While Seattle may be most known for their coffee culture, the Space Needle, and the ever-famous gum wall, this vibrant city also happens to be surrounded by some of the most beautiful scenery you can find within the United States. Whether you’re looking for hidden gem locations around the city, or simply want to know how to get a marriage license, you’re in the right place. This is complete “how to” guide for eloping in Seattle in 2022.
The 5 Best Places to Elope in Seattle
These locations are all under 1 hour from Seattle. Whether you’re looking for urban locations or pine trees galore, you’ll be sure to find them in this list.
Snoqualmie is a short 50 minute drive from Seattle known primarily for its ski resorts and famous waterfall. While this area can be accessed year-round, it turns into a nature lover’s paradise during the summer months. Littered with off-the-beaten path locations, waterfalls, mountain views, forests, and wildflowers, this location tops off the list as being one of the best places to elope in Seattle.
Craving some adventure for your elopement? Rattlesnake Ledge is a 5.3 mile roundtrip hike just outside of Seattle that has some epic views. After hiking amongst the forest, you’ll come out to one of the most beautiful views in the state: a turquoise lake surrounded by pine tree-covered mountains. Not up for a hike? You can also access the shoreline of the lake!
If you’re looking for a true Seattle elopement, consider. having your elopement downtown, followed by portraits at Kerry Park. Not only will you get the true urban elopement experience, but you’ll also be able to check out some of Seattle’s most beloved sites like Pike Place Market and the Space Needle. Just be prepared for some traffic noise (unless you go during sunrise like one of my couples did).
Just an hour drive from Seattle is where you can find Lake 22, one of Washington State‘s most famous lakes. Popular year-round, this lake has some of the best views you can find. Backed by a mountain and surrounded with trees, this 6.8 mile roundtrip hike is well worth the effort to not only have an unforgettable elopement experience, but to also get some stunning portraits. Photo by: Back O’ Beyond.
Alki Beach is a popular place to get skyline views of the city and relax at. This beach is especially popular during the summer months. Lined with shops and dining, this little area of Seattle is perfect for couples looking for a laidback and relaxing elopement experience.
The 4 Best Places to Elope Just Outside of Seattle
Have some driving time to spare? Check out these stunning must-see locations, all less than 3 hours from Seattle.
Olympic National Park
Olympic National Park is not only my favorite national park, but it also has the most diverse scenery within the state. Just a short 2-3 hour drive from downtown will allow you to experience mountains, forests, beaches, waterfalls, lakes, and so much more. Plus, the nearby towns have a variety of cute coffee shops and off-grid Airbnbs tucked into the woods.
North Cascades National Park
If you’re a mountain lover, look no further than North Cascades National Park. Just a 2 hour drive from Seattle will take you to one of Washington’s most dramatic landscapes. Filled with hiking trails, alpine lakes, glaciers, wildflowers, and larches, this park is sure to knock your socks off. The best part? It happens to be one of the least-visited national parks in the U.S., and while I’m not complaining about the lack of visitors, I can’t believe more people don’t know about this wonder of a place.
Mt. Rainier National Park
Mt. Rainier National Park is one of the most popular national parks around. With its close proximity to Seattle, this park sees over 2 million visitors a year and that number continues to grow. Known primarily for its beautiful mountain and wildflowers, this park is also home to forests, waterfalls, and so much more. Plus, this area has some of the cutest Airbnbs I’ve ever seen!
Whidbey Island is a beautiful place for an elopement if you’re looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. A 20-minute ferry ride will transport you to one of the most relaxing places near Seattle. Known for its greenery and seafood, Whidbey Island is a great honeymoon destination for any couple.
How to Get a Marriage License in Seattle
Getting a marriage license in Seattle is super easy. In. fact, you can do it from the comfort of your own home! All you need to do is fill out the online. application, then send an email to KCROMarriage@kingcounty.gov with the transaction number and a phone number. You will then be called within three business days. to pay for your license and it will be mailed to you right after.
You can also do the process by mail! To see instructions on how to get a marriage license in Seattle, check out their official site.
Pro tip: You can get a marriage license in any county. You DO NOT need to get one in the county you’re getting married in.
Pro tip: Washington State has a 3-day waiting period for marriage licenses, meaning you can’t get married until three days have passed from you picking up your marriage license. The license is good for 60 days.
When Should I Visit Seattle for My Elopement?
Known as being one of the rainiest cities in the U.S., some seasons may be better than others for your elopement (depending on what you’re looking for).
While you should still expect some rain during this time, the spring is a great season to visit the city. Flowers begin to bloom, the weather warms up, and most people begin going outside to explore the trails. However, the weather can be a bit unpredictable.
If you want all the hiking trails to be snow-free and have the greatest chance of avoiding the rain, the summer months are the best time to visit Seattle. However, with great weather comes large crowds and raised rates on hotels and excursions. If you’re hoping for a more private elopement, avoid the summer months.
The fall is the best time to elope in Seattle. Not only is the weather pleasant, but the crowds have died down, the changing colors in national parks are as vibrant as ever, and the high prices have dropped. This is personally my favorite time to visit the city.
Looking for cheap rates and no crowds? The winter season is perfect for you. While the rain tends to push people away, it’s actually not that bad. In fact, this is a great time to explore lower elevation areas like Olympic National Park, as you’ll hardly come across many people during your elopement. And if you love to snow or ski-board, there are dozens of resorts close-by.
Where to Stay in Seattle
Seattle has some super cool neighborhoods. From the foodie paradise of Capitol Hill to the hometown feel of Ballard, these are some of the best Airbnbs I have found around Seattle’s most popular areas that would be perfect for an elopement.
Seattle’s most popular neighborhood, known for its amazing local food, nightlife, LGTBQ scene, and quick access to downtown attractions.
- One Block Off Broadway – A clean, modern Dutch Colonial home just steps away from restaurants and attractions.
- The Mini-Mansion – A minimal and architecturally beautiful home just 15 minutes from the heart of Capitol Hill.
- Aloha Carriage House – Built in 1903, this historic home has many charming touches and gardens.
Known for feeling like a small town in a big city, Ballard is boarded by the Puget Sound and offers incredible views while still providing great attractions and places to eat.
- Sunset Getaway – This modern beauty is blocks away from the best places in Ballard. Plus, it offers a stunning view of Mt. Rainier on a clear day.
- Artist Villa – Surrounded by a lush garden, this simple stay is perfect for a couple just passing through.
- Urban Cottage – What was once a general store is now a trendy cottage, walking distance from coffee shops.
Queen Anne is known as one of Seattle’s best neighborhoods. Primarily famous for its historic homes and cultural festivals, this is a great place to stay if you’re looking for something a little farther from downtown.
- Hillside on North Queen Anne – A cozy and modern home equipped with a covered outdoor deck just 3 miles away from Pike Place Market.
- Sweeping Views – This 2 bedroom home has tall ceilings and plenty of windows, all with gorgeous views of the outdoors.
- Gorgeous Home At The Center of Everything – A modern yet cottage-like home with tons of light and a charming backyard.
Best Elopement Activities in Seattle
Whether you’re into exploring new coffee shops or kayaking down the river, Seattle has something for everyone. Check out some of the best elopement activities you can do in Seattle.
- Take a chef’s tour of Pike Place Market
- Take a cooking class
- Rent a boat and go sailing for the day
- Go on a waterfall tour
- Visit a brewery
- Visit a farm sanctuary
- Go paddle boarding on Green Lake
- Be a tourist and visit the Space Needle
- Rent an Airbnb with a hot tub and enjoy the soak
- Check out one of Seattle’s many night clubs
- Go to the Museum of Pop Culture
- Sign up for a yoga class
- Go hiking in one of the nearby national parks
- Light a fire and have some s’mores
- Enjoy a picnic at Kerry Park
- Go wine tasting around the city
Seattle Elopement Packages
I’m Brianna, a Pacific Northwest elopement photographer who helps capture and plan unforgettable elopements around the West Coast. Check out what’s included in each of elopement packages. To get more information, check out my main elopement packages page here.
- 4 hours – 2 days of elopement coverage anywhere in Washington
- A personalized elopement planning experience with unlimited assistance
- Personalized elopement location recommendations
- Vendor, lodging, and activity recommendations
- Assistance and information to help you with permits, licenses, etc.
- 90+ page elopement planning guide filled with tips and tricks
- Customized elopement timelines
- Optional complimentary officiant services
- Online gallery with full resolution images and printing rights
- 24-48 hour sneak peeks to share with the world
- Travel fees to anywhere in Washington are already included
- Starting at $5,500
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I’m Brianna, a California elopement photographer who inspires, encourages, and empowers couples to push traditional boundaries and create experiences they’ll remember forever.