A 2 Day Elopement Adventure With a Micro Wedding Ceremony at Hurricane Ridge
This 2-day Hurricane Ridge elopement weekend in Olympic National Park was jam-packed with adventure and lots of laughter! Paul and Jessica stayed true to their main goal – to have a celebration in the mountains surrounded by their closest family and friends. Get all the details from their wedding ceremony below.
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About This Micro Wedding Ceremony at Hurricane Ridge
“For their ceremony location, we found a beautiful lookout at Hurricane Ridge! One of the reasons I love this spot for elopements is because it is easily accessible and can accommodate guests.
The sunset hike was truly one of the highlights of Paul and Jessica’s day. The weather was absolutely perfect with no wind or clouds. They had the whole place to themselves and it was an incredibly special moment. As the sun dropped below the rugged mountains, highlighting the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Canada in the distance, the light continued to get more and more beautiful. There are not many places where you can view the ocean and mountains all in one location, so it was a really special experience.
The elopement day ended with stargazing into the clear September sky. We were able to time it perfectly before the moon started rising and we grabbed a few shots with the Milky Way in the background.
On day two of their elopement weekend, the couple focused on the celebration with their friends and family. Almost 100% of their guests were from out of town, so Paul and Jessica wanted to have one central location where the whole group could stay. They rented a large Airbnb in Port Angeles which ended up being the perfect place for their day-after wedding celebration! That afternoon they held a casual BBQ dinner at their Airbnb on the bluffs complete with firepit s’mores afterward.” [Amy, the photographer]
LNT and Permit Info For This Wedding
“For the size of the ceremony, this couple obtained a Special Use Permit from Olympic National Park. We used a picnic area where we had food delivered, so made sure to clean up all garbage and did NOT feed any of the wildlife that was present.
Top Tip: Flexibility. Washington weather is so dynamic, so having a Plan B, and sometimes C, is the way to go. This couple had actually planned a wedding in the North Cascades but wildfires caused a closure of the area they were supposed to get married at. They made a plan less than a month before their date to move everything to Olympic National Park, and we even had weather backup plans if we ran into high winds or rain on top of the mountains. Since Paul and Jessica had about 40 people, they had to make sure there was a place to accommodate all of the guests and cars that came along with them.
Planning their ceremony at a picnic location was perfect, and they rented an AirBnb for their day-after celebration. They also planned a lot of fun activities like hikes and sightseeing that many of the guests participated in. Paul and Jessica also chose a weekday for their wedding, which was key to having a less-crowded experience. National parks in Washington can get super crowded on weekends, especially if there weather looks good, so a weekday celebration really takes away the stress of traffic and crowds.” [Amy, the photographer]
Deciding to Plan an Adventure Wedding
“We are both very active people that love hiking and being in the mountains. We really wanted our wedding day to represent us. We also didn’t want to lose sight of what the wedding truly represented; us getting to spend forever together. So we had our favorite forever people there but spent the entire wedding day together focused on each other. Then we had an Airbnb, planned hikes with our guests, and hung out with our friends and family for the rest of the weekend.” [The couple]
Estimated Cost Breakdown From This Elopement
“It was roughly $20,000. We splurged on our photographer and our hotel. Amy was definitely worth it! And our Airbnb was where we had our reception. We invited everyone back to our Airbnb on both Friday and Saturday nights. The amounts below represent the Airbnb for Wednesday-Sunday and the rental car for 9 days.” [The couple]
Venue Permits $50
Hair & Makeup $200
Marriage License $60
Food & Drinks $2,500
Favors + Invites $200
Rental Car $800
From the photographer:
“Definitely taking star photos! It’s hard to predict whether astrophotography will go to plan with different weather patterns and moonrise, but we really lucked out. We did a sunset hike, then lingered at the top until the stars came out. My assistant and I really had a lot of fun playing around with different angles and settings and Paul and Jessica were more than stoked to participate to get those epic shots. I also loved getting to witness their first dance right as the sun was going down. They pulled out their phone and played ‘their song’ and enjoyed sweet quiet moments together surrounded by incredible views.”
From the couple:
“It would have been having all our favorite people there for the weekend. We spent a few days before the wedding with my husband’s family at the Hoh Rainforest and Ruby Beach. We hiked Mt. Storm King with my college roommates. We went on a hike with everyone(including my grandma that was 82) to a waterfall. It was so much fun to share with them why we love traveling to these beautiful places!”
Final Words of Advice
From the photographer:
“I can’t stress the importance of flexibility enough. From having to change locations completely to being ready for any type of weather, you just can’t have your plans fully set in stone. Paul and Jessica really handled last-minute changes with grace throughout the planning process which made it easier on everyone.”
From the couple:
“A wedding day should reflect the couple. It was definitely the best day and weekend of our lives. It meant the world to be able to have our day together and steal all of our favorite people away for an entire weekend instead of just for a few hours. We will always be so grateful for the people who flew to Washington to celebrate with us!”
Photography | Amy Galbraith Photography
Ceremony Site | Hurricane Ridge
AirBnb | Green Point Getaway
Florist | Fullness of Joy
Dinner | Coyote BBQ
Cake | Middle Name Baking Co
Picnic Lunch | Toga’s Soup House
Photos From This Wedding Adventure