A Guide to Olympic National Park Elopements

November 15, 2023

If you’re dreaming of an elopement surrounded by the breathtaking beauty of the Pacific Northwest, Olympic National Park is a gem that offers a stunning array of backdrops, from lush rainforests and alpine meadows to rugged coastlines and serene lakes. We have put this guide together just for you, and it’s full of allll the information you will need for your elopement day.

Table of Contents

Specific Locations to Get Married Within the Park

Olympic National Park offers a variety of stunning locations for your elopement ceremony.

Please note that Olympic National Park does not allow exclusive use of any area and there will be regular visitor activity during your ceremony. However, people are generally super kind and tend to leave space for couples who are getting married!

Hurricane Ridge: Panoramic mountain views that are perfect for a sunset ceremony.
Hoh Rain Forest: Enchanting old-growth trees create a fairytale setting.
Ruby Beach: Dramatic sea stacks and the sound of ocean waves for a coastal elopement.
Lake Crescent: Crystal-clear waters and mountain vistas offer a serene ambiance.

Permit Requirements for Olympic National Park

To have a wedding in Olympic National Park, you need a Special Use Permit. As of 2024, the permit fee is $50 and is only required for elopements with more than 5 people total (including the two of you, your photographer, videographer, and officiant, but policies can change, so be sure to check the latest on the National Park Service website. The application must be submitted no less than four weeks before your elopement, but I recommend getting it sorted as soon as you have your date to avoid any hiccups.

Venues Near the Park

While Olympic National Park itself offers stunning natural settings for your elopement, there are also several nearby venues that can serve as a base for your event or provide additional options for celebrating before or after your ceremony. Here are a few popular venues:

1. Fern Acres: This venue offers Twilight-inspired elopements and it truly looks JUST like Bella and Edward’s wedding.

2. Lake Crescent Lodge: Nestled right by the lake, offering a dreamy backdrop.

3. Red Cedar Farm: A rustic, barn-style venue with a cozy atmosphere, located a short drive from the park.

Where to Stay

Olympic National Park and the surrounding area offer a range of accommodations, from hotels and motels to vacation rentals and retreats. Here are a few options to consider for your stay:

1. Port Angeles Inn: A quaint inn with stunning views of the Olympic Mountains and the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

2. Airbnbs: There are numerous vacation rental options in Olympic and the nearby communities, ranging from cozy cabins to stylish modern homes with stunning views.

3. Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort: Ideal for a relaxing retreat before or after your big day.

Weather Throughout the Year and Best Time to Elope

Olympic National Park is the ONLY National Park in Washington that is open year round, making it a wonderful place to elope or visit no matter the season.

Olympic National Park experiences a typical PNW climate, so rain is a possibility year-round. Embracing the Pacific Northwest’s misty charm can add the most beautiful moody touch to your wedding photos. Here’s a general overview of the weather through the year.

Olympic National Park’s weather can be unpredictable as with most locations within the PNW, so flexibility is key. The summer months (July to September) offer the warmest temperatures and the least rainfall, making it the best time to elopement for most couples. However, the park’s distinct beauty shines through in every season, so choose what feels right for you. If you’re up for a winter wonderland, the snowy scenes can be utterly magical, just be prepared for chillier temperatures and possible access issues due to snow.

Fall brings vibrant colors and often milder weather, but rain is more frequent — the rainforest truly comes to life during this season. Spring can be lovely with blooming wildflowers and less crowded sites, though it can also be more wet.

Sample Elopement Timeline for a Full Day Elopement

Here’s how a relaxed yet adventurous full-day elopement might unfold in Olympic National Park:

Morning: Getting Ready Together

– 6:00 AM: Wake up in a cozy cabin, brew some coffee, and enjoy a light breakfast together.
– 6:30 AM: Start getting ready, help each other dress up, and share a few quiet moments before the day begins.
– 8:00 AM: Head out to your first location for an intimate first look as the park wakes up.

Mid-Morning: Private Ceremony

– 9:00 AM: Arrive at your ceremony spot, like the mystical Hoh Rain Forest, where the morning light filters through the canopy.
– 9:30 AM: Exchange vows surrounded by the ancient trees, with just the sounds of nature as your soundtrack.

Late Morning: Celebratory Brunch

– 10:30 AM: Enjoy a picnic brunch in a secluded spot, maybe near a babbling brook or with a view of the mountains.

Afternoon: Adventure and Photos

– 12:00 PM: Set off for an adventure through the park. This could be a hike to a waterfall, a stroll along the beach, or a quiet canoe ride on Lake Crescent.
– 2:00 PM: Capture candid and posed photos throughout your journey, ensuring you have memories to last a lifetime.

Late Afternoon: Sunset Moments

– 4:00 PM: Relax and freshen up at your accommodation or a local hot spring.
– 6:00 PM: Head to Hurricane Ridge for a breathtaking sunset photoshoot, where the alpenglow lights up the sky and mountains.

Evening: Intimate Dinner and Celebration

– 8:00 PM: End the day with a private chef-prepared meal at your cabin or a local restaurant with ambiance.
– 9:30 PM: Share dances, laughs, and possibly a campfire under the stars, reflecting on your perfect day.

Remember, your elopement is about you and your love story. This timeline is just a starting point; feel free to shape the day to your desires. Whether you crave more adventure or moments of quiet connection, Olympic National Park provides the canvas for an unforgettable experience.

Olympic National Park Elopement Packages

Has this guide convinced to you elope in Olympic National Park yet?! If so, it’s time to start planning! Lucky for you, we’re big PNW lovers who are ready to help you plan and document the elopement of your dreams!

Here’s what we offer:

  • Packages ranging from 3 hours to full day coverage
  • Digital + 35mm photographs
  • Digital + Super 8 video
  • a 90+ page elopement planning guide
  • Pre-wedding consultations
  • All travel is included

Check out our full pricing and package information here!

 head due north