If you aren't sure if North Cascades National Park is worth visiting, ask Lauren and Matt, as they came all the way from Guatemala to elope in Northwestern Washington. When Lauren and Matt had decided to have an intimate waterfall elopement in the North Cascades, I was overcome with so much excitement! The North Cascades is one of the best places ever to elope, with towering mountains and alpine lakes and bright blue waters, it's a paradise for anyone looking to elope there.
Previously, Lauren and Matt had road tripped through the PNW, visiting the Redwoods, Hoh Rainforest, and Yosemite. They were planning another road trip through the PNW and Rocky Mountains, and they ultimately decided on North Cascades for their elopement.
June 21 (the summer solstice) was the date they picked. I personally love this date because it's the longest day of the year, which means you get the most daylight to celebrate and do things together!
As we continued planning their elopement, we realized that a lot of the spots we liked weren't accessible yet because of the snow (and the snow level for 2022 was extra deep, which in turn took way longer to melt). I did some research and found some gorgeous lower elevation spots for them, and the day couldn't have turned out better! It was so relaxed and filled with love. Here's a few highlights and favorite details from their relaxed yet adventurous elopement day in the North Cascades.
Lush Forest Airbnb in Glacier, WA
If you want a beautiful Airbnb surrounded by a lush forest and ferns, look no further than The Greybird Retreat located in Glacier, WA. Lauren and Matt rented this Airbnb for their elopement and it made for such beautiful photos!
Lauren's dress from BHLDN was so beautifully illuminated against the tall windows of the Airbnb. It had gorgeous sleeves and floral detailing, it suited her so well! And the moss outside the rental was the perfect place to take detail shots of the rings as well!
Renting an Airbnb for your elopement is always something I recommend to my eloping couples (check out that link to see why you should rent one for your elopement)! Look at how beautiful the setting of the Airbnb adds to the whole feel of their elopement gallery. You get to see that they are tucked away in the quiet woods as they get ready for their elopement day together.
Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest Florals
During the planning and permit process, we found out that real flower bouquets weren't preferred for use in the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, so Lauren found this beautiful bouquet instead from FloralDate on Etsy!
Since Lauren and Matt were traveling via train to the PNW from the Midwest (Lauren and Matt are from Guatemala, so they flew to the Midwest to meet up with their family and got the marriage legal paperwork out of the way, and then they came to the PNW for their commitment ceremony). She had the flowers shipped to my address and I brought them to the elopement for her! So yes, if need be I can pick up things if it's easier due to you traveling!
White Bridal Blundstone Boots
Lauren and Matt wore Blundstone boots for their elopement, and Lauren got white ones to complete her adventurous bridal look! You can never go wrong with wearing a cute pair of boots when in the PNW, even for your elopement!
Waterfall Elopement Ceremony
When looking for locations near Mt. Baker, I came across this waterfall that was the perfect place for Lauren and Matt's commitment ceremony, which consisted of vows that only they could hear because of the rushing waterfall, and reading letters from family. It was only us the entire time at the base of the waterfall and it was so amazing! Perfect for an intimate ceremony for just the two of them!
You can get creative with ways to include family during a "just us" elopement, and reading letters from family is a great way to include them while still having the intimacy and privacy of keeping it just the two of you, which was perfect in Lauren and Matt's case!
Camper Van Bridals
During our initial Zoom call, Lauren mentioned that they thought about renting a camper van for their road trip into the Cascades. Of course I said that they absolutely should, and they did! It was perfect to ride around with them to and from locations on the day of their elopement, and we had great conversations together.
Matt had found this really cool spot for photos while researching online, so we stopped by this side road and took some fun camper van bridals after the ceremony!
Exploring Shuksan Picnic Area
I had found Shuksan Picnic Area while looking for lower elevation spots near Mt. Baker and it worked great for Lauren and Matt to have a little picnic on the picnic table and to have their cake cutting (cake is from Saltadena Bakery in Bellingham), and to explore the powder blue river, which also hosted their first dance in the sprinkling rain! They also hung up a hammock right on the river and it was the perfect relaxed activity.
North Cascades Elopement Inspiration
-North Cascades Elopement Vendors:
Airbnb: The Greybird Retreat
Cake: Saltadena Bakery
Rings: Rosado's Box
Washington Elopement Photographer
Working with Lauren and Matt for their waterfall elopement in the North Cascades was an absolute dream! Here is the sweetest review they left for me:
"We would recommend Karlie to any friend or family member. From the planning phase until the day of our elopement, Karlie was so incredibly dedicated to helping us create our perfect day. We both felt an instant connection to her when we spoke via zoom in the beginning phases… she’s kind, thoughtful, professional, punctual, sincere, and curious. She asked so many questions about us as a couple and proposed many ideas that fell inline with those qualities and values. Throughout the whole process, she was so on top of researching locations, permits and responding to us in a timely manner always. We felt so grateful that we had chose her to shoot our wedding for many reasons, but one being that she put genuine love, focus, and energy into our elopement. It was so clear to both of us. The day was so meaningful in every way. It felt so calm and easy, which is what we wanted and why we chose to elope. Karlie worked so hard to make things easy and calm for us and we felt completely comfortable sharing this special day with her. The photos that Karlie sent us have truly exceeded our expectations and blew us away. Working with Karlie was the best investment that we made in our elopement process. Hands down. We can’t thank you enough Karlie and we wish you the best!!"
-Lauren and Matt
North Cascades is a dream place to elope, it was the perfect location for Lauren and Matt's intimate waterfall elopement! Whether you go for the lush lower elevation spots, or the higher alpine locations with towering mountains. I live only a day's drive away, and I would love to return to North Cascades National Park to explore even more of its beauty, and photograph more beautiful and meaningful elopements!
If you want to know how to elope in the North Cascades, check out this blog that lays out the process of how to elope there in just 7 easy steps for you!