seattle elopement photographer

Whether you’re a local to Puget Sound or you’re in love with the idea of eloping here from afar, Seattle has a lot to offer couples looking for the perfect mix of easy access, a variety of amenities, waterfront locations, and true PNW vibes. Although there are dozens of amazing epic elopement locations across Washington state, you can also have a beautiful outdoor ceremony without ever leaving the city.

So we’ve put together this guide below to help you bring your personalized Seattle elopement plans to life!

Washington state is one of the most popular regions in the US for outdoor elopements, and it’s no surprise. Between the mountain views of the Cascades and Olympics, the iconic Mount Rainier, as well as dozens of waterfalls, hundreds of mossy forest trails, and the Washington State Ferry system, there is something to love about this place for everyone. And if you want to stay close to Seattle for your elopement day, there are a lot of perks:

  1. The weather in Seattle is overall “mild” year-round compared to other regions in the US, especially in winter. Snow is quite rare in the city, and although winter is the “wet season” here, there are many days between December and March when you can still have decent temperatures (40-50 degrees) and overcast skies without getting soaked or freezing in cold weather. This makes it a great option to elope in the winter for anyone who doesn’t want snow and for anyone doesn’t mind a little gray cloud cover.
  2. Seattle is an easy-to-access destination from nearly every other major airport in the US. Even places as far out east as Florida now have direct flights to/from Sea-Tac airport!
  3. Seattle is a beautiful option for anyone looking to have a water-centric elopement day. Puget sound, Lake Washington, nearby waterfalls, and, yes, even the rain, make this a great place to elope for anyone who loves water. It’s a big reason why we love it here so much!
  4. The local parks in Seattle can sometimes feel a world away from the rest of the big city life. Just take a stroll into a place like the Washington Park Arboretum, and you just might forget you’re still in the heart of Seattle.
  5. You can easily turn your Seattle elopement into a 2 or 3-day adventure, by combining it with a drive up to the North Cascades or out to Mount Rainier, also known to the locals and tribal nations here as Mount Tahoma. This makes it a top choice for those who want both urban amenities (think: celebrating at a local distillery or downtown rooftop on your wedding night) and outdoor adventures like hiking, kayaking, and swimming.
  6. Seattle is also a popular place for activities like flying on a sea-plane or renting a private boat ride. No hiking or sweating required!
  7. Bonus: while you can’t always guarantee it, you’d also have the chance to see some great wildlife in Puget Sound, like sea otters, sea lions, and even orcas and humpback whales!
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A step-by-step guide to eloping in Seattle:

  1. Select a date/season. Remember that while Seattle is easy for elopements at any time of the year, the scenery may feel quite different from one season to another. Dreaming of some potential springtime blooms and cherry blossoms? Aim for mid/late March through the first week or two of April. Summertime weather is mostly dry and sunny between late May/early June through September, and fall colors really shine in October and early November. If you’re okay with gray overcast days and rain, consider the “off-season” of November through February/March.
  2. Find and select your elopement vendors. We’re an elopement photography and videography team based in Washington, and would love to help bring your Seattle elopement vision to life. Other great vendors to consider include: an elopement officiant, a hair/makeup artist, a local florist, and any other unique ideas you’d like to integrate in your wedding day (musicians, bakery, food vendors, etc.).
  3. Reserve lodging and/or transportation if you’ll be visiting us from somewhere else.
  4. Obtain any potential permits you might need. Some locations don’t require a permit, but others do. You’ll want to double check if your dream elopement location requires one, so that you can handle that in advance. Many of the locations listed below are managed by the City of Seattle, so you’ll want to reach out through the Parks and Recreation department here for more info on the permit process.
  5. Get your marriage license. If you’re local to Washington, this is a pretty easy process you can start several days before your elopement day. For anyone not familiar with the area, Seattle is located in King County, and you can find all the details to obtain a marriage license online here. There is a 3-day waiting period required between obtaining your license and when your ceremony is allowed to occur, and the license expires within 60 days if not completed by then. There is a $69 application fee for licenses with King County, and is good for ceremony locations anywhere in the state. Keep in mind they are open only Mondays through Fridays, and excluding some major holidays.

Starting with our favorites at the top. And they’re all right here in the heart of the city.

washington park arboretum elopement photos

Washington Park Arboretum

By far one of our favorite locations for elopements in Seattle is the Washington Park Arboretum, co-managed by the City of Seattle and University of Washington.

There are so many great spots within this 200+ acre park, including several trails in a small forest, cherry blossom trees in spring, red Japanese maple trees in autumn, and a whole lot of greenery. It’s the perfect place for elopements pretty much in any season.

ferry ride seattle

On a Washington State Ferry

The Washington State Ferry system here runs quite often throughout the day, and there are a couple great scenic routes that leave from downtown Seattle. If you head west on a ferry towards Bainbridge or Bremerton, you can have a great view of the downtown skyline on the stern (the rear) of the boat, or on the bow (front) on your way back east from these locations.

Best part? It’s an affordable way to get out on the water without having to rent your own boat, and no extra permit required if you’re eloping just the two of you.

Volunteer Park

Volunteer Park is one of the oldest parks in the city, and a beautiful place to elope, especially if you rent out the Conservatory. This historic Victorian-style greenhouse is available for rent only after operating hours through Seattle Parks and Recreation, but could be well worth it, especially if you’re looking for a dry location during winter!

Alki Beach

Quite possibly one of our favorite local gems for elopements and small weddings is just a hop away from Seattle on Alki Beach. You can even take a ferry from downtown to West Seattle for a very short ride across the bay!

And if you’re wanting a mini reception with guests, there are a couple great waterfront options you and your guests will love:

Alki Beach Park Bathhouse Lawn Outdoor Space

Salty’s on Alki Beach

Discovery Park

If you love the outdoors but want something very easy to access and close to the metro area, we highly recommend checking out Discovery Park. Managed by the city of Seattle, this park has over 500 acres to explore (making it the largest city park in Seattle!), with plenty of views overlooking Puget Sound. From Magnolia Bluff, you can see wide open views of the water, the Cascade and Olympic mountains, meadows, and wildlife — all of which make for a beautiful, local backdrop for your elopement. And for a bonus: you’ll also get to see the West Point Lighthouse! Be ready to hike though, since all the trails here lead out from either the East or North parking lots, requiring a 1-4 mile hike depending on where you go.

Lake Washington

Want to be on the water with potential Mount Rainier views? Lake Washington might be a great choice! There are dozens of great private boat rentals, including boats that allow events and small groups if you’re inviting guests. Or opt to elope at one of the parks along the shores of the lake, or on a boat dock facing a view of Rainier.

Seward Park

Seward Park is a 300+ acre park within Seattle city limits with old growth forest, a bike trail, an amphitheater, gardens, cherry blossom trees, hiking trails, and a boat launch on the shore of Lake Washington.

Golden Gardens Park

Located right on the water, Golden Gardens Park features a beach and wetlands along the coast of Puget Sound (and on a clear day, views out to the Olympic mountains!). It’s a much quieter park option with fewer visitors than some others in the area, especially if you opt for eloping on a weekday.

And if you want to celebrate with a small celebration with guests, you can even rent out the Golden Gardens Bathhouse, a small venue with brick walls and an industrial vibe. Located right by the beach at Golden Gardens park!

Kerry Park

By far one of the most iconic views of downtown Seattle (and sometimes Mt. Rainier on a clear day) is from Kerry Park, located in the historic Queen Anne neighborhood.

This place can be pretty packed any day of the week, so it’s often best for elopements in the off-season (Nov-March) and on non-holiday weekday mornings.

Downtown Seattle

Several buildings, like apartment/condos, restaurants, and hotels feature accessible rooftops in downtown Seattle, which might be just the urban elopement vibe you’re looking for. Or for other unique backdrops near downtown, consider the industrial look of Gas Works Park, or the artistic structures of the Olympic Sculpture Garden.

Seattle Elopement Photography Packages

  • Up to 2 hours of photography coverage
  • Optional video recording of your vows included
  • Exclusive access to our planning guide
  • Any of the 10 locations listed above in Seattle
  • High resolution images + online gallery included
  • Professional retouching on your gallery images
  • Print release for digital downloads
  • Exclusively offered for dates less than 3 months out
  • No surprise fees ever

available for only 2000

  • 4+ hours of photography and/or videography coverage
  • Exclusive access to our planning guide
  • Unlimited planning assistance with us
  • Anywhere in Washington, including Mount Rainier or Olympic NP!
  • High resolution images + online gallery included
  • Professional retouching on your gallery images
  • Highlight film and other add-ons for video packages
  • Print release for digital downloads
  • Free album design included
  • Available for booking up to 18 months in advance
  • No surprise fees ever

starting at 3500

These locations below are all within a couple hours of Seattle, making it super easy for you to do in one day! These options are all great for larger 4-6+ hour elopement packages that include travel anywhere in Washington.

Rattlesnake Lake engagement photos seattle

Rattlesnake Lake

Only 30 miles east of Seattle, the Rattlesnake Lake Recreation Area is perfect for any elopements that involve boating, swimming, picnics, or hiking. We love the combination of lake and mountain views here, and think the old tree stumps and rocks create such a beautiful, moody and dreamy vibe you’ll love!

Want a view from above and looking for a bigger adventure? Consider hiking up the 4+ miles roundtrip to Rattlesnake Ledge!

Deception Pass State Park Elopement + Wedding Guide

Deception Pass State Park

The awe-inspiring coastal coves and cliffs, plus the general variety of the scenery make Deception Pass State Park a great place to elope in Washington. With lakes, beaches, and forests, there’s something for everyone.

fort ebey state park

Ebey’s Landing, Whidbey Island

Located less than 2 hours from Seattle via a ferry ride to the south or a drive around through Anacortes to the north, Ebey’s Landing is a beautiful coastal region with a tall sliding cliffside.

There’s also a neighboring state park here, Ft. Ebey State Park, with plenty of campground spaces and tall evergreen trees to get the perfect mix of PNW forest and water views.

Franklin Falls

Located in the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. Franklin Falls is a popular elopement option for those who don’t want a long hike uphill, since it’s only 2 miles roundtrip, with less than 400 feet of elevation gain. Be ready to get a bit wet, though, since the spray from the waterfall creates a wide cloud of mist in the surrounding area.

Point Defiance, Tacoma

Up for a short drive from Seattle down south to Tacoma? Point Defiance Park is hands-down one of the best parks in Puget Sound, with a variety of unique backdrops along the water as well as in the forest along one of their many hiking and walking trails.

Gold Creek Pond, Snoqualmie Pass

Gold Creek Pond has such great views of the surrounding mountains and is really more like a small lake than a pond.

The water is such a pretty crystal-clear blue, and the loop trail around the lake is ADA-accessible, making it a fantastic elopement location option especially if you have any older guests or kids joining you on your elopement day.

Lake 22

For another hiking elopement location not too far from Seattle, consider heading out to Lake 22. This moderate 5.4 mile hike has an elevation gain of about 1300 feet, but the views can be well worth it. You might even find more seclusion and privacy on weekday mornings, when it can feel pretty quiet and intimate.

TreeHouse Point

One of the most unique venues in Washington also offers elopement packages! 

TreeHouse Point is in Fall City, a town about 30-40 minutes outside of Seattle, and features custom-made treehouses in a mini forested “resort” that is the true PNW vibes you might be seeking.

Their elopement package includes a 2-night stay, and there are plenty of photo opportunities on site, including down by the river or among the ferns and tall trees.

Looking for more Washington Elopement Inspiration?

Check out our in-depth PNW Elopement Guide for inspiration and step-by-step planning tips to bring your elopement day to life!

Download our free guide to eloping in the Pacific Northwest!
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