The Ultimate Guide to Eloping in Washington State

If the idea of eloping in Washington State is new to you, I’m here to help guide you along the way! It’s a big decision, but I’m sure that once you’ve read this guide, it will all make sense. You’ve chose a great place to elope, with beautiful backdrops all around the state theres no way to be disappointed! Whether you want the Mountains, Ocean, Waterfalls or even the city as your background it’s all so beautiful!

Eloping in Washington State

So let’s dive right in with the first question: What do you want your Washington State elopement to look like? When I say that “what do you want your Washington State elopement to look like?” is the most important question, I mean it.

Your wedding day should be all about YOU and YOUR PARTNER, so please don’t get overwhelmed by what society says about what a wedding should look like.

What kind of activities do you want to do before or after your elopement? Do you want to go hiking? Sightseeing? Relaxing at a luxurious spa? Or just exploring the city that you’re eloping in? Do you want a sunrise, midday, or sunset elopement?How many guests are invited/do you want to attend? What kind of accommodations do you want for yourself and for any guests staying with you? Hotels, cabins, camping, glamping etc.?

One of the best parts about the Pacific Northwest is the variety of landscapes and seasons available for an array of different elopement experiences. Washington state has it all – from alpine lakes and mountain peaks, coastal beaches and rocky cliffs, dense forests and high desert plains. Here are some suggestions on where to elope in Washington State based on your desired environment!

Create your elopement budget

You want to make sure you’re on the same page regarding what you’re both willing to spend on your wedding. I know you’ve heard me say this before, but it really is one of the best investments you can make in your marriage. It might seem a bit awkward, but having a sit down convo with your partner about what your budget looks like for your elopement will be well worth it.

If you’re hiring vendors, browse their pricing beforehand so your budget is realistic from the get go. Choose which vendors are non-negotiable and create your budget around them. Are friends or family contributing to the budget? Do you have a bank account set up for that money?

Whatever it looks like, try to be as detailed as possible when creating your budget. You don’t want any surprises come wedding day!

Book your Elopement Photographer

Your elopement photographer will also give you advice on what other vendors you need to book, as well as specific vendor recommendations.

It’s important to remember that because you’re eloping, most of what you’re paying your vendors for is their expertise and guidance. They know this area inside and out, they know the weather patterns, they know what’s doable and what isn’t. And they want to help you plan a day that’s perfect for you!

If you want a specific photographer, be sure to reach out to them as soon as you can. Photographers, especially in the 2022/2023 wedding season, are booking fast.

The reason you want to book a photographer first is because they’ll give you firsthand knowledge about what the places are to elope, what season is best for each location, and other important tips. This will help guide your decision-making process when deciding exactly where to elope and when.

When to elope in Washington State

There are so many great times to elope in Washington state & every season has its different perks! My personal favorite season would have to be spring! But like I said, every season is different! The season you decide to have your wedding also affects where you can have your elopement! During certain seasons (specifically winter months) there are certain locations where you don’t have access because the roads are closed, or there are certain vehicle requirements – this is mainly the case for Mt. Rainier.

Winter

Winter in Washington State is truly magical. There’s nothing like the way light reflects off fresh snow, and the sound of rain on a cabin roof is perfect for settling in with some tea after you’ve said “I do.”

But winter also brings its share of challenges, including some roads that might be closed due to inclement weather or other factors. Don’t worry—the beauty of eloping means you can pick a spot that’s accessible no matter what! And even if there’s heavy rain, we’ll make sure to bring umbrellas or find another way to protect you from the elements. As long as you and your partner are prepared for it, we know this will be an unforgettable day.

And by the way— Washington happens to have some beautiful cabins that would serve as a perfect spot for your elopement in the Winter!

Spring

Springtime elopements are beautiful! The springtime is known to be either super rainy or chilly sunny days! If you don’t mind a bit of rain then go for it! The temperatures won’t be nearly as bad as winter as that is a perk, too!

Spring is also really great if you’re looking to have beautiful blooms of flowers as your backdrop! With early blooms of cherry blossoms, to late spring blooms of wildflowers nothing can go wrong!

Summer

Have you imagined eloping on a sunny day? This is the PERFECT time to elope in Washington, with the higher chance of sun rather than a rainy or overcast day. Since its summer, many more spots are open and available rather than in winter time! Remember those wildflowers I was talking about in spring, well they still bloom through the summer!

Fall

One word, colors. Fall has the most amazing backdrop, with the unique colors it is to die for. If you’re all about the fall colors, definitely elope during this time. But you’ll want to choose the perfect date (they call it fall for a reason) before all the leaves and colors go away!

Where should you plan your elopement?

Thats the great thing about eloping! It’s all about YOU! What kind of vibe are you and your partner wanting, do you want Seattle City vibes? Elope in the city. Are you wanting to elope at a venue? Check out my Top 5 Outdoor Wedding Venues and see if any fit! If you’re looking for scenery, there are so many options! Theres places like Mount Rainier, North Cascades, Olympic National Park & Mount Baker.

Legalities

Now its time to chat about how to legally elope! I know the legal part of getting married isn’t always fun, but super important! In order for you to get married in Washington state there are a few steps to take. The first step you’ll want to do is fill out a marriage application online! This is the easiest way to do it, however it can also be done by mail and in person. Once that step is complete you have to pick up it in person at least 3 days before your elopement.  A 3 day waiting period before the license is valid is required, and after that you have 60 days to get married. When picking it up in person don’t forget to bring both of your ID’s and at this time you’ll have to pay the $69 application fee. One you get married, you or your officiant have 30 days to submit your marriage license to the county. They can bring it in person, or mail it in. Do not forget that step!

Well now you’re ready to elope! I hope that this was a helpful resource to you in planning your elopement! If you have any questions at all please don’t hesitate to reach out. If you’re in need of an elopement photographer, I’d love to chat more!

April 13, 2022

share this post