Of all the amazing state parks in Washington, Deception Pass State Park is one of the most popular choices for elopements and small weddings. And for such great reasons! Between the epic Pacific Northwest coastal vibes, the variety of scenery for your portraits, and ease of access from the Seattle and Bellingham regions, there is a lot to love about Deception Pass.
It’s also one of our personal top choices to have an elopement or small wedding in Washington! We’ve collected some of the important details you’ll want to know if this location seems perfect for your big day. Check out our Deception Pass elopement and wedding guide below:
Step 1: Plan Ahead and Select a Date (or Season)
If you live in the PNW, you already know that winter and early spring is not the best time to plan an outdoor event here. Rain is nearly always on the forecast, and the cooler temps can just make your day feel less than ideal. We recommend planning in advance to book Deception Pass for your elopement or wedding day, especially for months between May and October.
Step 2: Contact Deception Pass State Park for Special Use Permits
Like most state parks, you’ll want to coordinate with the state park rangers to make sure that your ceremony can be hosted there. Keep in mind that parking is more limited in this park, so smaller events will be best here. The beach is spacious enough for several guests to join you, and plenty of room to bring some chairs should the park allow it.
For the easiest and least stressful way to plan an event here, get some local help from a planner like Whidbey Party Girls who can help you bring the whole vision together!
Step 3: Select a Spot for Your Wedding
There are so many great backdrops in the park’s 3,800+ acres and 77,000+ feet of shoreline that the options can feel pretty endless. We recommend hiking throughout the park to get a feel for which areas feel most right to you. Once you have a few spots that might work for your elopement, consult with the park ranger to determine what’s allowed under your permit. Certain locations may be better than others if you’re bringing guests.
For example, the Cornet Bay Retreat Center is a great option for those with larger guest counts, as it can accommodate up to 186 persons in 16 cabins and one duplex. Or, have a smaller ceremony at the park, followed by a larger reception at a nearby location, such as The Bluff on Whidbey.
Step 4: Find Your Wedding Vendors
It’s super important to work with people who already know the location well. Since we’ve already scouted the park and have photographed there before, this makes it much easier for us to show you some of our favorite locations for your elopement or wedding day portraits!
Additional Tips + Info for Deception Pass
You’ll want to keep in mind that the nearby Naval Air Station on Whidbey Island do occasionally fly over the region and the campground during training. This can mean that the jet noise can occur in the middle of your vows, so it’s okay if you need to pause until the noise is gone.
All state parks also require payments for parking, including for everyone who attends your event. There are automated pay stations for your guests to purchase a day pass if they don’t already have an annual state parks pass.
Get Inspired with These Deception Pass Elopement Photos
Work with Our Washington Elopement Photo + Video Team
Skyewater Photo + Film is a photography and videography team that specializes in destination weddings and adventure elopements all over the US. We’re also very familiar with Washington, since it’s one of our favorite places in the PNW to visit!
Whether you’re looking for a meaningful wedding video or an adventurous elopement photographer, contact Skyewater Photo + Film for your big day!
Also, if you need more inspiration for your elopement, consider checking out our list of best places to elope in Washington state!