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How to Elope in Washington State/Shantel Wall Photography

Updated: Sep 7, 2023

I may be a little bias since I was born and raised in Washington State but it is my favorite place for elopements. There are mountains, beaches, forests and deserts all located within Washington State. Not to mention some of the most incredible national parks (Mt. Rainier, North Cascades, Olympic National Park).

How to Elope in Washington State

  1. find an epic location

  2. pick the time of year

  3. find an amazing elopement photographer

  4. apply for a permit

  5. get a marriage license

Most Beautiful Places to Elope

1. Mt. Rainier National Park

2. North Cascades National Park

3. Snoqualmie Pass

4. Olympic National Park

5. Coastal Beaches

6. Eastern Washington

Time of Year to Elope

This really depends on your vision. Washington is stunning all year round. Let's break down the seasons.


  • fall colors

  • It is a little cooler. If you like cooler days but prefer not to have winter weather this is a great season to elope.

  • Peak fall foliage dates vary. You’re looking at dates between mid-September through mid-October


  • If you love the idea of snow then an elopement in Washington State Mountains might be for you.

  • Perfect for a mountain cabin to have an intimate, romantic elopement.

  • Be prepared some roads at higher elevations close for the season.

  • If you plan one a lower elevation elopement it may more drizzle than snow.


  • If you like more a rainy, overcast look then this season may be for you.

  • The weather again is not hot nor cold. Spring like to rain with an occasional say of sunshine.

  • Perfect for those forest elopements. You can add a cabin, umbrellas and boots personal to this wonderful season you have chosen.


  • Eloping ion the mountains in the summer means wildflowers and sun.

  • The roads at higher elevations that are closed during winter are now open. Yay, more locations for your elopement!

  • Can't decide between a beach wedding or a forest wedding. How about Both! This is the perfect season for your elopement then. Washington has gorgeous forest location on the coast.

Do You Need a Permit

Depending on the location you pick a permit may be required for your elopement. Even if you are only eloping the two of you, officiant and photographer check on those permits. I always say assume you need one unless informed otherwise. I can help with the permit process once a location is set.

You Will Need To Apply For Your Marriage License At Least 3 Days Before Your Washington State Elopement

There is a three day waiting period after you have been issued a marriage license. Once issued you have 60 days to elope. Also, you’ll need to have someone ordained to officiate your elopement ceremony and two witnesses present. Yes, I’m happy to be a witness, if needed!

Find Your Washington State Elopement Photographer and Vendor Team

I know and have worked with some of Washington's best elopement vendors. I love supporting my couples with any planning, timeline, location scouting and vendor recommendations. If you are in need of a florist, officiant and even makeup artist I have your back. As far as a photographer, well, I know a gal who loves being a third wheel snapping photos of your special day. (lol) Click here to inquire about my elopement packages.



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