Ready. Set. Elope! So, you’ve decided you want to buck the big wedding with tons of guests, an expensive venue, and the long list of formalities. As a bride who went with the big wedding, I know how much work it is to put on the big production, and I don’t judge you one bit! There is something to be said for running off with your love, keeping it super intimate and not worrying about all the other stuff. One of the biggest perks is that you can pick virtually any location you want. You aren’t tied down to a chapel that can hold 200 guests or limited to where you go because it costs your guests too much to travel. The PNW is well-known for its beauty, and I’d like to share some gorgeous locations you should definitely consider.
Bend is an outdoor lover’s playground. If you and your fiancé love an active lifestyle, this is great pick for you. Finding a beautiful backdrop isn’t a hard feat with parks all over the place, but I highly suggest Tumalo Falls in Tumalo State Park. Only 50 minutes outside of Bend, and a short walk from the car, Tumalo Falls is hard to beat. Don’t forget to get a couple’s massage at Anjou, where they’ll spoil you with chocolates and champagne. Ready to eat? Bend is a serious foodie town. Ask a local and they’ll send you to Chow, an Oregon “farm-to-table” restaurant through and through. Stop by The Sparrow Bakery when you need a fantastic coffee and croissant, or The Dogwood Cocktail Cabin if you’re looking for an excellent happy hour. As for where to stay, I highly suggest Riverhouse.
Washington State Ferry
Yes, this one is a little unconventional, but it just screams “Washington”! I personally love the Anacortes to Friday Harbor route. Friday Harbor is full of excellent restaurants, beautiful inns, hotels, and more than its fair share of things to do (particularly in the summer months). Be sure to contact WSDOT before you board so they can help make your elopement the best it can be. Keep in mind, that photography space can be limited, so pick a destination that you’d be happy with if you’re wanting professional pics. For more info about getting married on the ferries, click here.
Walla Walla, WA
Walla Walla is known for one thing these days: wine! It’s home to some of the best wineries in the country, and some of the best views of, well, the country. If you’re a lover of a good Cab Sauv or Merlot, then look no further. With over 140 wineries, tasting rooms and wine bars, it’s hard to beat. Do yourself a favor though, and don’t elope on Spring Release (May 5-7 in 2017) or Fall Release (November 3-5 in 2017) when tourism is at its peak, and every restaurant and hotel is packed. Stay in the heart of downtown at The Marcus Whitman Hotel, or get a little more privacy out of town at The Inn at Abeja. If you want to hand the reigns to a planner, Cameo Heights Mansion, just outside of Walla Walla in the town of Touchet, offers an elopement package that includes a 7-course fine dining dinner and two-night stay. As far as good eats, you really can’t go wrong with Saffron Mediterranean Kitchen or Brasserie Four, both located downtown. Be sure to stop by Colville Street Patisserie before you leave, for one of the best lattes of your life.
Located in the beautiful San Juan Islands, Orcas Island is really a destination to savor and a fantastic choice for an elopement of your dreams. Full of history and natural beauty, you’ll spend your entire stay feeling relaxed and carefree; which, to me, is exactly how you should feel when you’re getting married. The Rosario Resort & Spa must be considered as one of the best views of Cascade Bay and an outright gorgeous exterior. If you are looking for a romantic spot with a little less expense, you have your pick of beautifully maintained lighthouses and sea cliffs. Want to truly feel off-grid when you stay, then check out Forrest House on Orcas- yurt living never looked so appealing. Elope in Orcas and you won’t regret it, not to mention that you’ll be back again and again.
One of my personal favorites, and one of those PNW secrets that are almost too good to share! Just 50-minutes east of Seattle, Snoqualmie Falls is hands-down one of the most gorgeous locations to get married in the PNW. Imagine pledging your love in front of a 269-foot waterfall crashing down behind you! Or if you want something a little quieter, take a short walk into the woods for your (literal) fairytale wedding. You’ll want to check out Salish Lodge for their elopement package if you don’t want to brave the base of the falls but still want the view, and definitely consider staying there, it’s nothing short of breath-taking.
Wherever you decide to elope, the Pacific Northwest really can’t disappoint. Happy planning!