Sunset Olympic National Park Elopement at Ruby Beach
If you’re like me, whenever you think of the Washington Coast, usually you think of rain, clouds….and maybe vampires.
You could say I was in for a beautiful surprise when the day came for this intimate elopement to unfold and the sun was shining brilliantly. We couldn’t believe how rich this West Coast sunset was.
It was perfect.
When choosing a location for your elopement, most couples have an idea or direction to lean into, but Courtney and Josh were unique in that… they left that part up to me.
You could say I was SHOCKED. I was given free rein because this couple trusted me and just couldn’t wait for the adventure. Talk about the best gift to a photographer’s heart.
So, OF COURSE I chose Olympic National Park.
Olympic National Park
One of the things I love about this National Park is it feels like 3 parks in 1. From glacier-capped mountains near Hurricane Ridge, to old-growth temperate rain forests in the Hoh Rainforest, and over 70 miles of wild coastline...you have so many backdrop options for your elopement. PLUS, if you have 5 or less people there is NO permit required to have a wedding or elopement. This is HUGE.
I had traveled here a few years back so I was familiar with Ruby Beach – a rocky beach filled with cliff islands and is located about 25-20 minutes outside the town of Forks, Washington.
This happens to be the Twilight town AND a great place to find an airbnb to stay in. I didn’t see any vampires even though the threat was high 😉
BUT I got to see the infamous treaty line!
Being from the East Coast I was taken aback by the details of this iconic beach – driftwood piles, dark sands, sea stacks, and ruby-like crystals found throughout the sands. (can you guess where the name came from?) It took my breath away, and even more so, it always feels so private…which when I am scouting for elopement places, this is a number one priority for my couples.
This remarkable place, set on the Olympic Peninsula, is where the Hoh River meets the Pacific Ocean. If that isn’t cool enough, the beach is only a short walking from the parking lot. So you don’t have to hike far to get that iconic Pacific Northwest atmosphere.
Looking for a place to stay? We stayed in this CUTE and affordable Airbnb that was just a few minutes from Forks. It was designed beautifully too which is great for pictures while you get ready!
I fell in love with Ruby Beach when I visited, so this was the first location I suggested to Courtney & Josh…and instantly they knew this would be their place.
I was warned ahead of time that choosing to elope in Washington in October could be a wash out – this is the time of year when hard rain can be present just about every day and temperatures will drop.
Yet, somehow we managed to to have clear skies and moderate temperatures. It was quite lovely.
I had been looking forward to this day for so long – anytime I can go back to Washington always fills a part of my soul that longs for that kind of place. But even more so I couldn’t wait to spend time with and celebrate these two.
And goodness it was absolutely a magical day. I love it when I get to feel like “part” of the people there. Not just that I am taking pictures – that is first and foremost my job, but sometimes couples go the extra mile to make me feel even more invited into their day.
And there were so many little moments of that, including ending the day around a campfire, laughing and and relaxing, watching the moon rise and being thankful for such a time.
I love what I do and the people it brings me too.
Feeling inspired to plan your own Olympic National Park wedding? Reach out and let’s start dreaming!