If you’re considering an Olympic National Park elopement, look no further for some ideas and inspiration to get you started.
I think the Olympic Peninsula is one of the most magical areas in the Pacific Northwest. I’ve had the joy of seeing so many couples, friends, and family members fall absolutely in love with this corner of the country. Once you’ve experienced it, it’s easy to understand why!
One of the best things about the Olympic Peninsula is how diverse it is in its natural landscapes. From mountain peaks to rainforest, and coastline to turquoise lakes – it truly has it all.
There’s no “right way” to go about planning an elopement here. There are SO many options of locations to visit and experience, it’s hard to go wrong. I’m just here to offer a few different ideas to consider so you can make the absolute most of your Olympic National Park elopement.
On the Olympic Peninsula, you have a unique opportunity to experience all types of Pacific Northwest scenery. Take advantage of it! Even if you don’t have an entire day to dedicate to photos, that are certain spots within Olympic National Park where you can easily access several magical locations. Around Lake Crescent, for example, you can experience a gorgeous turquoise lake and majestic waterfalls, and also reach Hurricane Ridge in under an hour.
And if you do have the opportunity to spend more time with a professional photographer, you won’t regret it. You’ll have even more chances to experience completely different parts of Olympic National Park. Definitely consider asking your photographer about all the different packages they offer or whether you can add on photography time.
Hurricane Ridge is one of the most breathtaking spots in all of Washington State. In my opinion, part of its appeal is there’s a limited amount of time each year to enjoy its natural beauty. Something about that makes it even more special when you do have the chance to visit. Because it’s nestled high-up in the mountains, Hurricane Ridge gets a LOT of snow, which sometimes doesn’t completely melt until summer. But once the road opens (usually in May) and you can safely drive to the top, you might be able to experience a springtime winter-wonderland.
Just because you’re eloping doesn’t mean you have to forego a special celebration meal. You can find a picnic area in the park or host an intimate meal at your accommodations (always checking with your host first to make sure it’s ok). There are so many ways to go about it and get creative. I’ve worked with couples who’ve hosted a celebration lunch before hiking to their ceremony location, and other couples that have ended their special day with a sunset picnic.
You can find some truly magical flowers growing in the Pacific Northwest, and the Olympic Peninsula is no exception. There are a number of flower farms in the Port Angeles area where you can source local and seasonal blooms for a bouquet or pretty table arrangements. Graystone Farm, River’s Edge Farmstead, Farm and Flower, and Fullness of Joy are just a few!
Lake Crescent usually isn’t the first spot that comes to mind for an Olympic National Park elopement, but it definitely shouldn’t be overlooked. Lake Crescent is a crystal-clear, turquoise lake that you just have to see for yourself. There are a number of picnic areas around the lake that make for the perfect spot for a celebratory lunch. Plus, most of the trails are flat and very walkable if you have any loved ones that aren’t up for a more strenuous hike. If you’re visiting Hurricane Ridge, Lake Crescent is an easy detour that you won’t regret.
As you travel across the Olympic Peninsula you’ll encounter some really fun small towns like Sequim, Port Townsend, and Forks. You can add unique touches to your special day and support local economies at the same time. Whether it’s purchasing baked goods, ciders or beer, or specialty coffee to start off your elopement day – there are so many opportunities to incorporate some local goodness.
If you only have a limited amount of time to celebrate your Olympic National Park elopement and can’t make it through all the “big” destinations, consider stopping by other local parks. There are a lot of lovely, smaller parks around the peninsula that get overshadowed by the national park. If you don’t have time to hit the mountains and the big coastal destinations, for example, take advantage of a smaller beach park to get those waterfront photos.
The Olympic Peninsula is home to an expansive temperate rainforest, and unsurprisingly the region sees a lot of rain. Even in the summer, you can expect cooler weather and frequent drizzles along with the bright sunny days. Do yourself a favor and dress accordingly! If you’re going to spend your elopement day in the great outdoors, you’ll want to be comfortable. Hiking boots and raincoats are all part of the experience of a Pacific Northwest elopement!
You’re in one of the most beautiful corners of the country. Don’t forget to take moments throughout the day to appreciate being together in such a special place. It’s easy for a wedding day to go by in a blur, so whenever you can, pause, take a breath, and enjoy the moment.
I hope these ideas have offered some inspiration for your Olympic National Park elopement planning! If you’re looking for more practical advice, check out our post with tips for a successful Washington State elopement.
And if you’re feeling stuck or overwhelmed at any point, we absolutely love helping couples craft an amazing elopement experience. Learn more about how we can help, or schedule your discovery call so we can chat and get you on track.