private and you can easily wander through an old-growth forest and take in beautiful views of the river, waterfalls, and mountains without another person in sight!

Rattlesnake Lake / Rattlesnake Ledge

Two brides stand on top of a tree stump during their elopement in Snoqualmie
Bride and groom hold hands at their Rattlesnake Lake elopement

If you’re from the Seattle area, you might be rolling your eyes and asking yourself, “Why would they recommend this area? It’s so busy.” And yes, while this trail can be busy on the weekends, the weekdays are oftentimes the complete opposite. So much so that you can usually have the entire overlook to yourself. 

The lake itself is a drive-up location perfect for an elopement ceremony with guests. There are stumps you can climb on scattered all around the lake. Depending on the time of year you visit, the water levels fluctuate, giving this area a completely different look throughout the seasons. 

If you want to go on an adventure, you can hike up to the overlook. The hike is rated easy, but it leads to a gorgeous overlook of the lake below and the surrounding mountains. At sunrise, you’ll get the most beautiful golden backlighting, and at sunset, you can experience alpenglow all around you, so you truly can’t go wrong with either time of day. 

Fun fact – Rattlesnake Lake and Rattlesnake Ledge are located only seven minutes from our cabin, the Riverbend Retreat, making it one of the easiest Snoqualmie elopement locations to access. 

Longer Hikes in Snoqualmie Pass

Bride and groom hold hands during their elopement photos in Snoqualmie
Bride and groom hold hands while exploring a mountain trail in Snoqualmie
Bride and groom hold hands while walking around a mountain trail during their Snoqualmie Pass elopement

Over the years we’ve collected lots of hikes and trails to recommend to our couples. We have hikes that we can recommend based on any skill level and can customize your day to include whatever you want. While the trails we mentioned above are about 1-2 miles in length, we have trails from 4 miles to up to 10+ miles leading to ridgelines, alpine lakes, or a mix of both.


Celebratory meal in an A-frame cabin in Snoqualmie
Brides celebrate while leaving their cabin elopement in Snoqualmie
Brides kiss during their elopement exit at their Snoqualmie elopement cabin

Book a Cabin or a Campsite for Your Snoqualmie Elopement

When planning your Snoqualmie elopement, there are three main areas we recommend to our couples. All are within driving distance of each other allowing you to really explore so much in one day without it feeling like too much. 

Snoqualmie Valley Elopement Cabins

There are tons of amazing cabins and campsites to choose from for your Snoqualmie elopement (most of our couples stay in North Bend), but we are a bit biased toward one in particular. We love the Snoqualmie area so much for elopements that we decided to design a cabin specifically for eloping couples. Stay Between the Pine is the perfect place to hold your Airbnb wedding as it was designed with weddings in mind. Whether you want to stay there with just you and your person, or you want to host a meal with all your favorite people in our back glass room, our cabin is a beautiful and peaceful place to retreat for your Snoqualmie elopement. And, since we only allow elopements here when a member of our team is the photographer, you’ll get someone who knows this area (and this cabin) like the back of our hand.

To learn more about our cabin, or book your own Airbnb wedding, click here.

Snoqualmie Pass Elopement Cabins

If you want a true mountain pass elopement experience, then staying in Snoqualmie Pass will definitely give you that. Around the pass are places to eat and grocery shop like the Laconia Market, Dru Bru, and Commonwealth, so you’ll have plenty of options to choose from when staying in this area.

Cle Elum Elopement Cabins

Even farther into Snoqualmie is the town of Cle Elum. This area is on the drier, sunnier side of Snoqualmie and here you can find lots of cabin resorts or larger cabin rentals which are perfect if you want a single place to stay with your guests. 


Bride and groom exchange vows during their Snoqualmie Pass elopement

Apply for a Washington State Marriage License

You’ve got your incredible partner, the stunning dress, the dreamy flowers, and the epic Snoqualmie elopement backdrop. But, you cannot forget one of the most important items for your best day ever: your marriage license! Here’s what you need to know about getting your marriage license for your Snoqualmie Pass elopement:

  • You can apply for your Washington State marriage license up to 3 months in advance
  • Washington has a three-day waiting period which means you cannot get married the same day you get your marriage license (note – there is an option to pay a rush fee, but don’t worry. Washington marriage applications can be done fully online, so you do not have to go in person for the 3-day waiting period to be in effect.)
  • The Washington marriage license is valid for 60 days
  • A Washington marriage license costs $69 and is nonrefundable
  • You can obtain a marriage license from any county (we think King County is the easiest), and it is valid in any county in Washington. You just have to return the marriage license to the county where you obtained the license, and you can return it to the county by mail or in person!
  • Your ceremony must be performed by a registered officiant (fun fact – the entire team at Between the Pine is ordained and we’d be happy to sign your marriage license for you should you choose not to have an officiant).
  • You will need two witnesses to sign your marriage license. If you plan on inviting guests, you can simply ask two of them to sign. If your elopement day consists of just the two of you, don’t worry. We are happy to be a witness for you (so long as we are not also officiating) or other hikers are usually happy to sign as well.

For more information about getting a Washington marriage license for your Snoqualmie elopement click here.


Bride and groom hold hands while walking along a mountain trail during their elopement in Snoqualmie
Bride and groom hug during their elopement in Snoqualmie
Bride and groom kiss on top of a mountain in Snoqualmie

3 Reasons We Love This Area for Elopements

Ok, we could not just pick three so here are FIVE reasons we absolutely love elopements in Snoqualmie! 

Secluded Trails

It’s no secret that Washington is filled with incredible places to explore, but something that makes Snoqualmie so special is that many of the trails here are hidden gems. What this means is that you will have fewer crowds and more privacy for your Snoqualmie elopement. 

Great For Couples or a Group

Not only is Snoqualmie a great location for couples, but it is also one of our top recommendations for groups. Because Snoqualmie is also part of the national forest, there are some really good day use areas, campgrounds, and drive up locations where bigger groups are allowed. Here at Between the Pine, we can accommodate elopements with up to 30 people while still respecting Leave No Trace and because Snoqualmie has so many options to choose from, you won’t be limited when choosing to elope here. 

Weatherproof

With locations in both Snoqualmie Valley and Snoqualmie Pass, this area has so many microclimates. Areas like CLE Elum tend to run more hot and dry, while the weather in Snoqualmie Pass tends to vary. Down in the Valley you may experience completely different weather than the Pass, but rain or shine, we promise it will be epic. 

Year-Round Accessibility

There truly is no bad time of year to elope in Snoqualmie. With snow-free trails almost year round in the Valley and winter wonderland trails in the Pass, you can elope in Snoqualmie any time of year. 

Drive-Up Locations + Epic Hikes

Here at Between the Pine, we firmly believe the outdoors are for all people and Snoqualmie is an incredible place that aligns with this belief. It doesn’t have just one ADA-accessible location, but it has many accessible trails. From multiple drive up locations, half mile hikes, and flat hikes, it has something for everyone, no matter what your skill level is. 


Real Snoqualmie Pass Elopement Inspo


Meet Your Snoqualmie Pass Elopement Photographers

We feel most at home in the outdoors, so it’s no surprise that is where we gravitate towards as your Snoqualmie 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 best day ever. Since 2018, we’ve grown our team and continue to hire even more incredible photographers! 

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 Snoqualmie Pass elopement photographers!

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