eloping in the pacific northwest

follow your heart. screw the norms.

you simply cannot  go wrong choosing to elope in the PNW. from the breathtaking coastline to the mountain peaks we love to the desert to alpine lakes. we've got it all.

this is your guide to eloping in the pacific northwest. from things to consider, to locations, to vendors, I got you.

got questions already? reach out.

OR + WA are a magical place

what even is an elopement?

Elopements are gaining popularity like wildfire because couples finally feel the permission to do what feels authentic to them. Ditching the traditional sense of what it means to get married. Choosing something unique and YOU. It can vary from  a multiple day adventure to  a few hours of celebration. There's endless opportunity and no rules.

Elopement at Hug Point on the always stunning Oregon Coast.

where to elope in oregon

there are endless options for where to elope in this beautiful state. start here and get inspired to explore!

1. the oregon coast


3. eastern/central oregon

4. mt hood

5. portland

From long wide sand beaches with endless room to run free  to rocky dramatic coastline the Oregon Coast is  a personal favorite.
The waterfall corridor,  views up and down the entire Columbia River, and sunsets you will never forget.
This is a long  forgotten and not so well  known area of Oregon.  I've explored it a little bit but know there's so much more to see!
I'm giving Mt Hood it's own category because I know it so well and it's the closest proximity mountain to Portland. There are opportunities to elope here in winter  + summer!

Eloping in the Columbia Gorge is  so beautiful.

Pro tip: bring layers because it is often very windy.

trillium lake in mt hood oregon.

you can access it year round but in the winter you need to snowshoe hike in!

How could we forget about Portland?! You can easily have an urban elopement at many places in the city but here's some more "nature-y" spots within the city too!

First of all - you should do whatever feels right to you! There's a lot of reasons people elope yet the #1 reason is to be able to have a carefully chosen day that is all about you. It's low pressure and is truly focused on spending the day how you want to. It can start with a morning brunch, which leads to a midday hike, and ending the day at the beach watching the sun set. Think about what you love to do together... now why not get married doing just that?

Some people may say that choosing to elope is selfish, and they may not be wrong. If there's any day to be selfish and completely authentic to yourselves it absolutely should be your wedding day. Honor your wishes, not those of anyone else (there are a number of ways to include your loves ones though!). It should be noted that you can elope AND have your closest family and friends present for some (or all) of your day! There's no rules here!

Elopements are for EVERYONE. There's a misconception that in order to elope or have an adventure elopement you have to be super in shape and ready to hike 10 miles. SO not true. There are endless options for drive up locations that are just as stunning. Urban elopements are very much welcome here too!

Great question. It can feel overwhelming with so many options! As an elopement photographer in the Pacific Northwest I've had the pleasure of exploring so many beautiful places. Depending on various factors such as how much activity you want to do, distance from home, landscapes, etc. I'm certain we will find you something that feels just right!

My pricing varies from elopement to elopement. Every elopement day is unique and depending on the length of coverage and your location I'd be more than happy to send you a custom quote!

There are two main factors that will influence the date you choose for your elopement. One is the weather and one is the day of the week. I highly encourage my elopement couples to choose a date Mon-Thurs when possible to avoid crowds. In addition this is the PNW and we do get a lot of rain and/or snow from October-April.

I absolutely do travel for elopements! Seeing and exploring new places is my jam. Because I value my own travel time with my dogs and my husband I only take on a handful of elopements and weddings a year I have to hop on a plane for. 

where to elope in washington

personally, i think washington is a hidden gem and is often overlooked. some of my favorite locations and most breathtaking moments have happened in WA.

1. southern washington

2. mt rainier

3. north cascades

4. olympic peninsula

5. greater seattle area

There's a variety of places to see and explore  in the Southwest Washington region. Often quiet and not busy spots!
Mt Rainier was one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen.  The wildflowers blooming there in the mid summer are unreal and when it's a clear day  it's unlike anything else.
This is (in my opinion) the most underrated national park. It feels like Canada in the United States (iykyk) and has EPIC mountain peaks, really beautiful lakes, waterfalls, and more.
In NW Washington you have the Olympic National Park as well as a variety of locations outside the park boundaries and the coastline.

Diablo lake in north cascades national park.

one of the most dog friendly national parks!

mt rainier national park

the wildflower bloom usually happens in july but depends on the snow melt + weather.

By the greater Seattle area I'm referring to the much greater area  in one category. Think of it as a catch all or miscellaneous!

things to ask yourselves




Who do I want at my elopement (if anyone) other than my partner?

what level of adventure do I want on my wedding day?

what time of year do we  want to elope?


what activities do we want to incorporate into our elopement day?

what to keep in mind

1. time of year matters

2. permits & legalities

5. bring your dog?!

3. Over-prepare

4. we are your storytellers.

Time of year AND time of day  do matter, especially in the PNW where the weather can impact your day. Late spring (April/May) through mid Fall (Sept/early Oct.) are the best bet for good weather and snow melting in the mountains. Time of day matters too for lighting purposes! If you have the ability to plan your ceremony + portraits pre-sunset or around sunrise your photos will thank you!

It's super important to do your research with the help of your planner and/or photographer (maybe me!) to make sure you know the rules of the location you are wanting to elope at. Most national parks require permits at least 4-8 weeks ahead of time and other parks and natural areas do require them as well. In addition, you'll want to apply for a marriage license and decide when you want to take care of the legalities. I am ordained for my couples! WA and OR require 2 witnesses so you'll need to bring someone along or stop people nearby (they are always happy to help!).

There's no such thing as over preparing for your elopement! With elopements we are often at the mercy of the weather  so knowing that 1) plans can change at the last minute and 2) to be prepared for everything. Have an emergency kit, bring all the damn layers you can, download offline maps, etc. In addition having vendors on your team (officiant, florist, photographer, planner) who will help you create a plan A, B (and maybe C) is super crucial!

There's a common misconception about elopements that they don't deserve a full day of coverage or should just be a quick 2 hour deal. They absolutely can be if that's what you truly want. However, I'd encourage you to think about the intention of the day and how you want to FEEL when you look back at your images. If you opt for full day coverage you will be able to relive every little moment of your elopement from start to finish and see your story. 

The most important question of them all. To bring the dog or not bring the dog? ALWAYS BRING THE DOG! Be aware of the rules and regulations of where you are headed for your elopement. Leash laws, leave no trace, certain trails not allowing dogs, and knowing your dogs limits are all super important to be aware of ahead of time. As you get to know me you'll know I am always pro-dog.

vendor recommendations

hi i'm kelsey!

I'm an Oregon + Washington elopement photographer based in Portland with a passion for sharing this beautiful landscape with couples who are wildly in love.

Are you ready to say "screw the norms" and get married in a way that feels so authentically you?!

I'd love to help guide you along the way!