When to Elope in Washington State

Washington is known for temperamental weather, you never know what you’re going to get. The endless amounts of rain in the long winter and spring months are what makes this state so lush and green. Spring is full of beautiful blossoms and new growth. Summer is filled with wildflowers and beautiful landscapes. Fall boasts gorgeous hues of orange. Winter is full of rain in the lowlands and snow in the mountains. If you’re planning on having an outdoor elopement, here is what each season has to offer.

The sun rises over Mt. Constitution on Orcas Island in the San Juan Islands of Washington State

Summer – July-September

Best For: National Parks, Hiking, Beaches, Camping

Dreaming of exchanging vows with sweeping views of the North Cascades or the Olympic Mountains? Or hiking around Mt. Rainier National Park? There is just a small window of time for those epic hikes with amazing views. Most trails higher in elevation are not open until mid to late July due to the snow needing time to melt off. Once trails are open, they are ever so popular in the National Parks and I would highly suggest considering a sunrise elopement to help avoid the crowds. The weather in the summer is usually 70+ degrees during the day. We do get the occasional rainy day or excessively hot day, but generally it’s very comfortable temperatures. If we’re lucky, like in 2022, the sunshine will stick around for the first few weeks of October as well. This is also the best season for star gazing and seeing the milky way!

Summer in Washington leaves you with so many options, nothing is off limits or out of reach.

A fall landscape near Leavenworth, WA

Fall – October-November

Best For: Fall colors, hiking, scenic drives

Fall is easily my favorite season here in Washington. This time of year offers beautiful colors from the changing leaves, crisp fall air, and stunning sunsets over the various landscapes we have here. Fall is a great season to go hiking and see hues of orange, yellow, and red in the mountains. Washington also has larch trees at higher elevations that turn a brilliant orange at their peak. Click here for some fall hike ideas on wta.org! It’s also the perfect season for scenic drives such as Highway 2 or Highway 20. The weather in October is usually fairly sunny the first few weeks, but the days do start to get colder as time goes on. Once November hits, the rain is usually settling in for the rest of fall and winter, with sporadic sunny days here and there. So always be prepared for unpredictable weather and keep some extra layers handy, especially if you’re up hiking in the mountains.

A snow covered road with mountain views near Skykomish, WA

Winter – December-February

Best For: Snowy landscapes, winter sports

If you are envisioning a snowy backdrop for exchanging your vows, winter in Washington is the perfect time to elope. The lowlands don’t see much snow, but we have many accessible snow parks that you can drive to. Snowshoeing, skiing, snowboarding, and snowmobiling are all very popular winter activities to do here in these few cold months. If you are feeling brave, the beaches on the coast and the Hoh Rainforest are much less popular but still accessible in the winter months. You just have to be prepared to get rained on and maybe blown around by the wind a bit. The weather is often in the high 30’s to low 50’s in the lowlands. Eastern Washington and the passes are much colder ranging from the low teens to mid 30’s.

Flowers bloom at the base of the mountains in Eastern Washington

Spring – March-June

Best For: Cherry blossoms, greenery, mild weather

Spring in Washington is when the trees blossom and the landscapes come back to life. The cherry blossoms are stunning in late March and early April. The tulips are on full display for the month of April. The rest of Washington starts to return to it’s lush green state. It’s a great time to adventure to the San Juan Islands or the foothills of the mountains. It’s a beautiful time of year to explore while the weather is mild. Rain showers are very frequent, but the sun does make plenty of appearances throughout these few months. Overall, spring is the perfect time to elope if you want to avoid the crowds of summer and enjoy the mild weather.

A rocky landscape on a rare sunny day in January near Whidbey Island, Washington

No matter which season you choose, I’m happy to help with picking a location and time of day for your dream elopement. The weather may be unpredictable at times, but the landscapes of Washington will not disappoint!

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