Washington state park elopement guide

Eloping in the Pacific Northwest is perfect for couples who want a moody, ethereal vibe for their ceremony. The landscape of Washington has so many stunning views to choose from, that it’s almost impossible to pick just one location for your elopement!

We think eloping in a Washington state park is a smart choice for people who want all of the views without the crowds of some of the well-known national parks in the area. A bonus? Eloping in a state park is usually cheaper, so you can save that money or spend it on other things to make your day even more special.

Can you get married at state parks in Washington?

Yes! Several state parks in Washington have dedicated spaces for weddings and elopements. Always check with the park to get the most up-to-date information on event spaces, permits, fees, and restrictions.

As with any outdoor activity, be sure to practice Leave No Trace principles to keep the area clean and thriving for other park visitors.

Reasons to Have an Elopement or Wedding in a State Park instead of a National Park

There are a variety of reasons why you might want to elope in a Washington state park instead of a national park, including:

  • They’re often less crowded than national parks.
  • You can sometimes save money on the entrance fee, special use permit fees, and/or reservation or event fee costs.
  • You can often find a scenic location closer to home.
  • While you can’t bring dogs to most national parks (you can check out our dog-friendly elopement guide for a few that do!), most state parks have trails and campgrounds that do allow dogs.

State parks are one of the top destinations we list in our list of great alternatives to eloping in a national park, and we’ve compiled a list of the best Washington state parks for an unforgettable elopement. Once you choose your park, take some time to hike around and pick out your favorite spots, then ask a park ranger if it’s covered by your permit.

Please note: For up-to-date information on permits, fees, and rules/regulations, be sure to contact the state park directly through their official phone number or email.

Cape Disappointment State Park

You don’t have to head all the way to Oregon for dramatic cliffsides and small hidden beaches! Located on the southwestern most point of Washington is Cape Disappointment, which features two historic lighthouses (one of which allows you to go inside!), a few beautiful sandy beaches, wide open ocean views, and even the option to stay in the historic lighthouse keeper’s lodge. It’s a dreamy option for a coastal elopement in the PNW.

The North Head Lighthouse is available for wedding/elopement reservations between September 16 – June 14 for up to 25 guests at $1000 plus tax for up to one hour.

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.

Manchester State Park

Manchester State Park is a historic location that features a very unique picnic shelter in a former torpedo warehouse, making it a great location even for a larger group! Reservations for the picnic shelter are available for approximately $200-300 for dates between April 1 and Oct 31, fits up to 150 guests, and dogs are allowed. However keep in mind that parking is located in the day use area and is shared with other shelters and day use visitors, so carpooling is recommended, and check out is required an hour before dusk. At this park, there’s also over 100 acres of forested areas to explore, and even a small beachfront!

grotto st edward state park wedding venue

The Grotto at St. Edward State Park

Want something very central to the city and urban areas, but in a quiet outdoor location? The Grotto is a reservable space inside Saint Edward State Park, and can seat up to 120 people. It features a small lawn with ferns next to the stone grotto, and two stone stairways that lead down to the ceremony space. It’s one of my favorite options right in the heart of the Seattle metro area!

Reservations for the Grotto can’t be made online, but you can call (425) 832-2147 for reservation info. You could even combine it with a reception at The Lodge at Saint Edward, which also offers overnight accommodations!

lodge at saint edward state park wedding venue

The Lodge at St. Edward State Park

Whether you love the idea of a state park wedding with overnight lodging, or you simply want a unique historic location in a scenic place, The Lodge at Saint Edward might just be the spot.

Although it’s within the state park boundaries, the Lodge itself is managed separately, so you’ll want to reach out to the Lodge directly for wedding information and reservations.

Camano Island State Park

A wide open beach, cliffsides covered in evergreen trees, a shoreline lined with driftwood and views of the Sound? Count us in!

Camano Island State Park is truly a wonderful local gem. The North Beach meadow, Lowell Point kitchen shelter, and amphitheater can be reserved for weddings.

The park even offers campsites for tent and small RV camping, as well as a few on-site cabins!

fort ebey state park

Fort Ebey State Park

If you take a short drive south from Deception Pass, you’ll find Fort Ebey State Park, located right by Ebey’s Landing. This 651-acre park features a historic fort, but what’s most impressive are the astounding views of the cliffs, rocky beaches, and hillsides covered in green fields and evergreen trees.

There is a campground here (including a group camp site that accommodates up to 60 people!), as well as picnic shelters, tables, and some beautiful trails. On a clear day, you can even see across Puget Sound out to the Olympic mountains! You’ll want to ask the park rangers about potential options to host your elopement or small wedding here.

Dash Point State Park

Located in Tacoma, this little gem of a state park is perfect for a local elopement spot in the city while still offering a serene outdoor setting.

Dash Point has a handful of great forested trails with moss-covered trees, running creeks, old bridges, and lots of greenery, as well as an open beach area with picnic tables, large driftwood, and a few fire pits. The campground also features an amphitheater for the park’s seasonal events, although you may be able to contact the park to ask about hosting a ceremony there for weddings.

Ocean City State Park

Looking for a dog-friendly beach option that allows you to drive out onto the sand? Ocean City State Park has a few nice campground spaces and walkable beach access, and the city’s beach access points to the south of the state park even allow you to take your car out onto the beach!

This area is fairly remote, especially in the off-season between fall and spring, giving you lots of room to roam for your elopement and plenty of privacy. However, an alternative with more amenities is down in Long Beach (the world’s longest drivable beach!) which is just north of Cape Disappointment, one of our personal favorites for elopements.

Peshastin Pinnacles State Park

Peshastin Pinnacles State Park is known for its towering sandstone rock formations — perfect for those who love rock climbing. If you elope in this state park, you’re sure to catch an incredible sunset view of the Wenatchee River.

Riverside State Park

Close to Spokane, Riverside State Park offers any outdoor activity you can imagine, including biking, hiking, fishing, horseback riding, and more. Rivers, lakes, marshes, and wildlife make for a serene elopement setting.

Palouse Falls State Park

Palouse Falls State Park is one of those dreamy places you can’t seem to visit just once. The tall stretches of basalt and tumbling waterfall make for an otherworldly elopement landscape. Palouse Falls was actually named Washington’s state waterfall in 2014. Parking is limited, so get there early!

Lake Chelan State Park

Eloping in Lake Chelan State Park gives you a scenic view of the crystal blue lake and the mountains on the horizon. It’s the perfect base camp to kick back and relax, enjoy hikes in the North Cascades, or explore the nearby wineries and breweries.

Larrabee State Park

Enjoy picturesque views of Samish Bay and the San Juan Islands from Larrabee State Park. There are plenty of spots to enjoy the peaceful seaside and find romantic solitude on the expansive coast for your elopement. They have two reservable picnic shelters, one that allows up to 50 people, and another with the capacity up to 100, which make for a great afternoon/early evening picnic style reception. You can reserve these group sites online in advance, and you might be able to ask the park about using the first-come first-serve amphitheater for a ceremony there as well.

Lake Wenatchee State Park

Choosing Lake Wenatchee State Park for your elopement gives you so many options. In the summer, enjoy paddling, swimming, windsurfing, and boating on the lake. In the winter, you can take advantage of the skiing, sledding, and snowshoe trails.

Bonus: It’s close to Leavenworth, Washington, the iconic Bavarian-inspired village that will make you feel like you’ve been transported to the alpine hills of Europe as soon as you arrive.

Costs to Keep in Mind for Your Washington State Park Elopement

No matter which park you choose, you’ll have to apply for a Special Activities Permit before you can say “I do.” This permit fee does not include the entrance fee, so make sure you take that into consideration, too.

Overall though, eloping in a state park is definitely less expensive than eloping in a national park (and even more so than a traditional venue!).

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Planning Your Washington State Park Elopement?

Skyewater Photo + Film is a photography and videography team that specializes in destination weddings and adventure elopements across Washington and the PNW. We also have plenty of other resources to help you plan your elopement, like our list of best places to elope in Washington.

Whether you’re looking for a meaningful wedding video or an adventurous elopement photographer, contact Skyewater Photo + Film for your big day!

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