Ghaith & Adriana really wanted not only an an amazing location for their elopement but they wanted something that they could look back & say: “Wow! I can’t believe we did that!”
At first we talked of locations such as Yosemite, Moab, & Zion. Then I mentioned I’d be traveling around the Pacific Northwest & I suggested Olympic National Park since it has a lot of variety in locations, along with a bunch of amazing mountain overlooks.
Elopement Portraits at Ruby Beach
To add a little variety to their elopement in Olympic National Park & to do some fun exploring, first we started their elopement at Ruby Beach. Ruby Beach can be a popular location, especially during the summer, but there are a lot of areas to explore! Ghaith & Adriana had two sets of clothes. At the beach, they wore a bit more of a casual elopement look with clothes that could get wet & dirty.
They had a fun time exploring around the beach, trying to avoid the big waves, & hopping over rocks. After getting very wet & a little dirty at Ruby Beach, it was time to change & head to the mountains & rainforest for their elopement.
Hiking Through the Rainforest of Olympic National Park
For the second part of their elopement day, we went through the rainforest, up into the mountains of Olympic National Park. This was no easy hike & it’s definitely not for the faint of heart! I was a little concerned about doing this hike as Ghaith & Adriana live in New York & don’t hike a ton, but they CRUSHED IT! Seriously, they did great.
This hike in Olympic is very steep, with a decent amount of exposure & ledges, loose rocks, narrow stretches of rocks to walk across, & it requires the use of ropes in some places to climb up. They wanted an experience they’d never forget & they got it!
Elopement Ceremony in the Mountains of Olympic National Park
We climbed & hiked up the trail & before they got changed into the clothes for their elopement ceremony, we went to the overlook point. The views up there are stunning! I prefer this location a little more at sunrise due to lighting, but sunset does have great lighting too, just less time for optimal lighting.
They got changed back down in the forest & then we did a little first look in the trees just before sunset. First looks with elopements can still be fun & special! Even if you’ve seen each other that day, seeing each other all dressed up for the first time is really special.
A friend of mine, Bill, was actually their officiant & he did the whole hike with us. Bill & Traci of Adventure & Vow are photographers & officiants & the timing & location worked out great. They had a beautiful little ceremony at sunset with personal vows & a hand fasting unity ceremony.
After their ceremony in the mountains of Olympic, they got changed & we went back down in the dark by the light of our headlamps. It was a little daunting for them going back down the steep sections with the ropes in the dark but they did great. We even saw a little salamander on the way!
Eloping in Olympic National Park
Olympic National Park is one of my favorite elopement locations! It has it all from lush forests, rocky & sandy beaches, & some pretty epic mountains. Wondering how to elope in Olympic National Park? Read on for more important info!
Permits for Weddings & Elopements in Olympic National Park
For weddings & elopements in Olympic National Park, you will sometimes need a special use permit. The cost is only $50 & they can usually turn around permit applications fairly quickly. If the total amount of people (including vendors, guests, etc.) is less than 5, you won’t need a permit. However, rules can always change & it is best to check in directly with Olympic National Park for permits.
Best Time of Year to Elope in Washington
Keep in mind that Olympic is within the Pacific Northwest & part of the park is a rainforest. So it does get a lot of rain here! The best months to elope are July & August. There’s a lot less rain during these months & also less clouds that can block the views at times. However, these months are definitely still cool to cold depending on the weather. On our hike back down after sunset, it quickly got cold even though on the way up it was quite hot & sunny.
Keep in mind that some locations are not easily accessible due to snow. A lot of times snow can persist in the higher elevations until July.
Best Times of Day to Elope in Olympic
Certain locations can be quite popular & you can avoid the crowds by eloping on a weekday & choosing the right time of day.
In the mountains, sunrise & sunset are best. The lighting in the rainforest is usually best from late morning until late afternoon. And the beaches are typically best at sunset, although late mornings can work as well. Sunrise on the beach can work, but a lot of times there’s a marine layer of fog from the Pacific that can be very thick. But something like lanterns can make for fun photos in the fog!
Ready to plan your elopement in Olympic National Park? Or maybe you need help with finding a location? Contact me to get started!