Raquel and Justin’s Intimate Lakeside Elopement Ceremony, WA

Raquel and Justin’s Intimate Lakeside Elopement Ceremony, WA

Most couples struggle to decide to have an elopement OR an intimate wedding. Raquel and Justin decided to have both! Raquel and Justin’s Washington elopement included an intimate lakeside ceremony with their loved ones and an adventurous mountain view hike as the sun set.

Are you ready to elope? Explore our Washington elopement packages.

About This Lakeside Ceremony & Elopement Adventure at Mt. Rainier

“On the day of their elopement, the couple and their relatives organized their hiking gear and assigned specific wedding items to each member. After securing the babies in their hiking packs, the family embarked on the trail together. Upon arriving at the ceremony site, everyone was awestruck by the picturesque turquoise lake nestled among tall evergreens and mountains.

Following the ceremony, the couple sought a more private elopement together amidst the serene wilderness of Mount Rainier National Park. The couple exchanged their vows and shared their first dance as the sun cast a stunning array of colors in the sky. Raquel and Justin wrapped up their perfect elopement day by exploring the mountainside with their two lanterns and gazing up at the starry night sky.” [Sheryl, the photographer]

Permits and Leave No Trace During a Mt. Rainier Elopement

Sheryl shares her insight and expertise on planning a Mt. Rainier elopement… If you want to get married in Mount Rainier National Park, you will need to apply for a Special Use Permit. It’s super easy!

All you need to do is three simple steps:

  1. Complete the Special Use Permit application on the Mount Rainier NPS website.
  2. Email it to [email protected]
  3. Pay the $175 application fee. Your application must be completed and emailed to Mount Rainier NPS at least four weeks before your requested wedding date. I highly recommend you submit it sooner if you know you want to get married in the national park. Once your application is processed, NPS will send you directions to pay a $175 non-refundable application fee online for official approval.

A few important things to remember:

  • The number of participants attending your ceremony may determine which locations you are allowed to have your ceremony. The bigger your group, the smaller your options.
  • Be respectful of other visitors. Your ceremony cannot block off access to the general public or impede the activities of other visitors.
  • Do not throw rice, confetti, etc. A fun tip for your wedding day that ensures you follow LNT principles is leaving your ceremony location better & more pristine than when you arrived.

Learn more about eloping at Mt. Rainier National Park.

Top Tips For Your Elopement From The Photographer

“If you want to elope in Mount Rainier National Park, especially during the peak summer season, I highly recommend avoiding holiday weekends or weekends in general due to the large crowds. Raquel and Justin chose to have their elopement on a weekday and there were very few people. Additionally, if you choose to elope at sunset, bring headlamps for each person and have a good understanding of your trail prior to hiking it. The trails get dark quickly after sunset, so you can get easily disoriented without the proper gear and understanding of the trail.” [Sheryl, the photographer]

Have Your Elopement Reflect Who YOU Are

“What I loved about Raquel and Justin’s Washington Elopement was that it wasn’t only a memorable and adventurous experience, but it was a true reflection of their personalities. The couple opted for a wedding day that incorporated what they loved most which is a love for the outdoors, hiking, and of course their closest family members. Every detail of their wedding day was tailored to them, no detail was performative nor chosen to make others happy. I loved that they planned their dream elopement outside of the “traditional” and decided they could have BOTH the intimate wedding and the elopement. I also loved that their families respected their decision and fully embraced their adventurous wedding plans.” [Sheryl, the photographer]

Memorable Moments From This Elopement Adventure

From the photographer:

“My first favorite moment from their wedding day was hiking with their family! When we arrived to the head of the hiking trail, Raquel, Justin, and their relatives collectively organized their hiking gear and assigned specific wedding items for each member to carry. After they finished up securing their babies in their hiking packs, Raquel picked up her pack with her daughter Everly and began leading us up the trail to their ceremony site. The entire trail leading up to the turquoise lake was adorned with berries and occasional glimpses of Mount Rainier behind evergreens. It was such a beautiful moment witnessing their family embrace this unique wedding adventure together.

My second favorite moment was Raquel and Justin’s elopement in Mount Rainier National Park. They sought a more private moment at sunset with Mount Rainier as their backdrop— they exchanged their vows once again and shared their first dance as the sun cast a stunning array of pink, orange, and purple hues in the sky. As we waited for the stars to come out, Raquel and Justin took a romantic stroll along the mountainside with their two lanterns, culminating in the perfect end to their unforgettable wedding day.”

Final Words From The Photographer

“On wedding days like these, my couples are able to focus all their attention on each other and what they love doing most together. Observing Raquel and Justin’s elopement served as a reminder that weddings need not be opulent to be beautiful. At its core, love is the most crucial aspect, and their devotion to each other was evident throughout the day. I feel grateful to have been a part of their special day and to have captured their love story through my lens. It’s moments like these that make my job as a photographer so fulfilling. If you’re struggling with the idea of choosing between having a wedding with family or having a “just us” elopement, I hope Raquel & Justin’s wedding day serves as a reminder that you can do both.” [Sheryl, the photographer]

Learn how to elope here.

Photos From This Washington Elopement Adventure & Ceremony

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