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Ultimate List of the Best Places to Elope in Washington State

Table of Contents:

I’m sure you know by now that I’m absolutely, head-over-heels in love with my home state and will be forever shouting its praises from the rooftops! Washington truly has some of the most stunning and diverse landscapes in the country, which makes it a top-notch elopement location for couples looking to tie the knot out in nature, surrounded by jaw-dropping views. That’s why I compiled this list of all the best places to elope in Washington State, from the wildflower meadows of Mount Rainier all the way to the moody coastal spots on the Olympic Peninsula! Trust me when I say that ANY of these locations would be absolutely incredible for your elopement, so you really can’t go wrong! Ready to pack your bags and explore with me?!

Why Elope in Washington State?

You want mountains? We’ve got ‘em alllll across the state! Want to say your vows by the ocean? We’ve got plenty of incredible coastal spots. How about a magical rainforest that feels like it was pulled out of a damn fairytale storybook? Yup, we’ve got it – and that exact rainforest is going to be included in this guide, don’t you worry. We even have desert landscapes on the eastern side of the state that most non-Washingtonians don’t even KNOW about!!

There are a billion and one reasons why you should elope in Washington, but let me give you a quick rundown of the biggest ones before we dive into all the epic locations you have available to you!

  • Washington has EVERY type of landscape! Like I mentioned already, you name it and Washington’s got it! Mountains: check. Beaches: check. Desert: check. Lakes: check. Rainforests: check. Waterfalls: check. I’d say the only thing we don’t have is tropical landscapes – but if you’re looking for a tropical elopement location, you’re probably not considering Washington in the first place.
  • You can make your in-state elopement feel like a destination wedding! Here’s what I mean: because Washington offers such a wide array of diverse landscapes, it’s super easy to make your elopement feel like a destination celebration, EVEN if you live in-state. Let’s say you live in eastern WA and you really want your elopement to be focused around the mountains, and you want to invite your guests to experience something new with you. Simple drive across the state into the mountains and bam – you’ll be in what feels like a totally different world, surrounded by lush greenery instead of barren desert! You can enjoy everything that the WA mountains have to offer without traveling to an entirely new mountainous destination, like Colorado or Montana.
  • It’s an outdoor lover’s paradise, and there are options for everyone – seriously, if you love anything to do with being out in nature, then Washington will be your HEAVEN. Whether you love to go on overnight backpacking trips through the mountains or you’d rather stick to a short walk/drive to get to a gorgeous view, you have sooo many options to choose from! Depending on what part of the state you visit, you can go biking, hiking, white water rafting, kayaking, paddle boarding, climbing, cliff jumping. . . the world (well, Washington) is your oyster, baby!

Top 7 Most Beautiful Elopement Locations in Washington

Now, let’s get into whatcha came here for: the 7 most beautiful elopement locations in Washington. Really, this is going to be a list of WAY more locations than that, as I’ve included a variety of hikes + specific spots within each location that I recommend considering for at least one part of your elopement – your ceremony, portraits, first look, etc! Get ready to fall in love with literally every part of this state and probably have a really hard time choosing just one location for your big day😅(Don’t worry, I’ll help you with this when we plan your unique elopement!!)

For each location, I’ve also included a brief description to get you acquainted, a list of pros & cons to give you a quick glance at the main points to consider, activity ideas, the best time of year to elope, and notes about any permits you may need.

1. San Juan Islands

How could I not include the San Juans on this list?! If you’re not familiar with this incredible part of the state, the San Juan Islands are a super beautiful archipelago of more than 450 islands between Washington & Vancouver Island. You have to take a ferry to get to the San Juan Islands, which makes it a really great place for a “destination” elopement – you’ll feel like you’re traveling somewhere totally new and separate from the rest of Washington, without the commitment of a long travel day or expensive travel costs! The ferry from Anacortes to Friday Harbor is only about an hour long, and you can ride either just as passengers or with your vehicle.

Pros of eloping in the San Juan Islands:

  • Stunning views of the Puget Sound
  • Multiple islands to visit, each with their own unique draws
  • Tons of local shops & restaurants to visit
  • Wide variety of outdoor activities available including biking, hiking, kayaking, & more

Possible cons of eloping in the San Juan Islands:

  • Ferry required to get there
  • Accommodation costs can get expensive during peak season
  • Popular spots can get crowded in the summer

Best time to elope in the San Juan Islands: Late spring-early fall (April-October)

Best San Juan Islands elopement locations:

Fun things to do in the San Juan Islands: 

Need a little bit of real-life inspiration to convince you to elope in the San Juan Islands? Check out Marina and Ryan’s Orcas Island Elopement Photos at Outlook Inn!

2. Mount Rainier National Park

Entry fee: $30

Permit requirement: Special Use Permit ($175)

Mount Rainier is one of THE most iconic places in the entire PNW, so it’s no surprise that it’s become suuuper popular for outdoor elopements!! With the absolutely epic mountain views, endless wildflower meadows that look like they belong on a postcard (and they actually are on TONS of postcards of Washington), and hundreds of miles of hiking trails, Mount Rainier is a freaking dream come true for anybody who loves the crisp, fresh air of the mountains. It’s a very doable day trip from Seattle, so even if you’re staying in the city, you can totally take a day to check out Rainier – but I highly recommend staying at least a night or two in a small town nearby so you don’t have to rush! Whether you want to explore the dreamy Paradise side of Rainier that’s brimming with wildflowers come summertime or you’d rather hike around the equally-as-epic barren landscapes of the Sunrise side, you will never want to leave. Trust me. Pack those bags for the long haul because you’ll want to add a few extra nights to your trip!

Pros of eloping at Mount Rainier:

  • Breathtaking mountain views
  • Wide variety of hikes to choose from
  • Dreamy wildflower meadows 
  • Lush subalpine valleys
  • Spots available for groups of up to 60 people

Possible cons of eloping at Mount Rainier:

  • Not very accessible to people with disabilities/physical limitations
  • Weather can be unpredictable (e.g. snow can fall earlier/melt later than expected and cause trails to close at higher elevations)
  • No chairs, tents, awnings, etc. allowed

Best time to elope at Mount Rainier: Summer (July-August)

Best Mount Rainier elopement locations:

Fun things to do at Mount Rainier:

  • Have a post-ceremony picnic at the end of a trail
  • Go biking through the scenic landscapes
  • Learn about the native wildflowers
  • Stay the night at Paradise Inn

Leah & Ben had their engagement photos taken at Mount Rainier and it was a freaking BLAST. Check them out here to get some inspo for your Mount Rainier engagement session or elopement!

3. Olympic National Park

Entry fee: $30

Permit requirement: Special Use Permit

Ahhh Olympic National Park, one of my greatest loves. You want diverse landscapes, you go to Olympic, STAT. Although it’s a little bit of a drive from most parts of the state, every single minute of the drive is worth it once you enter this magical wonderland of a park! Boasting some of the most stunning coastal spots in the PNW, the most unreal rainforest you will ever witness, easily-accessible scenic mountain viewpoints, and even deep blue subalpine lakes, there is NO shortage of places to explore in the park – so plan accordingly! Olympic National Park encompasses nearly a million freaking acres of land, every turn more stunning than the last. Hike to a waterfall, take a dip in a lake nestled in the hills of the Olympics, or experience a golden sunset from the beach – no matter WHAT you do or where you go, your elopement experience will be one of the most memorable adventures of your life!! 

Pros of eloping in Olympic National Park:

  • Wide variety of diverse landscapes, including mountains, lakes, rainforests, beaches, and waterfalls!
  • Easily-accessible viewpoints and trails for couples/guests who don’t want to/aren’t able to hike
  • Coastal locations are beautiful and accessible year-round
  • Feels secluded from the rest of the state

Possible cons of eloping in Olympic National Park:

  • Lots of rain (but hey, that’s to be expected!)
  • Long drive from many parts of the state
  • Popular spots get crowded during peak season

Best time to elope in Olympic National Park: Summer-early fall (July-October)

Best Olympic National Park elopement locations:

Fun things to do in Olympic National Park:

4. North Cascades National Park

Entry fee: None!

Permit requirement: Special Use Permit

North Cascades National Park is probably the most underrated of Washington’s three national parks, but trust me – you do NOT want to miss it. Spanning more than 500,000 acres across north central Washington, this park has sooo much to offer: vibrant blue glacial lakes, forested valleys, more than 300 glacier-crowned peaks, endless hiking trails, beautiful campgrounds, and more! Even if you just get the chance to drive through the North Cascades to get to a different part of the state, you HAVE to stop at at least a few scenic overlooks and take in the magnificent mountain views for a few minutes. It’s an especially incredible park for hikers and backpackers, offering some of the most incredible treks in the PNW!

Pros of eloping in the North Cascades:

  • TONS of area to explore across the state
  • Lots of adorable little mountain towns that you can stay in + walk around
  • Plenty of off-the-beaten-path locations that you can find without crowds
  • Multiple wheelchair/ADA-accessible trails
  • No entry fee!

Cons of eloping in the North Cascades:

  • Roads and viewpoints close down for the winter
  • Popular trails & overlooks can get pretty crowded in the summer

Best time to elope in the North Cascades: Summer (June-August)

Best North Cascades elopement locations:

Fun things to do in the North Cascades:

5. Mount Baker

Entry fee: $5 Northwest Forest Pass

Permit requirement: None for groups of under 75 people

If you’d rather avoid the permitting process that national parks require, Mount Baker is an incredible option with just as spectacular mountain views, hiking trails, wildflower meadows, and MORE. It’s definitely a “hidden gem” compared to Washington’s national parks, as it’s a little more secluded and often less crowded, depending on what spots you want to visit. With easy access to cute surrounding towns and plenty of cozy Airbnbs in the woods, tons of hiking trails, unrivaled views of both Mount Baker and Mount Shuksan, and breathtaking alpine lakes, it’s the perfect PNW getaway!

Pros of eloping at Mount Baker:

  • No permit required to get married
  • Gorgeous mountain views
  • Lush wildflower meadows
  • Tons of opportunities for hiking, biking, and skiing/snowboarding if you visit in the winter

Cons of eloping at Mount Baker:

  • Road to Artist Point closes off for the winter
  • Snow can fall earlier/melt later than expected, causing unexpected road/trail closures
  • Not many accessible hiking trails

Best time to elope at Mount Baker: Summer (June-August)

Best Mount Baker elopement locations:

Fun things to do at Mount Baker:

6. Deception Pass

Entry fee: $5 Discover Pass

Permit requirement: Special Activities Permit

Deception Pass State Park covers nearly 4,000 acres of land separating Whidbey Island from Fidalgo Island, and offers some of the most gorgeous views of the Puget Sound you could ask for. The dramatic seascapes and coastline scenery are to DIE for, especially with the iconic Deception Pass Bridge high above the water that you’ve probably seen in photos before! Take a dip in the water, pick out a hike or two, or sleep under the stars in a tent – no matter how you choose to spend your time at Deception Pass, it’ll be a magical experience!

Pros of eloping at Deception Pass:

  • Stunning views of the water
  • Miles of rugged coastline & sea coves to explore
  • Only 1.5 hours from Seattle
  • 30+ miles of hiking trails
  • Great camping opportunities

Cons of eloping at Deception Pass:

  • Only 1.2 miles of ADA hiking trails
  • Can get windy and cold easily, especially on the bridge

Best time to elope at Deception Pass: Summer (June-September)

Best Deception Pass elopement locations:

Fun things to do at Deception Pass:

After having to postpone their wedding due to COVID, Amanda and Jesse eloped on the beach at Deception Pass and it was absolutely AMAZING – take a look here!!

7. Downtown Seattle

Last but not least, downtown Seattle is the go-to option if you’d prefer an urban, city elopement over an adventurous outdoor elopement! I may live in the suburbs of Seattle but I find myself downtown pretty much every day, I swear. And I LOVE it so much, because Seattle is such a fun city to explore, with tons of shops, restaurants, cafés, and bars to explore, plus the beautiful waterfront views are a classic! Whether you tie the knot at the courthouse and then head to a restaurant downtown for an intimate reception, or you just find a random spot in Pioneer Square to serve as the backdrop to your ceremony, you won’t ever run out of things to do or places to go.

Pros of eloping in downtown Seattle:

  • You can stop anywhere you’d like to for fun portraits – a cute alleyway, a pretty door, a cozy coffee shop, anywhere!
  • Tons of shops, bars, and restaurants to check out
  • You’ll have a ton of variety in your photo gallery since the city has so many unique places to explore
  • Lots of beautiful studio spaces you can rent in case of rain
  • You can elope at the courthouse, at a random spot in the city, or at an actual venue
  • Plenty of places to stay right in the city

Cons of eloping in downtown Seattle:

  • Crowds, of course!
  • Parking is not ideal – carpool if you can
  • Not a good place to elope if you want to enjoy the peace & quiet of the outdoors, or go hiking/biking/etc. 

Best time to elope in downtown Seattle: Any time of year!! It just depends on what weather you’d prefer (although it’s best to plan for rain no matter what).

Best downtown Seattle elopement locations:

Fun things to do in downtown Seattle:

WHEW – you made it!! I know that was a looong one, but I hope that you’re feeling confident now in picking the right elopement location for you. Seriously though, you absolutely cannot go wrong with any of these places, so it all comes down to what sort of elopement experience you’re envisioning, and which location will best fit what you’re looking for. I’ll be MORE than happy to help you pick the perfect place for you, so I’d looove to get this party started and hear all about what you’re dreaming up – contact me here and let’s start planning your amazing day together!

Find tons more elopement & wedding inspiration on the blog, or take a peek at a few of my recent faves below!

How to Plan a West Coast Wedding

Best Intimate Wedding Venues In or Near Seattle

Intimate Summer Olympic Rooftop Pavilion Wedding

The Journal
  1. […] recently published another guide to alllll the Best Washington Elopement Locations, but I just felt like it wasn’t enough for couples who want the whole inside scoop – so here we […]

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