A Backpack Hiking Adventure in Washington With Wildflower Views and a Romantic Charcuterie Board
Nicole and Jeff’s adventure elopement was absolutely incredible! Nicole hiked up the entire way in her dress with her bouquet attached to her pack. This Ashford wildflower elopement features gorgeous views of Mt. Rainier and a romantic picnic by their Airbnb.
Are you thinking to elope in Washington? Check out our Washington elopement packages.
Planning a Wildflower Elopement in Ashford, WA
“This was an easy decision for us, as this was both of our second marriages. We wanted something that was more intimate and about us, and we felt our first weddings were centered around pleasing our guests at the wedding vs being focused on two people getting married. So we decided to make it right the second time around and make the day just about us, and it was the best decision we have ever made. A month after our elopement, we had a beautiful reception with our family and friends to celebrate with us after the fact, and that took all of the pressure off.
Living in Washington, we see the mountains almost every day. Now when we look out to the mountain it is a reminder of our special day. We knew we wanted Mt.Rainier, but what we needed to figure out was the exact location. We really envisioned the wildflowers being a focal point of our elopement and our pictures, and our photographer and videographer helped us find the perfect spot. I wanted to be able to hike up in my wedding dress, knowing that I did not want to get very hot and sweaty on my wedding day, so I wanted a trail that was not too difficult or long. The trail itself was about a mile and not much of an incline. We hiked slowly and took photos at different areas along the way, which allowed us to stay cool, even though it was about 75° out.
…I wanted to have cute little extras for the day and for photos. So we planned a charcuterie picnic before the hike elopement at the AirBnb, a hammock in the woods, a cake cutting, and other little details to make it special like a little log ring holder with our initials and matching laces on our hiking boots…” [The couple]
Permits and Leave No Trace
“Mt. Rainier National Park does require a special use permit for all elopements and Nicole and Jeff obtained one several months prior to their big day. We stayed on trail at all times and, of course, didn’t pick any wildflowers to preserve the very fragile ecosystem of the meadows. We often use low angles so the trails aren’t visible, but we are ALWAYS on trail. We also made sure to pack everything out that we brought with us to ensure we followed Leave No Trace ethics. We value the parks and meadows immensely and want to be able to enjoy them for so many decades to come! We did not use tripods or other equipment that touched the ground. The images with the charcuterie board and hammock are from outside the park!
Make sure to get your permits early as they fill up, plan to get to the park early on weekends to avoid lines and make sure your photographer / videographer is familiar with the permits, regulations and locations!” [Vannessa + Coleman, the photographer and videographer]
Elopement Cost Estimate
Permits – $120
Photography and Officiant – $4000
Airbnb – $700
Charcuterie boards – $100
Misc food – meals – $100
Personalized signs and other materials for elopement – $500
Dress & Groom Clothes – $1700
Total ~ $7,220
Memorable Moments During This Elopement
From the photographer & videographer:
“While we were still at their cabin, Jeff and Nicole took some time after their first look for quiet moments and cuddles in their hammock. They talked about the memories they had already created, and the memories they were about to create on the most important day of their lives.
After Jeff and Nicole’s beautiful golden hour sunset ceremony, we continued on the trail during the blue hour. As we came over one of the final hills of the trail, we were gobsmacked by an incredible sea of wildflower colors in the meadow! The cotton candy colored sky as the sun had crested below a craggy peak quickly stole the show as the pastels touched down onto the Tatoosh mountain range.”
From the couple:
“The whole 3 days was the best part! The drive up to the Airbnb was relaxing and we had perfect weather. Watching the stars in the hot tub is tough to beat. Relaxing in the cabin, talking to each other, and exploring the property. Having a such a stress free wedding / elopment day with great food was everything we wanted. Hiking up the trail to the perfect spot in our Wedding clothes (and hiking boots 🙂 ) getting my wedding dress dirty and loving every step of it. Holding each others hands and feeling loved every second. Soaking in the absolutely beautiful scenery and magic of the mountain, trees, and flowers. Hiking down the trail after sunset in the dark with our headlights on.”
Final Words of Advice
“We can’t emphasize enough how much we love and respect Mt. Rainier National Park. The land and the ecosystem are otherworldly with both beauty and fragility. The utmost care must be taken to preserve such a gem of a place that we are so lucky to be able to explore! Please take care of these meadows with us and familiarize yourself with Leave No Trace principles!” [Vannessa + Coleman, the photographer and videographer]
Photography (Vannessa) + Videography (Coleman) | Vannessa Kralovic Photography
Photos From This Elopement