Browse by category
A couple embraces on a mountain peak in the midst of a golden alpenglow as they exchange their vows. Moody Pacific Northwest elopement photo taken by adventure elopement photographer Adventure Instead.

Why You Should Elope in the Pacific Northwest (Washington, Oregon, Idaho)

Picking the perfect elopement location isn’t always easy.

Undoubtedly, you want to find a spot that’s not only beautiful but also meaningful to both of you – that, combined with the desire to find an exciting location to start your greatest adventure of all can sometimes seem like an enormous undertaking (or a huge adventure in itself).

Like many couples choosing a just us day, you probably desire a location that’s so perfect and fitting for the both of you that it almost seems magical — that’s where the PNW comes into play.

When it comes to elopement adventure locations, there are few places better in the U.S. than the Pacific Northwest. The Pacific Northwest, often just shortened to The PNW is comprised of a gorgeous collection of stunning states like Oregon, Washington, and sections of Idaho.

Couples who choose to elope in the Pacific Northwest are choosing more than just a location to say their vows. They’re also choosing adventure, exploration, and a vibe unique to this region of the United States, as well as entirely unique to them.

As self-proclaimed lovers of the PNW, we can’t help but get excited when recommending the Pacific Northwest to couples as an elopement location.

Not only are you able to choose among a variety of beautiful terrain — from snow-capped mountain peaks to mossy, old-growth forests — you’re also afforded plenty of adventure opportunities in the PNW (think swimming in alpine lakes, hot spring soaking, white water rafting, whale watching, and more).

The Pacific Northwest, to us, is pretty much pure magic for couples who bravely choose to have a just us day—but don’t just take our word for it, we have honest-to-goodness proof.

Check out what we mean:

Glaciers in Abundance

In case you didn’t know, Washington is one of the most glaciated states in the entire US, clocking in with about 3,100 glaciers.

Sure, it doesn’t beat Alaska (with about 100,000 glaciers), but it has quite a bit more than Glacier National Park, which claims just 25 glaciers.

Imagine it: you and your love helicoptering to a glacier, taking each other’s hands, stepping onto that glacier and into a new life together as you say your vows in a magical, once-in-a-lifetime location.

Unreal, right?

If glacier exploring is part of your elopement dream, then the PNW might be the perfect choice for your day.

Moody, Dreamy Feels

Waves crash against a large, craggy boulder off the coast of Oregon. Light shines through a narrow separation in the rock in this Pacific Northwest photo captured by adventure elopement photographer Adventure Instead.

Listen, they don’t call it the PNWonderland for no reason.

The Pacific Northwest has the perfect formula for moody feels mastered -- we’re talking misty rain, cool, foggy days, and natural, atmospheric tones that, quite seriously, need no filter.

Whether you want to say your vows on top of a snowy mountain, in the middle of a mossy forest, or standing on the rugged coast, you can bet that the PNW is going to deliver the moody, ethereal feels that you’ve always dreamed of.

Mountains Galore

The PNW is blessed with a wildly diverse landscape, but one of its most notable (and famous) features is its collection of mountain ranges.

Many of the distinct mountains are incredibly well-known —like Mount Rainier and Mt. Hood —but the PNW actually has four mountain ranges (the Cascade Range, the Coast Range, the Olympic Range, and parts of the Rocky Mountains) with hundreds of lesser-known areas, peaks, and trails tucked away

within them.

All of these mountain options mean infinite hikes and areas to explore, and it also means you’ll likely have front-row seats to that beautiful alpenglow you’ve always dreamed of.

A man in a light gray suit holds his his wife in his arms while standing in a meadow. The wife, in a lacy wedding dress, has her legs, equipped with hiking boots, wrapped around her husband’s waist as the two exchange their vows with snowy mountain peaks in the background. The tops of evergreen trees peak up from the bottom of this image, which was captured by Adventure Instead, a Pacific Northwest adventure elopement photographer.

Diverse Landscapes

Remember when we mentioned that the PNW is incredibly diverse? We weren’t kidding.

The PNW might be famous for its mountains (for good reason), but it’s so much more than that — you’ll find old growth forests, meadows overflowing with wildflowers, dozens of unique islands dotting the Puget Sound, hundreds of miles of rugged coastline, vibrant alpine lakes, and so much more.

All of this lives within the Pacific Northwest – it’s just waiting for you and your love to find it.

Endless Exploration

Whether you’re looking to discover evergreen forests or you crave the feeling of diving into massive, crystal clear lakes, there are infinite opportunities for exploration available in the PNW.

This is mostly courtesy of the sheer number of national parks and monuments in the area that you and your love are more than invited (and encouraged) to explore as a part of your elopement.

There are far too many to list out — we’re talking the Redwood National Park with towering, ancient forest scenery, Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve with massive tidewater glaciers, The North Cascades with snow-capped mountains, Olympic National Park with its three (three!) distinct

ecosystems, and more.

If it’s exploration you want, it’s almost guaranteed the Pacific Northwest will have it, and as experienced PNW guides, we’re more than happy to help you discover what your exploration can look like.

All Kinds of Adventures

Taking the step to elope and begin a life with the one you love is the biggest adventure of all – so why not add in a few more adventures to your elopement while you’re at it?

A man and a woman run toward the Oregon coastline. The woman bundles her white wedding dress in her hands as she races toward her husband in front of her, dressed in a dark suit. In the background, an enormous Oregon boulder towers above them and smaller, coastal rocks pepper the coast. This Pacific Northwest image was taken by PNW adventure elopement photographer Adventure Instead.

Want to whitewater raft in a Washington River? You can do that.

Do you dream of whale watching in the Puget Sound? You can do that, too.

What about skydiving in Snohomish? Backpacking the Wonderland Loop? Hot spring soaking in Idaho?

Done, done, and done.

No matter how action-packed you want your adventure to be (can you say caving at the Lava River Cave?) or how relaxing you want it (nothing says unwinding like sea kayaking in the San Juan Islands), the PNW has something fitting for everyone —the important thing is finding the adventure that makes your elopement day even more special.

Two brides, both in long wedding dresses, embrace on a wooded walkway with dark, old-growth trees towering around them. Thick, lush foliage, a common feature of the PNW, surrounds the couple in this photo captured by Pacific Northwest photographer Adventure Instead.

We hope our post helped paint a clearer picture of why the PNW can be a magical location for couples thinking about eloping!

Remember, the beautiful thing about the Pacific Northwest is that it’s packed with a variety of landscapes, tons of dreamy elements, and plenty of exploring opportunities!

We truly believe that the Pacific Northwest is the perfect fit for several couples seeking to have a just us elopement adventure.

In all fairness, though, the PNW possibilities are endless— choosing one spot (from the thousands of stunning locations) for your elopement can be a bit overwhelming.

We’d love to start helping you plan your dream PNW elopement —feel free to reach out to us to chat about locations, talk more about why we love the PNW for elopements, and set your Pacific Northwest elopement (your Washington elopement, Oregon elopement, or Idaho elopement) in motion!



We're Maddie Mae, Amber, & Tori. We are adventurous elopement photographers & guides based in Colorado that travel worldwide to help fearless couples like you create your unforgettable, wildly different wedding experience—that is completely yours.

Are You Ready to Create Your Own Adventurous Elopement?

If you would like help dreaming up your intimate wedding day, a customized elopement location idea list just for you, planning tools, vendor recommendations, and a creative, laid-back, documentary approach to your adventurous wedding photography—we would love to help you make your adventure elopement dreams come true.

leave your comment
Vestibulum lacinia ac diam ac facilisis. Sed finibus dui elit, in egestas quam vehicula id. In metus tellus, posuere in tortor quis
more posts