Pacific North West

Elope in

You're Considering an Elopement in the Pacific North west

The PNW is for the girlies chasing those twilight vibes, foggy mountains, flowing rivers, and the green mossy forest. 

The Pacific North West hosts a wide selection of National Parks, highway accessible trails and hidden lakes and waterfalls.

If you're looking for all that. you came to the right place. How do we go about actually eloping there? Don't fret, your bestie is here with all the answers!

To Elope in the Pacific North West

What's it like

Truly it is whatever you want it to be but for the sake of dreaming wild dreams, let's close our eyes and go on a journey through the day you could have if you picked the PNW for your epic elopement.

You sit on the deck of your treehouse oasis, rented out for the week so you can spend the whole time reading and sipping warm drinks by the fire. The trees go on for days, and the fog has settled deep in the forest. Morning is just peeking over the mountains and it's your freaking wedding day! You and your soon-to-be husband, or wife, sit drinking coffee and writing your vows. The very ones you'll be reciting before the sun sets.

Your photographer shows up with donuts from a local bakery, and your hair and makeup artist is soon to follow, starting the day. You each get ready in separate rooms and do the sweetest first look below the treehouse before packing up and heading out to the trailhead. An hour or so of hiking with your soon to be, and your awesome new friend with a camera, and the path opens up to the most beautiful waterfall you have ever seen. You share your hand written vows in a private ceremony and dance together in the mist of the waterfall before washing each others feet, just like Jesus.

After the ceremony you both plunge into the water, dress and all for a steamy little photo session swimming in the pool below the waterfall. You gear up again this time with headlamps and hike back down to the cars and head to the dinner spot your photographer found for you. It's a mountain top picnic, and the sun is just setting. You enjoy great food, and then get to have lantern photos taken under a blanket of stars.

You go home to your family with an epic gallery and even greater memories of the most perfect day!

Why people choose to elope in the Pacific North West

Choosing where you will elope is a big deal, and it's often a very emotional and always personal choice. Still, I have found a handful of the top reasons couples choose to elope in The Pacific North West.

  • The Views- The places you can see in the PNW easily outrank some of the top world scenes, and for that reason people flock to this region to say their vows amidst the mountains and the trees!

  • The Adventure- The PNW is home to some of the greatest National Parks, and sure maybe I'm biased, but the things you have readily available as far as adventure goes is vast! Kayaking, hiking, horseback riding, 4x4-ing, and so much more.

  • The Culture - It's like a warm hug to be honest. The scattered bustling coffee shops, book stores and parks make this place feel like home away from home, no matter where you are from. 

  • The Photographer - Finding a photographer that shoots in the mountains and forests often, and has an editing style you love is worth flying them to whatever location you choose. With the PNW being right in my back yard we don't have to travel far!


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PNW Moods

When to elope in the pacific North west

The weather in this region is pure moodiness, and for me, that's perfect. Get ready for moody lighting, foggy backdrops, and killer views!

There are a few patterns we can chat about though and some general seasonal categories. Let's do that!

Summer

Jul-sep

This is your best chance for a sunny day in the PNW, so if you love all the trees and the moody mornings, but you want a warm sunny hike this is the season fit for you.

Think lush green trees, rainbow wildflowers, and crystal blue lakes and rivers!

fall

oct-nov

Bring on the moody daze. Fall brings cooler weather and a bit more rain, as the trees shift slightly in color, and the sun starts setting earlier. 

Think all the PNW vibes you can handle. It feels very much like "Twilight" if you know you know.

Winter

dec-mar

The moodiest of all the seasons. Almost guarantee for foggy wet weather, and very little sun. If twilight was your favorite movie, this is the season for you. 

Think snow-capped mountains, thick dreamy fog, and all the moodiness you can handle. 

Spring

mar-jun

There's still a chill in the air, and the rain is settling in. The temps can still be as low at 30 degrees. 

Think, wet. Still a little chilly, and maybe even snowy. But, it can still be really pretty if you don't mind carrying an umbrella for back-up.

Frequently asked questions about eloping in the PNW

How do you plan an elopement in the PNW?

There is so much that goes into planning an elopement in the PNW, but lucky for you, you have me! 

I offer all of my clients an extensive elopement guide for the PNW and I walk you through the whole process from permits, to hikes & locations, to the timeline for your perfect day. I also have a blog post dedicated to answering this question more in depth.

The first step, and possibly the most important, is finding the right person to work with. Since this region is my home, I have a lot of knowledge and experience in these spots, and am dedicated to helping you create and live the elopement of your wildest dreams!

Q:

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How much does it cost to elope in the PNW?

This is a loaded question. Technically to get married in the Pacific North West you'll need a  marriage license for the state you choose and that costs $30 in Idaho, $60 in Oregon, $72 in Washington and $53 in Montana, and then you'll just need the marriage permit for the park if you're getting married in one, or a permit for the forest. Basically I will just make sure your permit is covered if one is needed!

The real answer I think your looking for is an average cost of the whole thing right? The average elopement in the PNW  has a lot of factors at play, however the average is 16k. The good news is there are tons of people who elope with a much higher budget, as well as a much lower one. On the real, I think most of my couples spend an average somewhere between 10-15k, and that includes attire, food, travel, photography, and even lodging. 

Obviously the cost of your elopement will depend on the vendors you choose and what activities you want to explore. For more cost info and breakdowns you can find them in this blog post.

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Who should you invite to your elopement?

Whoever the heck you want!

And not whoever you don't.

Eloping is such a personal choice and knowing how to navigate who to tell and invite really needs to be something you and your future husband or wife agree on. It's not about getting married in some secret ceremony and there are lots of ways to include your family should you want to. I also have lots of ideas on how to honor your family if you choose to do the "Just us two" kind of thing!

It's about having the day you want and deserve with the people that you choose to be there.
Find more info in this post about "Who to Invite".

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How do you get your permits?

Every location is different, but you can count on me to do all the footwork for you. In fact, I will personally send you an email with the application links once we choose your location and get to that part of the planning process. This is one of those things you get to totally cross off your list because I will walk you through each step.

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What should we pack for our elopement?

Of course your excited to get all the things in the bags, but PNW weather can be kind of crazy! Make sure you check with your photographer (if that's me you have a whole packing section in your guide)and know what the weather will be like the time of year your having your elopement. 

Aside from that the weather changes a lot and rather quickly, especially in the mountains so I always encourage people to pack layers. A breathable base layer, a warmer middle layer, and either a rain coat or winter coat depending on time of year. 

Of course when you will be in the wilderness there are a few things you want to remember that often are forgotten such as:
  • sunscreen
  • bug spray
  • bear spray
  • extra socks
  • hiking shoes
  • headlamps or flashlights

For more on "How to Pack For Your Elopement" check out the blog, and get your FREE "Packing List"

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Elope in the Pacific North West

Top places to

Columbia River Gorge

Full of epic waterfalls, lookouts, cool little towns and more this is one of the coolest places the PNW has to offer. You can have whatever scenery your looking for and an adventure to top the lists!

The Columbia River Gorge is in the beautiful moody state of Oregon. 

The gorge is amazing and breathtaking and great for larger groups or truly intimate elopements.

North Cascades

The North Cascades National Park is a wild and free, and absolutely stunning location. Boasting wild mountain peaks and crystal blue lakes, this little piece of Washington is magical. 

Catching a sunrise or sunset in this location will bring you to your knees. 

If you are hoping for a versatile location this one is it!

Disclaimer: Not all of the images are of the location specified. For actual pictures of each location click the location name and it will derect you to the google link for that spot!

Olympic National Park

This park is vast and stunning, and home to the Hoh Rainforest, and who doesn't want to get married in the freaking rainforest! 

If you are wanting all the wet and moody vibes that the PNW is known for you can find them here, and of course there are mountains for the views too.

Mountains for the photos, and the forest for the adventures!

These three locations may be my favorites, but they are far from the only ones you can say your "I do's" at in the PNW. For a full list of locations in the PNW and more detailed info of each one check out the blog post "Elopement Locations in the Pacific North West"

Ready to start planning your Pacific North West Elopement?

You are so close to living your best day ever!

Let's plan your dream elopement

Wherever you are in the process of planning your elopement, I want to be there to guide you! Planning your best day ever does not have to be scary or stressful, and I will be there through the whole process!

For more tips and information on the Pacific North West check out the blog!

For more Elopement Planning Resources you can find those on the blog too!