Best Time To Elope in the PNW · Wild Earth Weddings
Wild Earth Weddings

The best time to elope in the Pacific Northwest

The PNW is one of those special places in the world that has something to offer all year round but there are definitely some months where everything comes together for the perfect outdoor adventure wedding. And it’s those times, my friends, that can elevate your elopement to a next level experience that will take your breath away and offer the most stunning backdrop to say “I do”. 

In short, the best time to elope in the PNW is between June and October. By June, the mountains have begun to thaw in preparation for the explosion of wildflowers. On the coast, the rain has subsided, the wind calms down, and the temperature warms up.

When to Elope for Mountains and Wildflowers:

In the mountains, including Mt Rainier National Park, Mt Baker – Snoqualmie National Forest, North Cascades National Park, and in the Cascades of Oregon, mid to late July, August, and September are the best months for wildflowers, temperate weather, and long summer sunsets that will take your breath away. This time of year is perfect to witness the finest scenery the PNW has to offer.

It’s ALSO the most popular time for everyone ELSE to visit these places, so eloping on a weekday, and at sunrise and sunset is ESSENTIAL for the best experience. You’re going to want to avoid holidays and long weekends too.

Elevation Matters For Wildflower Elopements

It may seem obvious, but it’s worth remembering that you’ll find mild, spring-like weather at higher elevations. It may be 80 degrees and sweltering (for PNW standards) in August at sea-level and a balmy 70 degrees at 5500’.

When to Elope if you want Mountains and Snow

In Washington: 

If you’re looking for a snowy elopement scene in the mountains, it’s actually best to plan your elopement in late spring and early summer (because of elevation remember!). This is when the threat of avalanches has passed, mountain roads have been opened, and when the summer crowds have yet to descend. You’ll find your snow without having to suffer below freezing temperatures, dangerous travel, and unexpected storms.

In Oregon:

Snow elopement scenes in Oregon can reliably be planned for November through May. To play it on the safe side, consider eloping in March, April, May. I prefer to skip December – February altogether as this is a time typically active with constant snowfall. (Of course, I’ve got my spots at mid level elevations that are wonderful for those big fluffy snowy months like December and January- maybe with a cozy cabin with a wood burning stove? Yes please!)

Each mountain region and each zone of elevation has its own weather history and characteristics, and climate change has made weather in these areas even more dynamic than it used to be. Your experienced elopement photographer is an invaluable resource to safely plan an elopement in the mountains.

Pro Tip: You can find historical weather data for most places! Ski resorts are also pretty helpful at recording their current and past year’s snowfall, and you might even find some live cams.

When to Elope on the Pacific Coast

Ok, we’ve learned about mountains, elevation, snow, road considerations, and now it’s time to give tides their due attention.  If you are considering eloping on the coast, tides are going to be important!

In general, I advise couples to avoid eloping on the Oregon Coast or the Washington coast in winter. That means December, January, and February in some areas. This is because of frequent rain, high winds, and larger than average “King Tides.”

The BEST times to elope at any spot on the Oregon or Washington coast is during the months you have great weather (May through October). In that large window, I try to plan elopements for when low tides and sunset times converge. This will give you more beach to access and allow you to incorporate the rocky sea stacks as a more dominant piece of your elopement backdrop. 

These convergences involve some in depth research, and will vary from location to location, so this is something that I organize for my elopement couples as soon as we start planning!

January 5, 2022

Wild Earth Weddings

You know, the one that always reminds you to bring extra socks on the overnight hike, and who definitely has the best podcasts queued up for the road trip.

From dreaming to planning, to the big day and after, I lend you my experience, my best ideas and inspiration, my favorite and most breathtaking locations, and the all cheering-on you need.

I create the space for you to feel easy, relaxed, and EXCITED as you treat yourselves to one heck of an adventure together.

More than epic photography

I believe that big weddings aren’t the right fit for everyone, and that your wedding day is an opportunity to do something different, something wild, and something completely unique.

I also believe that connecting with the earth connects you to your partner, and that wedding vows (and photos) are extra magical in the majestic landscapes of the American West.

Adventure Elopement Photographer + Wedding Wing-Woman

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Oh Hey, It's Your New Best Friend, Cara!

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