BEST SEASON TO ELOPE IN WASHINGTON

One of the first steps in planning your Washington Adventure Elopement or Small Wedding is deciding which season or month most aligns with the vision you have for your day.

Are you looking to do a romantic winter elopement in the snow with a cozy log cabin to retreat back to after your ceremony or are you dreaming up an epic backpacking elopement in the backcountry of the Cascades? Maybe you want something in between these!

Whatever your vision, and however you define “adventure”, I’m here to help you feel more clear around how you want your day to play out. Below, I’ve shared a breakdown of the weather in Washington by month so you can decide which month is best for your day.

If you feel like you are needing some help in your planning, click here to reach out to me via my contact form and I’d love to set up a time to connect with you and your partner!

Best Month to Elope in Washington

The weather in Washington varies greatly throughout the year and will have a big impact on the experience you want to have for your Adventure Elopement or intimate Nature Wedding. Washington’s climate is greatly influenced by its diverse geography, which ranges from coastal regions to mountainous terrain and everything in between. As a result, the climate can vary significantly depending on the location within the state as well as by the type of climate patterns that occur across the Pacific Ocean. In the most recent years, we’ve experience recurring El Nina which brought a lot more snow than usual and an El Nino in 2023/2024 that dropped significantly less.

In general, Washington experiences a temperate maritime climate in the western part of the state, which means that the weather is usually mild and influenced by the nearby ocean. This type of climate tends to have cooler summers and warmer winters compared to places farther from the ocean. Additionally, it often brings plenty of rainfall throughout the year.

Additionally, the Cascade Mountain Range divides the state, creating a rain shadow effect where the western side receives more precipitation than the eastern side.

The eastern part of the state has a more continental climate, meaning that the weather is usually more extreme, with hotter summers and colder winters compared to places near the coast. This type of climate tends to have larger temperature differences between seasons and less rainfall overall.

Here’s a breakdown of what each month is like as the seasons change in Washington so you can determine which month may be best for your Adventure Elopement or Small Wedding in Washington!

January Elopements

Engagement Session at Tamanawas Falls Oregon

January typically brings cold temperatures and rain to most parts of Washington State. In the western regions, including Seattle and the Olympic Peninsula, temperatures range from 30°F to 50°F (about -1°C to 10°C), with frequent rain showers and a lot of fog. In the eastern regions, such as Spokane and the Columbia River Gorge, temperatures range from 20°F to 40°F (about -7°C to 4°C), with occasional snowfall. January is better suited for indoor weddings or snowy mountain elopements.

February Elopements

February continues to be cold and wet in the western regions, with temperatures similar to January. Snowfall is possible in the higher elevations, making mountainous areas like the Cascades ideal for winter elopements. In the eastern regions, temperatures remain chilly, but snowfall may be less frequent than earlier in the winter. Not the best for outdoor weddings unless you love the idea of a winter wonderland ceremony.

March Elopements

March marks the transition to spring in Washington State. The flora starts to bud as temperatures start to gradually warm up, with highs ranging from 40°F to 55°F (about 4°C to 13°C). Rain showers are still common, but the frequency may decrease towards the end of the month. In the eastern regions, temperatures begin to rise as well, with highs ranging from 45°F to 60°F (about 7°C to 16°C). Snowmelt in the mountains creates stunning waterfall backdrops for outdoor ceremonies.

April Elopements

Romantic Washington Adventure Elopement

April brings milder temperatures and the first signs of spring. If Washington wasn’t already incredible, the wildflowers level up the experience! In the western regions, temperatures range from 45°F to 60°F (about 7°C to 16°C), with increasing sunshine and blooming flora in coastal areas and lowland forests.

In the eastern regions, temperatures continue to rise, with highs ranging from 55°F to 65°F (about 13°C to 18°C). It’s a beautiful time for outdoor weddings, especially if you have a killer Airbnb for yourself and your guests nearby, as Washington starts to have more sunshine and milder weather. Rain is still common and planning with flexibility in mind can help in making sure you have a great weather window.

May Elopements

May is a popular month for outdoor weddings in Washington State. The rain is starting to disappear and we are right on the cusp of summer! In the western regions, temperatures range from 50°F to 65°F (about 10°C to 18°C), with longer daylight hours and more consistent sunshine. Coastal areas and alpine meadows come alive with vibrant blooms, providing stunning backdrops for ceremonies.

In the eastern regions, temperatures climb into the 60s and 70s°F (about 16°C to 24°C), making it an ideal time for outdoor celebrations in the Cascades, the Olympic Peninsula and along the Columbia River. Unless you are going for a winter elopement in Washington, May is the start of the Pacific Northwest turning into the Garden of Eden. The weather is warm but not too hot, and everything is in full bloom. Perfect for outdoor ceremonies and photos.

June Elopements

June brings the arrival of summer in Washington State! It’s an excellent time for outdoor weddings, whether you prefer mountain vistas or beachside ceremonies. The only downfall to June in Washington is that depending on the year and the timing of the melting of the snow in higher elevations, it can also bring on mosquito madness.

In the western regions, temperatures range from 55°F to 70°F (about 13°C to 21°C), with clear skies and warm days perfect for outdoor weddings. Mountain trails and alpine lakes offer pristine settings for elopements amidst blooming wildflowers and snow-capped peaks. In the eastern regions, temperatures soar into the 70s and 80s°F (about 21°C to 27°C), making it ideal for outdoor ceremonies in the sunshine.

July Elopements

Aside from living in the Pacific Northwest, I’ve had a very intimate experience of the weather in Washington in July as I hiked the Pacific Crest Trail from the Columbia River Gorge (on the Oregon border) to the Canadian border just north of Mazama, Washington between July 28 – August 16th, 2022. I lived in these forests and climbed these mountains for 21 days straight without leaving off trail.

The big things to know is that July is one of the warmest and driest months in Washington State. Expect loads of sunshine, long days, and perfect conditions for beach weddings or mountain ceremonies. These also really end up being perfect options as well if a heat wave hits the PNW. The weather is unbelievably perfect at higher elevations during July.

The big thing to note about the summer months in the Northwest is that once the snow melts, mosquitos come out for roughly 6 weeks. You can always prepare around this but these things can be so brutal that I would encourage you to be wise around location. Anything deep in the forest or near a water source such as a lake in the mountains could be intense.

This is one of the things I’m naturally paying attention to and will help you plan around!

How I mitigate this for elopements is by encouraging couples to go towards higher elevations and more expansive open spaces or alpine meadows for their July Elopements. Planning your day in one of Washington’s National Wilderness areas or one of the states National Parks during July will give you tons of options! There are a few ways to escape the mosquitos, one of those is you have to know where to go.

In the western regions, temperatures range from 60°F to 75°F (about 16°C to 24°C), with minimal rainfall and plenty of sunshine. Coastal beaches and island getaways provide romantic settings for beach weddings and sunset ceremonies. In the eastern regions, temperatures peak in the 80s and 90s°F (about 27°C to 32°C), making it perfect for outdoor events at higher elevations, along the coast or even along the Columbia River Gorge.

August Elopements

August continues the warm and sunny weather in Washington State and it’s when the mosquitos disappear as the melt is over!

In the western regions, temperatures range from 60°F to 75°F (about 16°C to 24°C), with clear skies and mild evenings that are incredibly ideal for outdoor activities and the best backpacking you could ask for. Mountain vistas and alpine meadows offer breathtaking backdrops for elopements amidst the peak of summer blooms. In the eastern regions, temperatures remain in the 80s and 90s°F (about 27°C to 32°C), making it an ideal time for eloping outdoors and when you get into the mountains, the temperatures are beyond perfect.

The one big thing you want to consider when it comes to planning a Washington Elopement or Wedding in August is that in the last decade, we have seen August be the month that wild fires start to effect the experience we have here in the Northwest. Be it, fires in Washington, Oregon, California or even Canada, the smoke can effect conditions, even at high elevations.

Having a backup plan can be really useful for August Elopements and the coast or Olympic Peninsula is often a great place where the winds will be moving a different direction and clearing the skies of smoke.

September Elopements

September marks the transition to fall in Washington State. The mosquitos are gone, the widlfires have died down and the weather just starts to cool off.

In the western regions, temperatures range from 55°F to 70°F (about 13°C to 21°C), with cooler evenings and occasional rain showers. Fall foliage begins to emerge in the mountains and lowland forests, creating stunning backdrops for outdoor ceremonies. In the eastern regions, temperatures start to cool down, with highs ranging from 70°F to 80°F (about 21°C to 27°C).

I love this month personally as I’m a big mushroom forager and September typically brings the first rains which marks the start of foraging season. If you are planning to elope in September, it can be valuable to have a little bit of wiggle room around your day just in case a weather pattern blows through.

As well, foraging is a super fun activity and can add to your experience if you are bringing mushrooms back to be prepared with your meal!

October Elopements

October brings cooler temperatures and vibrant fall colors to Washington State, especially in North Cascades National Park! These are some of the most wild autumn views you can find in the entire country.

In the western regions, temperatures range from 45°F to 60°F (about 7°C to 16°C), with increasing rainfall and fog in coastal areas and forests. Fall foliage peaks in the mountains, providing a unbelievable backdrop for autumn elopements and weddings. In the eastern regions, temperatures range from 55°F to 65°F (about 13°C to 18°C), with crisp mornings and sunny afternoons, perfect for outdoor celebrations and rustic autumn celebration along the coast, in the mountains or along the Columbia River Gorge.

The rain has been changing in the last few years in the Northwest and we didn’t see consistent rain until November in 2023 so there’s a very good chance you’ll get a weather window in October that would be perfect for your wedding or elopement.

November Elopements

November marks the onset of winter in Washington State. The first snows start to fall in the Cascades and the ski lodges start to open towards the end of the month.

This can be a little bit of a challenging month due to weather however the rain and snow doesn’t typically make it out towards Eastern Washington til later in the year so considering some desert locations options could be valuable.

In the western regions, temperatures range from 40°F to 50°F (about 4°C to 10°C), with shorter days and frequent rain showers. Snowfall begins in the mountains, creating a winter wonderland for elopements in alpine settings. In the eastern regions, temperatures range from 40°F to 50°F (about 4°C to 10°C), with occasional rain showers and snowfall in higher elevations.

It’s also important to note that the climate pattern that is playing out will have a big effect on the winter months as a lot of forest roads start getting shut down and it becomes a bit more difficult to adventure deeper into the mountains without longer treks and more gear.

December Elopements

Mount Margaret BackcountryRober t J Hill

December brings cold temperatures and occasional snowfall to Washington State. The ski slopes are open by this time and winter elopements and weddings start to take place in the mountains.

In the western regions, temperatures range from 35°F to 45°F (about 2°C to 7°C), with shorter daylight hours and the possibility of snow in higher elevations. Cozy indoor venues and mountain lodges provide romantic settings for winter weddings. In the eastern regions, temperatures range from 30°F to 40°F (about -1°C to 4°C), with colder temperatures and snowfall in mountainous areas, creating a magical backdrop for winter elopements.

Next Steps

So that is Washington, month by month!

With its diverse climates and enchanting landscapes, offering an unparalleled canvas for nature-inspired weddings and adventurous elopements, Washington is one of my favorite places to work with couples.

Picture yourself exchanging vows beneath the warm summer sun on a pristine beach, or cozying up with your love amidst snow-capped peaks for a magical winter wedding. From the rugged coastline to the majestic mountains, Washington promises an unforgettable outdoor celebration, tailored to your wildest dreams and deepest desires.

Ready to learn a little more about what it’s like working with me? Let’s connect for a phone call and talk through everything you are currently envisioning for your day! Click here and fill out my contct form to get started.

Now that you have a good idea of the seasosn, it’s time to choose the best location in Washington for your Adventure Elopement!

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Hey, I'm Robert

Washington Elopement Photographer

I’m here to help you craft an elopement day or small wedding that is true to who you are your partner are while also feeling romantic, adventurous, and a unforgettably invigorating.

As a Washington native, thru hiker, mountaineer, and all around adventurer, I’m here to answer every question you have and serve you in planning the most epic elopement or wedding day you could dream up.