A Mount Rainier elopement definitely takes the cake on magical elopement locations. There is nothing in this world quite like being 6500 feet up, staring at the peak of a mountain. It’s the type of thing that humbles you and sparks an endless curiosity for the next big adventure.
COVID has devastated so many wedding plans, and in ways opened the door for beautiful, unforgettable experiences. Eloping is one of those experiences. I hate saying this because it’s just so corny, but there aren’t words to describe how perfect and magical eloping on the top of a mountain can be.
With all going on in the world, this just makes sense. It’ll be a long time before we can bring our loved ones together and finding a way to have that magical wedding experience is tough when faced with COVID restrictions and more. Having an adventure elopement gives you a wedding experience.
Head out somewhere beautiful for the week or the month. You’re going out as a couple and coming back as a married couple. You can roll with the punches, and change/shift things how you please (obviously with help/guidance from your officiant/photographer). You’re not beholden to a team of vendors with an adventure elopement, just whatever mother nature throws at you.
For a more serious point, this stuff isn’t for the faint of heart or folks who don’t like getting dirty. There’s still dust caked onto my boots from Thursday and it’s traveled 2600+ miles home with me. But, what an adventure elopement lacks in bougie bath tubs and filet mignon, it makes up for in unforgettable experiences and an adventure that you could never replicate.
The tricky part is that you are out in nature though. Prepping for this adventure takes tact and intention. Train before hand, picking hikes that are progressively harder, run regularly, work with a trainer lifting weights. Pack smart — don’t bring 300 gallons of water and every device known to man. Pack sunscreen, a small first aid kit, some granola/protein bars, enough water for you to drink ON the hike (hydrate before/after too!), bug spray (we didn’t, and it resulted in the best adventure ever), and your cell phone.
When it comes to wedding attire, there are so many options. ASOS was awesome for suits and dresses — Wilma and Seamus picked out a suit and a dress from ASOS and it was affordable (read you won’t get upset when it gets trashed) and came fast. The fit was great in images, so the two were super pleased.
What made it really easy to hike with their attire was the fact that it wasn’t a 20-layer tulle dress with 20-layers of chiffon. The dress was fairly simple and had a lot of flex to it — it blew in the wind when it kicked up. Wilma could also clip it up so she wouldn’t walk on it and worse it for the last half of the hike.
Picking out the right hike takes a lot. I always first research on AllTrails.com to see what others have said and experienced before pre-hiking the top 3 choices. Wilma and Seamus live out West and took care of this process for us — which I trusted them to do so because of how avid the two are.
Although the couple had pre-hiked another section and picked that out for their Mount Rainier elopement, mosquitos chased us quite literally up the mountain to the top of Burroughs for their elopement. It ended up being the perfect adventure and spot for their ceremony.
The trees are larger than life, the mountains diverse and like paintings, lakes and ponds blue-er than a painting or the sky. These and so many reasons make the Pacific Northwest a perfect location for anyone to have an adventure wedding.
There are less restrictions if it’s just the two of you — you fill out an application and submit a $60 fee for the location inside the park you wish to use. If you’re going to bring guests, especially if it’s for 60 or more folks, you’ll be facing more restrictions.
Personally, my ideal Mount Rainier National Park elopement would look like the following:
— Rent a camper van from Escape CamperVans
— Spend 2-3 weeks in the parks (Olympic, Mt Rainier, and other neighboring parks)
— In the middle of the trip, elope inside one of the parks in a location you’ve pre-hiked, and feel really fits y’all as a couple.
— When you get home, have a Zoom party to go over the trip (show your video + pictures), keeping it open-invite and super low key.
— Have a back yard barbecue to celebrate, keeping things casual.
Check out more about eloping in New England by clicking here.