We are a husband & wife team. Based in the mountains of Montana & Washington State, we’ve been photographing and filming couples since the start of 2021.
Welcome to our blog where you’ll discover elopement planning resources, as well as beautiful galleries from real weddings!
Okay, we want to be super duper clear about adventure elopements: YOU DON’T HAVE TO FREAKING HIKE! You can totally have a non-hiking elopement adventure with us!
Truthfully, you might only envision a hiking-based day when you think about adventure elopements. And don’t get us wrong, we absolutely love hiking elopements! They’re an awesome opportunity to explore the great outdoors, and leave the crowds behind. Plus, there are so many hikes with incredible views. But, that doesn’t mean that adventure elopements stop there…
An adventure elopement is all about choosing to have a meaningful experience to start your forever together! Check out our blog about adventure elopements here. Our biggest take away is the fact that adventures aren’t always about hiking or doing something crazy, like skydiving. An adventure can be about trying something new together, visiting your favorite location, or simply starting your life together as a married couple. Your wedding adventure is whatever you make of it!
Still want epic views, but don’t want to hike? Not sure where to go? We’ve got you covered! While we send each couple a customized and detailed location guide when they book with us, we want to give you a few of our favorite, easily accesible locations! These locations require minimal walking (not hiking), and some are even ADA friendly. All include stunning views!
In Washington State, as well as other locations that we frequently serve (Oregon and Montana for example), National Park overlooks are our go-to spot for amazing views. Overlooks can usually be found along the road or near a parking lot. As well as overlooks, we typically recommend spots along rivers and lakes for easy access and privacy. Sometimes, you can get that near a waterfall, too!
Mount Rainier is one of our favorite spots to recommend to couples who don’t want to hike for their day. Both access points to the park (Paradise and Sunrise) have incredible, unobstructed views of the mountain directly from the parking lot. As well as that, both locations have paved paths that allow for wheelchair access.
One of our favorite walking trails at the park is the Nisqually Vista Loop. It is a 1 mile paved walking trail that doesn’t gain any elevation. It is the perfect spot to stretch your legs (if you choose), have a small wedding ceremony with family, and see the stunning purple mountain.
Another great spot is by the parking lot at Sunrise. We have shot several (permit approved) small weddings here, such as this one: A-Frame Cabin & Sunrise Mount Rainier Wedding, and this one: Mount Rainier Tiny Fall Wedding.
Olympic National Park (ONP) might be our go-to elopement location for people who don’t want to hike, but still want to capture the essence of the PNW! In ONP, you have everything from easily accesible views of the Olympic mountains to lakes/waterfalls, forests with draping moss, and the Pacific Ocean. It truly is heaven on earth!
For Olympic National Park elopements, we recommend Hurricane Ridge, Lake Crescent, Ruby Beach, and the Hoh Rain Forest. These are the top locations in the park! They do tend to be a bit busy (and we have some lesser known spots within the park that we often recommend to couples as well), but they are absolutely beautiful!
Out of those locations, the most ADA friendly spot would either be Hurricane Ridge (which has a paved trail that we’d be able to follow) or Lake Crescent. There is a dock along Lake Crescent that is owned by the Lake Crescent Lodge. While weddings aren’t usually permitted on the dock, it would be worth asking if you need to accomodate someone in a wheelchair or with other disabilities.
The Columbia River Gorge has everything you could imagine, from waterfalls to epic views of the Columbia River! We typically recommend the gorge to couples looking for beautiful PNW vibes without wanting to hike. Seriously, do not sleep on these spots! We love visiting Latourell Falls, Beacon Rock State Park, and Rowena Crest Overlook.
Latourell Falls takes a massive free-falling plunge off a basalt cliff in Guy W. Talbot State Park. It’s about a 40 minute drive from Portland, Oregon, making it super accessible! The base of the waterfall is a short walk from the parking lot. If you choose to hike, you can explore the top of the falls with a 2-3 mile loop trail.
Beacon Rock State Park is on the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge. You can hike the switchbacks to get to the top of Beacon Rock OR you can access incredible views from down below! We’ve only ever exploring the lower part of the park. Adam and I highly recommend this location if you want golden fields, freshwater shoreline, and camping options!
The Rowena Crest Overlook has incredible views that are very accesible! You can see the iconic horseshoe-shaped bend in the highway, frolic through wildflower fields, and take in stunning views of Mayer State Park and the Columbia River.
The Oregon Coast is another awesome location for people looking to have a non-hiking elopement adventure. While the beach isn’t always ADA-accessible, we found this awesome resource that has 9 Oregon Coast ADA-Accessible Adventures. The blog includes experiencing the Oregon Dunes from an epic roadside viewpoint or renting dune buggies! There are also several paved trails that take you along different parts of the coastal range.
Some of our favorite Oregon Coast locations include Astoria, Ecola State Park near Cannon Beach, Lincoln City, Gold Beach, and Brookings. But we’ve explored A LOT along the coast, so we have tons of “secret” beach spots and awesome overlooks.
I’m sure when you think of Glacier National Park, you probably don’t think of it as being a non-hiking elopement destination. And you’re not entirely wrong. Glacier has INCREDIBLE hikes that I truly think everyone should try to experience (if they are able). However, this blog is about our favorite non-hiking spots and we actually have a ton of recommendations for Glacier!
We’re going to start off with one of our favorite non-hiking elopement spot: lakes! In Glacier National Park, there are several stunning lakes that you can explore with NO HIKING! These lakes include: Bowman Lake (North Fork District), Lake McDonald (West Glacier), St. Mary Lake (East Glacier), Lake Sherburne (Many Glacier), and Two Medicine Lake (Two Medicine District).
Along with lakes, there are quite a few overlooks and good stopping points in the park! We recommend checking out the North Fork Road, McDonald Falls, Weeping Wall and Big Bend, and Logan Pass Visitor Center. Even if you just choose to drive the Going-to-the-Sun Road, there are so many little pull-offs that offer stunning views! And on the park website, you can view some of the accessible wedding ceremony locations, such as Sprague Picnic Area, St. Mary Ampitheater, and Many Glacier Hotel.
And if you haven’t already, check out our Ultimate Glacier National Park Elopement Guide!
Sometimes it might be easier to book a designated micro wedding venue for your day! There are a lot of great options that can still create an intimate outdoor experience. Venues give you a private space in nature for your day, and oftentimes, you’ll have rentals or assistance from the venue owner when planning and coordinating your day. This can also be helpful if you need specific ADA accommodations.
With the surge of elopements in 2020 and 2021, Airbnbs have become a really popular venue. Airbnbs are such a unique experience for elopements because they offer amazing getting ready spaces, and intimate ceremony options (owner’s permission needed).
1. Airbnb rentals provide an intimate, private atmosphere.
2. They are often located in beautiful natural settings!
3. With the owner’s permission, you can customize the space to your own needs and preferences.
4. Most Airbnb hosts offer amenities like kitchenettes or BBQs that are great for hosting guests!
5. Many Airbnb homes come with unique features such as hot tubs, fire pits, or outdoor decks.
6. Rentals are usually more cost effective than traditional wedding venues, too.
7. With Airbnbs, you can stay for just one night or several days, as opposed to traditional venues that usually have specific packages you need to choose.
8. Some locations may even include services like catering and event planning!
9. Hosts can help make sure guests have all they need for a comfortable stay.
10. You get the opportunity to explore a new area and create lasting memories!
Always remember to check with the owner before hosting guests or having your wedding at an Airbnb or VRBO. It’s important to always respect the property!
An off-roading elopement adventure is a one-of-a-kind wedding experience that combines the great outdoors with a thrilling adventure! The rugged, off-the-beaten path roads provide a peaceful respite far away from the hustle and bustle of the city, allowing you to get away and create a truly unique non-hiking elopement experience.
A major benefit to planning an off-roading elopement is that you can easily tailor your special day to fit your specific needs and desires. From picking a special outdoor spot for the ceremony to choosing unique off-road trails to explore, your adventure can be completely YOURS. Rather than being restricted by a traditional wedding venue, you have much more flexibility and creativity when creating your wedding experience.
This kind of adventure is a great option if you can’t decide between an indoor or outdoor ceremony. With off-roading, you can enjoy the best of both worlds! Having your ceremony outdoors gives you the natural setting that you want, but also the excitement and adventure of driving on a 4×4 trail. And it’s a good way to include family members or friends who maybe aren’t comfortable with hiking.
A small camping wedding can be a great way to save money and have an intimate ceremony surrounded by nature. Adam and I chose to book a campsite for our intimate Glacier National Park elopement in the summer of 2022, and it was seriously magical! We had our family members bring their trailers and tents, and it was an incredible weekend of adventure.
Not only can camping (or glamping) be budget-friendly, but it’s also an awesome and unqiue experience! We had such a fun time relaxing by the river, sharing stories beneath the stars, and cooking good food over a campfire the entire weekend. One night, we had traditional campfire food, and then the night of our elopement, we had a catered meal of chicken parmesan, making out experience both rustic and glamorous! It was truly an experience that everyone enjoyed — making it the perfect way to start a lifetime of love.
Here are some reasons why we went with a glamping elopement adventure: our family members didn’t have to hike to enjoy the great outdoors, there weren’t any good Airbnb options on the east side of Glacier National Park (it’s more remote), it was budget-friendly since a lot of our money went to photo/video, we were able to design our “reception” exactly how we wanted to, and we both LOVE camping!
Ski resort weddings and elopements are the perfect choice for couples who love the outdoors! From the picturesque views to the winter activities, ski resort weddings are a great option for a non-hiking adventure.
Ski resorts offer stunning mountain views that can make a great backdrop for your ceremony and photos. Most ski resort venues can accommodate both indoor and outdoor ceremonies, which allows you to decide what kind of scenery you’d like. Some of our favorite resorts include: Mt. Baker Ski Area in Washington, Mt. Hood Meadows in Oregon, Big Sky Resort in Montana, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort in Wyoming, Telluride Ski Resort in Colorado, and Park City Mountain Resort in Utah.
Not only is having a skiing wedding awesome in and of itself, but ski resorts offer plenty of winter activities for guests (if you want to invite any). Guests can hit the slopes with ski and snowboard lessons, or get out onto the ice and practice their skating skills. If they don’t participate in winter activities, they can chill at the lodge with a hot drink or a beer!
We also love this non-hiking idea for people who want to have a wedding in the winter months. A lot of couples have meaningful dates that they choose to use for their elopement, and sometimes it’s hard to get those epic mountain views during the winter. That’s why we suggest heading to an epic ski resort! Lots of resorts have gondolas and trams that take you up to a mountain peak for huge expansive views. One of our favorite views is at Jackson Hole, where you can see Grand Teton National Park.
We’ve captured a lot of elopements by a river or lake, and we can tell ya, they’re awesome! If you want to have an intimate experience outdoors, consider an easily accessible lake or riverside spot. Not only can you get mountain views along the water, but you don’t have to hike to say your vows in a private location. And if you want to include guests, it’s a super accessible idea!
While courthouse elopements are thought of as a last-minute idea, they don’t always have to be! Maybe you want to plan a fun day by yourselves or with guests in your city. So, you start with getting ready at your house and then have an intimate ceremony at your local courthouse! Then, you can celebrate at someone’s property or rent a space at a restaurant. This plan might take some time, but don’t let anyone tell you that a courthouse elopement isn’t special. It’s as special as you make it!
1. Eloping at a courthouse is one of the most cost-effective wedding options. Couples often save on venues, catering, decor, and other costs associated with weddings.
2. Having a courthouse elopement allows couples to remain stress-free and enjoy the intimate setting of taking their vows in the presence of witnesses.
3. Setting up a courthouse elopement can be simple and fast if you want it to be. Couples can book the date and time, purchase their marriage license, and exchange vows with just a few easy steps.
4. Couples who elope at the courthouse can honor their union in a way that is meaningful to them. You can pick your own outfit (doesn’t need to be traditional wedding attire), write your own vows, and even invite close friends or family members to join you.
Throughout this blog, we offered 8 non-hiking elopement adventures that we personally love documenting and witnessing! We put this blog together to show you that there are so many incredible adventure elopement options. You don’t have to hike in order to have a unique experience! But we aren’t done yet. We wanted to include a few more fun non-hiking adventure elopement ideas!
1. You can plan a party with some of your closest people! A pool or garden party in the summer would be such a fun little adventure to have for your intimate wedding.
2. Check out a hot spring resort near you or in another state! Say your vows on ranch land with Emigrant Peak in the background and then enjoy an evening soaking in the two natural mineral hot spring pools at Chico Hot Springs in Montana. How fun would that be??
3. For all the foodies out there, why not incorporate a delicious meal on your wedding day? It can definitely be an adventure to try a new cuisine, explore a town’s local foods, or hire a private chef you cater a meal for you.
4. Zip lines! Any adrenaline junkies out there? Zip lining could be such a unique experience for your non-hiking elopement day! Like we mentioned before, an adventure doesn’t always mean you’re backpacking or hiking 10 miles for epic views. An adventure can be trying something new together!
5. Plan an urban adventure in the city! Maybe that adventure is food-related or taste testing locals brews. Maybe you and your partner want to get tattoos together to comemorate your elopement! Or maybe you want to rent bikes/scooters and explore the city’s architectural features (we did this is Paris and it was so much fun).
Regardless of what non-hiking adventure you choose, just know that we’re here for it! Contact us now to get starting planning your incredible elopement or micro wedding experience.
Hannah and Adam are a Montana and PNW-based Elopement Photographer + Videographer Team traveling across the US and abroad to capture couples' special days. They firmly believe love is love, Black lives matter, and in respecting our planet.
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