So you’ve decided to elope! You already have taken the most difficult step…so what next?
Choosing the WHERE to elope in the PNW is so incredibly important.
Close your eyes and imagine what the perfect Pacific Northwest elopement day looks like to you. Do you see yourself surrounded by towering green trees? Or maybe you would prefer panoramic views of mountains? Does the smell of salty air and a brisk ocean breeze tingle your senses? Or are you looking for a more rough, rugged, and wild terrain to really adventure on your wedding day.
Once you’ve decided on the ideal scenery for your vows it’s time to think about weather. With the Pacific Northwest elopement photographers at Girl in the Wild, I’m sure you will have an amazing experience rain or shine but it’s definitely good to keep in mind the changing of the seasons–especially if you have guests! Are you more of a sun worshiper or does the soft chill of romantic falling snow call your name?
The last step in choosing your location, keep in mind what you want to include for your day. If you just want a simple, beautiful and intimate ceremony most locations will be perfect but if you plan on including adventurous activities such as camping or kayaking its best to choose locations that have adventure outfitters nearby to help you with all the details.
Once you’ve said YES to celebrating your day with Girl in the Wild we will talk about all of the possibilities for your day regardless if it is a ceremony for two or a family affair. I’ve got your back for all of the best places, activities, vendors, and nitty gritty details (aka your wedding certificate and permits) for each area where we can roam! Until then check out some of my favorite places and get inspired!
Why its awesome: Olympic National Park is one of those one-of-a-kind places that is hard to believe is located so close to home. From the stunning lush green forest of the Hoh, to the panoramic mountain views from crescent lake and the ever-so-romantic driftwood covered shores of Ruby beach–this truly is a location that has all in one place.
What to do: Hiking, kayaking, romantic picnics, beachside bonfires, camping, glamping
When to go: Mid June-Early October. Peak season for Olympic National Park lends itself to stunning 60-70 degree days, gorgeous layers of mist cut with streams of golden light rays and breathtaking sunsets. Located in the Pacific northwest the winter can be particularly frigid and wet. Olympic National Park receives an average of 120 inches of rain (it’s REALLY wet) in the off-season and certain parts of the park such as Hurricane ridge get up to 35 feet of snow. Now you might be thinking; well what if i want a snowy winter elopement there? Although this would be absolutely epic, there are much more suitable spots for wintery-I do’s since the rain and varying temperatures make for ideal avalanche conditions in the park.
So, do I need a permit?: Yes, You will need a special use permit that costs $50. You also will need to pay for entry to the national park unless you already have a National Parks Pass
Tip from GITW: Olympic NP is one of the most visited National Parks. To really get the most out of your intimate ceremony we recommend eloping during the week or starting early.
Not up for being the early bird? No worries! I can always help you scope out romantic and more secluded spots for you I Do’s
Why its awesome: Google Oregon Coast and there is a 99% change this scenic corridor will be one of the first photos to show up–and for a reason! The dark turquoise waters, secluded beaches and coves, as well as evergreen covered cliffs are some of the most picturesque spots on the west coast.
What to do: Hiking, Picnicking, Camping
When to go: Although this corridor is pretty darn stunning most of the year (Febrary-October) the best time of year to visit is late August- Early October to try and skirt the crowds.
So, do I need a permit?: It depends! Oregon State Parks don’t usually require a permit unless it is a large group or your elopement involves “props” such as Large flower arches, chair set- ups, tables, etc. At GITW Leave No Trace is an integral part of how we recreate responsibly. I discourage large productions so that you can focus on just you two and your love while being a respectful steward of the land.
Tip from GITW: This is a FANTASTIC option for those who aren’t too keen on hiking but want some killer views for their I’do since the area is dotted with many scenic overlooks.
Why its awesome: Spend your day among giants! Home to some of the largest and oldest trees on earth, the rugged landscape of towering Sequoias, sprawling prairies and wild rivers is definitely one of my top locations for wildly-romantic vows.
What to do: Hiking, Camping, Backpacking, Cycling, Rafting, Kayaking, Picnicking,Whale Watching
When to go: Weather in Redwoods NP is pretty great year-round, although can be rainy at times. May-September is your best chance to really get the most out of your experience.
So, do I need a permit?: Yes! You will need a special use permit which costs between $100-200. Additional permits may be required for elopements on certain trails such as Tall Trees Grove or for backcountry camping.
Tip from GITW: Have a furry friend who wants to join? Although dogs are not allowed in many areas of the National Park heading just slightly north to Gold Bluffs Beach and you’ll find a place where your pup can join in as you commit yourself to your (other) adventure-companion-for-life.
Remember, no matter what you choose I will be here for you every step of the way to make sure you have the best, most intimate, and YOU experience. There is no right or wrong way to elope so sit back, enjoy the process and get ready for a life filled with joy and adventure.
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