Mount Rainier is one of the most incredible national parks in the entire country. If it’s not on the top of your bucket list it absolutely needs to be! Even better, why not elope with this incredible mountain in the background? This is one of our all time favorite national parks to explore and document elopements at for so many reasons. We love the epic, jaw-dropping views of the mountain, the diverse scenery around the park, and we love the towns and accommodations nearby. You can’t go wrong picking to elope at this magical place and we hope that this guide makes your planning hassle free!
-The Wilder West Team
Yes! In order to get legally married at Mount Rainier National Park you will need a Washington State marriage license and a Special Use Permit from the national park. You can do an in-person appointment or submit the application by mail. The license costs $72. If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of getting a Washington marriage license you can legally get married back in your hometown. The only difference is that you’ll have a different government acknowledged wedding date! To be able to take photos in the park you must have a Special Use Permit issued by the park. This application must be sent in at a minimum of 4 weeks in advance and the fee is $60.
Finding the perfect location for your elopement at Mt. Rainier is one of the most important parts of your day! The locations you choose to explore not only need to be approved by the special use permit office, but we always recommend the less traveled trails. Not only will this make your wedding experience more intimate, but believe it or not, the tourists always overlook the best trails in the park!
When discussing where to elope in the park it’s best to narrow it down by which park entrance you want to stick to. This is a very large park and it’s not fun to spend multiple hours driving on your wedding day! The four park entrances include Nisqually, White River/ Sunrise, Stevens Canyon/Ohanapecosh, and the Carbon River. Our personal favorite area to explore in is the southwestern region of the park using the Nisqually entrance.
As a part of our elopement package we include elopement location scouting services to help find you the most epic locations that fit the level of adventure you are desiring! This is one of our favorite parts of our job and seriously so much fun! Fill out a contact form here to learn more about what your Mount Rainier elopement could look like!
What kind of Mount Rainier elopement are you dreaming of? Is it a winter wonderland snowshoe adventure? Are you hiking next to wildflowers with the sun shining on the mountain? Or is it a moody Pacific Northwest day with lots of fog and layers? The kind of vision you have for your elopement will change what season we suggest you elope in this national park since they all vary so greatly!
A Summer Elopement (June-August): This is by far the most popular time of the year to elope in the park. It is also the busiest time with tourists therefore we only recommend eloping on a weekday! You can still expect to see snow in some parts of the park in June and July but by August most trails are clear. The weather is the warmest and driest in the summer with the occasional fog and rain. In general, it’s absolutely gorgeous! There’s a great chance of seeing the mountain without any clouds and the wildflowers are insane!
A Fall Elopement (September-October): If you want to escape the crowds and aren’t afraid of some moody weather, an autumn elopement may be perfect for you! It’s a lot more likely to be wetter but don’t let that scare you! It can be incredible to experience seeing this park when it’s foggy. We love it! In late autumn there is a higher chance for snow up on the mountain so be prepared!
A Winter Elopement (November-February): Winter at Mount Rainier means rain, snow, and cold! Along with those conditions also comes road closures. Some parts of the park are much more likely to stay open so it’ll be good to have backup plans.
A Spring Elopement(March-May): Spring at Mount Rainier is still wet and cold but luckily that keeps the tourists away! Be prepared for snowy conditions still and for many trails to have many feet of snow.
*If you want to have your ceremony or dinner with guests at your vacation rental, please check with the owners first for permission.
Most campgrounds in the park are open late May thru late September. Group campsites require reservations in advance while the others are first come, first serve. Fees for the campgrounds range from $20 to $60. There are also free campsites just outside the park nearby Ashford that are first come, first serve. We personally love camping just outside the park since the campgrounds are more dog-friendly 🙂
The average Mt. Rainier elopement costs around $10k including vendors, lodging, and permits! The cost of your elopement will completely depend on what you want to splurge and save on. When coming up with your budget we recommend taking into consideration lodging, permits, photography, videography, food, and experiences!
This packing list will entirely depend on when you choose to elope at Mount Rainier but here are some of our must-haves!
Photo Only Packages Beginning at $5500
Photo & Video Packages Beginning at $8000
This adventure with Hanna and Zach at Mount Rainier National Park was one of my favorite days ever! It was laid back, very intimate, and so full of adventure. We truly got to experience all of what Mt. Rainier has to often- epic mountain views, foggy forest, Dr. Seuss wildflowers, lots of forest critters, and so much more.
When I first spoke to Hanna on the phone about their elopement dreams, we immediately CLICKED. They didn’t have a particular location that they were set on eloping in so it truly felt like the possibilities were endless. We threw around the red canyons of Utah, the glacial lakes of Glacier National Park, and the epic mountainous landscape of Washington. Ultimately they decided on Glacier National Park and the planning began!
During the planning process Hanna and Zach encountered a ton of life changes that made them eager to move up their elopement date. Hanna happened to see us post about an upcoming roadtrip all around Washington State and she felt like it was a sign for them to change up their elopement plans. After talking it over, they decided to move their wedding date a whole year earlier, at a whole new national park- Mount Rainier! We had less than a month to plan their new elopement experience but let me just say that I was STOKED.
Hanna and Zach kept their elopement at Mount Rainier simple but with lots of adventure. I worked on finding them epic locations that were intimate but didn’t lack in the views. Let’s just say that these spots did not disappoint! We got to hike with hardly seeing anyone despite it being a beautiful summer day! We decided to split up their adventure into sunrise and sunset to have great lighting and less busy trails. One of my favorite parts of the day was when the fog really started to roll in through the forest that we were exploring. It suddenly got so moody and cozy! Soon after that the fog completely disappeared and we were blessed with the most insane view of Mount Rainier. Seriously, this mountain is INCREDIBLE. I can’t lie and say I didn’t cry the first time I ever saw it completely clear of clouds! It’s awe-inspiring and so special to experience, especially on your wedding day!
We explored a handful of trails that all offered something different. Towards sunset Hanna and Zach felt like it was time for them to exchange their vows so they did so right on the trail surrounded by mountains and forests. It was magical! The last trail was my favorite thanks to the insane views of the mountains along with the wildflowers and cute forest critters! Hanna and Zach got to see a marmot which is one of the most Mount Rainier experiences that you can have. They are the cutest animal ever!
It was truly such a joy to not only help plan Hanna and Zach’s epic Mt. Rainier elopement but documenting it was a dream! They are such beautiful people and it was only fitting for them to elope in such a beautiful place!
I can’t wait for more epic adventures at this national park!
Want some more inspiration for your elopement experience? Check out these blog posts!