Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about planning your Olympic National Park Elopement.
There are very few places in the world where you can be standing on a mountaintop in the morning, wandering through a lush rainforest in search of waterfalls in the afternoon, and watching the sun set on a rugged ocean beach in the evening. Eloping in Olympic National Park is incredible because the ONP really does have it all!
Located on the Olympic Peninsula, Washington’s western “arm”, the park is home to 1400+ square miles of wilderness, tons of wildlife (both on land and sea), the quietest place in the US, Twilight filming locations, delicious seafood, coffee, coffee, and more coffee. And if you’re traveling from Seattle, you can hop on one of the Washington State ferries for a scenic ride across Puget Sound, which is an essential PNW experience!
We could go on and on, but we don’t think it will take too much convincing after you see these epic photos of all of the incredible locations the ONP has to offer for your Olympic National Park elopement 😉
↓ Keep reading for the full story + pics ↓
Olympic National Park Elopement Guide
Best places to elope in Olympic National Park
The best thing about having an Olympic National Park elopement is its incredible diversity – from gushing waterfalls to mossy rainforests to sparking lakes to snow-capped mountains to rugged beaches, there’s just so much to explore! With so many location combinations, every elopement day is different, providing endless inspiration for us photographers. It truly never gets old and keeps us coming back here year after year ❤️ And even if you can’t see EVERYTHING on your wedding day, you can check off the rest of your list throughout your honeymoon trip!
Here’s our list of 5 jaw-dropping places to explore for your Olympic National Park wedding:
Eloping in the lush Hoh Rainforest
If you’re looking for a magical, mystical, fairytale backdrop for your elopement, look no further than the Hoh Rainforest. Seriously, we’re pretty sure fairies, elves, and Sasquatch all live here. Not to mention the black bears, roosevelt elk, and moose that can be found roaming along the banks of the Hoh River (be sure to pack your binoculars). With twisting old-growth trees and curtains of moss draping down to the forest floor, the Hoh Rainforest is one of the lushest places in the world! A whopping 140+ inches of rain per year keeps the landscape green through every season, but our favorites are spring and fall to dodge the summer crowds.
Check out one of our favorite fall elopements in the Hoh Rainforest.
Frolicking among sea stacks on the Washington Coast
“La Push baby, it’s La Push.” – Twilight
There’s no better place to watch the sun set than on the wild west coast – we get the most insane sunsets out here on a clear day! Washington has so many epic coastal beaches to choose from, featuring towering sea stacks, ocean cliffs, caves, and driftwood galore. And moody weather makes everything so cinematic and ethereal, with fog swirling along the coastline. There’s a reason this area inspired the Twilight series, and there’s even a vampire-themed festival, museum, and shops in the nearby town of Forks for all you “twi-hard’s” to check out during your trip.
Here’s one of our favorite sunset elopements on the coast to give you some inspo!
Hiking in the Olympic Mountains
If you’re hoping to do some early-season hiking, Olympic National Park is the perfect place for it! While other national parks like Mt. Rainier and the North Cascades are still buried under snow well into July and August, the Olympic range tends to melt out a month or two earlier, revealing lush meadows, wildflowers, and epic 360-degree mountain views. From easy, paved loop trails to hellish rock scrambles up jagged peaks, there’s something for everyone 😉 We’ve done them all and can steer you in the right direction for your elopement day!
Pro tip: if you’re up for an early morning wake-up call, it’s definitely worth sacrificing a little sleep to catch sunrise up on the peaks, then heading out to the coast for sunset to experience two completely different landscapes in a single day.
Exploring the shores of Lake Crescent
If you want to concentrate your time on one area of Olympic National Park with minimal driving, Lake Crescent is a great option. With a deep blue lake, sandy beaches, mountain trails, waterfalls, and lush rainforest all within walking distance, it’s like a micro-version of the national park! And if you’re staying onsite at the Lake Crescent Lodge, you’ll have all the amenities you need for your trip (including a delicious restaurant and bar 😋). Lake Crescent is also our personal favorite location for elopements with guests because larger group sizes are allowed and it’s closer to the larger city of Port Angeles, so you’re not too far from civilization!
Getting sprayed by an iconic waterfall
Olympic National Park is famous for its waterfalls, and we have lots of favorites along Highway 101. From thundering rapids to delicate, tiered cascades, they come in all shapes and sizes around here. And in the spring and early summer, melting glaciers from up in the mountains make these falls go crazyyyy! As long as you aren’t afraid of getting a little wet, there are a few spots where you can get close enough to feel the spray. And on a rainy day, a waterfall hike is always a great bet because the rain only makes things better ❤️
Your Olympic National Park elopement photographer is the most important decision
We’ve planned and photographed 200+ elopements in Washington state and travel to Olympic National Park multiple times per year – we are Olympic National Park elopement photography and planning experts.
Whether you’re a Washington local or you’re traveling to our beautiful state for the first time, working with a photographer you can trust to do justice in capturing you in this wildly beautiful landscape is so important! Our entire team lives here in WA and we’ve all spent a ton of time exploring every nook and cranny of Olympic National Park, so you’ll be able to lean on us for our expertise to plan the best possible day.
Everything you need to know ABOUT planning your Olympic National Park wedding
Keep these pro tips in mind when planning out your Olympic National Park elopement:
What is the best month to elope in Olympic National Park?
Our favorite times to elope in Olympic National Park are May, June, July, and October.
While Olympic National Park is an incredible year-round destination, we love dodging the rainy winter months and crowded summer months by visiting in early summer and fall. In May and June, the waterfalls are pumping and everything is lush and green, making it the perfect timeframe for a forested/coastal elopement. For hiking elopements, July is prime time because the trails are melted out and the wildflowers are blooming all across the mountaintops, which is so incredible to witness (especially at sunrise or sunset). After taking a break from the crowds in August and September, we return again in October to catch some fall colors and fog along the coast! The moody, mystical vibes make it a great destination for a Halloween elopement as well 👻
How much does it cost to elope in Olympic National Park?
The average couple spends $5,000 – $15,000 on their Olympic National Park elopement.
Olympic National Park is one of the more affordable places to elope in the US because Special Use Permit fees are low and there are lots of budget hotels, cabins, and Airbnbs available. The total cost of the elopement varies greatly based on how elaborate you want it to be and how many guests you’re inviting, but here’s a breakdown of what to expect:
Photographer: $5,000-10,000 | Hair & Makeup $500-1,000 | Flowers $500-800 | Officiant $600-1,200 | Marriage License $69 | Special Use Permit $50-100 | Lodging $200-1,200 | Flights & Car $500-1,400
How do you legally get married in Olympic National Park?
A marriage license is required and a Special Use Permit is required to elope in the national park.
Washington State Marriage License:
You need an officiant to marry you and 2 witnesses to sign your marriage license. You must apply for your marriage license at least 3 days before your elopement because there is a 3 day waiting period after the license is issued. The application is $69. You can apply in person or online.
Special Use Permit:
A Special Use Permit is required to get married in Olympic National Park. The application is $50-100 depending on group size. There are also specific locations that are designated for larger weddings – if you need any help or guidance on this, our team is well-versed with the permit application process to help all of our couples each year!
Olympic National Park elopement packages and FAQ's
To elope in Olympic National Park you need to obtain a Special Use Permit and a Washington State Marriage License. You can apply for a marriage license online on the King County website for $69. You can apply for a permit on the Olympic National Park website, and costs range from $50-100 depending on the group size.
You are required to obtain a Special Use Permit to get married in, have a ceremony, or have a gathering in the Hoh Rainforest. You can apply for a permit with Olympic National Park through their website.
It costs $50-100 for a Special Use Permit and $69 for a Washington state marriage license. Including lodging, transportation, photographer, and other elopement vendors, couples typically spend $5,000-15,000 for their entire elopement in Olympic National Park.
See more Olympic National Park elopements
Here are inside peeks at some of the days we’ve created and photographed with our couples for their Olympic National Park weddings. This is a great way to get a feel for our Olympic National Park elopement photography, where to elope in Olympic National Park, and what full day adventure elopements look like!
Want us to photograph your Olympic National Park elopement?
Hope you found our tips on eloping in Olympic National Park helpful! As you can see, we LOVE talking about elopements and the lush, fairytale landscapes Olympic National Park has to offer. If you’re considering eloping in Washington, don’t hesitate to reach out for a free planing call with us!
-Brandon, Gabi, Hannah, and Zoe