Just like so many of our 2021 couples, Sam and Andie had originally planned a larger, traditional wedding with all of their friends and family back in 2020. But after a few iterations of planning and re-planning, they opted to ditch the big wedding plans for an intimate elopement experience instead. This snowy winter elopement at Mt. Rainier National Park was plan number three for these two for their wedding day.
And my GOODNESS was this new plan worth it. This elopement day was simply magical. We spent a quiet morning at the cutest A-frame cabin in the woods, they were able to have their family attend their ceremony over zoom, and then we headed up to Mt. Rainier to play in the snow. We even made a fox friend on our way back down the mountain! They wrapped up their evening with a delicious meal and, of course, cake!
Sam and Andie, your love for one another is so true and genuine, we could feel it all day. Thank you for sharing this with us.
You can absolutely plan a winter elopement at Mt. Rainier NP, but be prepared for snowy conditions even through June. In the winter months, only two entrances to the park remain open – the Nisqually and Carbon River entrances. The road to the Sunrise Visitor Center typically does not open until early-mid July, and even then many trails may still have snow. Additionally, in the winter months, the Nisqually gate closes at 4pm, meaning elopements will need to take place earlier in the day, rather than around sunset.
A special use permit is required for any wedding or elopement ceremony that takes place inside Mt. Rainier National Park. Some ceremony locations in the park are limited depending on how many guests you will have, in order to better protect the more fragile areas. You can find the most up-to-date information on permits here on the park’s website. We recommend that you apply for your permit no less than 4 weeks prior to your date to ensure the park has ample time to process your request.
Most folks eloping at Mt. Rainier opt to stay in Ashford or Packwood, Washington, which are the towns nearest the park entrance. Not only are they the most convenient places to stay, but they also have so many adorable cabins to choose from! Below are some of our favorite listings:
We can’t wait to get started helping you make all your wedding dreams come true. With 3 years of practice helping guide couples in crafting their perfect wedding day experience, we’ve got all the tools you need to make your dreams a reality. We’re ready to help you pick the best, unique location, connect you with local vendors, and create an adventure-filled and stress-free day. All you have to do is have an amazing time together and get married! We can’t wait to be your elopement photographer and wander with you.