Hi Friend! You’re probably here because you’re a) wondering how you fill the time for an adventurous elopement or b) are looking for unique Washington elopement timeline ideas! I absolutely love WA and everything it has to offer. We have such a unique array of geography, wildlife, and experiences, that I can’t really imagine any place better to celebrate your love!
When you elope it is just as special, if not even more special, than if you were to have a big wedding, so why can’t you celebrate on the same scale? You choose exactly what you want to do which could either be something you two love doing together (what’s your favorite date?) or an epic adventure that you probably wouldn’t have thought to do otherwise. Ever had something on your bucket list that you’re like “someday I wish we could do that!” This is your chance! AND by booking me, you’ll have a photographer to help document it 🙂 Read more on what it means to elope in my resource here!
I’m sure at this point you love this idea but are probably overwhelmed by all the possibilities in your brain. Don’t worry! I have some timeline examples right here of how you can fill your day that line up with the packages I offer. Something I want to preface though is you don’t have to hike if you don’t want to. You can treat this day as more of a sightseeing activity day as well!
If you book me to photograph your day, you also get my planning guidance. While I’m not a full planner and don’t book anything for you, I have an elopement guide that will help guide you in making exciting decisions on exactly what you want to book for your day. And of course, I’m here if you need any vendor recommendations or want to bounce any other ideas off of me! If you want to have a planner take care of the booking and styling for the day, let me know and I can help refer some people! One thing to note, choosing a weekday with any of these options will always be more private so consider that when thinking about what you want to do! So without further ado…
5:00am | Arrive at Lake 22 trailhead & start hike (2.5 mi)
7:30am | Arrive at Ceremony Spot! Help each other get ready!
8:00am | Vow Reading
8:15am | Explore + Portraits
9:30am | Picnic Breakfast + read letters from family
10:00am | Hike back to trailhead, explore, grab some photos on the way (2.5mi)
12:00 pm | Photo coverage wraps
This is a simple example of a popular hike in the mountains! Lake 22 is a beautiful Alpine Lake that is quite a popular hike in the Seattle area. You may look at this and think, “wow, you’re budgeting an hour per mile? Why?” The answer for me is simple – it gives you room to relax, breathe and enjoy anything you may find along the way. This point of an elopement is to slow down, be intentional, and take your time. There is no reason to race to the top as that’s not what an elopement adventure is. This Lake in particular has a full loop around the lake, and there’s so much to see and explore around it! Adventuring is fun, and I plan for it in our hike! In addition to the relaxation, I’m hoping this will give us a chance to de-sweat when we get to the top, or take tons of snack breaks along the way. I’m carrying a heavy load with my equipment up a mountain, so I also need to take care of myself so I can get those amazing images and still have the energy to cheer you on!
Want to learn how to plan a hiking elopement? Check out my resource here!
5:00am | Sage Trails arrives at VRBO to photograph getting ready + cozy PJ details!
7:00am | Sunrise first Look on property grounds + Portraits
8:30am | Drive to Friday Harbor to meet guests for a Private Whale Watching tour with San Juan Safaris
9:00am | Tour Begins
10:00am | Vow Reading (100% Flexible depending on any whale sightings!) + Enjoy food and drinks on board! Family Portraits onboard!
1:00pm | Tour ends & Photo coverage wraps (they say all tours are between 3-4 hours but do also offer custom flexibility depending on your budget)
1:30pm | Drive to San Juan County parks for couple photos and exploration time
3:30 | Drive to any restaurant (like Coho Restaurant, Downriggers, Cask & Schooner Public House & Restaurant, etc) to have food, give toasts, and have your first dance!
5:30pm | Photo coverage wraps
Curious how you would narrow down your guest list for a day like this? Check out my resource on how to narrow your guest list! And if you want to involve your family during your day, check out my resource on all the ways to involve your family and friends!
I LOVE love love the ocean. I’m a water baby at heart so witnessing a wedding at sea has always been a dream of mine. I also love the Orcas <3 And trust me when I say the San Juan Islands are a magical way to experience Washington. The rugged coastline, coastal vibes, the ocean, wildlife, sunsets…just amazing. AND the islands are small too. You could choose to also add in a short hike for portraits and private time, on the other side of the island, which is only about 15 min away!
I really love this whale watching company because they have a respectful approach to the animals and are working to educate the public on the orcas and why we need to protect them. The more education, the more awareness, and hopefully more safety for our whale populations!
12:00pm | Arrive at the trailhead in Mount Rainier National Park & start hike (3 mi)
3:00pm | Arrive at Ceremony Spot! Help each other get ready!
3:30pm | Private Vow Reading
3:45pm | Explore + Portraits + Snacks!
5:00pm | Hike back to the trailhead (3 mi), explore, grab some photos on the way
8:00 pm | Photo coverage wraps & head to Yakima for next day festivities.
2:00pm | Sage Trails arrives at Gilbert Cellars to photograph getting ready details!
3:00pm | First Look on property grounds + Couple Portraits
4:00pm | Couple relaxes as close family & friends arrive
4:30pm | Ceremony with close friends/family
5:00pm | Family Photos
5:30pm | Wine + Oyster Time
6:30pm | Intimate Dinner under the stars
7:00pm | Toasts + Dessert
7:30pm | Dance Party
8:30pm | Photography Wraps
This two-day version of Washington elopement timeline ideas, gives you the best of both worlds if you are on the fence between eloping or having a small celebration. Keep the private vows just for you two and then have a more traditional experience the next day! While this is flexible, I highly suggest utilizing weekdays for any adventure as there will be fewer people out and about. Extend your experience to celebrate more!
I hope as you read through all these unique Washington elopement timeline ideas, you’re seeing all the amazing things you can do for your wedding day whether it is just the two of you or with a few family and friends! I can’t wait to photograph it!
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Ah I love this, and I feel like showing real timelines is such a great way to inspire couples to spend the whole day on their elopement!
This is great! Love the multiple time lines!
I love these example timelines! Super helpful!
I came to this post knowing zero about Washington, and left wanting to visit!
Stunning images! also, whales?? you have whales!! Amazing.
such a helpful post, thank you!
Washington is such a stunning place to elope and these are all phenomenal ideas for what to do on your big day!
Great resource for those stuck on “what to do” for their special day. Love the whale watching idea…thanks for sharing!
I love that you’ve created real timelines! It makes it so much easier to imagine a full, beautiful day that way. And your ideas for how to celebrate? INCREDIBLE.
This is such a great idea to help elopement couples create the timeline for their day! So many great ideas!!
[…] See examples of timelines for Washington elopements here! […]