Couple in wedding clothes walking in front of mountains in article on how to elope in Washington state

How to Elope in Washington State

You're Guide to Eloping in Washington!

This guide is for you! My goal for this guide is to help get you started on the path of planning your own dream elopement in one of the most beautiful places in the United States!

Let's go!

bride stands on rock on a moody beach in a dirty dress at Washington elopement in Olympic national park

If you love mountains, beaches, forests, killer food, and an all around incredible vibe, (and if you don't love all of those things, WHY NOT?!?) Washington state might just be the perfect place for you to elope.

Washington truly has it all – and with a major airport in Seattle it’s all pretty easy to get to. If you’re wondering how to elope in Washington State, this is for you!

As an adventure elopement photographer specializing in personal elopements in wild places in Iceland and the western U.S., I know a thing or two about how to put together an incredible elopement. I designed this guide to help get you understand how to elope in Washington State and get started down the path to the elopement of your dreams!

Is Washington State a Good Place to Elope?

how to get married in washington

While every state has different rules for obtaining a marriage license, getting married in Washington is pretty straightforward. To get your marriage license in Washington you need to apply 3 or more days before your elopement. If you won’t be in Washington three days before your elopement, you can apply online and have your certificate mailed to you (just don’t forget to bring it with!).

When is the best time of year to elope in Washington?

Honestly, that kind of depends on what you want! Washington is beautiful and has magic year round. If moody, classic PNW vibes are your jam, then shoot for then late fall through spring is what you want.

If you’re dreaming of better weather, hiking, and patches of wild blackberries, summer and early fall are for you. Winter in the mountains has its own snowy beauty and is something straight out of a fairytale.

Do you need an officiant to get married in Washington?

Do you need witnesses to get married in Washington?

Yes! In Washington you need two witnesses to sign your marriage license. Pro tip: If you are not bringing any guests to your elopement, simply ask your photographer(s) or any random hikers you see to be your witness! You’ll probably make their day!

Yes! While some other states (like Colorado) allow you to self-solemnize (i.e. get married with no officiant!), Washington is not one of those states. You need an officiant to elope in Washington (but don’t worry, I can recommend some awesome ones!)!

How to Elope in Washington

Choose Your Washington Elopement Photographer

Regardless of where you'd decide to elope, choosing your elopement photographer should be one of the VERY first things you do (and I don't say that just because I AM one)! Your photographer will help you with everything from choosing locations to creating a timeline to hiring other vendors. I always recommend bringing your photographer on ASAP. They'll help you build your day and the rest of your team!


Choose Your Location

If you don't already know where in Washington you want to elope, your photographer can help! Washington has everything from beaches to rainforests to mountains and you really can't go wrong! Once you have your location selected it's time to ….


Hire Any Other Vendors

Once you have a location nailed down it's time to bring on any other folks you want to be a part of your team. This could include an officiant, hair and makeup, florals, chef, etc. Or it could include no one at all.


wedding dress hanging from front of cabin at north cascades national park elopement in washington

Book Your Lodging

Once you have an idea of where you want to elope in Washington it's time to find an awesome place to stay! For the best photos I always recommend a spot with tons of natural light.

Click here to see a list of rental properties that would be perfect for your Washington elopement!


Have the best damn day of your life!

This day is going to FLY so be sure to take the time to breathe and soak it all in! You are getting married in one of the most beautiful place in the U.S. and you are doing it in a way that is unique and true to you! Celebrate the hell out of all of it!


Best Places to Elope in Washington

North Cascades National Park

Hoh Rainforest, Olympic National Park

Artist Point, Mt Baker

Mt Rainier National Park

La Push Beach

Diablo Lake

Ruby Beach

Madison Falls

Franklin Falls

Gold Creek Pond

Fire Lookouts

…. and many more!

Meet your Washington Elopement Photographer!

Hi! I'm Jen Dz!

I'm an adventure elopement and intimate wedding photographer and planner who helps kick ass couples have unforgettable days in some of the most beautiful places on Earth!

I'd love to chat with you about your elopement – get in touch using the link below!

Availability Update 8/16/23: I currently booking through September 2024. I have a few spots available in Washington in October, 2023 – Ask me about them!

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