It’s here it’s here!! Your starting place for planning your Washington adventure elopement! I’m so excited to share this resource with you, and hope it simplifies and gets you so excited to start envisioning your day. Welcome to the complete guide to planning your Washington state adventure elopement!
Before you run to the wilderness with your forever person and say your “I do’s” make sure you’ve got a plan in place to make sure your big day goes off without a hitch. Here’s my checklist to make sure you’re covered before we capture these special moments together.
These might be the least fun things to check off the list, but they are definitely the most important. If you are eloping in Washington, you are going to need a marriage license, and once you obtain it, there is a 3 day waiting period before you can use it. Once the 3 days has passed, you have 60 days to use the license. If you already live in Washington, give yourself a week or 2 to pick it up. You don’t want to be worry about it the week of your elopement. If you are coming in from out of state, use the 3 day wait time to explore Washington’s beautiful parks and other attractions!
You can either fill out an online marriage license application or the mail-in marriage license application.
Once you have your marriage license, you can get married anytime and anywhere – but should you choose to elope in one of Washington State’s beautiful national parks you will need to get a wedding permit – even if it’s just the 2 of you. Once you’ve selected the location, contact the park and they can walk you through the permitting process (I am also more than happy to help with this process). One thing to keep in mind is that acquiring the permit can take a few weeks, especially if you are looking to get married in the busy season, so make sure to factor that in accordingly.
Ooooh – now we’re getting into some fun vision-casting, right?! Each season offers a unique experience. As a PNW elopement photographer, it’s hard for me to pick me favorite, but here are a few highlights of each:
It’s sunnier and warmer than the other 3 seasons, and it also opens up the door for capturing some beautiful blooms and wildflowers during July and August. Additionally, since certain high elevation roads are closed in the winter due to snow, a summer elopement means there are more locations available to you. Plus, longer days to take our time before frolicking in the sunset toward the end of our time 😉
If fall colors are your thing, a Washington State elopement will give you an absolutely gorgeous background to work with. From mid-September to Mid-October, and depending on your elevation, the colors absolutely pop! Fall is definitely cooler than the summer, so you don’t have to worry about overheating in your dress or suit either.
Snow? Mountains? We have that. Winter weddings also allow you to incorporate other cozy elements, a cabin, a campfire, snuggling together under a blanket, etc. Some roads will likely be closed limiting the location options, and definitely be prepared for drizzle and overcast skies – but these elements can make for some stunning photos.
While you don’t have the biting cold from winter, Spring in Washington can be a rainier season. If you love overcast days and rain, this could the perfect time to plan your elopement! They’ll likely be contrasted with some beautiful springtime floral blooms, and snow-capped mountains with a dusting of snow remaining from winter.
Mountains? Waterfalls? Water? Deserts and islands, oh my? We have all of those options available in Washington State. Talking to an adventure elopement photographer like myself will give you some ideas on the pros and cons of each location. Similar to choosing the season, it really is about your personal taste and preference, but no matter where you choose, you will have fantastic elements to work with!
A few of my personal favorites?
North Cascades National Park
Mount Rainier National Park
Olympic National Park or the Olympic Coast
San Juan Islands
Mount Baker Region
Within each region there are SO many individual spots with a fast array of ecosystems and terrain to choose from. Selecting from my personal favorites and secret spots is just one perk of booking with me and getting access to my 100-page elopement planning guide.
If you are coming in from out of town, you’ll want to book your flight about 3 months in advance, and make sure to check continued travel guidelines as your trip approaches. You’ll also want to reserve a rental car and start looking into all the different activities and places you want to enjoy while you are out there. Make sure to book your hair and makeup, and you may want to book a trial run during your 3 day waiting period for your marriage license.
You’ll also want to book your hotel, Airbnb or lodging around the same time you book your flight. If you are eloping soon, many places are offering elopement packages, so keep your eyes out for that if you are on a budget. I also have a handful of wonderful Airbnbs, A-frame cabins, and lodges to suggest when it comes to selecting a cozy place to land before and after your elopement activities.
Overall, a little planning can go a long way and make your special day as smooth and seamless as possible.
There ya have it, folks. The complete guide to planning your adventure elopement in Washington state
While this may be just the start to your planning process, have no fear – folks who book with me also get an extensive (and I mean 100 pages kind of extensive) guide to getting further into the details and unique vibe of your elopement.
To find more information about the elopement experience with me, pricing and more, hit up this page!
Use Pinterest? Pin these bad boys ^ to your elopement planning board!
Emma Studley Photography | Pacific Northwest Elopement Photographer
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Emma Studley Photography
Branding by Native Brush Design
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