Laura & Michael’s Elopement: Love in the Paradise of Mount Rainier National Park

Laura & Michael’s Elopement: Love in the Paradise of Mount Rainier National Park

In the picturesque landscape of Mount Rainier National Park, Laura and Michael embarked on a journey through Paradise that celebrated their love for each other and the great outdoors.

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Wandering Through Paradise

Laura & Michael started the morning off with a casual couples’ session just after sunrise, wandering around the trails of Paradise to release their pre-ceremony jitters. We even saw a ptarmigan and a deer! Afterward, they met up with their family members in the Paradise parking lot and changed into their attire for their ceremony on the Avalanche Lily trail. They had their first look in their wedding attire down the aisle (trail), and had their ceremony with family & Mount Rainier as their witnesses.” [Janelle, the photographer]

After a mid-day break, they met at their AirBnb for their reception dinner and post-elopement party with their family. Their Airbnb was overlooking the Cowlitz River as they enjoyed a dinner prepared by Laura’s brother.

Their families shared memories and blessings, and Laura and Michael ended the evening reveling in the golden light at sunset, enjoying cake, and having their first dance under a gazebo with string lights at blue hour.

Explore more places to elope in Washington.

Planning a Mt Rainier Elopement

If you’re considering to elope at Mt. Rainier, here’s what you need to know:

“A special use permit is required for any ceremony taking place in Mount Rainier National Park. You can download the application form on their website, and submit it no later than 4 weeks before your elopement day (preferably sooner) along with a $175 application fee. There are designated locations in the park for ceremonies that all have different group size limits, so make sure your photographer has this information when suggesting locations for your group, or request the list from the Parks Service directly.

The subalpine meadows of Mount Rainier’s higher elevation locations are extremely fragile, and these plants and grasses only have a few short months to grow before the snowpack returns. We say ‘alpine plants grow by the inch and die by the foot’, so please stay on the established trails (not social trails), and do not hop over restoration barriers or trample meadows. Make sure you hire vendors who are committed to practicing Leave No Trace in these beautiful areas so they can stay pristine and beautiful for people to enjoy for generations.” [Janelle, the photographer]

Learn more about eloping at Mt. Rainier.

Planning the Perfect Escape

Laura and Michael’s decision to elope stemmed from a desire for an intimate celebration that resonated with their love for the outdoors.

“We wanted to make sure it was an intimate celebration so we could focus on making our day as special as possible…It took a lot of work and research on our part but ended up making the day even more special and turned out exactly how we wanted it to!” [The couple]

The couple, who have been together for 13 years, chose Mount Rainier National Park due to Laura’s fond childhood memories of the area. They took charge of the planning process, from selecting the location and creating a guest list to researching vendors.

Estimated Cost Breakdown (these numbers are ballpark estimates to help other couples plan a similar adventure)

Rental cabin $4,000

Flights $1,000

Dress $2,000

Suit $400

Flowers $400

Photographer $4,000

Event set up $1,900

Food $600 

Making Memories Amidst Nature’s Splendor

The most memorable part of Laura and Michael’s unique experience was their intimate reception with close family and friends. Despite initial concerns about disappointing extended family and friends, the couple embraced the intimacy of the moment:

We have been together for 13 years and have many lovely family and friends from over the years that we wanted to celebrate with. Though we would have loved to have them and were worried about disappointing our family/friends, we are so happy we made the ceremony/reception an intimate experience with the people closest to us. It was an amazing day and turned out exactly how we wanted! [The Couple]


Photographer | Janelle Renee Photography

Reception Coordinator & Designer | Susan Gallotte, Celebrations For Every Season

Wedding Dress | The Poinsett Bride

Flowers | Flower Moxie & Mayesh Wholesale Florist

Photos From This Elopement

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