Oh my goodness, I don’t know where to even start with this gorgeous Washington winter elopement!
Sarah and Brandon reached out to me over the summer for their elopement. They had just gotten engaged and were eager to start planning their elopement. They both knew they wanted to elope from the second they got engaged. Like everything else in their relationship, they wanted something untraditional, and adventurous. From snowboarding down mountains, to multi-day hiking and mountain climbing, and travels all over the world, their relationship has been full of adventure. So why shouldn’t their elopement be?! Sarah expressed how excited she was to go up Washington Pass for mountain views, and maybe some fall colors at the end of September. Little did she know, she was signing up for a winter elopement in the North Cascades!
A Surprise Washington Winter elopement
North Cascades National Park is a park settled in the western part of Washington, stretching all the way up to Canada. It is nicknamed the “sea of peaks’ for it’s towering, jagged, white capped peaks that stretch for miles. I think this is my favorite park for it’s endless adventuring possibilities. It’s free to get in and dog friendly! It’s perfect, blue alpine lakes are perfect for kayaking in the summer. It’s sprawling mountain scapes is the perfect backdrop for hiking. It’s the perfect location for planning your own Washington winter elopement.
I got up early on the day of their elopement to start my 3 1/2 hour drive. I love this drive: I grabbed coffee and snacks, downloaded a podcast and hit the road, driving through the most scenic landscape. It was late September, and it was like driving through all four seasons. Rolling hills full of spring wildflowers still blooming, lush green trees, waving in the summer breeze.
Then, without warning, I turned a corner and the trees were a crisp golden and red, leaves fluttering down to the ground like a Thomas Kincade painting. I inched further up the mountain and that’s when the snow started. The evergreens were flocked in fresh blankets of snow and small flurries were fluttering to the ground in slow motion.
I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Snow in September! This Florida native didn’t know whether to scream with excitement or pull over and panic over driving through the mountains in the snow. Even being in the Seattle area, I am not used to seeing a lot of snow, so a Washington Winter elopement was not what I was prepared for.
They were staying in the Mazama cabins, on the eastern side of the park. So I had to drive through the entire park to get to them. By the time I got to the cabin, the snow turned back to a light drizzle of rain, in true Washington fashion. I met Sarah in her cabin, and regaled her with my “driving through the snow” story. The day was ugly, and gloomy, not a mountain view in sight. I was worried Sarah would be panicked, but she was cool as a cucumber. She had no care in the world.
Her mom helped her into her dress, and we ventured outside for some photos. When we were done, we piled into her friend’s camper-van, and ventured back the way I came, into the mountains. We arrived to the parking lot as large, heavy snow flakes were falling. It had turned into a full on snow storm. And Sarah was on the verge of tears she was so excited. Who on earth gets lucky enough to have a fresh blanket of snow at their wedding?!
She didn’t care about the mountains being completely whited out. Her mountain elopement turned into a winter elopement and she couldn’t be happier. All of the guests carefully made their way to the ceremony spot: a small, slippery hike up into the trees. Sarah and Brandon got married, holding hands, while their maid of honor and best man held umbrellas over them.
We spent the afternoon taking photos in the snow, playing and uncontrollably laughing. We managed to find some fall colors for a few photos, and then made our way back to the cabins for their reception. Their reception was in a large wood barn, where you could see the stars through the wood slats. The sun was setting earlier now and the nights were chilly. Their 30 or so guests gathered around the heaters set up, draped in their coats and sharing warm stories. All of them were talking non stop about this gorgeous Washington winter elopement. It was far beyond everyone’s wildest expectations!
To view more of our adventurous work in the North Cascades, here’s another elopement!
To plan your Washington winter elopement in the North Cascades, visit their website here for more information, as the weather and road closures can be unpredictable